I’m back with another book review, and this time it’s “BlueBuried Muffins” by Lyndsey Cole! Here’s a summary so we know what it’s about:
“Annie Fisher is scared. She’s scared of the mess her boyfriend, Max Parker, is in the middle of and she has to get out of his house. She puts a whole state between them and drives like a madwoman from Cooper, NY to her hometown of Catfish Cove, NH where she hopes she’ll be safe.
She decides to start a new life, a life she ran away from two years ago but is finding herself missing as soon as she gets home. Annie immediately has a place to live, a job at her Aunt Leona’s new café—Black Cat Café—and plenty of boyfriend prospects. Unfortunately, she also has plenty of bad things follow her.
Like Max Parker. Only the next time she sees him he’s dead. Suddenly everyone she runs into turns into a potential suspect. There are ghosts from her past and new neighbors that make her hair stand on end. And right in the middle of everything is Annie with Max’s last warning to her—Don’t trust anyone. Will those words prove to keep her safe or put too much distance between Annie and those trying to help her?”
I was really interested by the concept of this book’s summary when I first picked it up. The main protagonist ends up running away because her connection with her boyfriend ends up with her in danger, only for her to (despite travelling so far to get away from the whole mess) end up getting stuck in the middle of it all, while trying to get used to living in a new town and everything? What kind of connection puts our protagonist in danger? What was the boyfriend stuck into, exactly, that made her want to leave? Also, I’ve read books where there were mysteries and baking in the same book before, so I thought it would be interesting to see how those two elements mixed in this book.
Unfortunately, this book fails quite a lot in its execution in the following ways:
1. The flat characters and how their actions were not necessarily the smartest, given the situation.
So, we have a man that’s murdered. The protagonist, who dated him, ends up doing the following:
Firstly, everyone keeps walking into Annie’s apartment. However, Annie still insists she’s safe and has no worries at all about staying there by herself.
Second, Annie just goes back to sleep after her dad breaks into her apartment into them middle of the night.
Third, the characters never lock the doors in the café despite Max’s dead body being found around there! If someone got killed at your café, would you not take the necessary precautions, just in case?
Other than those not-so-smart actions, I found that all of the characters lacked development, including Annie, our main protagonist. I also felt that many of the relationships felt rather flat, such as Annie’s relationship with both her mother and father (as well as Annie’s boyfriend Max), and I found it odd that Annie was already looking at other people to date almost immediately after Max was dead, too.
2. The plot twist that didn’t make sense!
So, spoiler alert, but it turns out the detective of all people was in on Max’s death and was the one that ultimately caused it (with a whole bunch of other factors in there that led to Max’s death). This would have been a brilliant plot twist except for two things. One, it lacked a build-up and so its execution felt incredibly random and just thrown together so they could have a plot twist. Secondly,
3. The abrupt ending.
Immediately after they capture the true villain of the entire novel (or, to be fair, villains), the story just ends immediately. There is barely any follow-up as of what happened next, no idea of how things are going to go for our characters or the main heroine, and it does not feel anywhere close to resolved, as a result.
4. I expected the blueberry muffins to have a bigger plot point in the story.
To be fair, the word “BlueBuried” is a pun on “Blueberry.” I was ready to see some poisoned blueberry muffins, or blueberry muffins present at the crime scene or something like that. None of that ever happened, and though I know it seems minor, I also think that if you’re going to title your story the name of an object, it should make sense in relation to the main plot. I admit it’s a bit nitpicky for me to point out, and one is welcome argue otherwise, but I just thought that was a bit of a letdown overall.