In a brand-new culinary cozy series with a fresh edge and a delightful small-town setting, the acclaimed author introduces Maddy Montgomery, a social media expert who’s #StartingOver in small town Michigan after inheriting her great-aunt’s bakery…and a 200-pound English Mastiff named Baby.
When Maddy Montgomery’s groom is a no-show to their livestream wedding, it’s a disaster that no amount of filtering can fix. But a surprise inheritance offers a chance to regroup and rebrand—as long as Maddy is willing to live in her late, great-aunt Octavia’s house in New Bison, Michigan, for a year, running her bakery and caring for a 250-pound English mastiff named Baby.
Maddy doesn’t bake, and her Louboutins aren’t made for walking giant dogs around Lake Michigan, but the locals are friendly and the scenery is beautiful. With help from her aunt’s loyal friends, aka the Baker Street Irregulars, Maddy feels ready to tackle any challenge, including Octavia’s award-winning cake recipes. That is, until New Bison’s mayor is fatally stabbed, and Maddy’s fingerprints are found on the knife . . .
Something strange is going on in New Bison. It seems Aunt Octavia had her suspicions, too. But Maddy’s going to need a whole lot more than a trending hashtag to save her reputation—and her life.
“Everyone is a suspect in Valerie Burns’s entertaining new mystery, filled with surprising twists, suspicious characters and a mastiff named Baby who will win your heart. Top that off with humor and delicious recipes and you have a delight of a cozy.” —Valerie Wilson Wesley, author of A Fatal Glow
About the Author
Valerie (V. M.) Burns is a mystery writer whose novels and short stories have been finalists for the Agatha, Anthony, Edgar, and Next Generation Indie Book Awards. She is the author of the Mystery Bookshop, Dog Club, RJ Franklin, and Baker Street Mystery series. Valerie is a member of Sisters in Crime, Crime Writers of Color, Mystery Writers of America, and the Crime Writers' Association. She is also an adjunct professor in the Writing Popular Fiction Program at Seton Hill University in Greensburg, PA. Born and raised in northwestern Indiana, Valerie now lives in the southeastern United States with her two poodles. Connect with Valerie at VMBurns.com.
Praise for Two Parts Sugar, One Part Murder
“Snappy dialogue, a well-drawn supporting cast and an irresistible canine companion all add delicious flavor. Gulp this book down or savor it, but consuming it will guarantee a sustained sugar high.” —The New York Times Book Review
“A lively series launch, with an edgier heroine than the baking-framed novels by Jenn McKinlay and Joanne Fluke.” —Booklist
“A Navy brat inherits a bakery in rural Michigan. Madison Montgomery carries all the baggage of a typical cozy heroine…Less common for the genre, Maddy is Black, and she’s young enough to document her life on Instagram.” —Kirkus Reviews
“This is a cozy mystery I would recommend for when your stress levels are outpacing your meditation moments.” —Books to the Ceiling Podcast
“A great start to a series that is part poignant, part humorous, and part suspenseful while introducing a wonderful, new, African American heroine.” —First Clue Newsletter “All you need to read is the first chapter, and you will be enamored with Maddy Madison and the #hilarity that ensues. From this first chapter until the end, I could not put this book down, quickly becoming a page-turner as I had to know who was doing what to whom. This well-written and fast-paced whodunit kept me immersed in every minute detail in the reading of this drama.” —Dru’s Book Musings “TWO PARTS SUGAR, ONE PART MURDER is a satisfying tale of deceit and murder, while coming to your own. New friendships, delectable dishes, and an engaging mystery make a great start to a new series.” —Cozy Up with Kathy
“This was such a gem that made me laugh and gave me a sneakily complex mystery.” —pop.edit.lit
“I absolutely loved this! If you’ve read and love this author’s other cozy series, you’re in for another treat!” —Cuddle Up With a Cozy Mystery and a Dachshund “If readers have never read one of Ms. Burns’ books before, they should run and grab this one, along with all the others written by this tremendously talented author. This story is in time with today’s society, but with a touch of old-world charm. I can’t wait to see how Maddy and her mastiff, Baby get along and she matures as a person and becomes a hard-working bakery owner who will bake her way into readers’ hearts.” —The Cozy Review
Praise for Valerie Burns:
“Murder and a mystery bookstore: that’s just a perfect marriage.” —BookRiot on The Plot is Murder
“Readers of Carolyn Hart and Vicki Delany will appreciate the lively seniors, the humor, and the bookstore environment.” —Library Journal, STARRED REVIEW on The Plot is Murder
“Colorful characters and just enough mystery trivia boost the fast-moving plot. Cozy fans are sure to have fun.” —Publishers Weekly on A Tourist’s Guide to Murder
As good as any Jessica Fletcher story could be, Burns has a way with words and her characters are absolutely riveting. There is no doubt this is one series that will continue for a good, long time to come.” —Suspense Magazine on Read Herring Hunt
“Cozy fans get two mysteries for the price of one: The intuitive heroine finishes her novel and solves a murder.” —Kirkus Reviews on A Tourist’s Guide to Murder