A PEACH OF A MURDER

(First Fresh Baked Mystery)

October 2006

A PEACH OF A MURDER introduces Phyllis Newsom and her friends, a group of retired teachers, as they become involved in a series of murders centered around the annual Peach Festival in the Texas town where they live.  Rich in the colorful and sometimes deadly details of small-town life, this book and the ones that will follow it feature not only intriguing mystery plots and likable characters but also delicious recipes for a variety of baked goods.

Murder By The Slice

Second Fresh Baked Mystery

October 2007

When October rolls around each year, many of the elementary schools in Texas put on carnivals run by their Parent-Teacher Organizations.  And as retired teachers, Phyllis Newsom and her friends take a keen interest in everything that goes on involving the local schools.  In fact, Carolyn Wilbarger, who is friends with one of the members of the PTO board for Oliver Loving Elementary School comes up with an idea for a baking contest to be held in conjunction with the school carnival.  In addition to competing herself, Carolyn recruits several of her friends to enter the baking contest and talks Phyllis into entering, too.  Of course, things don’t go smoothly . . .

The Christmas Cookie Killer

(Third Fresh Baked Mystery)

September 30, 2008

Christmas comes to Weatherford, Texas, in this delicious new entry in the national bestselling series. Yuletide is here—and retired teacher cum amateur sleuth Phyllis Newsom looks forward to finishing up this unlucky year. But she won’t be hanging up her apron just yet—because this year’s Christmas bake-off is going to be cutthroat. Phyllis would like to think she’s entering the Christmas cookie contest for the fun of it—but that’s not exactly true. She can’t imagine anyone beating her snowflake-shaped lime sugar cookies. Then, during her annual Christmas cookie exchange, Phyllis heads over to the elderly Mrs. Simmons’s home and finds her dead, in a pile of lime sugar cookies. But with a number of names on Santa’s naughty list, this case may be a hard cookie to crumble.

Killer Crab Cakes

(Fourth  Fresh Baked Mystery)

September 29, 2009

When Phyllis's cousin asks her to look after her Oak Knoll bed-and-breakfast for a few weeks, Phyllis jumps at the chance-mostly because the inn is located close to the annual Rockport, Texas, Just Desserts competition. Determined to beat her friendly rival and enjoy some peaceful downtime with her boyfriend Sam, Phyllis concocts the ultimate sweet treat.


But Phyllis's holiday turns bitter when she and Sam discover a dead body-and all signs point to murder. Dismayed that bad luck seems to pop up wherever she goes, Phyllis wants to stay out of this one. But as the list of suspects gets too close for comfort, she decides to throw herself into the mix. Because when it comes to solving murders, Phyllis is one smart cookie.

THE PUMPKIN MUFFIN MURDER

(Fifth Fresh Baked Mystery)

Original title A CORNUCOPIA OF DEATH

November 2, 2010 

Phyllis is taking care of her grandson Bobby while her son Mike and daughter-in-law Sarah are out of town.  Carolyn gets Phyllis involved in the harvest festival to be held in one of the city parks the Saturday before Thanksgiving.  The purpose of the festival is to help feed the poor and homeless. 
Much like the peach festival held in the summer, there are games and rides and craft displays, as well as food vendors, a Thanksgiving cooking contest, and of course murder.

THE GINGERBREAD BUMP-OFF

(Sixth Fresh Baked Mystery)

October 26, 2011

The Christmas Jingle Bell Tour of Lights comes to Phyllis's house and murder rings the door. Not only will Phyllis Newsom's house be featured in the annual Christmas Jingle Bell Tour of Homes, she also has a Christmas Eve bridal shower and a New Year's Eve wedding to bake goodies for. But like her tasty treats, she rises to the occasion. Before the tour gets under way, Phyllis makes a gruesome discovery on her porch: someone has tried to kill her friend. As Santa's naughty list gets longer, Phyllis tries to catch a half-baked killer.


WEDDING CAKE KILLER

(Seventh Fresh Baked Mystery)

November 6, 2012 

Wedding bells will be ringing in Weatherford, Texas, this Christmas when Phyllis Newsom opens up her home for her best friend’s wedding. And although the bride is wearing white, no one suspects that she’ll soon be wearing black… After all the planning—and the cake tasting—the big day has arrived. Eve Turner, one of Phyllis’s boarders—and her best friend—is moving out and getting married to the affable Roy Porter. While she’s sad to see Eve go, Phyllis is more than happy to host the event in her house and to bake the bride and groom a delicious three-tiered coconut wedding cake. Even though a snowstorm in the forecast seems like a recipe for disaster, the day runs as smoothly as butter cream.But the marriage doesn’t last long past the honeymoon. When Roy’s found dead at a Weatherford bed-and-breakfast, Eve’s the top suspect. Now Phyllis must find out who iced Roy before her friend finds herself behind bars… ___________________________________________________________________________________

The Fatal Funnel Cake

(Eighth Fresh Baked Mystery)

It’s time for the State Fair of Texas—and cooking contests galore! Fryers are heating up and stomachs are growling. But Phyllis Newsom had better watch out. Someone’s brought an appetite for murder....
 
Phyllis and her friends Carolyn and Sam are ready to whip up their best dishes and win some ribbons in Dallas. And they’re excited to learn that one of their favorite celebrity chefs—Joye Jameson of The Joye of Cooking—is broadcasting her TV show from the fair. When Phyllis’s funnel cake is picked as one of the best of that category, Joye invites her and the other finalists to prepare their delicious recipes live on the air.
 
But Phyllis’s moment in the spotlight is spoiled after Joye suffers a deadly allergic reaction from one bite of her funnel cake. Now she’s gone from top entry to top suspect. So in order to clear her name, Phyllis will have to turn up the heat on this investigation before the real killer slips through her fingers....

Publication Date: November 5, 2013

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TRICK OR DEADLY TREAT

(Ninth Fresh Baked Mystery)

Publication Date: October 7, 2014

It’s Halloween in Weatherford, Texas—which means Phyllis Newsom is baking up a storm of yummy seasonal treats...but she’s about to get even busier unmasking a killer. 

While Phyllis and her friend Carolyn are preparing for a baking contest, her housemate Sam adopts Buck, an adorable Dalmatian who was hit by a car. To thank local veterinarian Hank Baxter for helping the dog, Phyllis and Carolyn bake a batch of doggie treats for his other four-legged patients.

But when they arrive at the clinic, the vet is in the process of being arrested—for the murder of his wife! Convinced that the police are barking up the wrong tree and that someone’s been burying evidence, Sam begs Phyllis to help find the real killer. Joined by Buck, the friends engage in a dogged pursuit of the murderer, who will stop at nothing to muzzle them…permanently.

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The Candy Cane Cupcake Killer

(Tenth Fresh Baked Mystery)

Publication Date: November 3, 2015

‘Tis the season in Weatherford, Texas, and everyone in town is gearing up for the annual holiday parade and tree-lighting ceremony in the town square, where Phyllis Newsom will be serving her much-anticipated candy cane cupcakes. Local rancher Barney McCrory manages to charm one away from her before the ceremony begins. But unfortunately, when the minty confection is finished, so is he.

This isn’t the first time someone has dropped dead after eating one of Phyllis’s treats. But when the paramedics determine the rancher was shot, suspicion swiftly falls on McCrory’s daughter and her husband—who both stand to reap some sweet rewards from his death. Though Phyllis doesn’t want to get mixed up in another murder investigation, something about this case doesn’t sit right with her. With a little help from a tabloid TV news crew, Phyllis must unwrap the truth and restore good cheer to Weatherford before it’s too late…


Black and Blueberry Die

(Eleventh Fresh Baked Mystery)
Publication Date: September 2, 2016

It’s late summer in Weatherford, Texas and Mike Newsom’s childhood friend is sweltering in prison for a crime he claims he didn’t commit, murdering his wife. So instead of asking his mother to please stop investigating a murder, as he usually does, he asks her and Sam to please help his friend. 

Danny Jackson, found guilty of beating his wife Roxanne to death at the ritzy hair salon where she works, was sentenced to prison for 30 years. His pleas of innocence fell on deaf ears, so it’s up to Phyllis to find what actually happened. She finds there are a lot of secrets and lies being told, and Roxanne was in the middle of them all. 

Though Phyllis doesn’t want to get mixed up in another murder investigation, her son rarely asks for favors, and certainly not favors like this. She has to untangle the lies and comb out the facts to find what happened that dark night. 

Includes recipes!


The Great Chili Kill-Off

(Twelfth Fresh Baked Mystery)
Publication Date: June 5, 2017

The chili in Texas is red-hot . . . and so is murder!

Phyllis, Sam, Carolyn, and Eve head for West Texas to compete in a Fourth of July chili cookoff. Thousands of people have descended on a sleepy little ghost town, turning it into a boomtown for chili mavens, gamblers, musicians, and media. Raucous excitement fills the air, but so does chili when a sabotaged propane cooker explodes, killing the much-hated current champion. The victim leaves behind a tangled trail of sleeping with other men’s wives, cheating at cards – and maybe at chili cooking – and deadly anger. With Sam a possible suspect in the murder, emotions run hot as a bowl of Texas red as Phyllis has to untangle these threads in order to put her finger on the killer!

Livia J. Washburn's beloved Fresh Baked Mystery series is back with another novel full of tasty recipes, dastardly doings, and brilliant sleuthing by Phyllis Newsom and her friends. THE GREAT CHILI KILL-OFF is a delicious dish of murder and detection.

Baker's Deadly Dozen

(Thirteenth Fresh Baked Mystery)
Publication Date: October 13, 2017

Going back to school can be a killer!

Phyllis Newsom and Sam Fletcher come out of retirement to take substitute teacher jobs as a favor for some friends, but they soon realize that the more things change, the more they stay the same. That means getting up early, dealing with students and other teachers, and helping out with extracurricular activities. The problem is, for Phyllis, stumbling over dead bodies is an extracurricular activity!

When murder strikes at the school’s Friday the Thirteenth dance, it’s unlucky not only for the victim but also for the student who’s the prime suspect. Sam’s granddaughter has a crush on the boy and can’t believe he’s a killer. Neither can Phyllis. The police are convinced, though, so the only way Phyllis can help him is to uncover the true identity of the killer stalking the halls of the high school before it’s too late!

























































































































 4x6 printable list in order 

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