Crêpe Expectations (Pancake House Mystery Series #5)

Crêpe Expectations (Pancake House Mystery Series #5)

by Sarah Fox

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Overview

When a murder case from the past heats up again, it's up to Marley McKinney to sort through a tall stack of suspects in the latest Pancake House Mystery. . .

Although it's a soggy start to spring in Wildwood Cove, the weather clears up just in time for the town to host an amateur chef competition. Marley McKinney, owner of the Flip Side pancake house, already signed up to volunteer, and chef Ivan Kaminski is one of the judges. But when Marley visits her landscaper boyfriend Brett at the site of the Victorian mansion that's being restored as the Wildwood Inn, she discovers something else pushing up daisies: human remains.

The skeleton on the riverbank washed out by the early-spring floodwaters belonged to eighteen-year-old Demetra Kozani, who vanished a decade earlier. While the cold case is reopened, Marley must step in when some of the cook-off contestants fall suspiciously ill. Stuck in a syrupy mess of sabotage and blackmail, it falls to Marley to stop a killer from crêping up on another victim. . .

Includes pancake recipes right from The Flip Side menu!

"Readers will cheer this brisk, literate addition to the world of small-town cozies."
-Kirkus Reviews on Wine and Punishment

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781516107780
Publisher: Random House
Publication date: 05/28/2019
Series: Pancake House Mystery Series , #5
Pages: 212
Sales rank: 177,554
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.50(h) x 0.48(d)

Read an Excerpt

CHAPTER 1

A banner with bold lettering rippled in the breeze. It gave a snap now and again when a stronger gust tried to wrest it free of the table it was fastened to, but it remained in place, the thick paper refusing to tear. So far the banner had done its job, grabbing people's attention and directing them to the table where I sat with a stack of papers in front of me.

"Looks like we've got the makings of a great competition this year," Patricia Murray commented from the chair next to mine.

"I had no idea it would be this popular," I admitted, running my eyes down the list of names written on one of the papers.

I leaned back in my folding chair and stretched my legs under the table set up in the parking lot of Wildwood Cove's grocery store. It was early on a Saturday afternoon, and normally at that time of day I'd be at my pancake house, The Flip Side, closing up and tidying the restaurant. Today, however, I'd agreed to volunteer my time to help with registration for the Olympic Peninsula's annual amateur chef competition.

Each year, one of the peninsula's communities hosted the competition, and this time it was Wildwood Cove's turn. The event would take place over the following three weekends, and already several residents of Wildwood Cove and other towns had signed up. I'd been sitting at the registration table for two hours, and people were still arriving to put their names down for either the teen division or the adult category.

"I was worried with all the rain this year that most people wouldn't want to come out and participate," Patricia said. She owned a bed-and-breakfast three properties away from my beachfront Victorian, and she was also on the organizing committee for the amateur chef contest.

"We're definitely lucky the weather decided to change," I said before Patricia greeted the latest person to approach the registration table.

I'd spent many of my summer vacations in Wildwood Cove while growing up in Seattle, but I'd only moved to the seaside town permanently the previous spring and had never been present for the cooking competition. It sounded like fun, though, and I was eager to be involved with the community, so I hadn't hesitated about volunteering to help out when Patricia had asked me. My participation would be limited to assisting with registration, but I'd been assured that I was providing some much needed help.

As Patricia registered a teenage girl with dark hair even curlier than mine, I breathed deeply, enjoying the fresh air and the lack of rain. The peninsula had seen very little sunshine over the past two months, and the rainfall had been so heavy and persistent that the nearby river had flooded its banks, damaging some homes and causing a slew of problems. Now that we'd had a few days without any rain, the floodwaters were finally receding, allowing everyone to breathe easier, even though many people had a long road of cleanup and restoration ahead of them.

I sat up straighter when I noticed a fifty-something woman approaching the registration table. She had her light brown hair tied back in a bun, and she walked with careful steps. A man about her age followed along behind her and hung back when she reached the table. I greeted her and provided her with the registration form. Her name was Dorothy Kerwin, I noted as she filled in the form with her name, address, and the division she was entering. When she'd completed the form, I provided her with the booklet that every entrant received. It contained the rules and the event schedule.

"Hi, Dorothy," Patricia said with a smile when she'd finished registering the teenage girl. "How are you doing these days?"

"Better, thank you," Dorothy replied with a hint of a smile.

"Are you ready to go, Dot?" the man hovering behind her asked as he glanced at his watch.

"Sorry," she said to me and Patricia. "I'd better be on my way."

Despite the man's impatience, he didn't hurry Dorothy once they set off, one of her arms tucked into his.

"Had you met Dorothy and Willard Kerwin before today?" Patricia asked me once we were alone.

"No."

"The poor woman has been through a lot over the past year or two. She fell off a stepladder and broke her back, and then her twin sister passed away while Dorothy was still in the hospital."

"That's terrible," I said with a surge of compassion for the woman.

"I think this is the first time she's participated in any community event since all that happened, so it's nice to see her getting involved."

I was about to agree with her when I caught sight of my boyfriend, Brett Collins, out of the corner of my eye. I smiled and waved as he approached, carrying two take-out cups from the local coffee shop, the Beach and Bean. The light breeze ruffled his blond hair as he reached the table.

"A coffee for you, Patricia," he said, setting one of the cups in front of her. "And a matcha latte for you, Marley." He handed the second cup to me.

We both thanked him. Since no one was waiting to be registered at that moment, I got up to give him a hug and a quick kiss.

"Did you get something for yourself?" I asked.

"Yep. A sandwich and a coffee. I put them in the truck."

"I'm guessing you have to head back to work now?"

"I do, but I should be done for the day in about three hours."

He was on his lunch break from his landscaping work at an old Victorian mansion that would soon be opening to guests as the Wildwood Inn. Brett ran his own lawn and garden business, and the new owners of the mansion had hired him to landscape and prepare the gardens before the inn's grand opening, which would be marked by a garden party later in the month. The mansion's owners, Lonny and Hope Barron, had spent the past several months restoring the Victorian and getting it ready for its new life as an inn.

"I'll see you at home, then," I said, leaning into him for another hug before reluctantly releasing him.

"Hello, everyone!" Brett's sister, Chloe, breezed over to us, her blue eyes bright.

She caught sight of the cups Patricia and I held. "Drinks from the Beach and Bean? That's where I'm headed."

"That makes more sense," Brett said.

"More sense than what?" Chloe asked.

"For a second there I thought you were here to register for the cooking competition."

"Why wouldn't that make sense?" Patricia asked as Chloe's smile morphed into a frown.

Brett slung an arm across Chloe's shoulders. "Because my kid sister couldn't cook to save her life."

"I can so cook," Chloe retorted, giving him a shove. She looked to me for support.

"You make good cookies," I said. "I know that much."

"You mean the ones Jourdan made for the Fourth of July barbecue?" Brett asked, referring to their cousin.

"Hey, I helped," Chloe protested.

"Right. I seem to recall that you spooned the dough onto the cookie sheets and Jourdan did the rest."

"I'm sure you can cook," I said to Chloe, wanting to placate her before things escalated.

"Of course," Brett said, trying to keep a straight face. "She can make toast, rubbery scrambled eggs, and pasta — as long as the pasta comes from a store and the sauce comes out of a jar." He addressed his sister. "And what about that time you tried to cook a family dinner and nearly burned down the house?"

Chloe's gaze hardened. "It was a tiny little fire, and I put it out right away."

I couldn't help but laugh, and beside me Patricia was struggling to contain a smile.

"You're no help, Marley," Chloe said, turning her frown on me.

"I'm sorry." I quickly took a sip of my latte to keep myself from laughing again.

Chloe grabbed a pen off the table. "Registration form, please," she said to me.

I glanced at Brett and then back at her before handing over a form.

"What are you doing?" Brett asked.

"Exactly what it looks like." Chloe wrote her name on the form. "I'm signing up for the competition."

"Hasn't the town seen enough disaster lately with all the flooding?"

Chloe pressed the pen so hard against the paper that I was surprised when it didn't tear. "Just you wait. I'm going to make you eat your words."

"They'll probably taste better than your scrambled eggs."

Chloe threw the pen at him. He caught it right before it smacked him in the face.

Chloe passed me the completed form, and I gave her a booklet.

"You'll see," she said, swatting her brother's arm with the booklet before storming off, heading in the direction of the coffee shop.

"Brett," I said, "you shouldn't tease her like that."

"But it's so fun," he said with a smile.

I shook my head, and he wrapped his arms around me.

"I've got to run," he said in my ear. "See you later."

After giving me a quick kiss, he left for his truck, parked on the street. A group of three teenagers arrived to register for the youth division, so Patricia and I kept busy for the next several minutes. Two adults registered after that, but then we had another lull. Patricia's cell phone rang, and she got up from the table, walking a few steps away before answering the call. While she was still occupied, Logan Teeves arrived and asked to register. Logan was seventeen and lived next door to me with his dad, Gerald. He'd dated Patricia's daughter, Sienna, for a while, and although they'd broken up, they were still friends.

"I didn't realize you liked cooking," I said as Logan filled out the registration form.

He shrugged and brushed his fair hair off his forehead. "My dad doesn't cook, so we'd always be eating takeout and frozen dinners if I didn't learn." He shrugged again. "It's kind of fun."

"Well, I think it's great that you're entering." I handed him a booklet. "Good luck."

Logan wandered off, and Patricia returned to the table, dropping into her seat with a worried frown on her face.

"What's wrong?" I asked.

"That was Sid Michaels on the phone."

"The owner of Scoops Ice Cream?" Patricia nodded. "He was supposed to be one of the judges for the competition, but now he has to make an unexpected trip to San Francisco. He's not sure when he'll be back, but he thinks he'll be gone at least two weeks."

"So now you need another judge," I surmised.

"As soon as possible. Would you be able to step in, Marley?" she asked.

"I could," I said slowly, "but I don't eat meat."

"Right. And that would be a problem, especially for the first challenge."

On the opening day of the competition the contestants would be cooking main course dishes, with the dessert challenge the following week.

Patricia swiped away a strand of dark hair that the breeze had blown across her face. "How about Ivan? Do you think he'd be willing to step in?"

"To be honest, I'm not sure." Ivan Kaminski was The Flip Side's talented chef. He was a wizard in the kitchen and more than qualified to take on the role as judge for the competition, but he wasn't the most social man, and I wasn't sure how he'd feel about taking part in the event. "I could ask him, though."

"Would you?" Patricia said with obvious relief. "That would be fantastic."

"When do you need a definitive answer?"

"As soon as you can get one?"

I pulled my phone from my pocket. "I'll send him a text now, and if I don't hear back from him today, I'll talk to him about it in the morning."

"Thanks, Marley. That's a huge help."

I really wasn't sure how Ivan would respond to the request, but I decided to do my best to convince him to help with the judging, even if it did put me in direct line of one of his intimidating scowls.

A few minutes later I received a curt text message in response:

We'll talk tomorrow.

I didn't share the reply with Patricia, not quite knowing what to make of it. At least he hadn't said no outright, but I wasn't entirely sure what to expect in the morning.

CHAPTER 2

When I left for The Flip Side the next day, the few clouds overhead were tinged with pink and the sun was creeping its way up over the eastern horizon. I set off on foot, walking along the beach toward town and enjoying the peace and quiet of the early morning. Other than the gentle lapping of the waves against the shore and the occasional call of a bird, there wasn't a sound to be heard. Breathing in the fresh, salty air, I couldn't help but be in a good mood. I loved walking to work, and over the past few months I'd driven more often than I'd made the trip on foot. Between the cold, dark weather of winter and the incessant rain in March, I hadn't had many opportunities to enjoy the beauty and tranquility of Wildwood Beach.

Once I'd left the sand for the paved promenade that ran along the front of the pancake house and other beachfront businesses, I fished my keys out of my tote bag and had the right one ready when I reached The Flip Side. As usual, Ivan and his assistant, Tommy, had arrived before me, and the light from the kitchen spilled out through the pass-through window into the dim dining area. I flicked on the overhead lights and dropped off my tote bag and jacket in the office before heading for the kitchen.

"Good morning," I greeted as I pushed through the swinging door.

I received a cheerful hello from Tommy and a nod from Ivan. The chef was in the midst of slicing up a log of dough with cinnamon and sugar swirled inside. Even though the maple pecan sticky rolls weren't cooked yet, my mouth watered at the sight.

"Isn't there someone else who can judge the competition?" Ivan asked, tearing my attention away from the sliced dough.

"The amateur chef competition?" Tommy asked.

Ivan gave a grunt of confirmation.

"Sid Michaels from Scoops Ice Cream was supposed to be on the judging panel, but he's had to leave town unexpectedly, so Patricia's in a bit of a lurch," I explained. "She'd really appreciate it if you could help out, Ivan."

He spared me a brief glance, his dark eyes settling on me only for a second before he returned to his work. A year ago I would have been intimidated standing there before the muscular, tattooed chef, but I now knew that beneath his burly, imposing exterior was a good heart.

"The competition starts next Saturday afternoon," he said as he sliced the last piece of dough in half. "I'll be working."

"If you leave right after we close, you'll be able to make it in time."

"I'll still have work to do after closing."

"I can handle the cleanup and next day's prep," Tommy offered. "I don't mind staying a bit later than usual."

"Thanks, Tommy," I said with a grateful smile.

Ivan glared at us before placing the sliced sticky rolls in a baking dish and passing it to Tommy. He wiped down the counter next, all the while leaving me in suspense.

Finally, his eyes met mine again.

"I'll help with the judging."

I couldn't stop another smile from spreading across my face.

"Thank you, Ivan. Patricia will be so relieved."

I hurried out of the kitchen and fetched my phone from the office so I could text Patricia the good news. With that done, I started my workday, and an hour later the first customers had arrived, hungry for breakfast.

"This weather is a welcome change, isn't it?" Eleanor Crosby said as I delivered a plate of blueberry crumble pancakes to her.

"That's for sure," I said, sliding a plate of marzipan pancakes in front of her dining companion, Marjorie Wells. "Did either of you have any trouble with flooding?"

"Not us, thank goodness," Marjorie replied. "But my nephew had a couple of inches of water in his crawlspace."

"I'm sorry to hear that," I said. "So many people have been left with a mess to deal with."

Eleanor took a sip of her coffee. "At least the river level's going down now."

I agreed that was a good turn of events and left the ladies to eat. While the aftermath of the flooding was a hot topic of conversation that morning, many diners were also chatting about the amateur chef competition and the upcoming garden party at the Wildwood Inn.

"Brett's working on the gardens up at the inn, isn't he?" Gary Thornbrook asked.

He was having breakfast with his buddy Ed, as he did at least twice every week. Ed and Gary were The Flip Side's most frequent customers, and they rarely strayed from their usual selection from the menu — blueberry pancakes with bacon and sausages on the side.

"He is," I said as I topped off Gary's coffee. "It's a lot of work for him, especially since he's got all his regular clients to deal with as well. He's thinking of hiring someone to help him, at least part-time."

"He's done well with his business," Ed said.

"He has," I agreed with a rush of pride. Before moving on to the next table with the pot of fresh coffee, I paused and asked, "Are you two going to the garden party?"

"If we can still fit into our suits," Gary said with a laugh, patting his generous stomach.

I smiled and continued on to the neighboring table.

(Continues…)


Excerpted from "Crépe Expectations"
by .
Copyright © 2019 Sarah Fox.
Excerpted by permission of KENSINGTON PUBLISHING CORP..
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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Crêpe Expectations (Pancake House Mystery Series #5) 4.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 14 reviews.
Anonymous 3 months ago
Loved the book.
PrincessGlor 3 months ago
The more I read of this series, the better I like it....and I liked it a lot from the first book! I like the cozies that have cold cases, and this one fit the bill perfectly. A great mystery with an interesting side mystery to boot. Plus I love the character development and the surprise at the end was awesome! A fun cozy read! I received this book from NetGalley and was not required to post a positive review. All thoughts are my own.
lghiggins 3 months ago
Good, but not excellent—that’s how I rate Crêpe Expectations by Sarah Fox. Unlike the other two cozy mysteries I have read by this author, I just didn’t find this to be a page turner. Despite that, I do plan on reading the next book Sarah Fox publishes. In this book, Marley McKinney, owner of the Flip Side pancake house, spends her spare time trying to solve a cold case after she discovers a skull in the woods near the Wildwood Inn, a B&B that is about to open. Demetria, who disappeared when she was eighteen years old after a party, was assumed to be in New York starting a modeling career. So even the original investigation was delayed. At the same time she is investigating the murder, Marley is trying to discover who sabotaged the local amateur chef competition by making several contestants sick. Could the crimes be related? I would like to extend my thanks to netgalley.com and to Lyrical Underground (Kensington Press) for giving me the opportunity to read this book in exchange for an honest review.
TastefullyTracy 6 months ago
Marlie and the crew of the Flipside Pancake House are back and this time the mayhem and murder surround a local armature chef cooking contest. Cooking contestant sabotage isn't the only problem in this latest mystery as the remains of a local girl who was thought to have taken off for bright lights of a big city are found in the woods behind Brett's latest landscape job. A cold case warms up as graduates of Chloe's high school class are under suspicion. Marlie can't seem to help finding dead bodies and doing good which one of the reasons I so like her character. She has a heart of gold and wants to help everyone, even lost little kitties. As with the other Flipside mysteries there are great recipes and I can't wait to try out the Boston Cream Crepes!
KrisAnderson_TAR 7 months ago
While Crepe Expectations is the fifth novel in A Pancake House Mystery series, it can be read alone. Marley cannot believe that she is once again wrapped up in a cold case (neither can I). She is loving her life in Wildwood Cove with running the Flip Side, her beautiful Victorian home on the beach, good friends, a friendly feline named Flapjack, and a handsome boyfriend. If Marley could just avoid these pesky bodies that keep turning up. Sarah Fox’s writing style is casual like friends chatting on the front porch. The story proceeded as a relaxed pace with interesting characters, a charming tourist town, and adorable cats and a frisky dog. The little kittens’ antics had me chuckling and Bentley, Brett’s dog, with his happy, welcoming demeanor had me smiling. Marley is busier than a kitten with a ball of yarn in Crepe Expectations with the cold case, judging the competition, running the restaurant, worrying about Chloe, curious if someone from her past has risen from the dead and wondering if someone is sabotaging the contest. I would have liked more complexity to the cold case so it would have been more challenging to solve, and I hope cold cases have run their course for this series (need something different). Crepe Expectations has amiable cozy moments with girl’s movie night, the animal’s antics, shared meals, and romantic interludes. Readers of the series will especially love the ending. There are recipes for Boston cream crepes, marzipan pancakes, and banoffee crepes at the end. Relax back in your lounge chair as you enjoy the lighthearted Crepe Expectations.
Anonymous 7 months ago
Crepe Expectations by Sarah Fox is the 5th book in A Pancake House Mystery Series, and another great addition. Marley McKinney is the owner of The Flip Side, a pancake house in beautiful Wildwood Cove, located on the west coast. Spring has arrived, and the town is hosting a chef competition. Marley is helping with registration, while her chef Ivan is replacing a judge. When Marley and her boyfriend find an eighteen year old girl dead, after she went missing ten years earlier, the mystery begins.  I found this book to be a quick read, with a well developed plot and characters. There are a lot of twists and turns that kept me reading. There is a wonderful mixture of mystery, suspense, friendship, and support for a well-balanced story. I can not wait until the next book in the series comes out. If you love cozy mysteries, I recommend this book, and the whole series.  I reviewed a digital arc provided by NetGalley and Kensington Publishing. Thank you.
diane92345 7 months ago
Darn Crepe Expectations! The good news is that I have found another great cozy mystery series where the characters feel like real friends. The bad news is that I will have to buy and read the four prior books in the series even though my To Be Read pile is already overflowing. Marley owns the Flip Side pancake house in Wildwood Cove, a small seaside town in the Pacific Northwest. She is a volunteer for the local annual amateur cooking contest, where her chef Ivan is one of the judges. As the contest progresses over three weekends, questions abound about sabotage when several of the judges get sick. When Marley brings a snack to the work site of her boyfriend Brett, a kitten causes them to chase it into the woods. When Marley catches the kitten, she also finds a human skull. The skull belongs to Demetra, who vanished twenty years ago after a high school graduation party nearby. When the sheriff suspects the attendees at the party, suspicion falls on Brett’s sister, Chloe. Marley decides she must clear Chloe’s name and solve the murder. The characters are enchanting in Crepe Expectations. The plot moves quickly and has many red herrings that were totally believable. The use of one major plot and at least three subplots kept the story interesting. The killer of Demetra was a challenge to discover before Marley. The clues are fair and that makes this a fun read for amateur detective readers like myself. I enjoyed spending a relaxing evening reading Marley’s story especially the chemistry between her and Brett. 4.5 stars rounded up to 5 stars! Thanks to Lyrical Underground and NetGalley for a copy in exchange for my honest review.
DanieleK 7 months ago
CREPE EXPECTATIONS, the fifth book in the Pancake House Mystery Series, is a delight. Warm characters, a lovely Pacific Northwest setting, and multiple mysteries that kept me on my toes come together for a satisfying read. The flooding spring rains have come and gone, and restaurant owner Marley discovers a human skull that the rains have exposed. Ambitious Demetra disappeared shortly after a graduation party in the woods, but no one knew for sure if she met with a bad end…until now. The decade old crime cracks open a whole new murder investigation with most of the suspects still living locally. Marley feels compelled to investigate when even her boyfriend’s sister Chloe comes under suspicion. Marley must also deal with a stranger that reminds her of the past and a mysterious illness that affects several contestants and a judge in the local amateur chef competition. I like Marley. She may be a bit of a busy body, but her heart is always in the right place. She is smart and just adventurous enough to get herself in the occasional investigative bind. All of the characters are relatable and interesting, and I can see myself easily being friends with them in real life. I adore the inclusion of Flapjack the cat and Bentley the dog. Demetra’s death really had me stumped for the majority of the book. Even with several suspects, clues, and red herrings, the identity of the killer came as a surprise, making the book all the more enjoyable. The other minor mysteries allow Marley to grow and fill out the story. Marley and Brett’s relationship continues to blossom here which will please longtime readers of the series. I really enjoyed CREPE EXPECTATIONS and recommend it, and the entire series, to any cozy mystery reader, especially those who enjoy a culinary theme and the incorporation of pets. I received an ARC of this title from the author and Kensington Publishers and voluntarily shared my thoughts here.
CozyUpWithKathy 7 months ago
both heart pounding and heart warming moments CREPE EXPECTATIONS by Sarah Fox The Fifth Pancake House Mystery While chasing an errant kitten in the woods behind Wildwood Inn Marley McKinney makes a startling discovery: a skull. The remains belong to Demetra Kozani, a local girl gone missing ten years prior. The former classmate of Chloe wasn't short on enemies, but was she actually killed by another student? As the town of gets ready for its annual amateur chef competition Marley finds herself puzzling over the long ago mystery. Could the killer still be in Wildwood Cove? Sarah Fox deftly combines daily life in Wildwood Cove with an intriguing mystery to create a thriving community filled with interesting people you want to know better. Character growth and development are paramount and Marley's search for family identity is key in this book. I love being back in Wildwood Cove and am happy to drool over Chef Ivan's creations (Boston Cream Crêpes!) as well as the gruff chef himself. In this fifth Pancake House Mystery we're treated to a cooking competition as well as a cold case mystery. CREPE EXPECTATIONS delivers both heart pounding and heart warming moments as Marley gets involved in another murder. Recipes included. FTC Disclosure – The publisher sent me a digital ARC provided through NetGalley, in the hopes I would review it.
Shelly9677 7 months ago
The Pancake House Mysteries are light, cozy mysteries perfect for a waiting room, beach read or a lazy evening in. In Crepe Expectations the amateur sleuth, Marley, owns the local Pancake House in charming Wildwood Cove. When she and her landscaper boyfriend come across human remains along a river bank, a cold case turns hot. The remains are of a young eighteen-year old girl who vanished a decade before. Who was she? What happened to her? Why did her remains show up now? These are all questions Marley decides to get to the bottom of Marley is both likable and highly intuitive as a main character. The mystery is evenly paced. It has all the elements a cozy mystery fan enjoys.
Mama_Cat 7 months ago
This is one of my favorite diner-based cozy series, and Crepe Expectations is the best in the series so far. I love the Pacific Northwest coastal setting, despite the spring rains that flooded the area. It sounds like the perfect place to visit or live with some of the best neighbors anyone would want to have. We have multiple mysteries in this novel, each of which is a challenge to solve. The Flip Side pancake house had belonged to Jimmy, a cousin of Marley McKinney. It was a rousing success when he was murdered. To Marley’s surprise, Jimmy had left her the restaurant, the gorgeous Victorian oceanfront home that he and his late wife had owned, and his orange tabby, Flapjack. Marley had spent summers visiting Jimmy in the past when she was growing up and is now a full-time resident of the town that has welcomed her. Marley has helped the sheriff’s department solve crimes over the past several months, including who had killed Jimmy. The sheriff is “Uncle Ray” to Brett, the landscape designer who was once a teen that Marley had a crush on. They have been dating since she moved to Wildwood Cove and continue to grow more and more in love. This time, Marley tries hard to keep out of the mysteries that appear, but she has questions here and there and…she just seems to find them! Take the events in this novel. Marley goes to a soon-to-open grand Victorian that will be an inn where Brett is putting in flowers and shrubs. As she admires his work, she sees a little black kitten that they try to capture. She found the kitten…and a skull. Yup, a human skull. In the woods neighboring the inn. The investigators find the related skeleton. Sadly, it belongs to Demetra, a young woman last seen on the night of her graduation ten years earlier. One afternoon a man nearly walks into Marley, and she is stunned to see what looks like her father would look like today if he were still alive. She has only seen photos of him as a young man, since he passed away before she was born. Could she have relatives she hadn’t heard of yet or worse, was her father’s death faked for some reason? Marley attends the annual amateur chef cookoff on the Olympic Peninsula. One of the towns on the peninsula sponsors it each year, and it is now Wildwood Cove’s turn. Her expert chef, Ivan, will be a judge at the first of the three rounds of competition. Brett’s sister Chloe is in the competition, and the son of a neighbor is in the teen category. When the second round began, one of the judges was sick. As the final round begins, a chef from each category suddenly becomes ill and can’t compete. Was it sabotage, and if so, why? There are some great clues and a couple red herrings that kept me busy, but I could not figure out who killed Demetra. Her ‘tude would have been a big motive, but it was so long ago. Guessing who the strange man could be was beyond me, but even guessing who might have reason to make amateur chefs sick was hard. The prize money could be a motive, but probably not the reason given the clues. There are some intriguing surprises at the end, and one huge delight! I was very satisfied with the end in every way, and highly recommend this to fans of the author and series, well-written cozy mysteries with a seaside setting, café, and pets. From a thankful heart: I received an e-Arc of this novel from the publisher through NetGalley, and this is my honest review.
BookloverUT 7 months ago
Marley McKinney, owner of the Flip Side pancake house, is excited to volunteer for the local amateur chef competition. But, when Marley stops by to visit her boyfriend, Brett, at his work, she finds some human remains. Can Marley find out the true killer before another body is found? I literally read this book in a day. I couldn’t put it down. Marley is such a great character, and the plot was so full of twists that I couldn’t figure out whodunit and was surprised in the end. I can’t wait for the next installment to this great series. I received an Advanced Reader Copy of this book from NetGalley and am voluntarily reviewing it.
chefdt 7 months ago
Crepe Expectations is the fifth book in The Pancake House Mystery series. Marley McKinney decides to head over to Lonnie and Hope’s Victorian home that is being turned into a B&B to see her boyfriend, Brett, who is doing the landscaping on the property. As they are talking Marley sees a very young kitten that she can see shouldn’t be running around by itself. She tries to catch it before the kitten falls into the swollen river. As she reaches out and grabs the kitten Marley slides down to the river's edge. As she slides to stop, clutching the kitten, she notices a skull. Brett calls his uncle, Sheriff Ray Georgeson, and with the help of the crime scene unit are able to recover the skeleton. There’s no identification, but it is soon learned to be the body of a female. Speculation soon centers on the body being Dermetra Kozani who had disappeared shortly after graduation. Her mother had moved to Arizona shortly before Dermetra’s graduation and Dermetra had been living in her mother’s home by herself. At first, no one was really concerned by her going missing as she had been saying for a couple of months that has soon as graduates she was heading to New York City become a fashion model. Plus, for the most part, she didn’t really have any friends that would be concerned about her. With her attitude to her fellow classmates, there is no shortage of possible suspects. Marley, along with Chole, Brett’s sister, begin to investigate the disappearance of their classmate, hoping that neither of them suffers the same fate. Also going on in Wildwood Cove’s annual amateur chef competition is starting and will be held over three consecutive Saturdays. After the first round, one of the judges has to withdraw and Marley, after some arm-twisting, convinces her chef at The Flip Side to help judge. As the second round is progressing, another judge becomes ill. The question that is raised, is someone trying to sabotage the competition or was the judge the intended victim. This was another enjoyable visit to Wildwood Cove and The Flip Side. The story like the others in the series is well-told and very interesting. Most of the previous characters are back once again. Looking forward to reading the next book in this delicious series.
4GranJan 7 months ago
Cozy Olympic Peninsula Mystery This cozy mystery will keep the reader's interest for the entire book. No one will be able to predict the ending. The story is also filled with good food. There are great recipes included at the end of the story. I am looking forward to reading more of this author's work. I received this ARC book for free from Net Galley and this is my honest review.