What does a New York pastry chef do when she loses her job, her apartment and calls off her wedding? In And Then There Were Crumbs by Eve Calder, Kate McGuire travels south to a small island town trying to straighten out her life. (And Then There Were Crumbs is published by St. Martin's Paperbacks.)
After pounding the pavement of Coral Cay for a week and finding no job, she is about to give up when her car breaks down, Nothing like adding more distress to her already distressed situation, but the mechanic who helps her recommends a bakery in town called The Cookie House. There is a cranky owner, low pay and worse yet, no cakes, cookies or pastries in sight. What's a girl to do?
Sam Hepplewhite, the curmudgeonly owner, doesn't want her to do anything but wait on the customers and cleaning up. No baking of any kind - no cookies, pastries, nothing. He will continue to bake the best sourdough bread and his other breads, but as far as he is concerned, the kitchen is off limits to Kate.
Figuring she has nothing better to do, she takes the job and convinces Sam to let her convert the upstairs storeroom into a bedroom for her. But Kate has a special talent, she can tell the type of cookie a person loves just by looking at them. A great talent wasted when she cannot bake cookies.
Things are proceeding smoothly until slimy real estate developer Stewart Lord saunters into the shop and threatens to buy the shop out from under Sam. The greedy developer eyes a pan of cinnamon rolls Sam had made for himself and demands Sam sell them to him. Sam does just to get rid of Stewart.
When Stewart ends up dead the next day, all eyes turn to Sam and his cinnamon rolls. Sam is arrested, but Kate knows he would never kill anyone and she is sure Stewart had more than Sam as an enemy. As she digs deeper, she discovers Stewart wasn't above a little blackmail to try to expand his empire. Kate uses her talent for sniffing out clues to solve the case.
A very cute new series with loads of potential. A likable pastry chef with a terrific cast of characters.
Disclosure: I received this book from the publisher through NetGalley.