My Rating: 4 stars
Genre: Paranormal Cozy Mystery
Age Category: Adult
Type of romance: no romance
Can she bake a winning cake without getting iced?
Competition is hotter than the pre-heated ovens as The Great British Baking Competition moves into cake week. Amateur baker Poppy Wilkinson has a lot to deal with, from learning she has talents she never knew about, to trying to keep cool and bake under pressure.
She’s also trying to track down the secrets of her parentage. Meanwhile, she’s saved from death by a local Border collie who seems to think she’s part of his flock and herds her out of danger. Was it an accident or does someone want her out of the baking competition permanently?
With witches, an energy vortex, an ancient manor house that holds it’s secrets tight, Poppy’s barely got time to practice her fondant icing, never mind escape from a killer.
I received a free audible code from the author and voluntarily reviewed this one.
I really enjoyed book 1 in this series and was lucky enough to be able to listen to book 2 as well as these are great in audio. It was so much fun to be back at the baking contest and follow Poppy as shes spends another weekend baking and solving a murder or two.
The author blends the different elements well. These aren’t just about the mystery, there is a lot of other things going on as well. It takes some time before the murder takes place and in between solving the mystery there is the baking competition as well. Then there is the paranormal aspect of Poppy learning more about her witchy powers and trying to find out more about her birth parents. It makes for an engaging read with a lot going on.
The mystery in this one didn’t hook me as much as the previous one, but it still was an interesting one. Arnold Bentley is murdered when the murderer makes sure he’s stung by a swarm of bees and he’s highly allergic and doesn’t have his epipen by hand and thus he dies. I wasn’t really sure who the murderer was and when it was revealed it did make sense, but even so the most important clue was only revealed at the end and without that it would’ve been more difficult to guess it right. The way the murder got revealed was a bit weird, but I did like the big reveal about how everything had happened.
The baking contest was a fun one again this week, especially the first part of the competition and listening to Poppy’s idea for her cake and how she got the fresh ingredients was fun. And hearing what all the other contestants were baking as well. There is some progression about Poppy’s witchy powers and I liked seeing her meet the coven as hinted at in the title. There are some minor clues about her heritage, but not as much progress about that in this one.
I like Poppy as a main character, she’s caring and I like how she’s slowly discovering a bit of her witchy powers and making friends with the other bakers. Now in the second book it was easier to remember who was who from the other bakers and you get a bit of a better feel for all of them. there are also some new side characters, like the ones involved in the mystery as well as the adorable dog Sly.
The narrator does a great job with this series. I liked listening to this book and hearing the different voices for the characters. Sometimes some of the side characters sound a bit alike, but most have their own voice and she also does Hamish’ accent and Florence her over the top way of speaking well. I definitely recommend the audio versions of these.
To summarize: This was a great sequel and I enjoyed listening to it. Poppy is back for the second episode of the baking contest, she also has to solve another mystery and discover more about her witchy powers and continues to look into the mystery of who her parents were. The mystery started a bit later in the book as this author often does, but it works here. The way the mystery started didn’t fully work for me and it didn’t grip me as much as the first one, but it was a solid mystery and I liked the reveal of who was the murderer and how everything happened. I continue to enjoy following Poppy in these books and I liked getting a better feel for the side characters in this one. now that we spend some more time with the big cast of side characters they come alive more and there are some new characters as well like the adorable dog Sly. All in all another great read and I look forward to the next one.