“Sprinkled in Malice” A Cookies & Chance Mystery By Catherine Bruns: Review/Giveaway

by Kathleen Costa
Details at the end of this post on how to enter to win an ebook copy of this book, and a link to purchase it from Amazon.

Catherine, Cookies, Chance, and C—Karma!
Sally Muccio, a favorite cozy character, was introduced in 2015 in Catherine Bruns’s Tastes Like Murder from her Cookies & Chance Mystery series. Through the now seven books we've seen Sally returning home to Colwestern, New York, after a difficult divorce, opening up Sally’s Samples cookie shop with her BFF Josie Sullivan, confronting the past with a former beau, building a new Romance with said beau, dealing with her quirky Italian family and one cantankerous neighbor, and honing her amateur detective skills. Why? Because she seems to always be in the wrong place at the wrong time when a murder is committed. From high school nemesis to ex-husbands, arson to poison, secrets to lies all is delightfully orchestrated by Karma and a few prophetic fortune cookies.

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Sprinkled in Malice earns 5/5 Sparkled G-Strings…Sooo Clever & Engaging!

“Today is a day you will always remember,” says the fortune cookie.

It’s Mike’s birthday, and Sally is doing something special to celebrate…she’s cooking. Yes, she owns a cookie shop, but baking, let alone cooking, is not her strong suit. She was a bit taken aback when her father, the quirky, “Father Death” Domenic Muccio, avoided giving one example of something she was good at. She plans to prove she can cook. However, she forgets the sprinkles for the special cookies she's making, so Mike agrees to pick some up on his way home. But, he's late, not answering his phone, and over the police scanner given to Mike for Christmas, Sally hears there's a shooting at the mini mart Mike would have gone to…still not answering his phone. Sally isn't waiting and heads out in the harsh weather to find Mike. At the store, she sees police, coroner, blood, and a body covered with a tarp. “Mike!” There's one dead body with another clinging to life at the hospital. Mike survives his injuries, but the victim, Mike’s friend and valued worker for his construction company, was not so lucky. Sally is personally spurred on to investigate discovering that several things don't add up. Their businesses and their family may be in peril.
Image Source Gemma Halliday Publishing

She'll definitely remember this day!

This could be the best Cookies & Chance mystery yet! Catherine Bruns’ well-written story illustrates that Karma comes in all forms. Embezzlement? Larceny? Murder? Karma will pass its judgment. I thoroughly enjoyed the first-person narrative sharing Sally’s inner thoughts and laying out clues, scenarios, and personal perspectives. You get caught up in the realistic manner the characters interact, and the daily life that goes on around the central drama: Sally’s sister is expecting, her father is promoting his new “Father Death” blog and book, unrequited love finds resolutions, cookies continue to be baked in large numbers, and Sally and BFF Josie, in true Lucy and Ethel fashion are…well, they get themselves into quite a tight spot at Bottoms Up!, the local strip club. All of this with Catherine’s signature page-turning excitement, perilous predicaments, tight knit family and friends, and fun romantic banter between Sally and her husband. Fans, like me, are thrilled with this new book, but newbies shouldn't shy away, even though a lot has already passed, there are enough references made to character connections and background, sans spoilers, to keep any newbie engaged. I highly recommend this series, and this book is one of the best!

Bonus delights! Catherine always includes a few easy-to-follow recipes for cookies you’d bet Josie created for the shop. She says she gets permission from good friends to share their recipes, but many of the rest are her own creation. It's delicious we get to enjoy her efforts: Sprinkled With Fun Cookies, Raspberry Cheesecake Cookies, Chocolate Brownie Cookies! The signature fortune cookie recipe can be found in book one, Tastes Like Murder. A great reason to pick it up!

Be a Big Catherine Bruns Fan!

Book 0—Formals, Fortune Cookies & Fraud
(Short story Prequel—Free gift for signing up for Catherine Bruns’ newsletter.)
Book 1—Tastes Like Murder (2015)
Book 2—Baked to Death (2016)
Book 3—Burned to a Crisp (2016)
Book 4—Frosted with Revenge (2017)
Book 5—Silenced by Sugar (2018)
Book 6—Crumbled to Pieces (2018)
Book 7—Sprinkled in Malice (2019)
Book 8—A Christmas Cozy Coming Fall 2019!

Short Stories
A Spot of Murder (Killer Beach Reads collection)
A Drizzle Before Dying (Pushing Up Daisies anthology

Catherine Bruns authored two more equally entertaining series with Gemma Halliday Publishing. The Cindy York series centers around the real estate community. Book one, Killer Transaction (2015), has office politics putting Cindy in jeopardy when a co-worker is murdered. Book two, Priced to Kill (2016), has Cindy reliving a childhood tragedy. Book three, For Sale by Killer (2018) has Cindy balancing a murderous cold case and pregnancy. Catherine is also part of Gemma Halliday Publishing Aloha Lagoon Mystery multi-author series with her own two books Death of the Big Kahuna (2017) and Death of the Kona Man (2017); Carrie Jorgensen works at the Loco Moco Café greeting Karma with a rousing “Aloooha.”

Alert! Fans will be excited to learn Catherine Bruns will be introducing a new series, the Italian Chef Mystery with Penne Dreadful releases at the end of July 2019. I can tell you…it's great! And the audio version may be released in July also.

Don't miss out on Audiobooks!
I am quite the fan of audiobooks, and am thrilled that I can highly recommend Catherine’s books. In her Cookies and Chance Mystery Tastes like Murder is narrated by the excellent Karen Rose Richter. In Baked to Death a different narrator, Siobhan O’Day, takes the lead with her entertaining artistry. I am looking forward to Burned to a Crisp set to release this year. She also has two books in her Cindy York series on audio; Killer Transaction and Priced to Kill are both narrated by the entertaining Amy Deuchler. Priced to Kill is set for April or May release. I absolutely loved revisiting these favorite books in audio version!

Facebook - Catherine Bruns Books

Website - Catherine Bruns "Murder, Suspense, and Mystery"

Be a GHP Fan!
Facebook - Gemma Halliday Publishing
Website - Gemma Halliday Publishing

To enter to win an ebook copy of Sprinkled in Malice, simply email KRL at krlcontests@gmail[dot]com by replacing the [dot] with a period, and with the subject line "sprinkled,” or comment on this article. A winner will be chosen April 6, 2019. If entering via comment please include your email address. You can read our privacy statement here if you like.

Check out other mystery articles, reviews, book giveaways & mystery short stories in our mystery section in Kings River Life and in our mystery category here on KRL News & Reviews. And join our mystery Facebook group to keep up with everything mystery we post, and have a chance at some extra giveaways. And check out our new mystery podcast which features mystery short stories and first chapters read by local actors! A new episode goes up this week.

You can use this link to purchase the book. If you have adblocker on you may not be able to see the Amazon link:

Kathleen Costa is a long-time resident of the Central Valley, and although born in Idaho, she considers herself a “California Girl.” Graduating from CSU-Sacramento, she is a 35+ year veteran teacher having taught in grades 1-8 in schools from Sacramento to Los Angeles to Stockton to Lodi. Currently Kathleen is enjoying her retirement revitalizing hobbies along with exploring writing, reading for pleasure, and spending 24/7 with her husband.
Disclosure: This post contains links to an affiliate program, for which we receive a few cents if you make purchases. KRL also receives free copies of most of the books that it reviews, that are provided in exchange for an honest review of the book.


  1. Looking forward to reading this book! Love all your books!

  2. Looks like a great read! JL_Minter@Hotmail.com

  3. Love this author. Thanks for the giveaway. doward1952(at)yahoo(dot)com

  4. Thank you for this chance. 1cow0993(at)gmail(dot)com

  5. Looks Great 👍 I would love to read this series. Thanks for the chance to win 😃💖😍💗
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  6. This is a new series to me. Looking forward to reading the book.

  7. I enjoy Catherine Bruns books but haven't had the opportunity to obtain her latest book, Sprinkled in Malice. My fingers are crossed I am lucky enough to win. robeader53(at)yahoo(dot)com

  8. I'm a fan of her books and excited for the new one. scarletbegonia5858(at)gmail(dot)com


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