Nowadays, there are so many baking competitions on television with different hooks. There was Baking Impossible where folks had to create cars and mini golfs with baked goods; Is It Cake? where contestants tried to make illusion cakes to fool judges, and of course, there’s The Great British Baking Show, where UK amateur bakers face-off to be named the best baker.
These competitions are filled with a cast of likable contestants who try to overcome the challenges of ingredients to win the day. The tensions can be high but there’s a general sense of camaraderie among contestants. Much like a cozy mystery. Naturally, mystery writers have been writing mysteries around baking competitions; three have come out this year alone!
So here is a list of eight baking competition murder mysteries.
A Good Day to Pie
It’s the second book in Misha Popp's Pies Before Guys series. Pie-maker Daisy has long been living a double life. She sells her delicious pies by day; by night, she delivers pies that kill abusive husbands and boyfriends. It’s pure magic; she doesn’t add any poisons to the pies.
But when her daytime pies take off, she decides to compete in a television baking competition. All goes well, except she gets an order to serve one of her killer pies. To one of the judges. But when the judge shows up dead before the pie is served, Daisy decides to uncover the murderer.
Murder at an Irish Bakery
It’s the ninth and most recently published book in the Irish Village Mystery series. The village of Kilbane is getting its moment in the sun; a baking competition has set up shop in the bakery in the old flour mill. While six contestants have come to Kilbane for the competition, it’s clear that not all minds are focused on baking. When one of the contestants ends up face down in a pie, married Gardas, Siobhan and Macdara Flannery, have to find the killer and prevent any more deaths as the competition rolls on.
The Golden Spoon
In this standalone mystery told from multiple points of view, it starts with the shocking discovery of a murder…but who is murdered isn’t revealed for a good portion of the book. Six amateur bakers are competing in Bake Week at the sprawling picturesque Grafton Manor, the home of Betsy Martin.
But from the very start, things aren’t quite right; the television network has decided to shake things up by adding a new host, the charismatic Archie Morris. Plus strange things keep happening in the competition; someone seems to be sabotaging the bakes. And then there’s the appearance of a body. Who is murdered and why? Who is causing problems with the show?
Pies & Peril
It’s the first book in the six books and at least one novella in the Culinary Competition series. Amy Ridley, a stay-at home wife, spends her time perfecting new recipes. So when the opportunity comes up to compete in the Kellerton Summer Festival Pie Contest, Ridley jumps at the chance. Unfortunately, she finds herself doing more than just competing after she finds fellow competitor and champion Mandy Jo dead. When Ridley gets threatened, she decides to investigate before someone decides that Ridley’s baking days are over prematurely.
The Great Witches Baking Show
It’s the first book in the three-book Great Witches Baking Show series. It’s more magic and baking! While most contestants are thrilled to get on The Great British Baking Contest to compete for the title, Poppy Wilkinson sees it as a chance to find out more about her past when she recognizes the pattern of her baby blanket in a painting at Broomewode Hall, where the competition takes place. But that’s not all the secrets she finds there; the judges are witches and a cat keeps following her. And then there’s a murder. Can Wilkinson find out about her past and solve these mysteries?
Baking Spirits Bright
Christmas and baking competitions go together like peanut butter and jelly. Chocolatier Becca Ransom has entered the Baking Spirits Bright holiday baking, hoping her recreation of the town, Larch Haven, VT will win her the prize. But tensions rise quickly in the competition and when a competitor is found stabbed with one of Ransom’s knives, she now has more than winning the competition on her mind.
It’s the eighth book in the Five-Ingredient Mystery series. This one brings together the competition and classic murder mysteries. Val Deniston’s grandad has decided to enter the dessert competition at the Maryland Mystery Fan Fest. The twist? Each contestant has to take on the persona of a cook for a famous food-obsessed sleuth.
Grandad has chosen Fritz, Nero Wolfe’s esteemed chef. Unfortunately, they find out that grandad’s nemesis Cynthia Sweet is also participating as Mrs. Hudson from Sherlock Holmes. Worse, when she shows up dead during the competition, Deniston and her grandad decide to find out who wanted to take her out of the running.
The Quiche of Death
It’s the first in the 34-book series of the Agatha Raisin series. Raisin has decided to take up baking in her retirement from a PR firm. Or better yet, participate in a baking contest in my new home in the village of Carsely. But it’s super unfair when her quiche doesn’t even get into the competition.
Turns out that the quiche had poison in it and the judge dies. But Raisin knows something horrible is afoot because the quiche had been purchased in London. So how did the poison get in there? And better yet, why was the judge murdered?