Book Review: A Half-Baked Murder by Emily George

Posted February 19, 2023 by WendyW in Book Review, bookblogger / 37 Comments

A Half-Baked Murder
One StarOne StarOne StarOne Star

Series: Cannabis Cafe #1
by Emily George
Publication Date February 21, 2023
Published by Kensington Books
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Genres: Fiction / Mystery & Detective / Amateur Sleuth, Fiction / Mystery & Detective / Cozy / Culinary, Fiction / Mystery & Detective / Women Sleuths
Pages: 304
Format: ARC

***I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.***

First in a new cannabis bakery–themed cozy mystery series featuring twenty-eight-year-old, classically trained pastry chef Chloe Barnes—sure to appeal to millennial readers as well as lovers of classic cozy mysteries!
  In this irresistible debut mystery from Emily George, aspiring pastry chef Chloe Barnes is ready to take her career higher . . . while bringing down a killer!
 Formally trained pastry chef Chloe Barnes is opening a cannabis bakery. That’s not at all what the twenty-eight-year-old envisioned while living the dream in Paris with a hot fiancé and a Michelin star restaurant gig around the corner. But the rising “it girl” of choux puffs rethinks everything after a scathing food review and humiliating breakup make her long for home in sunny California. When her beloved grandmother falls ill, Chloe returns to quaint Azalea Bay to start over in the most satisfying way possible—concocting delicious edibles with her quirky Aunt Dawn.
Combining French luxury and THC, Baked by Chloe will take pot brownies to another level. That is, until a creepy past acquaintance rehashes old drama and shockingly turns up dead—landing Aunt Dawn as the number one murder suspect. Now, alongside her closest confidants, a stunned Chloe must alternate between budding entrepreneur and amateur sleuth to clear her aunt’s name, open the best bakery in town, and weed out the real culprit from a list of unsettling suspects!

A Half-Baked Murder by Emily George is the first book in the author’s brand new Cannabis Cafe series.  The book was just as much fun as I thought it would be.   

Story Recap:

Chloe Barnes has returned home to the small town in California to care for her grandmother.  She was living in Paris as a pastry chef, but her career was shattered after a bad review and a humiliating breakup with her fiancé.  So, when her grandmother became sick, Chloe was ready to rush home and help.  But, now that she’s in Azeala Bay, she needs something to keep her busy.  With two bakeries already established, her aunt suggests that she open a Cannabis Cafe and use her culinary skills to make good-tasting infused pasties.  

Before she can get her business up and running, an old acquaintance shows up murdered and Chloe’s Aunt Dawn is the prime suspect.  Now, Chloe must get a business up and running as she works to help clear her Aunts name.  

My Thoughts: 

I enjoyed this unique and cute cozy mystery.  The backdrop of a Cannabis Cafe makes for an interesting story.  In this first book of the series, Chloe is just getting started on her cafe, and it’s more of a concept for most of the story.  I think in future books when she gets the business up and running there will be more room for unique and interesting stories and murders.  But, this was a great first book for the series as it introduces us to the characters and the town.  

Chloe, her grandmother, and her Aunt Dawn are all terrific characters, and I enjoyed the beach setting of Azalea Bay, a small town on the California coast. The murder and mystery were well-developed with plenty of interesting suspects that kept me guessing until the very end.   


I highly recommend A Half-Baked Murder to anyone who enjoys cozy mysteries.  I received a complimentary copy of this book.  The opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

About Emily George

Emily George is an Australian author who writes modern murder mysteries that feature her favourite F words: female friendships, family and furry friends. She also likes alliteration.

Like her sleuths, she’s an elder Millennial who grew up on a steady diet of late 90’s romantic comedies, Spice Girls songs and Babysitter’s Club books. When she’s not figuring out creative ways to kill people (fictionally, of course) she enjoys knitting, baking, playing video games, and listening to true crime podcasts.

She resides in Canada with her husband.

Have you read Half-Baked Murder?

37 responses to “Book Review: A Half-Baked Murder by Emily George

  1. That first book in a series always has to set up the characters and setting, but I’m glad there was still a good mystery. Nice review, Wendy. I need to get to this one.