“Muffin Ventured, Muffin Gained” by R.A. Hutchins

I jumped right into book four of the Baker’s Rise Mysteries by R.A. Hutchins after finishing the previous story of the series. “Muffin Ventured, Muffin Gained” didn’t disappoint! It is full of both cosy and unsettling moments, characters to love and to hate, and, of course, yet another murder mystery to solve.

With every next book of this series, I fall deeper in love with Reggie. I love animals. I grew up surrounded by them. There wasn’t a moment in my childhood when we didn’t have a pet – more often, a few – living in our home. Mostly, they were cats and dogs, but we also had hamsters and even two canaries. Still, I’ve never had a parrot, and reading about Reggie is fascinating. I know that animals are very different in their attitude to their owners, and not every parrot-human tandem’s dynamic is similar to that of Flora and Reggie. But the descriptions of their interactions are so lovely that it’s impossible not to wonder what it would be like to have such a companion by my side.

So, in book four of the Baker’s Rise Mysteries Flora is busy with her new project – a cosy bookshop and a library she added to her tearoom. Her ambitions go beyond simply selling and lending books to the inhabitants of Baker’s Rise. She has written a few children books herself. She came up with a brilliant idea to invite a famous illustrator to cut the ribbon at the bookshop opening party, so she could discuss their possible cooperation. What can possibly go wrong with this innocent plan? Knowing Flora and Reggie – anything. The two are a magnet for awkward – and dangerous! – situations.

Instead of a quiet life in a picturesque village, she’d come to Baker’s Rise for, Flora finds herself musing about yet another crime.

I thoroughly enjoyed the development of the romantic relationship between Flora and detective Adam. And I’m looking forward to seeing how things between them progress in the next book.

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