Macarons Can Be Murder (A Paris Kentucky Bakery Mystery: Book 1) by Rose Betancourt

Publisher: Crooked Lane Books

Date of publication: July 11th, 2023

Genre: Cozy Mystery, Mystery, Contemporary

Series: A Paris Kentucky Bakery Mystery

Macarons Can Be Murder—Book 1

Purchase Links: Kindle | Audible | B&N | AbeBooks | WorldCat

Goodreads Synopsis:

Perfect for fans of Ellie Alexander and Lucy Burdette, Rose Betancourt’s series debut is a culinary treat sure to charm.

Living in Paris, Kentucky, and having a sidekick cat named Pepe le Pew gives Marci Beaucoup’s life a certain je ne sais quoi . Combining her love of baking and France, Marci opened La Belle Patisserie to bring her small Southern hometown a bit of French flair and lots of croissants. Everything is sunshine and macarons at the bakery until her landlord calls to tell her she’s selling the property. Marci’s relieved to hear that if the top bidder, an enchanting Frenchman named Antoine Dubois, gets the property, he’ll renew her bakery’s lease. Charmed by Antoine, Marci figures this development isn’t half bad and sees a handsome new landlord in her future—but then Antoine’s estranged ex-girlfriend Kelly turns up dead in front of her bakery. Sacrebleu!

Everyone calls Marci’s pastries “to die for,” but nobody’s actually died at La Belle Patisserie before. Antoine quickly becomes the main suspect to everyone in Paris—including to womanizing detective Maverick Malone. Who else would have killed Kelly but the ex-boyfriend she was just seen fighting with on the day of her death?

Marci finds out from her landlord that if Antoine is arrested, his purchase of her building will fall through—and her landlord will sell to developers instead, who plan to demolish the building and construct a strip mall in its place. Enamored with Antoine and with her patisserie dreams hanging in the balance, Marci is determined to prove Maverick and the rest of Paris wrong and find the true killer before Antoine winds up in jail—and she has to say au revoir to her bakery.   

Now Marci finds herself mixed up in the murder investigation, and she must find the killer before her half-baked theories result in her untimely death.

First Line:

“I need to ask you something,” the woman said. After glancing around at the other customers in the bakery, the blone focused her attention on me again, leaning closer to the counter.

Macarons Can Be Murder by Rose Betancourt

Marci Beaucoup lives her best life, running a French bakery in the small town of Paris, Kentucky. Well, she was until two things happened. The first thing was that her landlord was selling her building to a handsome and charming Antoine Dubois, and the second thing was Marci stumbling across the dead body of Antoine’s ex-girlfriend outside her bakery. With Antoine under suspicion for murder and a developer who has plans to demolish the buildings and build a strip mall waiting for that deal to fall through, Marci decides to solve the case. But, when the killer targets her, Marci needs to find out who the murderer is and why this person killed Kellie before she becomes the next victim.

Macarons Can Be Murder is the last book in the series of mysteries that I downloaded from Crooked Lane Books on NetGalley. And I will admit, I only downloaded it because a cat was on the cover. I didn’t read the blurb or check out any early reviews. I wish I did because I didn’t enjoy reading this book.

Macarons Can Be Murder is the first book in A Paris Kentucky Bakery Mystery. Since it is the first book in the series, you do not need to read any previous books to understand the characters’ backstories/storylines.

Macarons Can Be Murder is a fast-paced book set in Paris, Kentucky. I wish the plotline had been slowed down (the book takes place within a week of Marci finding Kellie’s body). I had to reread chapters to understand what was going on.

The main storyline in Macarons Can Be Murder centers around Marci and her investigation into Kellie’s murder. There is also some focus on Marci’s love life, which I didn’t like. I did like the bare bones of this storyline (small-town baker turns detective to solve a murder), but I didn’t particularly appreciate how the author executed it. The storyline was all over the place, and several secondary storylines were introduced and never went anywhere. That alone drove me up the wall.

I liked Marci but found it very hard to connect with her. She came across as immature, and the way she went around investigating Kellie’s murder made me wince. She also was very hung up on what happened in high school. It was brought up several times with Maverick (she couldn’t trust him because his car broke down and another girl gave him a ride to prom, or as Marci thinks, he ghosted her and took another girl instead). It was also mentioned during different interactions with different people around town.

The storyline with Kellie’s murder and Marci’s investigation was interesting but was all over the place. I figured out who killed Kellie reasonably early in the book (there is a scene where Marci is talking to the B&B owner, and the person is mentioned). When the murderer was revealed, I almost missed it. I read that chapter several times to understand that person was caught. Marci’s investigation was well done, but she did take unnecessary risks while getting information.

There was a romance angle that ran throughout the book. It was a love triangle between Marci, Maverick, and Antoine. I wasn’t a huge fan of that at all. Why? Marci used Antoine to get evidence from him (she invaded his privacy and stole things from him). She also went back and forth about Maverick (see what I wrote above). I would have liked this angle better if I had connected better with Marci.

The end of Macarons Can Be Murder seemed rushed. Again, repeating myself, I had zero clue that the killer had been caught. The plotline was all over the place, and I had an issue keeping things straight. It was also creepy how the author dealt with the romance angle. With all this said, I will read book 2. Once I have started a series, I need to finish it.

If you enjoyed this review of Macarons Can Be Murder, then you will enjoy these books:

Other books by Rosa Betancourt:

2 thoughts on “Macarons Can Be Murder (A Paris Kentucky Bakery Mystery: Book 1) by Rose Betancourt

  1. I do enjoy a good cozy mystery, but this one sounds like one that might have needed some more editing. Too bad it didn’t work for you, Jolie.

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