Knee Deep in Dough By Catherine Bruns: Review/Giveaway

May 29, 2021 | 2021 Articles, Food Fun, Kathleen Costa, Mysteryrat's Maze

by Kathleen Costa

Details at the end of this post on how to enter to win an ebook copy of the book, and a link to purchase it from from Amazon. There is also a recipe for fortune cookies at the end of the review.

Fortune Cookies…and Mystery!
Sally Muccio never thought that, after a bitter divorce, her fortune would lie in the decision to return home to Colwestern, New York, and opening up her own cookie shop, Sally’s Samples, with BFF Josie Sullivan. But it did, and four years later, the shop is very popular, the fortune cookie gimmick is a PR gem, she’s reunited with and is now married to her high-school sweetheart Mike Donovan, is celebrating their third anniversary, and although teething, she delights in her eight-month-old daughter “Cookie.” Even though there have been more than a few dead bodies in her path threatening her and her family and friends, Sally has discovered she has a keen sense for solving puzzles. Unfortunately perilous predicaments has been an ingredient she’d like to avoid, but she always has a few helping hands: her husband, her BFF, and her very quirky Italian family. All of this is courtesy of Karma, and of course, those prophetic fortune cookies.

Knee Deep in Dough Earns 5/5 Wedding Woes…Engaging Entertainment!
What a way for Sally and Mike to enjoy their wedding anniversary than to celebrate at the place they had their first kiss sixteen years ago! Ralph’s tavern hadn’t changed much, and seemed to be the perfect local place for milestone celebrations. Felicia Sherman is getting married and enjoying her “hen party” festivities. She’d put a bit of the “bridezilla” into a last minute fortune cookie order, but, of course, Josie negotiated a premium price for her efforts. Sally was surprised to run into an old friend with whom she’d lost contact. Kelsey Sherman, the bride’s sister, hoped to sit down and catch up on Sally’s marriage and motherhood and for Sally to meet Kelsey’s “friend,” but Felicia’s vicious animosity against her sister for a major faux pas years before caught everyone off guard. Nevertheless, the biggest surprise comes from seeing Kelsey’s “friend.” The former beau turns out to be Sally’s friend Officer Brian Jenkins who has his own newlywed wife. It gets more complicated after Sally’s overhears Kelsey’s wish for a “one night stand” and Brian’s threat to stay away or else. Brian is found knelt over Kelsey’s body, drenched in blood, “She’s dead…And it’s all my fault.” Ballistics seem to indicate fault, too; the deadly projectile came from his own gun. With another friend on law enforcement’s list, Sally is again ensnared in another murder investigation. So much for thinking she wasn’t a murder magnet!

Cookie-licious! After a full year waiting, Catherine Bruns is back with a deliciously engaging mystery for her tenth book in the Cookies & Chance Mystery series. The infamous fortunes inside Sally Samples’ cookies once again heralds more than just a mantra for life, “Enjoy your last hurrah.” But, was the fortune a prophetic warning about Kelsey’s murder, a friendly reminder about Felicia moving from a single to married life, or a legal quandary about whether Brian will be free or incarcerated? Whatever the motivation, the fortune signaled an engaging drama with twists, shocking revelations, more than a few suspects, and motives that seem best resolved with murder. Cozy fans, like me, have found this a heartwarming series with wonderful characters, realistic relationships, and a family dynamic that provides a few cringes and giggles, but Bruns’ creativity devising a ‘not easily solved’ mystery (a good thing) and using sensory-laden description, varied personalities, and clever banter made for quite a page turner. Why isn’t this a Hallmark mystery? It sure gets my vote!

BONUS! I always look forward to the recipes Catherine includes in her books. For this tenth book we get S’mores Cookie Bars (Thanks to Kim Davis from Cinnamon and Sugar and a Little Bit of Murder Blog), Lunch Box Brownies, and Apple Oatmeal Cinnamon Cookies. I love it all! Is there a Cookies & Chance cookbook in the future? Let’s see what the fortune cookie says…Yum!

Alert! The eleventh book, Dessert is the Bomb, is set for a late September release and is currently on preorder HERE. Halloween is approaching and the infamous fortune cookie seems to predict an ominous business future. Does the murder of the owner of a competing cookie shop count? Maybe it’s Josie’s ill-timed threat. Delicious Fun!

Be a Big Catherine Bruns Fan!
USA Today bestselling author Catherine Bruns pens many of my favorite cozy series that true cozy fans should not miss. From Gemma Halliday Publishing there are her nine-book Cookies & Chance Mystery series with the cryptic messages found in her fortune cookies, the three book Cindy York Mystery illustrating the murderous side of real estate, and the two-book Carrie Jorgenson series in the Aloha Lagoon Mystery multi-author collection giving us a delightful Hawaiian setting. She also has her new soon-to-be two-book Italian Chef Mysteries series with Poisoned Pen Press. Something for every cozy interest and many with easy-to-follow recipes!

Catherine Bruns Books (Facebook)
Catherine Bruns (Website)

Kathleen Costa is a long-time resident of the Central Valley, and although born in Idaho, she considers herself a “California Girl.” Graduating from CSU-Sacramento, she is 35+ year veteran teacher having taught in grades 1-8 in schools from Sacramento to Los Angeles to Stockton to Lodi. Currently Kathleen is enjoying year 2 of retirement revitalizing hobbies along with exploring writing, reading for pleasure, and spending 24/7 with her husband of 26+ years.

Fortune Cookies
Homemade Fortune Cookies from Evermine blogger Lindsay is easy to follow and just the unique touch to any celebration.

1 egg white
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup white sugar
1/4 cup all-purpose flour

Preheat your oven to 350°F, and line a cookie sheet with a silpat mat or parchment paper.

Combine all of your ingredients together in a blender until smooth. Using a regular spoon, drop some batter onto the lined cookie sheet, and spread it out with the back of your spoon to make circles 3-inches in diameter. Do not make any more than 4 or 5 cookies per batch.

Bake cookies for 5-7 minutes, until the edges are golden brown. Remove the cookie sheet from the oven, and, using a spatula, gently lift the cookies from the cookie sheet. You will need to work very quickly at this point because the cookies harden as they cool.

Insert your paper fortune in the center, and fold the cookie in half over it. Once the cookie is halved, fold again by pressing the sides against the rim of a glass. Allow the cookie to sit on the rim of the glass until it has completely cooled.

Recipe very slightly adapted from Alisa Burke Redefine Creativity.

To enter to win either an ebook copy of Knee Deep in Dough, simply email KRL at krlcontests@gmail[dot]com by replacing the [dot] with a period, and with the subject line “dough,” or comment on this article. A winner will be chosen June 5, 2021. US only, and must be 18 or older to enter. You can read our privacy statement here if you like.

Check out other mystery articles, reviews, book giveaways & mystery short stories in our mystery section. And join our mystery Facebook group to keep up with everything mystery we post, and have a chance at some extra giveaways. Be sure to check out our new mystery podcast too with mystery short stories, and first chapters read by local actors. A new episode went up this week.

You can use this link to purchase this book from Amazon. If you have ad blocker on you may not see the link:

Disclosure: This post contains links to an affiliate program, for which we receive a few cents if you make purchases. KRL also receives free copies of most of the books that it reviews, that are provided in exchange for an honest review of the book.


  1. Sounds interesting ? Thanks for the opportunity

  2. A lot of authors didn’t publish a book last year. Good to see Bruns is back!

  3. I like books by this author! Thanks for the chance to win one of her books!

  4. Catherine is a new to me author. Sounds like a great read and I LOVE the recipe for the fortune cookies!

  5. Sounds like a great read. Looking forward to reading the book.

  6. We have a winner!


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