Hedy Leckenmaul runs a strange little bakery in the sleepy town of Enumclaw, Washington. Her bakery may be bizarre but it is the non-human guests who stay at her home, along with her resident ghost, and her menagerie of talking animals that truly is strange. Hedy hosts a waystation for supernatural travelers and while hosting two such travelers, the town is rocked by an arsonist who is kidnapping women, and pitting the residents of Enumclaw against each other. Hedy and her friends must solve the mystery when one of their own vanishes, leaving them racing to find out who is behind it all before it is too late.
Burned to a Crisp is a cute but mysterious story. The world Miltimore has built is much different than anything I’ve read before and I love the creativity she has used to build it.
Hedy is a baker who runs a waystation or something like a bed and breakfast for non-humans. In Burned to a Crisp, she has a salamander and an Undine staying with her. Basically fire and water. The animals she lives with are able to speak due to a magical artifact and there is a ghost who randomly pops in to offer unsolicited advice.
One of my favorite characters in this book is Darro. He’s the Scottish gardener Hedy is somewhat forced to hire after her neighbor continues to complain about the upkeep of her yard. His accent is written into the story and it’s quite entertaining.
As far as the storyline goes, I liked it. I feel like it may have dragged a tiny bit in a couple of places but not so much that it made me want to stop reading. For once, I wasn’t able to solve the mystery before the characters and, while frustrating, it actually made me happy.
I’m not sure if this is what’s considered a “cozy mystery” but it felt like it could be called a “cozy supernatural mystery” and I plan to read the other books in Miltimore’s Gingerbread Hag series. If you are looking for a fun read with a twist of mystery and suspense, as well as supernatural creatures, this may be a good fit for you.