Game of Scones (A Sugar & Spice Mystery #1)
As co-owner of Sugar and Spice Cookbooks, Sugar Calloway has seen simple confections bring friends together and spark fiery feuds. Except this time, the recipe truly is to die for . . .   After losing her job as food editor at a glossy magazine, Rosetta Sugarbaker Calloway—aka “Sugar” to friends—isn’t sweet on accepting defeat and crawling back to her gossipy southern hometown. So when she has an opportunity to launch a community cookbook business with blue-ribbon baker Dixie Spicer in peaceful St. Ignatius, Iowa, she jumps at the chance to start over from scratch . . .   But as Sugar assembles recipes for the local centennial celebration, it’s not long before she’s up to her oven mitts in explosive threats, too-hot-to-handle scandals, and a dead body belonging to the moody matriarch of the town’s first family. With suspicions running wild, Sugar and Spice must solve the murder before someone innocent takes the heat—and the real culprit gathers enough ingredients to strike again . . .  * Includes delicious recipes! *

Game of Scones (A Sugar & Spice Mystery #1) Details

TitleGame of Scones (A Sugar & Spice Mystery #1)
Author
ReleaseDec 4th, 2018
PublisherLyrical Underground
Rating
GenreMystery, Cozy Mystery

Game of Scones (A Sugar & Spice Mystery #1) Review

  • Carrie
    January 1, 1970
    Game of Scones by Mary Lee Ashford is the first book of the cozy A Sugar & Spice Mystery series. This series introduces Rosetta Sugarbaker Calloway who prefers to just be called Sugar by her friends. After losing her job at a magazine Sugar teamed up with baker Dixie Spicer, the other half of Sugar and Spice, to start a cookbook in the small town of St. Ignatius, Iowa.Sugar and Dixie came up with the idea of making the cookbook a community effort but as they are gathering recipes for the cen Game of Scones by Mary Lee Ashford is the first book of the cozy A Sugar & Spice Mystery series. This series introduces Rosetta Sugarbaker Calloway who prefers to just be called Sugar by her friends. After losing her job at a magazine Sugar teamed up with baker Dixie Spicer, the other half of Sugar and Spice, to start a cookbook in the small town of St. Ignatius, Iowa.Sugar and Dixie came up with the idea of making the cookbook a community effort but as they are gathering recipes for the centennial celebration they find out pleasing everyone is not as easy as it sounds. As much as they knew there were bickering and threats they never expect to find a dead body and have a murder to be solved on their hands.Yes, it’s another small town cozy with quirky characters and lots of culinary delights for the foodies out there, there are even some yummy recipes included in case the book gives readers cravings. This was a solid start to the new series I'd rate at 3.5 stars with decent mystery to solve to clear the aunt of one of the characters of a murder charge. I’ll be looking forward to seeing what happens with the characters in the next installment of the series.I received an advance copy from the publisher via NetGalley.For more reviews please visit https://carriesbookreviews.com/
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  • Juli
    January 1, 1970
    I have to admit it was the yummy photo of scones on the cover for this book that led me to read it. The photo looks so good! mmmm. I'm a sucker for culinary cozy mysteries anyway...so I didn't need too hard of a push to read Game of Scones.Rosetta "Sugar'' Calloway recently left behind her career as a senior food editor for a magazine. When profits started declining she was downsized. So, she has relocated to the small town of St. Ignatius and started a cookbook business with her friend, Dixie S I have to admit it was the yummy photo of scones on the cover for this book that led me to read it. The photo looks so good! mmmm. I'm a sucker for culinary cozy mysteries anyway...so I didn't need too hard of a push to read Game of Scones.Rosetta "Sugar'' Calloway recently left behind her career as a senior food editor for a magazine. When profits started declining she was downsized. So, she has relocated to the small town of St. Ignatius and started a cookbook business with her friend, Dixie Spicer. Sugar & Spice Publishing. Now this isn't a Martha Stewart or Paula Deen type cookbook publisher, but one that centers on community cookbooks.....ones with recipes gathered by local organizations, churches, schools, etc. Their first project is the St. Ignatius Founders Day Commemorative Cookbook. Unfortunately, drama has taken over the planning. Elsie Farmer is at war with the owner of the local B&B over which scone recipe will be included in the book, hers or Bertie's. Small town nonsense turns much more serious when Sugar discovers Elsie's dead body on the ground near her house. The dead woman is found clutching a scone. When Dixie's Aunt Bertie faces arrest for murder, Sugar knows she needs to ferret out the real killer! I really enjoyed this first book in the Sugar & Spice Mystery series. I grew up in a small town....and live in one now....and the characters, gossip, and little oddities of St. Ignatius made me smile. So much like real life in any small town. From disputes over falling leaves to fights over family recipes.....small town life has its own set of peculiarities. Everyone knows everybody's business. And gossip passes through town at the speed of light. I like the setting for this new series, the characters and the background theme of a small community cookbook publishing business. All in all, a quick entertaining read. The front cover is engaging....and yummy! There are recipes at the end of the book -- two scone recipes (so you can make a choice between Elsie and Bertie's recipes) and a broccoli dish as well. I will definitely be reading more books in this series!The second book in this series, Risky Biscuits, will publish in July 2019. **I voluntarily read an advanced readers copy of this book from Kensington via NetGalley. All opinions expressed are entirely my own.**
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  • Mark Baker
    January 1, 1970
    After losing her job at a food magazine, Rosetta Sugarbaker Calloway, “Sugar” to friends, opens a new business with award winning baker Dixie Spicer. Together, the two will shepherd community cookbooks through the publishing process. Their first project is for the centennial of the town where they live, St. Ignatius, Iowa. However, this cookbook has heated up the feud between Elsie, a member of the most prominent family in town, and Bertie, Dixie's aunt. The two are fighting over which of their After losing her job at a food magazine, Rosetta Sugarbaker Calloway, “Sugar” to friends, opens a new business with award winning baker Dixie Spicer. Together, the two will shepherd community cookbooks through the publishing process. Their first project is for the centennial of the town where they live, St. Ignatius, Iowa. However, this cookbook has heated up the feud between Elsie, a member of the most prominent family in town, and Bertie, Dixie's aunt. The two are fighting over which of their scone recipes should be included in the book. When Sugar goes to meet with Elsie to attempt to reach a resolution, she finds Elsie's dead body. Bertie is the prime suspect, but she has disappeared. Is she in danger as well, or is she the killer?This book gets this new series off to a fun start. Sugar and Dixie are a great duo, and they are surrounded by a fun group of family and friends. I enjoyed getting to know them here, and I'm looking forward to getting to know them better in future books. The town is wonderful, with all the hallmarks of a delightful cozy setting, and I enjoyed the fact that it is in Iowa, not some place we typically go for cozies. I did feel the pacing of the mystery was a bit off, but this never lasted for long, and we had a great climax. We get a total of three recipes at the end of the book, including both scone recipes.NOTE: I received an ARC of this book.Read my full review at Carstairs Considers.
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  • QNPoohBear
    January 1, 1970
    Thanks to Netgalley for a free advance copy of the book in exchange for my honest review.Rosetta Sugarbaker Calloway aka Sugar left her southern Mama's matchmaking schemes behind and took off for a high falutin' job at a publishing company in the Midwest, where she worked in marketing. Since the publisher went belly up, Sugar now works in partnership with Dixie "Spice" Spicer, the best cook in Jameson County, Iowa to publish community cookbooks. After two local elderly ladies become embroiled in Thanks to Netgalley for a free advance copy of the book in exchange for my honest review.Rosetta Sugarbaker Calloway aka Sugar left her southern Mama's matchmaking schemes behind and took off for a high falutin' job at a publishing company in the Midwest, where she worked in marketing. Since the publisher went belly up, Sugar now works in partnership with Dixie "Spice" Spicer, the best cook in Jameson County, Iowa to publish community cookbooks. After two local elderly ladies become embroiled in a war over whose scone recipe will be included in the St. Ignatius Founders' Day cookbook, Sugar must summon all her marketing skills to appease the ladies. When she tries to approach Elise Farmer, wife of a prominent businessman, Sugar is horrified to find Elsie lying dead with a scone in her hand. Worse, the police suspect Elsie's rival, Dixie's aunt Bertie. Dixie is spitting mad. Her Aunt Bertie would never harm a soul and her rivalry with Elsie was just show. The local sheriff isn't convinced. Now Sugar and Spice have a mystery to solve in addition to making preparations for the cookbook, including hiring hunky photographer Max to do the photoshoot. Sugar also has to deal with an elderly landlady who can't let go of her old home and possessions and a cranky neighbor who hates Sugar for no good reason. Good thing she has her cat Ernest to rely on.This is a cute new mystery. I like the punny title and since I love scones, I knew I had to read this. I enjoyed the story a lot but guessed right away who the murderer was. It seemed obvious to me because that character was a stereotype. I knew it couldn't be too obvious so I wasn't positive but the clues did point in that direction at times. The writing style is fine. It isn't great but it isn't terrible. There are some tedious moments when the characters' actions are described in every minute detail. I liked the small town charm, especially the diner, and got a good sense of community. There's a lot of crime in this story and I was left unsatisfied when loose ends were not tied up. I had a theory about a certain character but nothing came of it. I also felt there were too many subplots going on, including lengthy details of what it takes to publish a community cookbook. I did appreciate some of the details, having participated in publishing such a cookbook but it made the story unnecessarily long. I liked the hint of romance between Sugar and Max and possibly Dixie and the sheriff. I didn't really care for the subplot about landlady Greer and her possessions. Her son had a right to be concerned because elder abuse is common but I felt that subplot didn't belong in this murder mystery.Sugar is an enjoyable and relatable protagonist. I certainly understand her desire to leave behind her hometown and go somewhere new. Her sweet personality helps her make friends in the tight knit community and also helps her in her job dealing with the people of St. Ignatius. I was a bit disappointed she is a cat person whereas I prefer dogs. I liked her chemistry with Max. They form a real connection instead of love at first sight or hate at first sight. I love his passion for whatever subject he is photographing at the moment. It shows his dedication to his craft. Dixie is a bit more interesting to read about than Sugar because of her fiery temper and mysterious antipathy towards the sheriff. I also loved that she has a Cairn Terrier mix puppy, Moto. He stole my heart even though he is hardly in the story. The townspeople consist of ;primarily older women. Greer, Sugar's landlady, a sweet little old lady with a love for murder mysteries and antiques. I feel she imposes too much on Sugar and should have either taken her treasured possessions or left them with her son. Sugar is a sweetheart to put up with her. Mrs. Pickett, Sugar's neighbor, is a stereotypical cranky old lady. She's nosy and rude in contrast to Sugar's sweet personality. Another rude lady is the murder victim, Elsie Farmer. She sounds like a nasty, controlling woman. Her husband Kenny isn't very likable either. Dixie's Aunt Bertie sounds like a hoot. She's spry enough to run a B&B but a bit secretive. I can see why Dixie loves her, despite the clash with Elsie. Tina Martin runs the local real estate office. I didn't really care for her obsession with looks and her constant chugging of energy drinks. Minnie, Kenny Farmer's personal assistant, is a quiet, mousy little woman who seems afraid of her own shadow. Sheriff Terry is trying his hardest to do his job. He didn't seem incompetent, just a bit frustrated that Dixie keeps hindering his investigation. There's also Disco, real name Dick Fusco, who runs a kitschy shop next to the office of Sugar & Spice Publishing. I didn't like how he was always looking for a handout. He seems like a loser. The book contains two scone recipes. Aunt Bertie's seems to be adapted from Mary Berry's scone recipe and Elsie's Irish scones are similar to the Scottish ones I make. I hope to try them both!I enjoyed this first book in this new series. I would recommend this book to cozy mystery fans.
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  • JoAn
    January 1, 1970
    Game of Scones by Mary Lee Ashford was a delight to read. Ms. Ashford is a "new to me" author but this book had everything that I look for in a cozy mystery.I enjoyed this setting as it was quite different from the usual small tourist town setting. St. Ignatius, IA is a small rural community that has survived through hardships by working together. I loved both Sugar and Dixie as they both seem to be strong, smart and capable young women who have begun their own business publishing community cook Game of Scones by Mary Lee Ashford was a delight to read. Ms. Ashford is a "new to me" author but this book had everything that I look for in a cozy mystery.I enjoyed this setting as it was quite different from the usual small tourist town setting. St. Ignatius, IA is a small rural community that has survived through hardships by working together. I loved both Sugar and Dixie as they both seem to be strong, smart and capable young women who have begun their own business publishing community cookbooks. I found this to a unique career choice that I've never seen in other books.The plot moves quickly and drew me in from the first chapter. After the death of the town matriarch (who had created plenty of enemies), there were several suspects that had a motive to want the troublesome woman dead. Then a second death occurs and the sheriff has his hands full and Sugar and Dixie keep asking questions. There were also a couple of secondary threads throughout the story that weren't directly related to the murders but did show how small towns thrive on gossip as well as how they come together to help each other.I enjoyed the book and look forward to more books from this author.I voluntarily reviewed an Advance Reader Copy of this book from Lyrical Underground via NetGalley. All of the above opinions are my own.
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  • Kathleen
    January 1, 1970
    “Game of Scones” earns 5/5 Sugar & Spice Scones…Deliciously Fun!I am always eager to check out first-in-a-series cozy, so when I saw “Scones” and “Mystery” in Mary Lee Ashford’s new book, I was eager to check this out…and I was not disappointed! “Sugar” is Rosetta Sugarbaker Calloway and “Spice” is Dixie Spicer, and although they start out creating Sugar & Spice Publishing, a cookbook company, “Mystery” ends up being their game. Sugar and Spice have a unique mission for their company; th “Game of Scones” earns 5/5 Sugar & Spice Scones…Deliciously Fun!I am always eager to check out first-in-a-series cozy, so when I saw “Scones” and “Mystery” in Mary Lee Ashford’s new book, I was eager to check this out…and I was not disappointed! “Sugar” is Rosetta Sugarbaker Calloway and “Spice” is Dixie Spicer, and although they start out creating Sugar & Spice Publishing, a cookbook company, “Mystery” ends up being their game. Sugar and Spice have a unique mission for their company; they publish community cookbooks much like those that charities or local groups would create as a fund-raiser. Their first project will be the St. Ignatius Founder’s Day Commemorative Cookbook, but it turns out to be more murder than meringue!Culinary-themed cozies are a favorite, and Mary Lee’s book checked all the boxes to be one I'll continue reading. I really enjoyed all the sweet and savory references and three bonus recipes, but keeping me entertained was the clever mystery challenging my detective skills, quirky characters providing a few giggles, and a satisfying end that made me eager for more. Mary Lee penned well the first-person narrative of Rosetta “Sugar” sharing her inner thoughts and perspective along with laying out the clues, suspects, and motives. And my two favorite words, not “it’s murder,” but “recipes included”! Along with two easy-to-follow scone recipes for Bertie Spark’s Proper English Scones and Elsie Farmer’s Irish Scones, Mary Lee has included Betty Bailey’s Broccoli Gratin. I recommend this book for cozy fans!"Disclosure: I received an ARC from Net Galley. My review is voluntary with honest insights and comments."
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  • JPC
    January 1, 1970
    A nice, easy read about murder-mystery in a small town. Sugar and Dixie get caught up in a murder mystery while producing a community cookbook and try to get to the bottom of the matter themselves.While not along the lines of my usual reads, it was enjoyable. It's not an on-the-edge-of-your-seat type mystery, but seems like the perfect thing to read bundled up with a scone and coffee of (my personal favorite) hot chocolate. I would have liked a little more character depth, but all in all, I enjo A nice, easy read about murder-mystery in a small town. Sugar and Dixie get caught up in a murder mystery while producing a community cookbook and try to get to the bottom of the matter themselves.While not along the lines of my usual reads, it was enjoyable. It's not an on-the-edge-of-your-seat type mystery, but seems like the perfect thing to read bundled up with a scone and coffee of (my personal favorite) hot chocolate. I would have liked a little more character depth, but all in all, I enjoyed it.** Received an e-copy in advance of it's release through a Goodreads giveaway **
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  • K.A. Davis
    January 1, 1970
    GAME OF SCONES is the first book in the brand new Sugar & Spice Mystery series by Mary Lee Ashford! The premise of Sugar & Spice is cleverly based on the names of the protagonist, Rosetta Sugarbaker Calloway, aka Sugar, and her friend, Dixie Spicer, aka Spice. Together they own Sugar and Spice Publishing Company, which publishes community cookbooks for fundraisers in St. Ignatius, Iowa. I truly enjoyed the insight the author provides about the details of creating the cookbook for their f GAME OF SCONES is the first book in the brand new Sugar & Spice Mystery series by Mary Lee Ashford! The premise of Sugar & Spice is cleverly based on the names of the protagonist, Rosetta Sugarbaker Calloway, aka Sugar, and her friend, Dixie Spicer, aka Spice. Together they own Sugar and Spice Publishing Company, which publishes community cookbooks for fundraisers in St. Ignatius, Iowa. I truly enjoyed the insight the author provides about the details of creating the cookbook for their first client, the St. Ignatius Founder Day Committee fundraiser. The mouthwatering descriptions of the dishes Spice tests for the cookbook will leave the reader drooling, along with some interesting regional dishes mention that had me running to Pinterest to find out exactly what it was. Ms. Ashford has created some fun, well-developed characters for this new series. Sugar and Spice work well together and have great interaction. I like the potential for romantic developments between Spice and the local sheriff (although something happened between them long ago that has caused a riff). And the handsome food photographer might just be interested in Sugar. The action starts right off the bat with a huge dispute between two elderly committee members, almost a cat fight, over whose scone recipe will be included in the cookbook. After Sugar finds one of the women murdered and Spice’s aunt is considered a suspect, they decide to start asking questions to get to the bottom of the mystery. There are plenty of suspects to keep the reader guessing and as the two women sift through the clues, the stakes turn even higher when their fledgling business is vandalized. The exciting reveal has some twists and turns that I didn’t see coming and I look forward to future installments in this delicious new series! So many yummy dishes are described as Spice tests the recipes and styles them for the photographer. Ms. Ashford has a delicious way of helping the reader practically see, smell, and taste the dishes prepared. Fortunately, she includes a few recipes at the back of the book that all sound amazing!I was provided an advance copy with the hopes I would review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
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  • RO G'ma
    January 1, 1970
    3.5 StarsGame of Scones is the first book in Mary Lee Ashford’s Sugar & Spice Mystery series and is an entertaining read with well-developed characters and an interesting mystery.Rosetta Sugarbaker Calloway (Sugar) lost her job as a senior food editor for a magazine when they downsized, relocated to the small town of St. Ignatius, and started Sugar and Spice Publishing, a community cookbook publishing company for fundraisers in St. Ignatius, Iowa, with her friend, Dixie Spicer. Sugar handles 3.5 StarsGame of Scones is the first book in Mary Lee Ashford’s Sugar & Spice Mystery series and is an entertaining read with well-developed characters and an interesting mystery.Rosetta Sugarbaker Calloway (Sugar) lost her job as a senior food editor for a magazine when they downsized, relocated to the small town of St. Ignatius, and started Sugar and Spice Publishing, a community cookbook publishing company for fundraisers in St. Ignatius, Iowa, with her friend, Dixie Spicer. Sugar handles the business end, and Dixie takes care of testing the recipes. Their first project, the St. Ignatius Founders’ Day Commemorative Cookbook, hit a snag when two elderly committee members, Elsie Farmer and Bertie Sparks, the owner of Jefferson Street B&B, can’t agree on whose scone recipe to put in the cookbook. Elsie threatens to have her family pull their support from the Founders’ Day celebration. Sugar discovers Elsie’s body in her backyard, clutching a scone, and when Bertie. Dixie’s aunt faces arrest for murder, Sugar and Dixie start asking questions to figure out who the murderer is. Bertie is being less than cooperative, and Sheriff Terrance Griffin refuses to remove her from his suspect list. Sugar and Dixie learn the victim wasn't well liked and believe several others have valid motives.I received an Advance Reader Copy of this book from NetGalley and voluntarily reviewed it.
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  • Anne
    January 1, 1970
    Game of Scones was a quick, light cozy read, but I found it a bit light on the mystery and detecting aspect. I also found myself wondering how Sugar and Dixie could actually stay in business producing money raising cookbooks for organizations. Granted they're just getting started, but only one client organization with 2 full time salaries, one photographer and one graphics artist to pay? Sorry, sometimes these common sense things pop up and I can't let go.The killer does something not unusual in Game of Scones was a quick, light cozy read, but I found it a bit light on the mystery and detecting aspect. I also found myself wondering how Sugar and Dixie could actually stay in business producing money raising cookbooks for organizations. Granted they're just getting started, but only one client organization with 2 full time salaries, one photographer and one graphics artist to pay? Sorry, sometimes these common sense things pop up and I can't let go.The killer does something not unusual in a small town, but pretty silly which allowed capture.So, it was OK and I'd give the next book ago, but not a big thumbs up.I got my copy from Netgalley in exchange for my honest review.
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