Much Ado About Muffin
Victoria Hamilton     

Genre: Cozy Mystery
Series: A Merry Muffin Mystery
Book: 2


In this fresh mystery from the national bestselling author of Death of an English Muffin, baker Merry Wynter comes to the aid of an innocent woman accused of murder.
When muffin baker Merry Wynter sees an innocent woman accused of murder, it’s dough or die...
Opera singer Roma Toscano may have a crippling case of stage fright, but she certainly is stirring up drama in Autumn Vale, New York, as she prepares for an upcoming performance at Merry’s Wynter Castle. With her flamboyant style and flirtatious personality, Roma attracts fans as well as critics, including the town’s postmistress—and Merry’s bitter foe—Minnie Urqhart.
But Roma and Minnie’s heated rivalry goes cold after Merry discovers Minnie dead at the post office. While every clue seems to be another ingredient in the investigation of Roma, Merry thinks the case is half-baked, and she’s eager to get her mitts on the real killer...

Merry Wynter has returned to her inherited castle in Autumn Vale, New York after an extended visit to Europe to visit the mother and brother of her late husband. Merry is glad to be home, but finds everyone is treating her differently. To make things worse, her dear friend Pish has moved an old rival, opera singer Roma Toscano, to stay in her home. When a killer strikes, Merry soon finds herself in the unexpected position of coming to Roma's defense against a charge of murder by getting involved in the search to determine who really committed murder.

I enjoy the castle setting of this book, as well as the light tone of the writing. The book is rounded out with two muffin recipes since baking delicious muffins is Merry's specialty. There are plenty of suspects in the murder of unpleasant postmistress Minnie Urqhart and the main plot of the story remains interesting from the beginning to the end.

I've really enjoyed the prior books in this series, so I was already familiar with the main characters, but the author gives enough background about Merry and her friends that new readers will quickly catch up. I like a cozy mystery that has a little romance mixed in, so I was pleased to see things progressing between Merry and her boyfriend Virgil. Although Merry is still getting over her husband Miguel's death and Virgil has his own issues with his ex-wife Kelly, things are looking promising for the likeable couple. There wasn’t as much investigation in this installment of the series, but it’s still an interesting mystery.

I thought both Merry and some of her friends' actions in this installment of the Merry Muffin series seemed out of character. Staying away from the castle for so long with limited contact with her friends doesn't seem like something she would do. Merry’s best friend Shilo's evasiveness seemed off, and I was surprised Pish let his support of murder suspect Roma so to such extremes, it almost comes between his friendship. This also seemed out of character for Pish, who is usually so devoted to Merry.  However, things improved as the story progressed, and overall the book is entertaining and fun to read.

~ Christine