Bread of the Dead: A Santa Fe Cafe Mystery (Santa Fe Café Mystery) by Ann Myers

Bread of the Dead

Reviewed by Caryn St. Clair

Rita Lafitte moved with her husband and daughter to Santa Fe to start a new life. Unfortunately, her husband’s new life included other women so they divorced leaving Rita to start over on her own. Rita decided to stay in Santa Fe and raise her daughter there. She’s built a comfortable life for herself working at the Tres Amigas Café while becoming familiar with the rich history of her new hometown. Currently, she has the joyful duty of sampling her boss’s variations of Day of the Dead bread for the upcoming baking contest connected to the holiday celebration.

Life with her teenage daughter is challenging however. Her daughter constantly plays her parents against each other. Challenging becomes bizarre when her daughter, returning home one evening, discovers their landlord’s body. And who is the friend who gave her daughter a ride home? That would be her former husband’s current girlfriend-a babe barely older than her Rita and her ex’s daughter.

There are many things to like about this book. Rita is an interesting protagonist who is fleshed out enough for readers to begin to feel like they know her. Her eighty plus year old boss Flori makes a perfect fellow crime solver. You don’t live to be eighty in a small town without knowing a lot about everybody and their business-especially if you are nosy, which Flori definitely is. The author has also done an excellent job of putting the reader in Santa Fe. This book focuses on the Day of the Dead celebration and through the baking contest and the description of some characters’ altars and the ornate skull decorations readers learn a good bit about this cultural celebration. The Santa Fe setting really opens a lot of doors for future books to focus on the mixed cultures of the community and their celebrations.

I really only have one negative quibble with the book. Rita’s former husband treats Rita as an idiot, using every excuse to belittle her. For me, that became quite tedious as the book continued. Plus, he undercuts Rita’s ability to discipline their daughter.

Bread of the Dead is a great beginning for a new series. There isn’t really anything “new” here as far as this sort of book. That’s okay, the protagonist is likable as is her boss and co-snooper and besides, the food is scrumptious sounding and there are recipes in the back. I am looking forward to the second book in the series.

Click Here to Purchase Bread of the Dead: A Santa Fe Cafe Mystery (Santa Fe Café Mystery)

Disclosure in Accordance with FTC Guidelines 16 CFR Part 255

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