Bread Over Troubled Water (A Bread Shop Mystery #8) by Winnie Archer

Published November 29th 2022 by Kensington Cozies

About the Book: National bestselling author Winnie Archer brings the heat with her latest installment in her Bread Shop Mystery series, as photographer Ivy Culpepper is forced to put the next chapter of her life on hold when one of Yeast of Eden’s best customers is found dead…

Photographer Ivy Culpepper is soon to make a home with her husband-to-be in the California beach town of Santa Sofia–but the Yeast of Eden bakery remains her second home. It’s not just a place to work, but a community. And now one member of the community has been murdered . . .

A regular who used Yeast of Eden as a workspace, Josh Prentiss always turned heads with his startlingly good looks and thousand-watt smile. But Ivy can’t help noticing one morning that he seems distracted and off his game. Later, during a visit to the park where she and Miguel plan to hold their engagement party–with plenty of baked goods on the menu–her rescue pug, Agatha, sniffs out Josh lying in a bed of poppies…scone cold dead.

There’s no reason for Ivy to get involved. She’s busy enough holding down the fort as the shop’s owner, Olaya, cares for her recently orphaned niece, not to mention the stress when a new employee is fired and storms out in a rage. Then a band of rabble-rousers starts picketing the bakery, claiming that Olaya’s sourdough roll is what killed Josh–and Ivy hears some salacious gossip about her beloved boss. She doesn’t think there’s a grain of truth to the seedy rumors–but to prove it, she’ll have to start sleuthing . . .

4.5 Stars:

Bread Over Troubled Water is the 8th book in “A Bread Shop Mystery” series. This can be read as a standalone, as the mystery is fully solved in this book, but you will miss out on relationship building as well as character development. I also want to warn you not to read this book or any in the series when you are hungry. The descriptions of the delicious breads, rolls, croissants etc. will have your mouth watering.

In this outing, a patron of Yeast of Eden is poisoned and the shop becomes a target of picketers and media. When owner, Olaya Solis’ sister Martina becomes a suspect, she asks Ivy to find out who really killed the man. Of course, Ivy is also invested, as it is her dog, Agatha, who sniffed out the body at the park where Ivy was taking pictures to set up for her engagement party. As Ivy investigates, it turns out that Josh has been defrauding older women and possibly the football booster club. That means there are several suspects, lots of red herrings and twists. Will Ivy find out who killed him?

There is a lot happening in Bread Over Troubled Water. Ivy and Miguel are now engaged and their engagement party is coming up within a week. While trying to plan the party, Miguel is running his restaurant, Ivy is working at Yeast of Eden and investigating Josh’s death. The relationships in the book are well developed with Ivy being both the sister-in-law and best friend of the Sheriff. One thing I like about this cozy series is that Ivy shares all information she finds with the police. She also doesn’t take a lot of chances. With feisty, octogenarian and retired English teacher, Penelope Branford at her side, they gather information and put two and two together. This is a well written mystery, with great clues sprinkled throughout the story, excellent and well developed characters and an ending that I had not figured out, but fit perfectly. If you are looking for an interesting cozy mystery, with a great story and characters, I recommend you pick up Bread Over Troubled Water, or better yet, start with Kneaded With Death, the first book in this great series.

Purchase Links: Kensington – Amazon – B&N – Kobo – IndieBound


My Dear Patrons,

The life of a bread shop owner is not as glamorous as you might think. Or…maybe you never thought it was. If so, you are quite perceptive. I get up early. I work hard—work that is very physical—and I am always thinking and planning and preparing.

I come from a small village in Mexico, but I have been here in the United States for decades. Yeast of Eden is my passion. Baking artisan bread is my passion. Celebrating breads from around the world is my way of honoring the world’s people.

Because, you see, food ties us together. Every culture has a variation of rice and beans. Every country has their cultural dishes that speak to their people. And every culture bakes bread with spices and herbs and ingredients specific to their geographic region.

One of the things I love to do is to experiment with bread recipes from other places. I also encourage the women i work with at the bread shop and through the Bread for Life program I run to share bits of themselves through the bread they bake.

Take Zula. She is from Eritrea. She is a graduate of the Bread for Life program and now she works part time for me at Yeast of Eden. With her five feet eleven inches, her high cheekbones, flawless glowing skin, and long braided hair, Ivy says Zula could compete with any supermodel in the world.

I believe so, too.

She first came to the United States with her husband, but he left her with a newborn daughter and a body covered in bruises. Her daughter, Ella, is a teenager now. I bring up Zula because during the Bread for Life classes, she shared her recipe for Hembesha, a traditional East African bread…Soft. Fragrant. Very earthy.

It is because of people like Zula, who are so willing to share part of themselves with me, that I am then able to share breads from these beautiful cultures with you.

This passion led me to celebrate Anna Culpepper at Ivy and Miguel’s engagement party. Anna came from a Ukrainian background. Tragic what is happening there right now. To be able to bake a lovely bread that is so meaningful to Ivy because of its connection to her mother, as well as to the people of a country under attack, gives me joy.

Wherever you are from…whatever your heritage…I encourage you to celebrate it through baking. It’s a beautiful tradition.

Sincerely, Olaya Solis

About the Author: Winnie Archer is the nationally bestselling author of the Bread Shop Mystery series, as well as the Lola Cruz Mysteries and the Magical Dressmaking Mystery series written as Melissa Bourbon. A former middle school English teacher, lives in North Carolina with her educator husband, Carlos, and the youngest of their five children. Visit Winnie Archer online at!

Author Links: Website FacebookInstagramTwitter