Kneaded to Death

· A Bread Shop Mystery Book 1 · Kensington Cozies
5 reviews

About this ebook

When an artisanal baker is accused of murder, her sleuthing student rises to the occasion . . .

Everyone swears by Yeast of Eden, the Mexican bread shop in town. But tonight, the only thing on the menu is la muerte . . .

Struggling photographer Ivy Culpepper has lots of soul-searching to do since returning to seaside Santa Sofia, California. That is, until the thirty-six-year-old enters a bread making class at Yeast of Eden. Whether it's the aroma of fresh conchas in the oven, or her instant connection with owner Olaya Solis, Ivy just knows the missing ingredients in her life are hidden among the secrets of Olaya's bakery . . .

But Ivy's spirits crumble when a missing classmate is suddenly discovered dead in her car. Even more devastating, the prime suspect is Olaya Solis herself. Doubting the woman could commit such a crime, Ivy embarks on a murder investigation of her own to prove her innocence and seize the real killer. As she follows a deadly trail of crumbs around town, Ivy must trust her gut like never before—or someone else could be toast!

Ratings and reviews

5 reviews
Jennifer Seaman
December 3, 2020
This is such a fun start! After the death of her mother, Ivy is back in her hometown. She gets invited to take a baking class at a bread shop and finds new friends. When one of those new friends ends up murdered, Ivy won't rest until she solves the mystery. And when she finds connections to her mother's death, will Ivy be able to solve both mysteries? I really liked reading this book. It was fun and I loved the diversity. I especially liked that the diversity wasn't forced. It felt natural. I liked all of the characters. I loved the stand-in moms that Ivy was starting to get close to. I loved her father and brother. I was totally surprised by the ending. Throughout the whole book, I totally suspected everyone! But the end took me by surprise. I need to read the next in this series immediately!
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Kristina Anderson
March 2, 2017
Kneaded to Death by Winne Archer is the first book in A Bread Shop Mystery series. Ivy Culpepper has returned home to Santa Sofia, California after the unexpected death of her mother, Anna. She was killed in a hit-and-run accident in the high school parking lot, and the killer has yet to be apprehended. Ivy’s grief has only been soothed by the bread from Olaya Solis’ bakery, Yeast of Eden. When Olaya offers a breadmaking class, Ivy is quick to sign up. Ivy is hoping it will help provide her with inspiration for her photographs and photography blog. She has not been able to get inspired since the death of her mother. Ivy and six other students are in the class. Just before the break, Jackie Makers, a fellow student, must take a call. They are getting ready to start up again, but Jackie has yet to return. The group hears raised voices outside, and they head outside to find out what is happening. Ivy sees her old high school beau, Miguel Baptista arguing with Randy Russell, co-owner of the local antique mall. Miguel is attempting to calm the man down. When Randy is finally subdued, the group notices Jackie sitting in her car. It looks like Jackie will not be finishing the class. When it is discovered that Jackie was poisoned, Olaya ends up at the top of the suspect list. Ivy knows that Olaya would not harm a soul, and starts asking questions around town. Ivy gets pulled into a controversy on historic Maple Avenue where Jackie owned a beautiful house (that Ivy would love to own). Santa Sofia is not the quiet town Ivy left when she went off to college. Will Ivy be able to capture the killer or will she end up getting burned? I found Kneaded to Death to be nicely written and easy to read. I liked the characters (especially Mrs. Branford) and the hint of magic. The description of Maple Avenue was delightful. There are some beautiful historic homes on the street (especially Mrs. Branford’s Victorian). I thought the mystery was well crafted, and it kept my interest (hooray). The author provided some nice clues that will help the reader identify the killer (you must pay very careful attention). I give Kneaded to Death 4 out of 5 stars (are you shocked)! My one complaint is Ivy’s obsession with Miguel Baptista. They dated in high school, but Ivy has never gotten over him (in eighteen years and now we understand why she is divorced). I thought her ogling of Miguel to be a little over-the-top (once would have been fine). I hope that Ivy’s grief is lessened in the next book. It is quite prevalent in Kneaded to Death which is understandable. There is another subplot in Kneaded to Death that is equally intriguing. There is not, though, too much going on in the book. I could keep track of the storylines and the characters. I thought Kneaded to Death was a good first cozy mystery. The series has potential, and I am looking forward to the next book in A Bread Shop Mystery series.
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Barbara Turner
August 3, 2019
Cozy mystery
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About the author

The indefatigable Winnie Archer is a middle school teacher by day and a writer by night. Born in a beach town in California, she now lives in Colorado. She fantasizes about spending summers writing in quaint, cozy locales, has a love/hate relationship with both yoga and chocolate, adores pumpkin spice lattes, is devoted to her five kids and husband, and can’t believe she’s lucky enough to be living the life of her dreams. Visit her online at

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