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Rosie Books

Macarons and Murder (Bite-sized Bakery Cozy Mystery Book 8)

Macarons and Murder (Bite-sized Bakery Cozy Mystery Book 8)

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Look Inside Chapter 1

“Are you sure this is the right place?” I peered at the tall trees surrounding us and the dirt road ahead, my hands on the food truck’s steering wheel. “I don’t see any signs.” 

“That’s what the GPS says,” Bee replied, tapping on its screen. “See? Right there. It says, ‘Tomahawk Trail Campground.’ It’s supposed to be right down this road.” 

I kept the truck’s engine running but didn’t inch it forward onto the road. It was a sunny spring day, and we’d decided it was time to take a week off from selling our delicious baked goods in Muffin. We were officially on vacation—we’d bought our tents and supplies, found an old bookstore, and stocked up on our favorite novels. Except we weren’t on vacation until we found the campground, and call me a skeptic, but I wasn’t about to drive down a beaten trail in the woods… it sounded like the beginning to a horror movie. Or a true crime documentary. 

“I promise you, it’s down here,” Bee said. “No, that’s a lie. The GPS promises you.” 

I eyed the GPS. I wasn’t the best with technology, but I did trust Bee. Besides, my bestie was an ex-cop. If anyone gave us trouble, she’d kick some criminal rear-end.

“If the GPS says it, it must be true.” I started the engine again, and we trundled down the dirt path, the truck squeaking and bouncing. The forest was gorgeous—my anxiety waned thanks to the leafy green canopy and the shimmer of sunlight from the cloudless sky beyond it. 

A few curves in the road later and the entrance to the campground appeared, the wooden sign above it proudly announcing: Tomahawk Trail Campground. The sign had seen better days—it was weathered, and one side had dropped over the gates, which were open. 

“Ha!” Bee clapped her hands. “We found it.” 

“Or did it find us?” I muttered, still creeped out by the forest. “Sorry. I don’t know what’s wrong with me.” 

“This is exactly why we need a break. It’s all the murder that’s been going on. Murder in Maine, Murder in Massachusetts…” 

“Murder at Tomahawk Trail Campgrounds?” I grimaced as we cruised over the threshold and came to a halt in the parking lot in front of the office—a log-cabin style building with a wraparound porch and a screen door. 

“Let’s hope not. Ruby, I’m sure everything will be fine. Remember, this is a break from everything, and that includes baking and highly illegal mystery investigations on our part. It’s supposed to be relaxing. We’ll have fun and read, make some macarons and—” 

“Hey!” A giant of a man charged down the office’s steps toward us, sun gleaming on his bald head and catching on the thick gold chain hanging around his neck. He wore sweatpants and a stained vest. “Hey, you!” 

I rolled down my window, too shocked by the “welcome” to check Bee’s reaction. “Hello,” I said. “How are—?”

“What are you doing here?” the man spat. 

“Camping, for all intents and purposes,” Bee said. “Or having an argument, depending on how this conversation goes.”

“No, no, no,” the guy replied, wiping sweat off his upper lip and pointing a finger at her. “I know what your type is like.” 

“What type is that?” My hackles rose. 

“The type who says they’ve come to stay, but really, you’re here to bother my guests and try to sell them things. I’ve had enough of people like you so, you can just—”

The screen door opened, and a woman stepped out of the offices. She was the polar opposite of the aggressive dude—she had a head full of chestnut brown hair, wore a neat pair of jeans and a flowery blouse, and even offered an apologetic smile as she jogged down the stairs to join the fray. 

“Van,” she said. 

“No, it’s a truck,” I replied. “A food truck. And we weren’t going to sell anything.” 

“No.” The woman shook her head and pointed at the guy. “Van.”


“Van,” she repeated and tugged on the man’s arm. “Van, stop it. Leave them alone.” 

“Get off me, Charlene.” Van pulled himself free of her. “I’m not going to have another group of sleazebags take advantage of my hospitality.” 

“We’re not sleazebags,” I said. “We don’t want to sell anything. We just want some time off.” 

Bee looked about ready to punch the guy.

“I’m so sorry about this, ladies,” Charlene said. “We’ve had some trouble with scammers in the past few months. It’s a touchy subject. Could you give us a few moments, please?” She drew Van back up the steps. 

They argued with each other right there in front of us, Charlene pleading and Van red in the face. 

“What a disaster,” I said. “The minute we arrive we’re already unwanted.” The little knot of insecurity inside me—it had been there ever since my fiancé had left me—threatened to unravel. 

“Don’t take what that idiot has to say seriously. He’s clearly unhinged. The man’s wearing sweatpants and a gold chain, for heaven’s sake.” 

That brought a tiny smile out of me. “Still, that’s not the reception I expected. This place had good reviews.” 

Bee nodded. “Oh, here she comes.” 

Charlene had separated from the angry vest-wearing Van. She approached with a sheepish grin. “I’m so, so sorry about that,” she said. “He’s in a bad mood.” She forced a laugh, but there was a flash of something in her eyes. What was it? Anxiety? “Anyway, I’ve explained to him that you’re just here to check in.” 

“Who is he?” Bee asked. “And who are you?”

“His name is Van Reed, and he’s the owner of the campgrounds,” she said. “I’m his wife, Charlene.” 


“Nice to meet you,” I said, belatedly. 

“And you.” She flicked her hair back, her smile more confident now. She had a lot of laugh lines. I liked that in a person. “Once again, my sincerest apologies. Van likes everything to go smoothly around here. But now that that’s out of the way, I can check you in! Did you book a lot?” 

“No,” Bee said.

“Oh well, you’re very lucky indeed.” Charlene laughed. “We just so happen to have two spots open at the moment.” 

“Yes, we do feel lucky.” Bee’s dry tone wasn’t lost on Charlene. The hostess shifted on the spot. 

“Well, look, I don’t know if you planned on selling any of your food here, but if you want to bake, you’re more than welcome to,” Charlene continued,  casting a nervous glance at the office. “Just as long as you don’t sell. You know?” 

“Sure.” Honestly, I just wanted the conversation to be over already. We’d come to relax, not to be given the third degree by a man with an inordinate amount of chest hair. 

“You stay here, and I’ll be right back with all the forms and details you’ll need for your stay.” 

“Great. Thank you.” 

Charlene was already halfway up the stairs. 

Bee sighed. “Well, that was eventful.” 

“Not the warm welcome I expected after reading those rave reviews.” 

“And I thought we were only staying in one forest,” Bee said. 

I gave her a blank look. 

“You didn’t notice Van’s chest hair?” 


“Goodness,” Bee said, flashing me her gap-toothed smile. “I have to work on my jokes.” 

“Well, you’ll have plenty of time while we’re here.” My gaze lifted to the oak cabin and the sign that read “Office” attached to its roof. “Assuming we don’t get thrown out within the first couple of hours.”

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Campfires are for smores, spooky tales… and murder.

Ruby and Bee, the traveling baking duo, have decided to take a break from their usual spot in small-town, Muffin, Massachusetts. That means a spring camping baking break. Everything’s perfect—the macarons are light and delicious, the spring air is clean, and the campers are happy as can be.

Until Ruby goes for a walk and finds a corpse in the woods. The owner of the camper right across from their tent is dead and suspects abound. Can Ruby and Bee solve the case before they’re kicked out of the campground? Or will their ‘vacation’ come to a sticky end?

Join Ruby and Bee in another mystery-solving adventure. Grab your copy of Macarons and Murder today.

Continue reading if you enjoy: 

  • Cozy small towns
  • Stories with pets and food
  • Laugh out loud humor
  • ZERO profanity and gratuitous scenes 
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