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Vangie Vale & the Murdered Macaron (The Matchbaker Mysteries #1)

4.11  ·  Rating details ·  173 Ratings  ·  57 Reviews
Small towns and gossip go together like flaky crust and sweet pastry cream. Between the police scanners, social media, and the senior center, it's like a zombie apocalypse where they consume people's secrets instead of living flesh. But Vangie Vale wants nothing more than to stay under the radar...especially the police radar.

So when her new bakery becomes linked to a murd
Paperback, 422 pages
Published July 20th 2017 by Hummingbird Books
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Rating details
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Aug 13, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A brand new small town cozy mystery series begins. I love getting in on the ground floor with these books.

Vangie Vale is an interesting character. She leaves scandal behind in North Carolina and heads to Saint Agnes, Montana. Not only does she open a new bakery, but she also is a part time Pastor. She must remain on her best behavior in Saint Agnes or she will not be allowed to be a Pastor any longer. So, what happens? She immediately gets tossed in a murder mystery.

The local gossips are convi
Aug 07, 2017 rated it really liked it
The book was a delightful read and I enjoyed it. I like our main character, Vangie. Sometimes she drove me a little nuts because she had a tendency to put herself into situations that held the possibility of danger without really thinking too much, but she didn't do that often, so I didn't get too annoyed by it.

I had mixed feelings about most of the supporting characters throughout the book. As we got more into the back story of the town and its people, I understood the characters motivations be
Aug 11, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-2017

Dollycas’s Thoughts

This series is off to a tasty start.

Evangeline (Vangie) Vail is a part time pastor and a full time baker. The issue that brought her to Montana is a little foggy yet but she is settling in nicely. Her Matchmaker Bakery is a really cute idea. She matches you to the perfect pastry and beverage not the man or the woman of your dreams. She’s an upbeat person and a good listener and she truly wants to help wherever she can. When one her pastry boxes is found at a crime scene she be
Jan 12, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Vangie is a part time minister who has a bakery cafe...and a secret so she needs to keep her nose clean and stay out of the news. She also lives next door to the sheriff who can't seem to stand her because she uses one tiny little part of his property for making cell phone calls since she can't get any coverage inside her house.

When a local murder is somehow linked to her bakery, Vangie sets out to investigate what turns out to be a fairly complicated case with lots of suspects and twists. I kn
Someone had painted a mural on the big front window of my bakery, blocking my view of the parking lot.

Evangeline "Vangie" Vale is a part time pastor and full time baker in St. Agnes, Montana. She has be banished to the small town from her parish in North Carolina following an embarrassing incident. She has a knack for matching patrons with their perfect pastry. Vangie matches two newcomers with her newest cookie, French macarons. The woman, Scarlet disrespects Vangie as she is leaving the bakery
Jan 16, 2018 rated it really liked it
If that name doesn't pull ya in right off ... u are just plain silly. I love the cover, love the name, I totally want a macaroon (what she is spelling it MACARON? right?) now. any who. a fun quick read for me ... Loved it all. Love these character, I enjoy R.L. writing style. Found it on Amazon for free, totally why I was drawn in right away, had to see what this read was all about. Loved it!! I think this book needs 2 include a package of macarons ... please? That seems fair, right? I have neve ...more
Jul 17, 2017 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
K.A. Davis
Aug 13, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Honestly the author, R.L. Syme, had me at the mention of macaron and her cover made me eager to dive into the book and try her cookie recipe! Aside from finding a delectable macaron cookie recipe that I couldn’t stop eating (more about that later) I found a story that left me salivating for more! Ms. Syme creates a refreshing, unique protagonist in Vangie Vale and sets up situations that allows both the character and the plot to shine. I love that not only is Vangie a part-time baker, she is a m ...more
Aug 10, 2017 rated it really liked it
The First Matchbaker Mystery

Vangie Vale has been relocated to Saint Agnes, Montana. A part time pastor and more time baker, Vangie is doing penance, biding her time, and creating delicious baked goods in her bakery. When a stuck up southern belle named Scarlet gives a parting dig to Vangie and her friend, Vangie decides to assist karma and gives the woman and her blond James Bond type partner incorrect directions. Yet by giving in to her baser ins
Nicole Laverdure
Escape into a cosy thrilling suspense that will keep you guessing until the very end! 5 stars

Vangie Vale & the Murdered Macaron, written by talented author R.L. Syme, is so good I absolutely could not put it down! It's a refreshing and funny romantic new mystery series about a smart heroine with a job you've never seen before...matchbaker, also part time pastor and investigator. I loved this book because it’s set in a small town in Montana and watching Vangie deal with everything that gets t
Sep 04, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: rtyr, wom-reads
First of all I love the name Vangie Vale. When I first heard the name I chuckled. I thought is was the perfect name for a cozy.

Evangaline "Vangie" Vale ended up in Montana after leaving her North Carolina ministry due to a scandal. Her sister talked her into opening a bakery since she is only a part time pastor & will need other work. If she can just keep her nose clean for 2 years then she can go back to North Carolina, but that's hard to do when a box of cookies from your shop end up at a
Oct 23, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I finished this late last night and couldn't stay away to write the review! I read the second book in this series first (given by the author for a review) and enjoyed it so much I bought the first in the series.
I really like Vangie Vale! She is caring and concerned about those around her and their needs. Splitting her time between her bakery and part time pastoral duty you get to see her in the different settings and how she interacts with the community. Her caring just takes things a bit furth
Jul 27, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: cozy-mystery
A new to me author and a book that will keep you turning the pages as fast as you can to see what happens.

I love the small town feel and what was great, Vangie is a baker, part time pastor and now investigator.  New and fresh in the cozy world that makes you want to read more. What happens when a customer gets some macaroons?  Vangie in trouble.  She tries to stay under the radar of the police but that is about to change.

Blackmail, lies, secrets that is something that will get your interest and
Caroline Woodhall
Jul 21, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This was one of the best murder mysteries I've read. I couldn't put it down. The author kept you guessing right from the start till nearly the end of the book who was doing the murders, lots of twists and turns, extremely well written. A must to read.
Teresa Kander
This is the first offering in a new series, and I found it fascinating. Our main character, Vangie, is a bit of a Jill of all trades--baker, pastor, and investigator. She has just recently arrived in Saint Agnes, Montana and opened her bakery, specializing in macarons, strudels, and cookies.

When a murder victim is found with a box of her macarons in hand, and she becomes a suspect, her investigative skills kick in. From there, she and the reader will discover lies, secrets, and blackmail, leadi
Feb 24, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A (Most welcome) better than I expected mystery

While coming out of a terrible book slump, I've found myself reading (by chance) a string of unsatisfying books. So much so that I couldn't finish them. (Hence why there are several salty DNF reviews on my Goodreads account 😂) but I couldn't be more pleased that this book exceeded my expectations and that I am definitely interested enough to look for the next books in the series.

I don't usually care for e-books, but I had the chance to purchase it w
Deana Dick
Aug 05, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I am so glad I got the chance to read this book. It is a refreshing book with wonderful characters that make the story so good. Vangie Vale is not your typical character in a cozy book. She is one complex woman in a small town in the beautiful setting of Montana. I have been to Montana before and it is easy to fall in love with the state. The landscape alone takes your breath away. The people are friendly and always helpful. It's the perfect place for Vangie to start over. She owns a bakery that ...more
Leslie aka StoreyBook Reviews
I think this was the first time I read a cozy set in Montana and after reading this book (and the author's notes), I want to visit! It sounds like a calm and peaceful place to visit - assuming you don't stumble across a murder!

Vangie is a minister that has been sent to Montana as part of a reconciliation. We really don't know what happened in NC to get her sent to Montana or what the church council has been told. We find a little bit out at the end, but for me that just left me wanting to know m
Andrea Guy
Aug 16, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Vangie Vale quickly became one of my favorite cozy mystery heroines. Vangie is a pastor and a baker and just an all around fabulous character. Oh and she's more than just a baker, she's a Matchbaker. She can match you with the kind of food you want to eat. She also loves Sherlock. (Yay, me, too)

I loved this book so much I've already pre-ordered book 2 Vangie Vale and the Corpseless Custard, and I don't often do that.

This book was smartly written and by that I mean, Vangie isn't one who falls int
Kel Amstutz
Sep 29, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I was so surprised when I received the email that said that I had won a copy of this book because something about the title intrigued me...maybe it was Macaron's.

When it came in the mail ... I COULD NOT WAIT TO DIVE IN... and that I did too! One word comes to mind- COZY. I seriously sat down, bundled in my warm electric blanket and immediately connected with the not so average Vangie. She is complex, looking for a do-over in the picturesque setting of Montana. Her baked goods are something that
Aug 03, 2017 rated it really liked it
Vangie Vale divides her time between her bakery (and delicious desserts) and being a vicar, seems weird but her second job will allow her to talk to people more easily and let her be a quite good sleuth if she is searching for a third job! So when she discovers that there was a victim with her macaron in her hands and a very handsome actor is the main suspect for the murder, she decides to start talking...!

This is a funny and interesting book, there are a lot of possible murderers and in every p
Evangeline (Vangie) Vail is a part time pastor and a full time baker. Vangie is an interesting character. She leaves scandal behind in North Carolina and heads to Saint Agnes, Montana. She must remain on her best behavior in Saint Agnes or she will not be allowed to be a Pastor any longer.
The matchbaking business was the dream child of her sister as a marketing tool, but Vangie has a knack for matching up a patron to a drink, pastry, or a sandwich.
Of course it cannot be uneventful in a cozy myst
Jennifer Joudrey
Aug 20, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Vangie Vale, pastor and owner of the Matchbaker bakery is a transplant to rural Montana. She has strict instructions to keep out of trouble if she wants to continue to be a member of the clergy. When a gorgeous man and his rude personal assistant walk in to her bakery a moment of unchristian like behaviour will alter many lives in town. After a body is found by the gas station in the neighbouring town the top suspect is that gorgeous man/movie star. But did he do it?

Syme introduces a dynamic cas
Ash P Reads
Aug 07, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is the first in a new series so it took me a bit of time to get into it plus jet lag caused the delay in finishing it. The inner workings of Vangie Vale's mind are quite entertaining. She's really feisty but tries to live up to her commitment to the clergy. But a unique skill keeps her chasing for clues when a murdered victim turns up holding a box from her bakery business. I think Sheriff Malcolm has a secret crush on her but can't admit it and the reason why he's such a beast. Such presch ...more
Jackie Nolan
Jul 29, 2017 rated it liked it
I liked Vangie's character. She was definitely pretty unique from any other character that I have read in a book with her background as a part time pastor and then owner of her own bakery. I really enjoyed the Matchbaker part of this book. I thought it was really interesting how Vangie was able to match someone to a treat depending on their personality and other small things that she observed about the person. That takes a pretty high level of observation and was interesting to see.

The mystery
Mary Barrett
Jul 30, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Five 🌟

Very enjoyable book. This was well written and quite different from most cozy mysteries. It involves a woman who is a Minister in a small Montana town who runs a bakery because the church she ministers to is only a 15 hour a week, part time job. Then you have the murder and of course a box of her cookies are found at the scene.... I enjoyed how the author developed the plot and characters. Hopefully we will learn why the Police Chief " dislikes " the lady preacher so much.
Sep 28, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Interesting first in a mystery series

I found the main character, Vangie, to be an interesting combination of pastor, Baker and owner of a small business in a small town in Montana. She finds herself in the middle of a murder mystery with many other characters. The plot moved along quickly though sometimes I got the characters confused for a moment. I also found "not knowing about her past situation" an annoying feature. It was never really explained but referred to many times.
Bruce Curran
Spoiler Free Review:
Interesting premise and location. For the most part well written but with one notable weakness. The author keep referring to an event in the main characters past but never really fleshed out the back story. This event was given as the motivation for many of her actions but without the backstory it weakened the plot.
I would try another but think the author fell short of her potential on this one.
Jun 14, 2018 rated it liked it
This was an easy, light read for me. Vangie is a part-time pastor and bakery owner who is unexpectedly involved in solving a murder investigation despite repeated warnings to stay out of it. The characters are introduced, but since this is the beginning of a series, the author has held back some information for future books. Though there were some distracting grammatical mistakes, the mystery kept me guessing until the end.
Ellen White
Jan 09, 2018 rated it really liked it
Vangie, and her Match Bakery, only thing that gives her solace, by reading people, and baking. A sure delight and chuckles, reading of what she picks for people. Evening she is reading sermons and watching Sherlock. When one of her macaroon and the sheriff tell you it is connected to a murder. She added another title, to solve one murder. She sounds like a character you would enjoy knowing and reading more about.
Looking forward to more in this series
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R.L. Syme—a devoted foodie and lover of fine cheese—writes contemporary romance anchored in small town America as Becca Boyd and cozy mystery as R.L. Syme. A lover of books and writing since childhood, Becca grew up in rural Montana and still calls the Last Best Place home. She lives in Bozeman where she loves binge watching new TV series, baking, and serving on the boards of two area nonprofits. ...more
More about R.L. Syme

Other books in the series

The Matchbaker Mysteries (3 books)
  • Vangie Vale and the Corpseless Custard (The Matchbaker Mysteries Book 2)
  • Vangie Vale & the Strangled Strudel (The Matchbaker Mysteries, #3)

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