Review: Sweetbreath by Alexandra Allred

Sweetbreath by Alexandra Allred
Series: Allie Lindell (# 2)
Release Date: December 19, 2013
Publisher: The Writer’s Coffee Shop Publishing House
Pages: 263
Source: book provided by NetGalley for review

When the president of Sweets Sullivan is found dead, everyone is all too ready to believe it was a suicide. Everyone but Allie Lindell. A former obituary writer for The Columbus Dispatch with a mind for murder, not even diaper duty and naptime can keep her away. Sweetbreath is the second mystery of the Allie Lindell series — a story of family secrets, murder, crooked insurance schemes, drugs, chocolate cravings and chocolate-chocolate chip cookies that are to die for. Who can resist? Certainly not Allie, her neighbor, her dad, or her old friend from the newspaper.

As Allie gets closer to the truth, she begins to contemplate the notion that she can have it all. But at what price? Her relationship with her life partner begins to unravel, and she is forced to make a choice. Restless with her job as an at-home mom, Allie misses the crazy deadlines, office banter, even rush hour traffic. With the lure of chocolate, it’s just too much and Allie makes the biggest move of her adult life.

She investigates the possible murder and quickly learns there is a not-so-sweet side of the business world. As her own family begs her to back away, Allie finds she can’t. She’s her own worst enemy but with the best intentions. Nothing in life is ever easy as Allie learns it’s not just candy to die for—it just might be worth killing over. Following the scent of a murderer and chocolate, Allie is soon in over her head. This time, her sweet tooth just might get her killed and her hero is the most unlikely of the bunch.

 

Review: After reading the first Allie Lindell book (Roadkill), I jumped on the chance to review Sweetbreath. I mean really, cookies and a mystery? How much better could it get? I am glad to say I was not disappointed.

As in the first book, the descriptions were mouthwatering. I could smell the cookies as they were coming out of the oven, taste the crumbs being licked off of fingers, and my favorite cookie description:

As we neared the last workbench, Christa stopped and picked up a Christa & Co. bag. What she said next really didn’t matter. It was what she was doing. She said something about setting up a time for photo shoots, and could have mentioned the key to life, but, embarrassingly, it was all a haze. Because while she was talking, she was putting handfuls of cookies into the bag – chocolate-chocolate chip cookies, standard chocolate chip cookies, white chocolate chip cookies, peanut butter cookies, oatmeal, oatmeal with chocolate chips, pecan, sugar…

In the midst of Allie’s quest to solve a mystery, she is also dealing with a personal crisis. Her partner, Rae Ann, just can’t understand Allie’s need to have a life outside of the kids and house. But we also learn more about Rae Ann in this book, which I loved. In truth, she comes off a little cold and harsh at times but some back story brings to light the hard time she has had with her family. Now I can understand why she has trouble dealing at times and this makes me like her a little bit more.

Allie is still the focus of the book. She deals with motherhood seemingly effortlessly and has the backup of family, a good friend, and a wonderful Mary Poppins-like neighbor. These secondary characters are fun and I love it when Jennie (the Mary Poppins neighbor) joins Allie on stake-outs and plotting. I’d say she deserves her own book but then we’d lose the duo of Allie and Jenny. That would be a shame.

Favorite Quote:  “They say girls become women when they have their first period. Please.” I waved a sarcastic hand at Jenny. “When she has an overwhelming desire to stuff herself with chocolate when she’s not even remotely hungry, and the craving is so powerful she eats an entire bag all by herself, then she’s a woman.”