Coconut Drop Dead
April 9, 2024

Book Review

Coconut Drop Dead

reviewed by Warner Holme

Olivia Matthews’ Coconut Drop Dead is the latest in her Spice Island Bakery Mystery series. Moving past the introductory material, this volume quickly engages with public events and introduces the twist early on.

With a local band named the Dragonflyz making an appearance, it’s unsurprising when one of their members suddenly dies, pulling Lindsey back into the fray.

The appearance of a food truck at the beginning is somewhat unexpected, given the bakery’s status in the previous volume as a successful yet non-expanding business. Nevertheless, food trucks are a popular venture, and it’s common for many independent eateries to operate one to better serve crowded events.

Moments like the discussion of trust on page 85 are particularly noteworthy. They lend a comfortable feel to the narrative without sacrificing believability, adding a layer of relatable humanity in place of clichéd reactions or emotions.

The returning characters remain familiar, an essential element in series fiction. Lindsay Murray continues her blend of empathetic sleuthing and managing familial relations. Her interactions with Bryce, a police officer and her potential love interest, remain tense. The development of their relationship, though slow, suggests potential progress, albeit cautiously, which might not sit well with some readers given Bryce’s law enforcement role. However, his portrayal as fundamentally well-intentioned may appease concerns.

While the music and band are linked to the mystery, the narrative lacks a vivid depiction of their style or essence, rendering the musical aspect somewhat superficial. References to CD releases might also hint at the author’s outdated understanding of the music industry.

The inclusion of recipes at the book’s end, particularly for coconut pudding and baked sweet potato pudding, is a delightful touch common in cozy mysteries, especially those centered around food. The absence of a coconut drop recipe, however, is a surprising oversight, given its potential for variety and the series’ thematic focus.

This latest installment will appeal to fans and be accessible to newcomers, though not as seamlessly as the first book. The mystery is engaging, and the characters evolve in a believable manner. Enthusiasts of cozy mysteries will find enjoyment in both the narrative and the included recipes, though the story’s advancement is more about deepening character relationships than progressing the overarching plot

Coconut Drop Dead is available at:

More Cozy Mysteries


Cozy Mystery Features