On this Mysterious Monday, we return to Wildwood Cove, on Washington’s Olympic Peninsula, for the second book in Sarah Fox’s Pancake House mystery series.
Pancakes, red paint, and murder
Marley McKinney is the owner of a pancake house called the Flip Side, which she inherited from her cousin (you should read the opening book in the series, The Crepes of Wrath, if you want to know how that happened). It’s tourist season in Wildwood Cove, and business is humming, but one morning Marley arrives at work to find that someone has defaced the building with red paint. This isn’t the first time this has happened, and Marley knows immediately who the culprit is: Ida Winkler.
This Ida person is what some of us call a nasty piece of work. She blames Marley for her nephew being in jail, and she is pulling these little pranks to get back at her. Next comes a series of prank calls to the Flip Side. This gets Marley upset enough that she decides to go pay Ida a little visit, just to try to talk some sense into her (good luck!). But when she gets there, she finds Ida dead—murdered. This is extremely inconvenient, because Marley becomes a suspect. What does one do in a situation like this? One sets out to find the real killer, of course.
Along the way, Marley bumps up against Ida’s neighbors (who clearly have their own issues), illegal dumpers, blackmail… All this while she’s worrying that her business might be ruined by the negative publicity, and she’s struggling over her relationship with handsome landscaper Brett. Will Marley be able to set her fears aside and let herself get close to him?
The cat named Flapjack
Good thing Marley has a cat to keep things in perspective. The cat in this case is an orange tabby named Flapjack. Marley inherited him, along with the house they live in, from her cousin. Flapjack is not a crime-solving cat, though. He’s more the company-keeping sort. He is there for Marley in those lonely, uncertain times when she just needs someone to listen and purr. Cats are so good at that.
One glaring error Marley makes (from a cat’s point of view) is that she insists on taking a shower and getting herself ready in the morning before she feeds the cat. This is clearly backwards. The correct order is cat first, then the rest of your life. Perhaps Marley will learn this in future installments of this series. One can only hope.
For Whom the Bread Rolls is a really enjoyable read. We especially liked the descriptions of Wildwood Cove, and the beach in particular. We could almost smell the ocean. Plus, the story is nicely done and very believable. The tension Marley feels over her relationship with Brett adds an undercurrent of discomfort that gives us one more reason to keep reading (as though we needed one).
A note on the "Paws Up" system: Miss C gives either one or two paws up. One paw is for a good read; two paws is for a great read. She never gives three or four paws because that would require her to lie on her back...and Miss C does not do that!
We received a free copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. We wouldn’t tell you it was good unless we really liked it!
The link below is an Amazon Associates link. If you purchase the book through this link, old SoLT and I could get some coin for our kibble account. Thank you!