Books

  cover of Cookies and Scream by Virginia Lowell
 

Available now: Dead Men Don't Eat Cookies, sixth in the series.

Things are heating up for Olivia Greyson, her best friend, Maddie, and the rest of the crew at The Gingerbread House—until a cold case puts their plans on ice...

Olivia's mom, Ellie, is always cooking up new schemes, but her latest idea has Livie and Maddie especially excited. Ellie's converting an old boarding house into an arts and crafts school—one that, of course, houses a kitchen for those interested in baking. But right as renovations start, the workers discover a pile of bones buried within the boarding house's walls, evidence of a long-forgotten crime.

A silver necklace with a cookie cutter charm is found within the remains, convincing one of the workers that the bones are the remains of her father, who's been missing for over five years. Of course, Livie and Maddie can't resist the allure of investigating. But they're about to discover that digging up the secrets of the past can be deadly dangerous...

"Olivia and Maddie's friendship is one to envy... Just like eating cookies, when you reach the end, you’re left wanting just a bit more."
Kings River Life

"Five stars! A thoroughly enjoyable cozy, with fun characters and a well written mystery with different layers of intrigue... Virginia Lowell's writing is delightful. I could almost smell the cookies baking."
Open Book Society

"Olivia and Maddie are just adorable together... there really is something magical about the way the characters interacted."
My Empty Nest

"Virginia Lowell's Cookie Cutter Shop mystery series is one of those cozies that instantly makes you feel like you're catching up with old friends the moment you start reading. Grab some coffee and cookies and settle in with a charming mystery that will have you guessing until the very end!"
Mochas, Mysteries and Meows

"Cookie cutters and murder. Author Virginia Lowell brilliantly brings them both together and I loved how it instantly drew me into the story. I love Livie and Maddie and their investigating and cookie baking adventures inside The Gingerbread House bakery."
A Cozy Girl Reads

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  cover of Cookies and Scream by Virginia Lowell
 

Available now: Cookies and Scream, fifth in the series.

After a brief vacation to escape the summer heat, Olivia returns home to find the safe at her beloved store stuffed with unfamiliar cookie cutters. The cutters are part of a priceless set owned by former local Greta Oskarson, who has returned home after fifty years in the hopes that Olivia will broker their sale.

But before Olivia can sell a single piece, Greta turns up dead. Though the cause of death appears natural, something is not quite right—between Greta’s mysterious past and her long list of enemies, Olivia suspects murder. And with Sheriff Del Jenkins away, it’s up to Olivia and Maddie to sift through the cookie cutters and the clues before the killer claims another victim...

"Four stars! The dynamic duo of Olivia and Maddie returns in the fifth installment of this fun mystery series. These two friends, with their uncanny wit and charm, find themselves in the middle of another murder, and readers will be flipping the pages to find out what happens next."
RT Book Reviews

"Sentiment, humor, and cookies blend together in this sweet mystery that shines with characters who genuinely support one another and appreciate the eccentricities that make them all so unique."
Kings River Life

"Learning the history of cookie cutters was fascinating and fun to read. I could imagine tasting all the scrumptious cookies... I can't wait for my next adventure with Olivia and Maddie in The Gingerbread House."
A Cozy Girl Reads

"Lowell is great at storytelling and she has build a world of very enjoyable characters, especially with such a fun duo of Olivia and Maddie."
Lily Pond Reads

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Available now: One Dead Cookie, fourth in the series.

Olivia is busy baking up special cookies for Maddie's upcoming engagement party when soap star Trevor Lane shows up unexpectedly in town. It soon becomes clear that Trevor, who grew up in the neighboring town of Twiterton, left behind a number of enemies with long memories. Even Trevor's assistant and childhood friend, Dougie, seems to harbor a grudge against him.

Soon after his arrival, Trevor is found dead on The Gingerbread House porch, his handsome face branded with the image of a cookie cutter. When their friend Stacey is implicated in the murder, Olivia and Maddie rush to find the killer. Because it seems someone in Chatterley Heights has a sweet tooth for revenge...

Reviews:

"Full of interesting characters and hometown charm... Culinary cozy fans will find that this new addition to the series satisfies their cravings for cookies as well as mysteries."
Debbie's Book Bag

"A fast and fun read... be prepared to want to bake some cookies, or at the very least, have some delicious cookies on hand to munch on while you read."
MyShelf.com

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Available now: When the Cookie Crumbles, third in the series.

Olivia Greyson is the proud owner of The Gingerbread House—a quaint shop that specializes in all things cookie—and her best friend, Maddie, is her sidekick, baking up scrumptious treats for their parties. But the real-life version of their magnificent gingerbread house is about to crumble to pieces...

Tensions are running high as Chatterley Heights' 250th birthday celebration approaches, and Olivia and Maddie are working feverishly to finish a gingerbread house modeled after the famous Chatterley Mansion. When Paine Chatterley, presumed to be dead, shows up to claim his father's house, the town gossips are driven into a tizzy. And when he refuses to allow visitors to tour the mansion during the celebration, all the preparations seem for naught.

Then Paine is found lifeless in the bathtub, his wife hysterical and their precious heirlooms destroyed. The hidden lives of the prestigious Chatterley family members begin to surface, and Olivia must unravel their dark past. As it turns out, the town's history isn't all that sweet...

Reviews:

"...another tasty trip to The Gingerbread House... The book's setting is just as delightful as prior books in the series... this is an enjoyable book with believable characters and situations."
The Season

"...a cozy mystery that left me craving gingerbread... I'd recommend this enjoyable mystery."
Genre Reviews

"Cozy fans will enjoy the third delicious Cookie Cutter Shop Mystery... Olivia is a complex person... fans will appreciate her efforts as she escorts armchair readers on a tour of small town Maryland."
Genre-Go-Round Reviews

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Available now: A Cookie Before Dying, second in the series. Read an excerpt!

On a stormy night, Olivia Greyson and her Yorkie discover the body of a man stabbed to death—which looks suspiciously like the intruder seen fleeing the local health food store The Vegetable Plate. Charlene Critch, owner of The Vegetable Plate, has a grudge against Olivia's cookie cutter shop, but could Charlene be hiding a secret serious enough to kill for?

Reviews:

"Virginia Lowell does it again—she bakes up a satisfying blend of sugar and spice and all things murderous in A Cookie Before Dying. Her second offering in The Cookie Cutter Shop Mysteries is a sweet sequel to Cookie Dough Or Die, continuing the sleuthing adventures of Olivia Greyson, co-owner of The Gingerbread House (all things cookie). Livie (and her little dog, too) mixes herself firmly in the middle of a big batch of trouble when a mysterious stranger gets himself murdered in little Chatterly Heights' town square. When suspicion falls on Livie's younger brother, not even local police and federal prosecutors can keep her out of a murder investigation. Watch out for sugar sprinkles, royal icing, and knives firmly embedded where they shouldn't be (in the middle of a victim's chest). This excellent offering will satisfy your sleuth-tooth (and make you hungry for an iced sugar cookie). Well done, Ms. Lowell! Long may you bake up delectable books with toothsome plot twists and tasty characters."
—Sherry Ladig, former writer for the Hungry Mind Bookstore's Fodder newsletter, and current reviewer for Irish Music and Dance Association monthly magazine (St. Paul, MN)

"What a great read. This well-layered, page-turning mystery kept me on my toes as I tried to guess who the killer was and every time I thought I knew, the author had me changing directions. I love this great cast, especially Livie who is a spunky and determined adversary. This was delightfully entertaining read with an ending that left promises that I can't wait to read in the next book in this enjoyable series."
Dru's Book Musings

"This book is for cozy lovers, cookie lovers, and fans of amateur sleuths. There·s a solid mystery, good backdrop, a touch of romance and even some humor... If you like Joanne Fluke's Cookie Shop Mystery series, you'll like this series as well."
MyShelf.com

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Available now: Cookie Dough or Die, first in the series. Read an excerpt!

Olivia Greyson is the proud owner of The Gingerbread House—a quaint shop that specializes in all things cookie—and her best friend, Maddie, is her sidekick, baking up scrumptious treats for their cookie-themed parties. But now they must take a break from baking and turn their attention to recreating a recipe for murder...

No one is more shocked than Olivia when prominent business owner Clarisse Chamberlain is found dead. It was Clarisse who encouraged Olivia to open The Gingerbread House—and she was one of her best customers. The sheriff is ready to call the case a suicide, but Olivia's convinced there's a murder to solve.

Then word spreads that Clarisse left Olivia a large sum of money, along with a collection of valuable, antique cookie cutters. Suddenly, Olivia is the prime suspect, with some fingers pointing to Maddie when the local postman falls ill after sampling one of their cookies. If the cookie-loving duo doesn't find the real killer, their reputation—and quite possibly their lives—will be battered for good...

Reviews:

"Four stars! Here's a dough-licious debut for the new Cookie Cutter Shop mysteries... Olivia is a charming lead and Chatterley Heights will entice cozy readers who like the drama and close-knit relationships in small towns. A great start to a new series."
RT Book Reviews

"Virginia Lowell made me a cookie cutter convert with her cleverly crafted Cookie Dough or Die. In fact, I unearthed my mother's collection and looked at it in a whole new way after finishing this yummy tale... The writing is strong, the storyline engaging, the characters ones you'd like to be your friends. This is what makes a good cozy mystery a special read. I look forward to more cookie adventures—with sprinkles and chocolate icing on top."
AnnArbor.com

"In Cookie Dough or Die, readers will find the sleuthing of the main character hard to resist... this is a good cozy mystery."
Fresh Fiction

"This was a great read. With a wonderful cast of characters and a great setting, this story will have you craving for one more cookie. The tone was very comfortable and the witty and entertaining dialogue kept me engaged as I quickly turned the pages... a welcome addition to the cozy genre."
Dru's Book Musings

"The author does a great job of setting up this new series. She includes such vivid descriptions of Olivia's store that you can visualize the store and nearly smell the scent of baking cookies. Realistic, humorous dialog support the plot and keep the story moving forward... Fans of Joanne Fluke or of Jenn McKinlay's Cupcake Bakery mysteries will enjoy this new culinary mystery series."
The Season for Romance

"The start of a new fun series. I love the cookie cutter angle... Looking forward to more by this author."
YA Book Nerd

"Virginia Lowell's first offering in the Cookie Cutter Shop Mystery series, Cookie Dough or Die, practically jumps off the page with an endearing heroine (and her little dog, too), smart, wisecracking dialogue, an ingenious plot and a thoroughly satisfying, melt-in-your mouth ending. And the cookie references were tempting enough to send me to the kitchen to whomp up a batch of my mother's favorite decorated butter-sugar cookies (no kidding, I did). If you love mysteries set in a small town and treats fresh from the oven, follow this author! You will not be disappointed."
—Sherry Ladig, former writer for the Hungry Mind Bookstore's Fodder newsletter, and current reviewer for Irish Music and Dance Association monthly magazine (St. Paul, MN)

 

© Virginia Lowell.