"Lies, Spies. and the Baker’s Surprise" By Terry Ambrose: Review/Giveaway

Review by Terrance McArthur

Details at the end of this post on how to enter to win a copy of the book and a link to purchase it.

Wedding bells are in the air, but so is murder in Terry Ambrose’s sixth Seaside Cove Bed & Breakfast Mystery, Lies, Spies, and the Baker’s Surprise.

Rick Atwood, who inherited the B&B, and Marquetta Weiss, the housekeeper/cook, are days away from their wedding, and Alex, Rick’s eleven-year-old daughter, couldn’t be happier. She’s planning Operation Honeymoon for them and looking forward to Operation Baby Brother.

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Rick is worried that the wedding might be disturbed by his consulting on recent suspicious deaths with Adam Cunningham, Seaside Cove’s police chief. First was a fatal diving accident. Then there was a murder in the boring motel down the street. Rick felt some guilt because he’d arranged for the man to stay there after the fellow’s girlfriend insisted he leave the B&B. Alex felt more guilt because she told the girlfriend that the guy was still calling his wife (who he was NOT in the process of divorcing) and precipitated the breakup that put the man in the motel where he died.

A majority of the book follows Rick (in third-person) as he follows the clues, confers with Adam, and interviews witnesses and persons of interest. Some chapters, however, are Alex’s entries in her diary, written from a youngster’s point of view. It’s easy to tell the difference because each chapter is labeled with the focus character’s name at the beginning.

There’s a lot in this book—an old shipwreck, con men, a lighthouse, a crusty old captain with a broken arm, dirty tricks, a maybe-spy, housekeeping, Joaquin Murietta, liars, cooking, a mayor who wants to get things her way, accidents, a maid disturbed by blood, wedding arrangements, an aging handyman, military veterans, and perhaps most importantly—cupcakes.

The bonding between Alex and Marquetta is pleasant to read. Marquetta easily develops a gentle, loving set of parenting skills. Alex is carefully taught responsibility by her future stepmother. The tenderness between Rick and Marquetta grows as their wedding day nears.

Lies, Spies, and the Baker’s Surprise is a sort-of-cozy, as Rick is a B&B owner, used to be a big-city journalist, and he only helps the police. Alex is nosy, inquisitive, and often compared to Nancy Drew. Ambrose used to be a skip tracer, repossessing cars, and his light touch minimizes violence and emphasizes the softer side of romance. It’s a good book, and readers will look forward to the next book in the series. What will happen when Rick and Marquetta come back from their honeymoon, and what trouble will Alex get into next time?

To enter to win a copy of Lies, Spies. and the Baker’s Surprise (Print for US or Kindle outside the US), simply email KRL at krlcontests@gmail[dot]com by replacing the [dot] with a period, and with the subject line "bakers,” or comment on this article. A winner will be chosen August 20, 2022. US residents only for print copies and you must be 18 or older to enter. If entering via email please include your mailing address in case you win. If entering via comment please include your email address so we can contact you. BE SURE TO LET US KNOW IF YOU WANT PRINT OR KINDLE-PRINT IS US ONLY. 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 went up this week.

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

Terrance V. Mc Arthur is newly retired as a Librarian in Fresno County, California. He is also a storyteller, puppeteer, magician, and maker of pine needle baskets. On top of that he writes stories that range from rhymed children's tales to splatterpunk horror. He's an odd bird, but he's nice to have around.
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. Congratulations on the new book! I love this series. And would love to win a print copy. ckmbeg (at) gmail (dot) com

  2. Lies, Spies. and the Baker’s Surprise sounds like a fun and entertaining cozy mystery book.

    allibrary (at) aol (dot) com

  3. Sounds like a good book I"d love to read.
    thanks. txmlhl(at)yahoo(dot)com

  4. Wow Terry comes out with another hit. This one sounds so good and I would love a print as still battling RSD and my fingers are deformed and it is throughout my body. I sure hope others that read also post reviews as that is what every author needs with their book. Thank you for going on tour! peggy clayton ptclayton2@aol.com

  5. I would love to win this book. mermomm@aol.com kindle

  6. I would love to win a print copy of this book.

  7. Thanks so much for the lovely review! Good luck to everyone in the giveaway!

  8. Sounds like a great read. Adding to my TBR list. I prefer a print copy.

  9. I'd like to be included! tWarner419@aol.com

  10. Shipwrecks and cupcakes got me hooked! Would love to win a print copy.

  11. Terry is a 'new to me' author. Thanks for a great post!

  12. We have a winner!
    Lorie Ham


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