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Murder by the Slice (A Fresh-Baked Mystery, #2)
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Murder by the Slice (Fresh-Baked Mystery #2)

3.78 of 5 stars 3.78  ·  rating details  ·  443 ratings  ·  52 reviews
At this year's school carnival fund-raiser, the obnoxious president of the Parent Teacher Organization is found stabbed through the heart with Phyllis Newsom's own knife, with traces of incriminating frosting. Clearing her name will be no piece of cake...
ebook, 272 pages
Published September 25th 2007 by Gotham Books (first published 2007)
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Murder By The Slice, the second book in the Fresh-Baked Mystery series, was a delightful read. Back in Weatherford TX, Phyllis Newsom and her friends are enjoying a warm autumn day when they are enlisted to take part in the local elementary school fund-raising carnival. Their assigned job will be to run a bake sale which rapidly turns into a cake auction and healthy snack contest. As the competition between Phyllis and her long-time rival Carolyn heats up, the controversy begins too. The quick-t ...more
I don't know if it is a case of 'overkill' on my part (no pun intended) but "Murder by the Slice" seems to be nothing but a knock off of the Laura Childs tea house mysteries.

It has the same format even down to the recipes in the back of the book. But, somehow, I feel that a 'recipe' for a Giant Hostess Cupcake that calls for 2 cake mixes and a jar of marshmallow creme really doesn't qualify as a recipe.

While Livia Washburn's writing is pleasant enough, it tends to rely on 'page filling'. By that
Penny McGill
Fantastic cozy. Way, way better than average. This mystery-solving woman is a retired school teacher living in a home she shares with several other retired teachers. She is a widow with an adult son who is a police detective (hooooray!) and her possible romantic interest is a handyman Texan who looks good in his jeans.

When Phyllis and her friends meet a casual acquaintance from church - busy mother from the local PTO - they are coaxed into using their baking and organizing skills to support a s
Every now and then I don't look closely enough at a book before I buy it; this time, I ran out of reading material in NJ two weeks ago and needed a quick fix. I can't recall whether I noticed that the protagonist was a retired schoolteacher, rather than a current teacher, but even if I had I doubt that I would have expected the moral high horse she rode in on. Apparently there's a market for these books (yes, she's written more than one in the series) -- probably elderly women who despair of tod ...more
Phyllis Newsome, a retired teacher, gets involved in a PTO fundraiser for a nearby elementary school. Then, the president of the PTO, a difficult person who doesn't get along with anybody, is found murdered. Phyllis reluctantly finds herself in the middle of the investigation.

I found this installment somewhat boring. Boring characters, non-descript small town setting, and lacklustre plot. A lot of the writing is centered on Phyllis' various thoughts about the investigation, but also thoughts an
This is my favorite kind of book - good solid mystery, interesting characters, no offending language or situations, just easy and fun to read - with some recipes at the end. I eagerly look forward to reading the rest of this series. (These "Fresh Baked Mystery" books, borrowed from the Library, are several years old but look brand new - is no one else reading these?)
Luffy Monkey D.
Why is it that standard, unremarkable, and average murder mysteries partly do remain a mystery for me? I'll never know, except that I may be a little dim. But the classics of the genre don't beget that complaint. This particular book had a dedicated narration, with quite a chunk of it dedicated to ironing out the constraints of amateur investigation by the heroine, Phyllis. The murder took some time in coming, but every reader knew who would be killed. I really liked the way people of different ...more
This could maybe rate a 3.5. It was better than I had anticipated perhaps because of the setting: an elementary school, with all the memories that provides.
So recently I got some good deals on Amazon & Barnes & Noble gift certificates.

So, what did I buy?

Well, books of course!

I decided to try out this new baking/cooking mystery series.

Recently, I reviewed the first book in the series, A Peach of a Murder.

Today I will be reviewing the second:

Murder By The Slice by Livia J. Washburn

As I said, this is the second book in Livia J. Washburn's A Fresh-Baked Mystery series.

You can read my review of the first book A Peach of a Murder, here: http://bo
Tabby Kat
October in Texas means Parent-Teacher Organization (PTO) fundraising carnivals at many of the elementary schools. Retired teacher Phyllis Newsom always takes an interest in school happenings, but helping to organize the carnival for Oliver Loving Elementary School wasn't part of her plan. However, when a friend of Carolyn Wilbarger comes to her with a desperate plea for help with the bake sale, Carolyn and Phyllis reluctantly agree to assist.

Carolyn suggests a "healthy snack" contest in additio
I discovered cozy murder mysteries relatively recently, and they’re perfect for reading on a cold dark winters’ night, wrapped in a blanket, warmed by a cup of hot cocoa perhaps. Murder by the Slice by Livia J. Washburn is set around Halloween, so perhaps some seasonal cookies or cake would help too—a slice of jack-o-lantern cake perhaps, with orange and green frosting. The author provides some interesting recipes in the back of the book, and her decorated cake reminded me of days when I used to ...more
Themes: cozy mystery, school setting
Setting: Weatherford, Texas

Phyllis Newsome, retired schoolteacher, is recruited to help with the local elementary school's fall carnival bake sale and cake auction. She owns a large house and rents rooms out to fellow retired teachers, so they get involved in the school activity. But in the middle of the cake auction, the body of the PTO president is discovered - murdered.

The woman managed to fight with everyone who knew her, so there's no shortage of suspects
I had started reading this book before and gave up on it. But I decided to give it another try. It was ok, nothing super. It is set around Halloween, and I love Fall, so thats why I wanted to read it, but I just didn't get the cozy Fall feeling of the book. And Phyllis still annoys me. She just seems mean. And she and Sam just need to hook up and get it over and done with. In this book, the rude president of the PTO ends up dead, and since everyone hated her, everyone is a suspect. The PTO group ...more
My daughter, The Diva, and I both love Livia Washburn's characters. Every book we've read has been a good one...light and fluffy like a good pastry recipe with a dash of mayhem and murder thrown in for good measure. What's not to love?!
Hansi Berlin
The story took a while to get going; I think there was actually too much set up that never really had a bearing on the mystery. I didn't find the main characters very interesting to read about until the last few chapters.
At first I didn't want to read it. (It was a gift.) But, it did hold my attention when I couldn't sleep and I ended up enjoying it.
Unlike the first book, it took a while until a murder actually occurred which was fine by mean. I can understand why some readers can get annoyed when the author dives into a page or two describing the recipe being made step-by-step. It only bothers me when it's done more than twice (even though once is enough). The murder suspect didn't quite surprise me or catch me off guard like in the first series. I wasn't expecting it, but it seemed almost obvious and there wasn't much of a twist. I still ...more
I liked this book in the "Fresh-Baked Mystery" series but not as much as the first one. Phyllis and her band of housemates are involved in another murder, this time at an elementary school. Maybe that is what bothered me, having the murder happen at the school while a winter carnival was happening with all the children in attendance.

The recipes sound good, the mystery was tight and I didn't guess the killer, so all in all I liked the book, there was just some things that bothered me.

Still, I'll
Phyllis and Sam! Eve is going to be pissed!
I shouldn't be annoyed at the fact that Phyllis is nosy and even a tad bit of a bully when she's trying to figure out what's going on. I figured out who was involved int he murder from the beginning, so it made reading about the investigation feel like everyone was going around in circles.
I have a feeling that once I move and unpack all my books, I'll be reaching for the third book in the series just to see if Eve blows her stack and moves out of the h
I am enjoying this murder mystery series. It revolves around a retired school teacher, Phyllis Newsome. She owns a large house that she shares with her roomates - who are also retired school teachers. Phyllis' love of cooking and contests end up getting her involved in murders that happen during the contests or events going on in the book. Since she is retired she has plenty of time to think about the murders and meddle a bit. This series is like reading about the Golden Girls as detectives.
Brenda Kirton
Phyllis isn't the main suspect, nor is she the one to find the body this time. But she still manages to get involved. Phyllis and Carolyn and Sam all end involved in a school fund raising event. When the president of the PTO is found dead and the thereof them are nearby Phyllis starts asking questions. The mystery was good, the dialogue was solid. I enjoyed it. The book was good comfort food. A mystery that kept me interested and a culprit that wasn't easy to guess but still believable.
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Joan Jesion
Quick easy who dunnit, which I enjoyed after reading three very long books.
I'm really loving this series and can't wait to read the next one. In Murder by the Slice, Phyllis and her teacher friends help out at a fall/Halloween festival at a local school- and find the president of the PTO dead in the hallway. The book kept me guessing until the end and when I found out who the killer was it connected up nicely. A great fall read!
Phyllis once again finds herself in the middle of a murder investigation after assisting at a PTO fundraiser. There were lots of twists & turns, an unexpected ending. Phyllis and her new 'side-kick' have this underlying romantic tension that is almost palpable. Phyllis is never lacking for suspects once she puts her mind to finding the culprit.
I enjoyed this book a lot more than her first book.A Cozy mystery set in small town texas, likable characters and the plot involes baking! which is always a plus to me, but the descriptions of baking and recipes do not distract from the story.
I have not read the first book in this series. At first I decided that maybe I had outgrown cozies of this type, and the book was not holding my interest. By the end, however, I found myself wondering where some of the characters were heading next.
This was just okay for me... didn't like it as much as the first one. May be it was the over-detailing (I think most people reading this series will have a clue how to bake a cake and don't need pages of descriptions of the steps...)
I love this series. It is so much fun. I just discovered it last month at a book club. Now I have to read all of them. I think that there are four of them now. The main character is really smart and a good cook.
This series is o.k. at best so far. Not much action and the premise that the main character enters food contests and someone dies is already thin. I will read 1 more then decide if the other 2 are worth it.
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