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Pancake House Mystery #5

Crêpe Expectations

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When a murder case from the past heats up again, it’s up to Marley McKinney to sort through a tall stack of suspects in the latest Pancake House Mystery . . .
Although it’s a soggy start to spring in Wildwood Cove, the weather clears up just in time for the town to host an amateur chef competition. Marley McKinney, owner of the Flip Side pancake house, already signed up to volunteer, and chef Ivan Kaminski is one of the judges. But when Marley visits her landscaper boyfriend Brett at the site of the Victorian mansion that’s being restored as the Wildwood Inn, she discovers something else pushing up daisies: human remains. 
The skeleton on the riverbank washed out by the early-spring floodwaters belonged to  
eighteen-year-old Demetra Kozani, who vanished a decade earlier. While the cold case is reopened, Marley must step in when some of the cook-off contestants fall suspiciously ill. Stuck in a syrupy mess of sabotage and blackmail, it falls to Marley to stop a killer from crêping up on another victim . . .
Includes pancake recipes right from The Flip Side menu!

276 pages, Kindle Edition

First published May 1, 2019

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About the author

Sarah Fox

17 books546 followers
Sarah Fox, writer of cozy mysteries, was born and raised in Vancouver, British Columbia, where she developed a love for mysteries at a young age. When not writing novels or working as a legal writer she is often reading her way through a stack of books or spending time outdoors with her English Springer Spaniel.

Sarah is the author of the Literary Pub Mysteries, the Pancake House Mysteries, and the Music Lover's Mysteries.

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 88 reviews
Profile Image for Betty.
2,006 reviews50 followers
May 26, 2019
A relaxing fun read is found in the fifth book of the Pancake House Mysteries. It is springtime in Wildwood Cove and Marley McKinney, is involved in a couple of events? The spring floods have revealed the body of eighteen-year-old Demetra Koza, who everyone believes had moved to New York City for a modeling career, ten years ago. Her friends formed a group of girls that included Brett's sister and the sheriff believed it was one of these was the killer. The other event is the annual amateur chef cookoff. Ivan Kaminski is one of the judges and Molly is volunteering at the event. These different affairs are nicely brought together to make a pleasurable read. The ending is a surprise. I HIGHLY RECOMMEND THIS BOOK AND SERIES.
Pancake recipes from the Flapjack menu are included.

Disclosure: Thanks to Lyrical Underground for a copy through NetGalley. The opinions expressed are my own.
Profile Image for Ell.
459 reviews54 followers
March 5, 2019
The Pancake House Mysteries are light, cozy mysteries perfect for a waiting room, beach read or a lazy evening in. In Crepe Expectations the amateur sleuth, Marley, owns the local Pancake House in charming Wildwood Cove. When she and her landscaper boyfriend come across human remains along a river bank, a cold case turns hot. The remains are of a young eighteen-year old girl who vanished a decade before. Who was she? What happened to her? Why did her remains show up now? These are all questions Marley decides to get to the bottom of Marley is both likable and highly intuitive as a main character. The mystery is evenly paced. It has all the elements a cozy mystery fan enjoys.
Profile Image for Peggy R.
1,012 reviews64 followers
April 2, 2019
I enjoy this series as it is a light fun read. Marley is one of those characters that no matter where she is or what she is doing she is going to discover a dead body. This time, she literally stumbles over the body of a young woman who has been missing for over a decade. Because of the age of the crime, the police have to re-investigate all this time later. Marley being who she is cannot help but decide she needs to investigate herself. After all, the victim graduated in the same class as her boyfriends sister Chloe. For me, it seemed that it took a bit longer for Marley to start investigating the murder than it has in prior books. That being said, I think the author did a good job of keeping the reader guessing as to the identity of the killer. There were some intervening events and red herrings that through me off track. I was surprised by the identity of the killer when the person was revealed.

I like Marley. Even though she does come off as a bit of a busy body, her character is warm, caring and just curious. I think that we have seen growth in her from the first book and I like how the author is progressing her relationship with Brett. Flapjack and Bentley are both adorable. The secondary characters provide balance and dimension to the series.

I enjoyed my visit to Wildwood Cove in this fifth installment of the Pancake House Mystery series and I will continue to return as long as there are new books in the series.

I voluntarily read a digital ARC provided to me by the publisher through Netgalley.
Profile Image for Shawna Shaheen.
323 reviews2 followers
July 24, 2022
Book 5 in this book. There is a Cook soft Contest for the people in the town. Marley knew most of the participants. Like her teenage neighbor, Hope, ( a bed and breakfast inn owner with her husband Lonny ) Chole ( Marley boyfriend Brad sis) and Siena ( one of Marley part-time employee ) friend. The judges were one of Marley chefs Ivan. He filled in for a person that did not show up ( Patricia the woman that set it up asked Marley if she think he would do it. Marley had her doubts but he said yes) and there was a Quinn a man that thought he was above everyone else. And 2 other people. Someone was trying to make the contestants sick for a person to win.
Brett was working on a older house for a Inn ( of Hope and Lonny new inn ) and he was doing a wonderful job. For Gardens for their new opening. Well Marley came to visit him there. So they started walking out in the woods to just be alone. Marley fell and stumbled upon a head of a Skeleton. After awhile they all found out it was a girl Deneitra who went missing 10 years ago. Everyone including her school mates Chole ( Bret sis) Hope and others thought she ran off for New York to become a model. Chole did not get along with her but she really could not believe someone she knew would kill. There were a whole ton of suspects including Deneitra best friends , her boyfriend at the time Tyrone, A coach, and even Quinn the Judges of the contest.
Profile Image for Amy.
492 reviews4 followers
June 19, 2019
This is the fifth installment of the Pancake House Mystery series. Marley McKenna is the owner of the same-named restaurant. While searching for her new kitten, she stumbles into a decade-old murder of high school senior Demetra, whose graduation party night was her last when her skull is unearthed. There is also a parallel story of a local adult and teen food cooking competition; unfortunately, some contestants become ill and Marley tries to see if there is any connection between the two events.

Marley's amateur sleuthing goes a bit too far in some instances but I enjoy her character so much that it doesn't bother me like it probably would in other cozies. She is well-liked in the community as well and, as a reader, I can feel that from the other characters. There were good plot twist and the killer's identity kept me guessing until the end. I also enjoyed the continuing development of Marley and Brett's romance. The pace is just right and it doesn't overpower the mystery.

Thanks to NetGalley and Kensington for an ARC of this book. My review is voluntary.
Profile Image for Kirsti.
2,456 reviews83 followers
March 16, 2019
Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for the chance to read this book.

As always with cozy mystery, it's not hard to pick one up at any point in the series and enjoy it. This was the case here; I instantly felt at home with the characters and the setting despite only having read one other in this series. I liked the main character, which is always a plus. The mystery itself reminded me of one I'd read a few months back, but then with the sheer amount of cozies I read that in itself isn't surprising. I still enjoyed the eventual conclusion, the sleuthing and the romance in the mean time.

This is yet another excellent themed cozy- if you're looking for your first or hundred and first book in this genre it's a great pick. Four stars.
Profile Image for Kristina.
3,358 reviews60 followers
June 2, 2019
While Crepe Expectations is the fifth novel in A Pancake House Mystery series, it can be read alone. Marley cannot believe that she is once again wrapped up in a cold case (neither can I). She is loving her life in Wildwood Cove with running the Flip Side, her beautiful Victorian home on the beach, good friends, a friendly feline named Flapjack, and a handsome boyfriend. If Marley could just avoid these pesky bodies that keep turning up. Sarah Fox’s writing style is casual like friends chatting on the front porch. The story proceeded as a relaxed pace with interesting characters, a charming tourist town, and adorable cats and a frisky dog. The little kittens’ antics had me chuckling and Bentley, Brett’s dog, with his happy, welcoming demeanor had me smiling. Marley is busier than a kitten with a ball of yarn in Crepe Expectations with the cold case, judging the competition, running the restaurant, worrying about Chloe, curious if someone from her past has risen from the dead and wondering if someone is sabotaging the contest. I would have liked more complexity to the cold case so it would have been more challenging to solve, and I hope cold cases have run their course for this series (need something different). Crepe Expectations has amiable cozy moments with girl’s movie night, the animal’s antics, shared meals, and romantic interludes. Readers of the series will especially love the ending. There are recipes for Boston cream crepes, marzipan pancakes, and banoffee crepes at the end. Relax back in your lounge chair as you enjoy the lighthearted Crepe Expectations.
Profile Image for Jeannie and Louis Rigod.
1,976 reviews29 followers
June 15, 2019
I am always happy when a new episode in the 'Pancake House Mysteries' downloads. This novel was certainly appreciated.

Demetra died a decade earlier, but as bodies will do in murder mysteries, her remains popped up to be discovered by our sleuth Marley. Marley's boyfriend's sister, Chloe did know the victim and is after Marley to help the police by following the clues.

There is also another mystery...someone appears to be sabotaging the amateur cook off. Why? Seriously, why? Well, read the novel and you will be surprised and just possibly, sympathetic to the culprit.

This book has three dimensional characters, good solid dialog, charming locations, and delicious recipes as a bonus at the end of the book. What more can a Cozy murder fan want?

Give this series a read and you will look forward to each book as I do.
Profile Image for Wulfwyn .
1,094 reviews99 followers
April 15, 2019
I enjoyed this mystery. It is the first book I read by Sarah Fox although it is the 5th book into the series. I did not feel as though I missed anything by jumping in so late. The mystery was well done with a couple of mini mysteries popping up. This enhanced the story for me. I think one of the mysteries might have been spun off of prior books, (not at all certain of this), but the second was solely related to this one. I like the characters and friendships. I do want to go back and read the previous books to catch me up on them.

I had something going on with my eyes during my reading, (it still is. I think spring allergies). The story is captivating and without the eye issues I would have probably finished in one day. I read it during a readathon so I had time blocked, (I blocked 5 hours as it is a good length.). There are some super delicious recipes in back that I can’t wait to try. I usually try to do one for the review, but the eyes. I won a copy of this book from a Goodreads Giveaway. The review is my opinions from reading the book.
Profile Image for Fred.
941 reviews38 followers
May 27, 2019
Crepe Expectations is the fifth book in The Pancake House Mystery series.

Marley McKinney decides to head over to Lonnie and Hope’s Victorian home that is being turned into a B&B to see her boyfriend, Brett, who is doing the landscaping on the property. As they are talking Marley sees a very young kitten that she can see shouldn’t be running around by itself. She tries to catch it before the kitten falls into the swollen river. As she reaches out and grabs the kitten Marley slides down to the river's edge. As she slides to stop, clutching the kitten, she notices a skull. Brett calls his uncle, Sheriff Ray Georgeson, and with the help of the crime scene unit are able to recover the skeleton. There’s no identification, but it is soon learned to be the body of a female. Speculation soon centers on the body being Dermetra Kozani who had disappeared shortly after graduation. Her mother had moved to Arizona shortly before Dermetra’s graduation and Dermetra had been living in her mother’s home by herself. At first, no one was really concerned by her going missing as she had been saying for a couple of months that has soon as graduates she was heading to New York City become a fashion model. Plus, for the most part, she didn’t really have any friends that would be concerned about her. With her attitude to her fellow classmates, there is no shortage of possible suspects. Marley, along with Chole, Brett’s sister, begin to investigate the disappearance of their classmate, hoping that neither of them suffers the same fate.

Also going on in Wildwood Cove’s annual amateur chef competition is starting and will be held over three consecutive Saturdays. After the first round, one of the judges has to withdraw and Marley, after some arm-twisting, convinces her chef at The Flip Side to help judge. As the second round is progressing, another judge becomes ill. The question that is raised, is someone trying to sabotage the competition or was the judge the intended victim.

This was another enjoyable visit to Wildwood Cove and The Flip Side. The story like the others in the series is well-told and very interesting. Most of the previous characters are back once again.

Looking forward to reading the next book in this delicious series.
Profile Image for Jeanie.
1,172 reviews1 follower
May 24, 2019
This is one of my favorite diner-based cozy series, and Crepe Expectations is the best in the series so far. I love the Pacific Northwest coastal setting, despite the spring rains that flooded the area. It sounds like the perfect place to visit or live with some of the best neighbors anyone would want to have. We have multiple mysteries in this novel, each of which is a challenge to solve.

The Flip Side pancake house had belonged to Jimmy, a cousin of Marley McKinney. It was a rousing success when he was murdered. To Marley’s surprise, Jimmy had left her the restaurant, the gorgeous Victorian oceanfront home that he and his late wife had owned, and his orange tabby, Flapjack. Marley had spent summers visiting Jimmy in the past when she was growing up and is now a full-time resident of the town that has welcomed her.

Marley has helped the sheriff’s department solve crimes over the past several months, including who had killed Jimmy. The sheriff is “Uncle Ray” to Brett, the landscape designer who was once a teen that Marley had a crush on. They have been dating since she moved to Wildwood Cove and continue to grow more and more in love. This time, Marley tries hard to keep out of the mysteries that appear, but she has questions here and there and…she just seems to find them!

Take the events in this novel. Marley goes to a soon-to-open grand Victorian that will be an inn where Brett is putting in flowers and shrubs. As she admires his work, she sees a little black kitten that they try to capture. She found the kitten…and a skull. Yup, a human skull. In the woods neighboring the inn. The investigators find the related skeleton. Sadly, it belongs to Demetra, a young woman last seen on the night of her graduation ten years earlier.

One afternoon a man nearly walks into Marley, and she is stunned to see what looks like her father would look like today if he were still alive. She has only seen photos of him as a young man, since he passed away before she was born. Could she have relatives she hadn’t heard of yet or worse, was her father’s death faked for some reason?

Marley attends the annual amateur chef cookoff on the Olympic Peninsula. One of the towns on the peninsula sponsors it each year, and it is now Wildwood Cove’s turn. Her expert chef, Ivan, will be a judge at the first of the three rounds of competition. Brett’s sister Chloe is in the competition, and the son of a neighbor is in the teen category. When the second round began, one of the judges was sick. As the final round begins, a chef from each category suddenly becomes ill and can’t compete. Was it sabotage, and if so, why?

There are some great clues and a couple red herrings that kept me busy, but I could not figure out who killed Demetra. Her ‘tude would have been a big motive, but it was so long ago. Guessing who the strange man could be was beyond me, but even guessing who might have reason to make amateur chefs sick was hard. The prize money could be a motive, but probably not the reason given the clues. There are some intriguing surprises at the end, and one huge delight! I was very satisfied with the end in every way, and highly recommend this to fans of the author and series, well-written cozy mysteries with a seaside setting, café, and pets.

From a thankful heart: I received an e-Arc of this novel from the publisher through NetGalley, and this is my honest review.
Profile Image for Daniele.
1,030 reviews28 followers
May 28, 2019
CREPE EXPECTATIONS, the fifth book in the Pancake House Mystery Series, is a delight. Warm characters, a lovely Pacific Northwest setting, and multiple mysteries that kept me on my toes come together for a satisfying read.

The flooding spring rains have come and gone, and restaurant owner Marley discovers a human skull that the rains have exposed. Ambitious Demetra disappeared shortly after a graduation party in the woods, but no one knew for sure if she met with a bad end…until now. The decade old crime cracks open a whole new murder investigation with most of the suspects still living locally. Marley feels compelled to investigate when even her boyfriend’s sister Chloe comes under suspicion. Marley must also deal with a stranger that reminds her of the past and a mysterious illness that affects several contestants and a judge in the local amateur chef competition.

I like Marley. She may be a bit of a busy body, but her heart is always in the right place. She is smart and just adventurous enough to get herself in the occasional investigative bind. All of the characters are relatable and interesting, and I can see myself easily being friends with them in real life. I adore the inclusion of Flapjack the cat and Bentley the dog.

Demetra’s death really had me stumped for the majority of the book. Even with several suspects, clues, and red herrings, the identity of the killer came as a surprise, making the book all the more enjoyable. The other minor mysteries allow Marley to grow and fill out the story. Marley and Brett’s relationship continues to blossom here which will please longtime readers of the series.

I really enjoyed CREPE EXPECTATIONS and recommend it, and the entire series, to any cozy mystery reader, especially those who enjoy a culinary theme and the incorporation of pets.

I received an ARC of this title from the author and Kensington Publishers and voluntarily shared my thoughts here.
Profile Image for Kathleen.
1,116 reviews35 followers
June 1, 2019
"Crêpe Expectations" earns 5/5 Amateur Chefs...Entertaining and Clever!

Excellent! Once again I was totally entertained by the fifth book in Sarah Fox's Pancake House Mystery series. Life is buzzing in Wildwood Cove. The town is preparing for the annual amateur chef competition. Marley volunteered to help register competitors and convince her pancake house chef Ivan Kaminski to act as a replacement judge, but the competition turns very competitive. Then, the grand opening of the Wildwood Inn will be marked by a garden party. Brett, Marley's boyfriend, was hired to manage the renovation of the landscaping, but while Marley and Brett were trying to rescue a wayward kitten, they come upon a skull. Sarah Fox puts the "wild" in Wildwood Cove with a clever mystery focusing on a decades old cold case and the nature of competition. The story unfolds with a first-person narrative using Marley's perspective along with vivid descriptions and dialogue that does well to illustrate personality and tone. I like Sarah's writing style and clever cozy murder, but I really enjoy the well-developed characters and their close-knit nature which comes in handy when one becomes a "person of interest." Newbies can start her with problems, but be warned you'll be hooked!

My favorite part (No, not "it's murder!") is "recipes included." From The Flip Side readers get three delicious easy-to-follow brunch treats: unique Marzipan Pancakes, my favorite Banoffee Crêpes, and hard to resist Boston Cream Crêpes. The crêpe recipe gives you the beginning to be creative with savory or sweet tastes.

Disclosure: I received an ARC. My review is voluntary with honest insights and comments.
Profile Image for Emmalynn.
854 reviews12 followers
July 10, 2022
A cold case and a series of poisonings at an amateur cooking competition, what could they possibly have in common? Why Marley’s insatiable need to investigate, that’s what 😄😄. When Marley goes to visit her BF Bret at the site of an old Victorian home he is landscaping, of course they uncover a skull and a mystery. The skull belongs to an old classmate of Chloe’s who was not very well liked. In the mean time an amateur cooking contest, that Marley coerces Ivan to be a guest judge on, is plagued with mishaps as several judges and contestants keep getting sick. Meanwhile Marley sees someone in town who she believe may be a relative?

This cozy mystery continues to delve into Marley’s search for a sense of self and dealing with loss. She’s learning how to put the past in perspective and redefine what family really means to her. This book was more of solving a cold case murder as opposed to a “fresh” murder but all the suspects are in town for the competition. Marley continues to be a busybody and find danger at every turn, but is starting to heed some advice on not going off on her own. In this book, her relationship with Brett takes another step that’s pretty awesome. (As does Ivan and Lisa)
Profile Image for Patrizia.
1,411 reviews29 followers
April 15, 2020
4 stelle e mezza
È sempre un piacere leggere un libro di questa serie e, come al solito, non sono riuscita a risolvere completamente il mistero. Finale strappalacrime per una romanticona come me...
Profile Image for K.A. Davis.
Author 3 books446 followers
April 12, 2019
Crêpe Expectations by Sarah Fox is the fifth book in the Pancake House Mystery series but the first I’ve had a chance to read. This delightful cozy mystery was easily read as a standalone and I never felt lost by not knowing all the central characters and their backstory. That said, it did make me want to start the series from the very beginning for the pure enjoyment of seeing the growth of the protagonist, Marley McKinney, along with the supporting characters. They were all well-developed and I enjoyed their interaction. I especially liked the friendship Marley has with her boyfriend’s younger sister. It brought a sweetness to the story, while the siblings’ interaction together added realism.

The premise of the story with Wildwood Cove’s amateur chef competition was fun. I enjoyed how Marley got involved in solving a cold case murder, after she and her boyfriend find a skull on the property he was landscaping. She also gets involved investigating who tries to sabotage the town’s event. The author wove the two crimes together with plenty of suspects dished out for the reader to muse over. The startling reveal caught me by surprise with some twists I didn’t see coming. With a heartwarming ending, I’ll be revisiting Wildwood Cove just as soon as I can.

Marley owns the charming pancake house, The Flip Side. Numerous mouthwatering dishes are served there and luckily for the reader, the author provides some recipes at the back of the book that would be more than appropriate for a special breakfast or even dessert!

I was provided an advance copy via Netgalley with the hopes I would review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
Profile Image for Mary Brown.
1,199 reviews45 followers
October 26, 2019
Crepe Expectations
Pancake House Mystery, Book #5
Sarah Fox
5 Stars


When a murder case from the past heats up again, it’s up to Marley McKinney to sort through a tall stack of suspects in the latest Pancake House Mystery . . .

Although it’s a soggy start to spring in Wildwood Cove, the weather clears up just in time for the town to host an amateur chef competition. Marley McKinney, owner of the Flip Side pancake house, already signed up to volunteer, and chef Ivan Kaminski is one of the judges. But when Marley visits her landscaper boyfriend Brett at the site of the Victorian mansion that’s being restored as the Wildwood Inn, she discovers something else pushing up daisies: human remains.

The skeleton on the riverbank washed out by the early-spring floodwaters belonged to
eighteen-year-old Demetra Kozani, who vanished a decade earlier. While the cold case is reopened, Marley must step in when some of the cook-off contestants fall suspiciously ill. Stuck in a syrupy mess of sabotage and blackmail, it falls to Marley to stop a killer from crêping up on another victim . . .

Includes pancake recipes right from The Flip Side menu! (Goodreads)


The characters are well developed and well rounded. I enjoy getting to spend time with Marley and her friends and coworkers. Marley and her boyfriend, Brett, make a great couple and I enjoy watching their relationship grow. The Flip Side employees are like a family to Marley and you can tell how much they care about it.

The author is very talented in her descriptive writing and these descriptions pulled me into book from the very beginning. I felt like I was right there, spending time in Wildwood Cove, watching all of the action taking place and listening in on conversations.

I liked that fact that the mystery was a cold case, waiting to be solved. And there were two mysteries to deal with. The second mystery was who was sabotaging the cook-off and making people sick. With two mysteries, there were double the suspects and clues to sift through, which I thought was a great thing.

I would recommend this book, and series, to everyone who enjoys a well crafted cozy mystery. I am looking forward to reading the next one already.

I voluntarily reviewed an ARC of this book provided by the publisher, Kensington Books, and NetGalley, which I greatly appreciate.
Profile Image for RO G'ma.
1,001 reviews35 followers
May 10, 2019
Crêpe Expectations is the fifth book in Sarah Fox’s Pancake House Mystery series. The writing style flows smoothly. This book is a quick and easy read with a great cast of well-developed characters. The mystery is well plotted and has enough suspects, red herrings, and twists and turns to make it difficult to figure out who committed the murder and other crimes.

Marley McKinney owns The Flip Side pancake house in Wildwood Cove, has an orange tabby named Flapjack, and the unfortunate habit of finding dead bodies and involving herself in investigations. Her boyfriend, Brett Collins, owns a lawn and garden care company, and he and his dog, Bentley, recently moved in with Marley. Each year, one of the peninsula’s communities hosts the Olympic Peninsula’s annual amateur chef competition, and this year is Wildwood Cove’s turn, so when one of the judges has to go out of town at the last minute, Marley convinces Flip Side’s talented chef, Ivan Kaminski, to take his place. One of the judges becomes ill, and Marley is recruited to fill in for him. As the second round of the competition begins, several contestants suddenly become ill. Brett is busy preparing the gardens at the Wildwood Inn for its upcoming garden party and grand opening. When Marley visits Brett at the inn to bring him an afternoon snack, she spots a tiny kitten, and they follow it into the woods, where Marley slips, lands on a patch of ferns, and discovers a human skull poking through the mud caused by recent flooding. They contact Brett’s uncle, Ray Georgeson, the sheriff of Clallam County. The investigators locate the entire skeleton, and the body is identified as eighteen-year-old Demetra Kozani, who vanished a decade earlier. Marley finds herself juggling trying to identify the person who sabotaged the amateur chef competition and looking into the cold case murder with Chloe, Brett’s sister, who graduated the same year as Demetra.

I received an Advance Reader Copy of this book from NetGalley and voluntarily reviewed it.
Profile Image for Carla.
5,726 reviews121 followers
December 1, 2019
In this fifth Pancake House Mystery, we once again watch protagonist, Marley McKinney, stumble over a dead body, this time a skeleton that has been unearthed by the recent flood. This one is a cold case as it turns out the skeleton is from a 10 year old missing person. When Chloe, Marley's boyfriend's sister becomes a suspect, at least in the eyes of some townsfolk, Marley can't help but investigate. Between her business, investigating the murder, her personal life and the amateur chef contest being held in Wildwood Cove, Marley is kept extremely busy.

Marley is a likable and highly intuitive character. She is warm, caring and curious, so is able to poke around and ask questions easily. There is also a parallel story of a local adult and teen food cooking competition with some of the contestants becoming ill and Marley trying to see if there is any connection between the two events. The secondary characters we have met along the way are back in this story, as well as some interesting new ones. Marley's boyfriend, Brett, is back and their relationship is continuing to develop nicely, adding another dimension to the story. The staff from the Flip Side are not only working for Marley, but involved in the story with the Amateur Chef Contest. The mystery was well-paced with a good plot twist near the end. There were several suspects and a couple of red herrings, with the killer's identity keeping me guessing until the reveal. There is a bit of danger where Marley is concerned, but as in most cozies, she solves the crime and is safe and sound at the end. There are some great recipes at the end that have me wanting to give them a try. Even though this is the fifth in the series and I have read them all, this book can be read as a stand alone. I definitely recommend this one to cozy mystery lovers, especially those who enjoy a culinary cozy. The publisher generously provided me with a copy of this book upon request. The rating, ideas and opinions shared are my own.
Profile Image for The Cozy Review.
499 reviews31 followers
April 25, 2019
Series: A Pancake House Mystery - Book 5
Author: Sarah Fox
Genre: Cozy Mystery/Culinary
Publisher: Kensington Books
Page Count: 212
Publishing Date: May 28, 2019

From Kensington Books comes the latest addition to Sarah Fox’s “A Pancake House Mystery” series, Crêpe Expectations. This is the 5th book in the series and is one of the best. A short, quick read that will leave readers flipping the page and guessing up to the very end.

Marley has her hands full with the pancake house and now the cook-off. She doesn’t have time to figure out yet another murder. But like most things she does, Marley can’t help becoming involved, she puts her amateur sleuth skills to work and starts asking questions. That is what she does, she gets involved in solving old murders and putting herself in jeopardy.

The characters in this book and the entire series are well written and easy to like. They give the reader surprises, contentment, and hope. Brett is especially great! He is a dream of a boyfriend, hardworking, honest, romantic and sexy. Brett’s sister Chloe is spunky and loves to tease her brother and even enjoys the good-hearted ribbing he gives her. The victim wasn’t the sweetest person on earth and in some opinions, she may have been one of the worst but that doesn’t prevent the reader and the characters from wanting to find out who killed her. I think most people will be content and a bit amazed when the murderer is revealed. Yet after thinking about it, they will agree that he/she is the perfect villain.

In the end, Crêpe Expectations is a pleasure to read. Everything is tied up in a nice tasteful bow, all of the questions are answered, twists bring smiles to lips, and the armature sleuthing characters of Marley and Chloe who get into mischief make you long for old friends, family, and your hometown.
Profile Image for Patty.
1,553 reviews1 follower
June 23, 2019
Crepe Expectations by Sarah Fox is the 5th book in A Pancake House Mystery Series, and another great addition. Marley McKinney is the owner of The Flip Side, a pancake house in beautiful Wildwood Cove, located on the west coast. Spring has arrived, and the town is hosting a chef competition. Marley is helping with registration, while her chef Ivan is replacing a judge. When Marley and her boyfriend find a skull belonging to an eighteen year old girl, after she went missing ten years earlier, the mystery begins. I found this book to be a quick read, with a well developed plot and characters. There are a lot of twists and turns that kept me reading. There is a wonderful mixture of mystery, suspense, friendship, and support for a well-balanced story. I can not wait until the next book in the series comes out. If you love cozy mysteries, I recommend this book, and the whole series.

I reviewed a digital arc provided by NetGalley and Kensington Publishing. Thank you.
Profile Image for Dawn Michelle.
2,255 reviews
May 26, 2019
I really love this series - I was so happy to see that there was going to be another book.
Marley is a great character and all the supporting characters are also very good and truly enhance the story. This one was a bit different than the previous books as they have to discover who a murderer was from a long time ago [from when Brett's sister Chloe was in High School]. Marley stumbles, quite literally, into some bones and from there the mystery ensues.
There are some interesting side stories within this one and one of them involving Marley and someone who looks so very familiar to her will tug at your heartstrings and have you rooting for Marley as she starts to really discover what family really means.
I truly enjoyed this one and for sure hope there is more coming!!

Thank you to NetGalley and Kensington Publishers for providing this ARC in exchange for an honest review.
Profile Image for Melissa.
1,976 reviews
July 18, 2019
The more I read of this series, the better I like it....and I liked it a lot from the first book! I like the cozies that have cold cases, and this one fit the bill perfectly. A great mystery with an interesting side mystery to boot. Plus I love the character development and the surprise at the end was awesome! A fun cozy read!

I received this book from NetGalley and was not required to post a positive review. All thoughts are my own.
Profile Image for Debra McEathron.
1,232 reviews2 followers
April 24, 2019
Good story

Marley has her job cut our for when she stumbles on a buried body. Her friends help try to solve the mystery. And in the end her boyfriend proposes to her on the beach.
Profile Image for Susan.
2,637 reviews
May 20, 2019
People poisoned at an amateur chef competition and the discovery of an old skeleton give Marley something to keep herself busier than normal. I like how new characters, that could be recurring, along with the foundational characters continue to evolve. I am getting weary of older crimes being uncovered. Seems rather repetitive from the previous book in the series and makes you wonder if Ms. Fox is already running out of ideas. What hasn't gotten repetitive is the yummy creations that are served up at the Flip Side and the relationship between Marley and Brett.

Thanks to NetGalley and Kensington Books for a copy of the book. This review is my own opinion.
Profile Image for Doreen.
2,355 reviews58 followers
May 28, 2019
5/27/19 Finally, a romantic interest I don't hate! Full review tk.
Profile Image for Colleen.
199 reviews10 followers
April 23, 2019
This book was the first I have ever read by Sarah Fox. It had all the classic elements you would see in a cozy mystery: fantastic storyline, likeable characters and of course, a murder. However, this murder was different as it happened in the distant past. It did not disappoint! I look forward to reading more by this author!
Profile Image for OpenBookSociety.com .
3,808 reviews116 followers
June 15, 2019

Crepe Expectations
Pancake House Mystery, Book #5
By Sarah Fox
ISBN 9781516107780
Author’s website: authorsarahfox.com
Brought to you by OBS Reviewer Jeanie


When a murder case from the past heats up again, it’s up to Marley McKinney to sort through a tall stack of suspects in the latest Pancake House Mystery . . .

Although it’s a soggy start to spring in Wildwood Cove, the weather clears up just in time for the town to host an amateur chef competition. Marley McKinney, owner of the Flip Side pancake house, already signed up to volunteer, and chef Ivan Kaminski is one of the judges. But when Marley visits her landscaper boyfriend Brett at the site of the Victorian mansion that’s being restored as the Wildwood Inn, she discovers something else pushing up daisies: human remains.

The skeleton on the riverbank washed out by the early-spring floodwaters belonged to eighteen-year-old Demetra Kozani, who vanished a decade earlier. While the cold case is reopened, Marley must step in when some of the cook-off contestants fall suspiciously ill. Stuck in a syrupy mess of sabotage and blackmail, it falls to Marley to stop a killer from crêping upon another victim.


I very much enjoyed this fifth in the Pancake House Mystery Series. Sarah Fox has given us a fun and feisty cast of characters who demonstrate small-town living at its best. The oceanside setting on the NW Pacific coast is like a dream come true, and the mysteries are riveting.

Marley inherited her lovely oceanside Victorian home, the orange tabby Flapjack, and The Flip Side pancake house from an older cousin not quite a year ago. She had no idea what she was in for when moving to this community that she had only visited in the summers when she was growing up and doesn’t regret a moment of it. Marley has been dating her teenage crush, Brett, who had been too shy to ever ask her out as a teen. While Marley runs The Flip Side, Brett runs his own landscape and gardening service in Wildwood Cove.

After a very wet spring, Brett is finishing the landscaping for Wildwood Inn, which will celebrate its grand opening soon. Marley stopped in to visit him and saw a tiny black kitten darting about. They tried to catch it so it wouldn’t be lost in the neighboring woods, and after Marley grabbed it, a gruesome sight met her eyes, probably loosened from the earth by the earlier river floodwaters. A partial human skull was coming out of the ground.

Brett called Uncle Ray Georgeson, the local sheriff. Within a short time, a skeleton was also found. The remains were later identified as those belonging to a teen who had disappeared the night of her high school graduation ten years earlier. It had been thought she went to New York City to become a model, but finally her mother, living in another state, put out the alert that Demetra was missing. There was probably only one real suspect at that time, Tyrone, the teen she had been dating.

Marley has been asked to help judge the 7th Annual Olympic Peninsula amateur chef competition when one of the judges had to leave town for work. Her talented, gruff mountain of a chef with a heart of gold, Ivan, judged the first round in her stead. There are two groups of competitors, teens and adults. As the second round was beginning, one of the judges became ill and had to leave. Immediately before the third and final round began, one of the adults and one of the teens became ill and had to drop out. It wasn’t just winning the competition that was important; there was a substantial cash prize as well.

Marley’s father died before she was born of an undiagnosed heart problem. Much to her surprise, she saw a man in town who looked just like an older version of the father who she knew only through photographs. She has never seen him in Wildwood Cove before and definitely wants to find him before he leaves.

Marley has helped solve various crimes in the past, beginning with the beloved cousin who had left her the home and restaurant. Brett’s Uncle Ray has not been happy about the risks of citizen involvement and has discouraged her in the past. While she is still curious, and asks a few more questions than she should, Marley takes a quieter role this time, even as she learns of one other potential suspect who knew Demetra back in the day.

With each successive novel in the series I feel that I know the characters even better than before, they are so ready to come to life and step out of the pages! I like Marley, her best friend Lisa, and Brett’s sister Chloe. They are close and loyal friends with common interests. Lisa even took the tiny kitten Marley and Brett found when Flapjack didn’t welcome another feline on his turf. One can even almost picture the characters that are not likable, including a couple suspects.

Looking closely at the unrelated mysteries – the murder, mystery man, and poisoned contestants – each has been planned with care. Plot twists change the landscape several times, but I was completely unprepared for who really killed Demetra and why. Even the person who made the amateur chefs sick was a bit of a surprise; I couldn’t figure out a motive. Those are hallmarks of a good mystery when at least one of the bad guys is a total surprise. The end is a complete, delightful, surprise! This novel can be read as a standalone and enjoyed, even more, when you’ve read any others in the series. I highly recommend this, and the rest of the series!

*OBS would like to thank the publisher for supplying a free copy of this title in exchange for an honest review*
Profile Image for Molly.
2 reviews3 followers
January 3, 2021
I didn't want to give up on the first book of 2021, so I fought through. This one is my fault- I wanted a light and cozy read and I got too light and too cozy.

If you pick up this book, I hope you're ready to read about how pets react to different doors opening, over and over and over again. I also hope you're ready for the mystery to be concluded with the answer literally hitting our protagonist over the head, and still needing the police to explain it all up to her.
Profile Image for Sidney.
715 reviews3 followers
August 27, 2019
I listened to the audiobook and didn't care for the voice of the reader. In someways, a simple, silly novel.
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