In a book perfect for fans of Sheila Connolly and Donna Leon, the USA Today bestselling author returns readers to County Cork in Ireland’s lush countryside, where locals are simmering with excitement over the reality TV baking contest coming to town —until someone serves up a show-stopping murder that only Garda Siobhan O’Sullivan can solve.
“Distinctive, captivating characters match a gripping plot full of surprises. O’Connor reinforces her place among the top rank of cozy writers.” – Publishers Weekly STARRED REVIEW
In Kilbane, opinions are plentiful and rarely in alignment. But there’s one thing everyone does agree on—the bakery in the old flour mill, just outside town, is the best in County Cork, well worth the short drive and the long lines. No wonder they’re about to be featured on a reality baking show.
All six contestants in the show are coming to Kilbane to participate, and the town is simmering with excitement. Aside from munching on free samples, the locals—including Siobhan—get a chance to appear in the opening shots. As for the competitors themselves, not all are as sweet as their confections. There are shenanigans on the first day of filming that put everyone on edge, but that’s nothing compared to day two, when the first round ends and the top contestant is found face-down in her signature pie.
The producers decide to continue filming while Siobhan and her husband, Garda Macdara Flannery, sift through the suspects. Was this a case of rivalry turned lethal, or are their other motives hidden in the mix? And can they uncover the truth before another baker is eliminated—permanently . . .
“Plenty of likely prospects and an endless supply of sweet treats brighten the path to the solution.” – Kirkus Reviews
At the start of O'Connor's excellent ninth Irish Village mystery (after 2022's Murder on an Irish Farm), a protester shouts, "Join the health revolution. Sugar is not your friend," outside Pie Pie Love, "Kilbane's best bakery housed in a historic flour mill," where a reality baking show is about to be filmed over the coming week. "Neither is noise-pollution before coffee," thinks garda Siobhán O'Sullivan, who's part of the security team for the show. The anti-sugar protestor collapses, possibly from an allergic reaction, after one of the contestants, Aoife McBride (aka "the Queen baker of Ireland"), puts makeup on his face for the camera. Later, a representative of the show's anonymous sponsor creates complications by providing the contestants with what he calls "secret weapons," which could be "a special ingredient, a new piece of equipment, or a coveted recipe." When one of the contestants dies under mysterious circumstances, Siobhán investigates, even as the show must go on. Distinctive, captivating characters match a gripping plot full of surprises. O'Connor reinforces her place among the top rank of cozy writers.
Without the townspeople and her family running in and out this was pretty boring- and both of them were ridiculous about baked goods- they couldn’t do their jobs because of cake- I loved this series but it should have stayed in town. Not worth the money-or time reading. Sad.