How the Murder Crumbles By Debra Sennefelder: Review/Giveaway

Jul 29, 2023 | 2023 Articles, Cynthia Chow, Mysteryrat's Maze

by Cynthia Chow

Details at the end of this post on how to enter to win a copy of the book and a link to purchase it.

Despite pursuing a degree and career in advertising, Mallory Monroe never lost her love for baking nor her memories of her Aunt Glenna’s beloved bakery. So, after her aunt’s death – and being bypassed for a promotion – Mallory makes the life-changing decision to buy the Cookie Shop and move to Wingate, Connecticut so she can run it. She’s still getting used to working with her aunt’s long-term and resistant-to-change baker Claudia Allen, but Mallory is optimistically promoting new cookie bouquets and hosting cookie decorating classes.

Things take a quick downturn when Mallory catches her boyfriend cheating on her with another woman, and to make it worse learns that “Aspen” has also just rented out the apartment above the bakery. It goes further downhill when Beatrice Wright, the woman known as Queen Bea in the town that is one of the top ten shopping destinations of the state, accuses Mallory’s aunt of stealing an Almond Meltaways cookie recipe. That their confrontation occurs in front of a reporter interviewing Mallory for the Connecticut Chronicle couldn’t have been a coincidence, and it only gets worse when an attempt to mediate the situation has Mallory instead finding Beatrice’s dead body.

As online commentators and word-of-mouth gossip jeopardizes the Cookie Shop’s business, Mallory refuses to sit idly by and allow her new venture to tank. So, despite warnings from both Claudia and the admittedly attractive Detective Will Hannigan to let the police handle the matter, Mallory begins her own investigation of the many, many candidates for those who wanted Beatrice dead. It turns out that the Queen Bea was as ruthless in her personal life as she was in her business life, leaving behind a suspect list that will have Mallory’s murder board filled with possibilities. An unlikely ally appears in the form of the other woman who unknowingly imploded Malloy’s life, as the woman she calls “Red” turns out to be a lawyer and present at the moment when Mallory needs one the most. Aspen being a corporate attorney who never set foot in a courtroom does get herself replaced rather quickly, but for once the women aren’t pitted against one another and instead rightfully side against their ex.

Even though this is the first in the Cookie Shop Mystery series, it feels as though they have been living with readers for years. There are many characters to keep track of, but Mallory’s circle of friends stand out and match her charisma. Mallory’s sisters are the first to always have her back and provide unwavering loyal support, while her cousin Darlene proves to be far more nebulous concerning her motives and plans for Glenna’s property.

Mallory’s hefty feline Agatha will delight readers with her antics, while foodie mystery fans will truly appreciate descriptions of the craft and skills required in the creation of these exquisite cookies. Mallory’s interrogations of suspects may be a bit blunt and unsurprisingly make her a target, but her carefulness in the kitchen is unquestionable. Readers should look forward to watching Mallory grow and come onto her own in the town of Wingate, which is as charming as everything coming out of the Cookie Shop ovens.

To enter to win a copy of How the Murder Crumbles, simply email KRL at krlcontests@gmail[dot]com by replacing the [dot] with a period, and with the subject line “crumbles” or comment on this article. A winner will be chosen August 5, 2023. You must be 18 or older to enter. If entering via email please include your mailing address in case you win. 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. Also listen to our new mystery podcast where mystery short stories and first chapters are read by actors! They are also available on Apple Podcasts, Google Play, and Spotify. A new episode went up this week.

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

Cynthia Chow is the branch manager of Kaneohe Public Library on the island of Oahu. She balances a librarian lifestyle of cardigans and hair buns with a passion for motorcycle riding and regrettable tattoos (sorry, Mom).

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! Count me in!

  2. It sounds like a really good cozy Mystery! I would love a chance to win this!

    • I really enjoy reading culinary cozies. Sounds like a great start to a new series.

  3. I live in Connecticut, love bakeries and would love to read this cozy. Thank you for the chance to win. aprilbluetx at yahoo dot com

  4. Bakeries seem to be the “go to”
    answer to relationship problems.
    Sounds like a good read.

  5. Mmmm, cookies. Count me in! Thanks crs(at)codedivasites(dot)com

    • Been wanting to read this one! Cookies, recipes, mystery- sounds like it’s got it all. I already enjoy her Food Blogger series so I was looking forward to this.

  6. Sounds like a lovely cozy.

  7. Thanks for the chance!

  8. We have a winner!


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