Two Parts Sugar, One Part Murder (A Baker Street Mystery) by Valerie Burns


In this delectable new cozy mystery series, social media maven Maddy Montgomery’s perfectly ’grammable life has come undone, and she’s #StartingOver in a tiny town with one giant problem—a killer on the loose . . .

When Maddy Montgomery’s groom is a no-show to their livestream wedding, it’s a disaster that no amount of filtering can fix. But a surprise inheritance offers a chance to regroup and rebrand—as long as Maddy is willing to live in her late, great-aunt Octavia’s house in New Bison, Michigan, for a year, running her bakery and caring for a 250-pound English mastiff named Baby.

Maddy doesn’t bake, and her Louboutins aren’t made for walking giant dogs around Lake Michigan, but the locals are friendly and the scenery is beautiful. With help from her aunt’s loyal friends, aka the Baker Street Irregulars, Maddy feels ready to tackle any challenge, including Octavia’s award-winning cake recipes. That is, until New Bison’s mayor is fatally stabbed, and Maddy’s fingerprints are found on the knife . . .

Something strange is going on in New Bison. It seems Aunt Octavia had her suspicions, too. But Maddy’s going to need a whole lot more than a trending hashtag to save her reputation—and her life.

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Guest Post


I’m often asked where I get my ideas for my books. My standard response is, everywhere. But, as I prepare for the launch of a new cozy mystery series, I decided to really think about this question. I’ve lived near Lake Michigan most of my life. The environment and the ever-changing weather are something that the locals have grown accustomed to. It wasn’t until I moved away, that I really had to think about the uniqueness of life near the lake. When I chose to set my newest cozy, The Baker Street Mystery series, on the shores of Lake Michigan, I knew the environment would be a key component of the books.

When looking for the perfect ingredients for a murder, Southwestern Michigan had everything. One of the five Great Lakes, affordable property, quaint villages, and natural resources that need to be protected. All of this combined to create the perfect recipe for a plot involving real estate developers. Here’s a bit of the local history. In the 1980s the property closest to Lake Michigan wasn’t the fashionable lake front property coveted in big cities, like Chicago. Small bungalows, rentals, and fishing shacks dotted the shoreline in Southwestern Michigan. Fast forward a couple of decades and those same shacks are now going for close to a million dollars. Yet, there are still pockets of homes that hadn’t been torn down to make way for large McMansions or multi-family condos in the villages along the shoreline.

Two Parts Sugar, One Part Murder, introduces readers to Maddy Montgomery, a social media influencer and fashionista. When Maddy’s fiancé is a no-show for their livestreamed wedding, she’s humiliated, and looking for a rock to crawl under and hide. When she learns that her great aunt Octavia has died and left her a house in the small, quaint, sleepy town of New Bison, Michigan, she knows it will be the perfect place to hide out while the media attention dies down. Maddy inherits a house, a bakery, and a 250 lb English Mastiff named Baby. The house doesn’t look like much from the front, but it’s a large, older home that backs up to Lake Michigan. The best part are the stunning views and beach access. It’s prime real estate and could bring Maddy a ton of money if she sells. But, Maddy’s great aunt Octavia had other plans. In order to inherit, Maddy must stay in the house, run the bakery, and keep the dog for one year. So, selling is out of the question.

That was the setup for my mystery. I couldn’t help but wonder, WHAT IF…What if an unscrupulous realtor, backed by greedy investors, wanted to buy waterfront property, but the homeowner refused to sell? What if the homeowner died suddenly and left the property to a relative? What if the heir was pressured to sell, but couldn’t? This game of WHAT IF, is what I combined to create the plotline. If you’re curious how this mystery comes out? Pick up a copy of Two Parts Sugar, One Part Murder.

About the Author

Valerie (V. M.) Burns is the author of the Mystery Bookshop Mystery series. Her first book, The Plot is Murder, was nominated for an Agatha Award for Best Debut Novel. She is the author of the Dog Club Mystery Series, the RJ Franklin Mysteries, a three-time finalist in the Next Generation Indie Book Awards, and an Edgar Award-nominated short story. Her newest series, Baker Street Mysteries, will release later this year, and her Pet Detective Mystery series will release in 2023. Valerie is on the board of Sisters in Crime and the Southeastern Chapter of Mystery Writers of America. She is also a member of Dog Writers of America, Crime Writers of Color, and International Thriller Writers. She is a manager for a Fortune 100 company and a mentor in the Writing Popular Fiction Program at Seton Hill University in Greensburg, PA. Born and raised in northwestern Indiana, Valerie currently lives in the southeastern United States with her two poodles. Readers can visit her website at

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