Review: The Crêpes of Wrath by Sarah Fox

Posted July 30, 2016 by Lola in Coyer, My To-Be Read List, Mystery, Review / 16 Comments


My To-Be Read List is a meme hosted by Because Reading is Better Than Real Life where at the beginning of the month visitors can choose which book I’ll be reading this month. On the first saturday of a month the poll will be up, then on the second saturday of the month I’ll announce the book that won and on the last saturday of the month I’ll post my review of the book.

The Crêpes of WrathThe Crêpes of Wrath (A Pancake House Mystery #1)
by Sarah Fox

Rating: 3 stars

In the debut of a delightful cozy mystery series, Sarah Fox introduces a charming new heroine who finds herself in a sticky situation: stacking pancakes, pouring coffee, and investigating murder.

When Marley McKinney’s aging cousin, Jimmy, is hospitalized with pneumonia, she agrees to help run his pancake house while he recovers. With its rustic interior and syrupy scent, the Flip Side Pancake House is just as she pictured it—and the surly chef is a wizard with crêpes. Marley expects to spend a leisurely week or two in Wildwood Cove, the quaint, coastal community where she used to spend her summers, but then Cousin Jimmy is found murdered, sprawled on the rocks beneath a nearby cliff.

After she stumbles across evidence of stolen goods in Jimmy’s workshop, Marley is determined to find out what’s really going on in the not-so-quiet town of Wildwood Cove. With help from her childhood crush and her adopted cat, Flapjack, Marley sinks her teeth into the investigation. But if she’s not careful, she’s going to get burned by a killer who’s only interested in serving up trouble.

My Review:
I received a copy in exchange for an honest review

The Crepes of Wrath is a fun cozy mystery set in a seaside town where the main character temporarily works in a pancake house. The set-up was fun and I think the setting with the seaside town and the pancake house was what really made the book shine for me. There’s lot of scenes involving the beach and the pancake house and I thought both gave something original and fun to this cozy mystery. And all the descriptions of delicious pancakes and crepes sure had me craving pancakes while reading this.

However for some reason something kept me from fully enjoying this book as much as I would’ve liked. Maybe it’s because I just finished a really good cozy mystery before this one? Or maybe it was because I never fully cared about the characters or side characters? Or maybe it’s just one of those books you don’t enjoy as much as you would like and can’t put your finger on the way. While I enjoyed reading this one, I never fully got into the story. Again not sure why, it was a fun read, but something prevented me from really enjoying it.

The mystery aspect somehow fell a bit flat for me. The murder victim is the main character her cousin, so that’s the reason she gets involved. Maybe involved isn’t even the right word as mostly what she does is ask some questions, then again the police seemed to not get anywhere themselves, so it was good she helped. Although the police were nice and helpful in this book, it just felt like the main character came up with the big clues which made me wonder what the police were doing. The mystery had some interesting twists and turns towards the end, although the murderer didn’t come as a too big of a surprise either. And at first the mystery seemed to progress a bit slowly. I guess the reason for the murder just bothered me a bit, it seemed so silly and a few things surrounding the murder didn’t really fully add up in my opinion. Some why questions remained that I would’ve like seeing answered.

The main character Marley was okay enough as a main character. Unlike in most cozies you really feel her struggles and sadness about Jimmy his passing. She’s temporarily staying in this town she always loved visiting as a kid. She loves the sea and she loves the pancake restaurant. There wasn’t anything that really stood out about her, but I liked her well enough as a main character. There is a bit of a romance thrown in which worked pretty well and felt genuine.

One of the main problems I had with this book was the big amount of side characters and for some reason I had a lot of trouble remembering who was who. I just didn’t seem to be able to attach much of a personality to any of them and they just turned into a big mash of names. Which made it difficult at times to keep the plot straight. Maybe that’s just me, but I would’ve liked to get to know the side characters a bit more so it would’ve been easier to remember who was who. My favorite side character would’ve been Ivan as he did seem to have some personality and I thought he was interesting.

To summarize: This was a fun cozy mystery with a great setting. Although I wasn’t able to enjoy it as much as I hoped. I really liked the focus on the small beach town and the pancake house was great too and all the pancake mentions made me crave pancakes. The mystery felt a bit off somehow, but there were some nice twists. I just would’ve liked to see a few open question get answered as well. The main character was likeable enough and although I never fully felt like I got to know her. There were a lot of side characters and I had some trouble remembering who was who and I would’ve liked it they had a bit more personality. Overall a fun read and I will be interested to see how the series continues.



What’s the last book that made you crave a certain food?

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16 responses to “Review: The Crêpes of Wrath by Sarah Fox

    • The setting and the pancake house were two of the things I enjoyed most about this book. Even though the mystery and the character fell a bit flat.

  1. Sorry you didn’t like this one as much as you wanted. Now I want pancakes too 🙂
    A book with a lot of side characters always confuse me, I can’t remember my kids names, how am I suppose to remember all those side characters 😉
    Hope you next read is amazing! Great review, Lola!
    Michelle @Because Reading recently posted…My TBR list ~ Not a review!My Profile

    • I am just so horrible bad with names that if there are a lot of side character it all jumbles together or the side characters have to be very distinct for me to easily remember who is who. It was a fun read, just not as good as I hoped.

  2. Ani

    I often end up reading a book where I can’t quite decide why it didn’t work for me. Sometimes it’s a little of everything, sometimes it’s just one thing but you can’t figure out what. Also, a lot of side characters in some books, if not handled well, DOES end up making it hard to focus since you spend more time trying to figure out who’s who and why they’re significant.

    Sorry this one wasn’t as great as expected. I might still read it because it does sound interesting. Great review!
    Ani recently posted…Quick Thoughts: The Hanover Square AffairMy Profile

    • It’s always a bit frustrating when you can’t quite decide why a book didn’t work for you. Or maybe it’s a bit of everything not being as good s you hoped. And especially with the mystery it was hard to keep track of everything when I was confusing the side characters. It was still a fun read overall though and the setting was great. I would be interested to hear what you think of this one if you give it a try 🙂

  3. You seem to have a lot of issues with incompetent cops in cozy mysteries lol.

    That’s unfortunate about the side characters. If a book is going to have a lot, they really do need to all be unique and stand out, or it’s super hard to remember who’s who and separate them. I’ve noticed some authors are just better at fleshing out side and background characters than others. But introducing a lot in one book is always a difficult thing for readers.

    It is weird when you come across those books that you just can’t quite put your finger on why they didn’t work for you though. I just reviewed a book like that fairly recently. Just one of those things that happens sometimes, I guess. At least you did enjoy it somewhat 🙂
    Kristen @ Metaphors and Moonlight recently posted…Bookish Musings: 3 Things Every Character Inexplicably Knows How to Do (But I Don’t)My Profile

    • Yes I think it’s becoming one of my pet peeves with cozies. I understand they need a reason for the main character to get involved, but sometimes it’s seems the cops don’t do anything and it’s just unrealistic.

      Indeed if a book has a lot of side characters they all need to stand out and be unique. And some authors seem really good at this and with others they all blend together.

      And yes it was a fun read, but it just didn’t quite work for me and I am not quite sure why. It’s weird when that happens.

    • I am pretty bad at remembering names or remembering who is who when there is a large cast of characters and they don’t have enough characteristics to make me remember who is why. It was still and enjoyable read, just not as good as I hoped.

    • Yes the title is great! And I often have difficulties remembering names and such, so side characters really need to be distinctive. And it’s the worst if their names start with the same letters.
      Lola recently posted…Sunday Post #189My Profile

  4. So, I actually liked the mystery in this novel. I thought there were some good motives and opportunities, some good red herrings. And the revelation at the end was pretty satisfying. But I really, really struggled to connect with the characters. I didn’t think Marley had a strong voice, so she just seemed lackluster compared to other cozy mystery protagonists. I also had a tough time sorting through all of the side characters and their relationship with Marley (but again, I feel like that had more to do with Marley’s voice and characterization).
    Jackie recently posted…Happy Birthday Tea and a Belated Birthday to Me!My Profile

    • I do agree there were some good red herrings and twists at the end of the murder mystery, but it just didn’t fully work for me. It’s interesting to hear how we differ in opinion on that. Seems like we did both have trouble with the characters, Marley was okay enough, but she didn’t really stood out or made me like her as most other cozy mystery main characters. And indeed maybe it’s how Marley’s voice and characterization was done that made it difficult to sort through the side characters.

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