Welcome Back Lucy Stone.
After a long line of less than stellar books, the Bake Sale Murder has taken us back to earlier, superior Lucy Stone mysteries.
Lucy Stone isn't happy. Instead of living on a nice quiet road that she's used to, a little subdivision has sprung up next to her, including one obnoxious motorcyle riding teenager who spends as much time reving up his machine as he does riding it.
Lucy and her friends, Sue, Pam and Rachel start working on the Hat and Mitten fund. A bake sale seemed like a good idea to raise funds, until she starts calling her friends for baked donations and realizes she hasn't kept up with them for awhile as everyone is involved in activities which make it impossible for them to bake anything.
So they decide this would be a good time to get to know the new people in the subdivision and get some baked goods for the sale at the same time. Bonnie Burhart, wife of the new guidance counselor at school. Willie Westwood, wife of the new vet. Frankie LaChance a divorced mother and Chris Cashman mother of Pear and Apple. Unable to attend the first meeting, Mimi Stanton, wife of the subdivision developer and mother of motorcyle riding Preston.
What starts out as the selling of a few baked goods at the school turns into a major sale when Chris Cashman takes over. No longer a couple of brownies and cakes, they're going to produce low-carb snacks, have bottled beverages and even make home made dog treats. Chris even decides that they should all make several of their best treats and then they would all get together and have a taste test to vote for the best and then only produce them in large quantities for the sale.
Lucy is always happy to let an "A" type personality take over, but since it's usually been her friend Sue, things are a little strained as Sue has met her match in Chris.
Things don't seem as upbeat when on the day of the taste test, Mimi doesn't show up. Lucy gets sent over to find out if she needs any help. Mimi needs help, but not the kind Lucy can offer as she's in her kitchen with a large knife in her chest.
Who would have killed the developer's wife? Was it a disgruntled new home owner? Rumors were the houses weren't built that good. A jealous wife? Rumors were she might have been stepping out with someone else's husband. Or a jealous husband? Maybe the mysterious homeless person that was seen lurking around the house and living in the woods?
Lucy isn't sure, but she's determined to investigate as the person arrested by the police just doesn't seem like a killer to her.
Lucy Stone had been one of my favorite characters, but her last several books have been very disappointing. This one gives us back the old Lucy who is more involved with her family and friends rather than her job a the Pennysaver.
Lucy getting the prime job of making the dog treats, resulting in her two daughters Sarah and Zoe not wanting to help as anythng containing liver is disgusting.
Sue's frustrations at meeting an "A" type personality that was stronger than she was and having to take second place. They wouldn't even let her make her "Better Than Sex" brownies.
Sarah - 14 & Zoe - 9. With just two children at home the book reminds me of the first ones in the series when she had three children at home, Toby, Elizabeth & Sarah and she worked part time at various jobs.
Frankie LaChance who may dress like a bimbo but seems to be an almost perfect mother while raising her teenage daughter alone. I would like to see this character continue in future books.
No Elizabeth. Lucy's oldest daughter ruined more books than any other character. For some reason she was turned into a smart mouthed, backtalking, having to have everything her own way brat. And Lucy bowed to all her wishes. I think I wrote about this relationship in my previous reviews. She's away at college and I'm hoping she never moves back hom.
Good mystery. Lucy does some real investigating this time.
Lucy's wishywashy behavior. Her daughter Sarah is a cheerleader and Lucy finds out she and the other cheerleaders are being sexually harassed by the football players while on the bus to games. (I won't get into the details,) but if my daughter told me this and the principal and coach blew me off, I'd be at a lawyer's office. Lucy does nothing except talk to them and then wonders if maybe it isn't as bad as Sarah tells her.
Bill Stone - I don't believe for one minute his reaction when he hears what has been happening to his daughter. He seems to think it's ok because the team is winning. If you'd read the earlier books you would know this would not be Bill's reaction. I think he'd be up on murder charges.
I almost didn't buy this book as I have been so disappointed in the previous ones, but I'm glad I did. I hope the future books continue to have Lucy solving the mysteries from a background of her homelife and not her job.