Lye in Wait (A Home Crafting Mystery) Info

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Average Ratings and Reviews
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3.96

1830 Ratings

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Reviews for Lye in Wait (A Home Crafting Mystery):

3

Jul 15, 2011

With two kids, a husband, a full-time job, it's not often that I read a book in under a week anymore. Which I think says a lot for both the tone of this book and how engaging it was. I found it straddled that fine line between being light, and breezy, but also having a nice amount of suspense and mystery to it. There were definitely moments when I would have advised Sophie Mae to be more careful, but I was also able to read it one evening when my husband was away on a trip without getting the With two kids, a husband, a full-time job, it's not often that I read a book in under a week anymore. Which I think says a lot for both the tone of this book and how engaging it was. I found it straddled that fine line between being light, and breezy, but also having a nice amount of suspense and mystery to it. There were definitely moments when I would have advised Sophie Mae to be more careful, but I was also able to read it one evening when my husband was away on a trip without getting the heeby-jeebies!! A little bit of both humor and heart-tugging, and a hint of budding romance makes it a well-rounded and enjoyable summer weekend read.

I found the major characters enjoyable, while the villains appropriately villainous. AND, as an added bonus, I loved all the little tidbits about handmade toiletries! (There are even recipes for a few of Sophie Mae's items in the back of the book!)

I picked this up at my local library because I won McRae's fifth volume Wined and Died in a Goodreads first reads giveaway. I am looking forward to reading 2, 3, and 4 before jumping into my prize.

This really was a great example of my new favorite genre of "cozy mysteries", and I am looking forward to reading father into the series. ...more
2

Aug 01, 2012

Really bad. Starts off with no introduction of characters, just a murder of someone no one knows or cares about. Then the protagonist, soap maker Sophie, inserts herself into the investigation with absolutely no reason. She makes two middle of the night trips to an abandoned house and we're not even on page 50. I couldn't go on. Will not finish.
3

Sep 30, 2008

With zero expectations for this one, I picked it off the bookshelf and was pleasantly surprised. It reminded me of an old Agatha Christie story - of which I was a huge fan as a kid... Fun, easy, entertaining.
3

Sep 26, 2018

3 1/2 star rating.

Would you believe....the discovery of the dead body happens in the first sentence on the first page of the book!

Sophie Mae (widowed) lives with her best friend (Meghan) and best friend's daughter (Erin) and runs a business making soaps, balms, lotions and the like. She goes into the workroom and discovers the local handyman dead on the workroom floor. The smell of lye is obvious...and it looks like he brought it himself. Did he commit suicide in her workroom? Or is it something 3 1/2 star rating.

Would you believe....the discovery of the dead body happens in the first sentence on the first page of the book!

Sophie Mae (widowed) lives with her best friend (Meghan) and best friend's daughter (Erin) and runs a business making soaps, balms, lotions and the like. She goes into the workroom and discovers the local handyman dead on the workroom floor. The smell of lye is obvious...and it looks like he brought it himself. Did he commit suicide in her workroom? Or is it something else, like murder?

This is the first in the series and we are introduced to a whole host of characters. Our main characters are Sophie Mae, Meghan and Erin. Then there's Meghan's horrible ex (Richard). And that Detective Barr Ambrose who who investigates (could be a love interest there for Sophie Mae). Quite a bit about how to make the various soaps and balms that Sophie Mae made, and in fact there are recipes for balms and soaps at the end of the book.

Along the way there's a fire, a robbery, an attempted murder, and all sorts of suspects. Some characters that are very unlikable. But does that make them guilty?

I thought the ending got a bit too complex and confusing and perhaps improbable, which is why I did not go a full 4 stars, but overall I enjoyed the book and might look for the second in the series at some point. ...more
1

Jul 10, 2012

This was meant as a cozy book but it crosses over the fine line dividing coziness and dull grayness. I simply can't recommend this book. It's far from being a mess, it's competently written, but not well written. I predicted every single twist that mattered, without even trying hard enough to do so. Someone who hasn't read much mystery shouldn't start with this book. Wherever it sits on a shelf anywhere in the world, Lye in wait will not be cherished. It's hard to imagine someone liking or This was meant as a cozy book but it crosses over the fine line dividing coziness and dull grayness. I simply can't recommend this book. It's far from being a mess, it's competently written, but not well written. I predicted every single twist that mattered, without even trying hard enough to do so. Someone who hasn't read much mystery shouldn't start with this book. Wherever it sits on a shelf anywhere in the world, Lye in wait will not be cherished. It's hard to imagine someone liking or valuing Lye in wait. Sorry, 1 star. ...more
3

Sep 05, 2015

I have mixed feelings about this book. The writing is very uneven and the story simplistic, but there is something there with a lot of promise. Maybe a course in writing would help. I liked the characters, but the love interest with the detective is not going to go anywhere until he is fleshed out. He is, literally and figuratively, too flat. Having said that, I did enjoy it because I needed something light and easy to follow.
I did enjoy the parts about soap making and running a home business. I have mixed feelings about this book. The writing is very uneven and the story simplistic, but there is something there with a lot of promise. Maybe a course in writing would help. I liked the characters, but the love interest with the detective is not going to go anywhere until he is fleshed out. He is, literally and figuratively, too flat. Having said that, I did enjoy it because I needed something light and easy to follow.
I did enjoy the parts about soap making and running a home business. It turns out to be a perfect job if you want to be a part-time snoop. ...more
1

Feb 16, 2016

Here's a typical line from this book:

"The image of the bent form among the shadows in the half-light was spare, desolate, lonely as a scratchy record playing through tinny speakers at two a.m." (page 40)

Just awful. Totally contrived. Not my cup of tea.
3

Jul 09, 2010

A solid 3.5, maybe even 3.75 stars. I really liked Sophie Mae, Meghan, and Detective Ambrose. A well-crafted mystery (pun intended) with some interesting tidbits about soap and lotion making. I'll definitely check out more in this series. I especially want to find out if the Sophie Mae / Ambrose relationship is going anywhere.
4

Aug 26, 2014

I really enjoyed thus first entry in the series. The characters were likeable and I want to see where they go. The mystery was engaging. #readforkimberly
3

Jan 27, 2017

This is the first book in the Sophie Mae Home Crafting Mystery series and it is very much a cozy mystery.

The action is set in a little village called Cadyville in Washington and Sophie Mae works from the home she shares with her flatmate and her flatmate's daughter making and selling home made bath products. The book contains several recipes so you can make your own soap, lipbalm or oatmeal body scrubs something I am not ambitious enough to try I will just buy my own "home made" lol.

The murder This is the first book in the Sophie Mae Home Crafting Mystery series and it is very much a cozy mystery.

The action is set in a little village called Cadyville in Washington and Sophie Mae works from the home she shares with her flatmate and her flatmate's daughter making and selling home made bath products. The book contains several recipes so you can make your own soap, lipbalm or oatmeal body scrubs something I am not ambitious enough to try I will just buy my own "home made" lol.

The murder mystery revolves around the local handyman Walter who is found dead in Sophie Mae's workshop having drunk lye a dangerous chemical and one that Sophie Mae has in abundant supply. Sophie Mae sets out to find all she can about Walter and what may have lead him to kill himself in her workshop, instead she ends up finding a complicated family background and evidence of foul play.

This was a lightweight fun enjoyable read and just what I needed as something to read while battling my first cold of 2017. ...more
3

Jan 23, 2012

This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. This is not a terrible book. At times I wanted to say get to the point already as there seemed to be detail that wasn't necessary and sometimes detail that should have been there. I also question the research and accuracy of the topic.

Would not the police investigate the home of someone that died outside of the home, even if it seemed to be suicide? It seemed strange that the heroine could go to the house and it not be taped up. I also know from being an executor to and estate that there are This is not a terrible book. At times I wanted to say get to the point already as there seemed to be detail that wasn't necessary and sometimes detail that should have been there. I also question the research and accuracy of the topic.

Would not the police investigate the home of someone that died outside of the home, even if it seemed to be suicide? It seemed strange that the heroine could go to the house and it not be taped up. I also know from being an executor to and estate that there are many legal hoops to go through for many things to happen. I know there was some inaccuracies there.

I got into the mystery by the last 1/3 of the book. Before that I was rather disinclined to like it.

It is nice that there are a few recipes in the back so you can make your own skin care items. ...more
3

Apr 21, 2019

I've had this book on my shelf for ages, mainly because my favorite series is by the same author (under a different name), but I never got to it because Crafting is my least favorite subgenre. However, McRae/Cates didn't disappoint and I'm glad I pulled this one for BINGO. The characters in the book were well-drawn and likable, and I enjoyed being invited into their world. The pace of the action was good and I was a good ways in before I knew who and what, but why eluded me until the climax. I I've had this book on my shelf for ages, mainly because my favorite series is by the same author (under a different name), but I never got to it because Crafting is my least favorite subgenre. However, McRae/Cates didn't disappoint and I'm glad I pulled this one for BINGO. The characters in the book were well-drawn and likable, and I enjoyed being invited into their world. The pace of the action was good and I was a good ways in before I knew who and what, but why eluded me until the climax. I look forward to continuing in the series, and trying out the lip balm recipe as soon as possible, but I will avoid any creation involving lye. ...more
4

Feb 03, 2020

Small annoyances aside, I really enjoy this one. It was a well-written cozy with believable characterization. The dynamic of roomate and friend with daughter worked well - the kid wasn't annoying. The victim grew into a sadder tale the longer it was told. There's detecting done and layers loaned to the mystery. Who it was gave a little twist at the right moment. Full review to come.
3

Jul 06, 2017

This is an entertaining mystery. The characters are a group of women, a child, a detective, plus others that make the story interesting. The setting is in a small town in Washington and an ending that clues the reader that more stories in this series will be coming.
5

Jan 30, 2018

Really enjoyed this first book in the series. Ready to start book 2
5

Jan 22, 2019

As usual this author didnt disappoint and I cant wait to try the lotion bar recipe. As usual this author didn’t disappoint and I can’t wait to try the lotion bar recipe. ...more
4

Feb 07, 2019

Loved it. I debated between 4-5 stars, but since I recently read one that was 5+ stars, I decided to go with 4. It was a very entertaining read. I'm looking forward to more in this series.
3

Nov 09, 2018

decent cozy mystery. recipes for lotion bar, lip balm and bath salts included.,
3

Sep 01, 2009

#1 Sophie Mae Reynolds "Home Crafting" mystery, this one featuring soapmaking, which is what attracted me to the book, given that I'm a soapmaker myself. Sophie Mae enters her soapmaking workshop--in the basement of the home she shares with her housemate and friend Meghan and Meghan's daughter Erin--one morning to discover the body of the neighborhood handyman on the floor--and it's apparent that he died by drinking a lye solution. She knows that all her lye was locked up, and she hadn't made #1 Sophie Mae Reynolds "Home Crafting" mystery, this one featuring soapmaking, which is what attracted me to the book, given that I'm a soapmaker myself. Sophie Mae enters her soapmaking workshop--in the basement of the home she shares with her housemate and friend Meghan and Meghan's daughter Erin--one morning to discover the body of the neighborhood handyman on the floor--and it's apparent that he died by drinking a lye solution. She knows that all her lye was locked up, and she hadn't made cold process soap (the type you need lye to make) for over a week, so where did the lye come from?

Walter was going to be doing some work for her, so he had reason to be there, but none whatsoever to be in her soapmaking supplies. It's first thought that Walter committed suicide, but further investigation, mostly by Sophie Mae, make it obvious that he didn't. A whole parcel of suspects get entwined in her investigations, and while the plot does take an unexpected twist, I felt that whole coincidence was just too improbable to be really believable.

I liked Sophie Mae, although her character wasn't really developed very well and I can't say I felt any special connection to her. There were no out and out errors in the soapmaking information and procedures discussed (which was a relief...I hate inaccuracies!) but I really found it hard to believe that with the amount of work Sophie Mae actually did with her business and the amount of product she produced, that she was able to make a living solely from her soap and bath and body products AND have money to pay a teenage assistant part time plus actually live and eat. Sophie Mae also had a bad case of "amateur sleuth syndrome" in which she kept a lot of information from the police and continually put herself in danger to do her investigating. Considering that she didn't know the murdered man very well, I just can't imagine her putting that much time and effort into attempting to prove that he didn't commit suicide, even if he did die in her workshop.

In short, this was an okay book, above average even--as evidenced by the fact that I didn't throw it across the room as I have been tempted to do with many cozy series books lately. I probably will read the next one, but I'm admittedly not in a huge hurry to do so. A quick, light, interesting read even though it wasn't altogether satisfying. ...more
3

May 31, 2013

Soap maker Sophie Mae Reynolds is devastated when she finds the body of neighborhood handyman Walter Hanover on her workroom floor. The police think he committed suicide by drinking lye but Sophie Mae isn't convinced and begins looking into Walter's death herself much to the annoyance of Detective Barr Ambrose. The more Sophie Mae digs, the more complicated the case becomes. Sophie Mae doesn't seem to have a clue about Walter's death, but someone thinks she does and soon her life and the lives Soap maker Sophie Mae Reynolds is devastated when she finds the body of neighborhood handyman Walter Hanover on her workroom floor. The police think he committed suicide by drinking lye but Sophie Mae isn't convinced and begins looking into Walter's death herself much to the annoyance of Detective Barr Ambrose. The more Sophie Mae digs, the more complicated the case becomes. Sophie Mae doesn't seem to have a clue about Walter's death, but someone thinks she does and soon her life and the lives of those around her are in real danger.

"Lye in Wait" is the first book in Cricket McRae's Home Crafting Mystery series and it has some good moments. The characters are good, starting with Sophie Mae. She is a well-written character - widowed and making a decent living with her soap and other beauty products. I liked the fact that in this book, unlike some other mysteries, Sophie Mae is seen actually working instead of letting the mystery take over the book. Sophie Mae lives with her friend Meghan and Meghan's young daughter Erin and McRae does a good job of describing the relationship between the three which is very believable. The descriptions of the meals that Sophie Mae and Meghan cook made my mouth water. While the characters and soap making elements worked for me, the mystery aspects didn't work as well. Although the book has all the elements of a cozy mystery (including the ubiquitous attractive detective) it is a little too gritty to be called a cozy, especially in the way Walter dies and Meghan's relationship with her jerk of an ex-husband. The mystery seems to rely on too many coincidences and I felt cheated at the end when the murderer was revealed.

"Lye in Wait" is not a perfect mystery, but has some good moments and interesting characters and looks like the start of a good mystery series.
...more
4

Jan 19, 2013

This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. At first I didn't really think this book would be all that great, even if it is a mystery. But I was wrong. I actually enjoyed it after all. The plot was actually pretty interesting and suspenseful. I really liked Sophie Mae and everybody else. I even liked Grace because she was kinda really funny. I also liked how Ambrose and Sophie Mae would act around each other. It was pretty funny. I love the idea of them being together and everything. They were pretty cute. And Sophie Mae deserves another At first I didn't really think this book would be all that great, even if it is a mystery. But I was wrong. I actually enjoyed it after all. The plot was actually pretty interesting and suspenseful. I really liked Sophie Mae and everybody else. I even liked Grace because she was kinda really funny. I also liked how Ambrose and Sophie Mae would act around each other. It was pretty funny. I love the idea of them being together and everything. They were pretty cute. And Sophie Mae deserves another man in her life and she has a pretty cool job. I would make soap and other things for a living too. But I liked Sophie Mae's determination to find the killer and get them. Even though they were adults they still kinda acted like teenagers. The ending was really interesting when you find out who actually killed Walter and how he was related with Meghan and her daughter Erin. He was Richard's (Meghan's ex-husband)father and he had a wife nicknamed Cherry who was actually Grace. Grace turned out to be a bad wife and played around with his brother. Then Walter meets Debby who is a little crazy. Debby's brother Jacob tried to kill Grace because she wouldn't divorce Walter by sending her a bottle of alcohol and putting drain cleaner in it. But Walter upset with Grace bringing him down and he was a recovering alcoholic and he drank the drink but didn't know it was poisoned. So at the end Grace holds them at gunpoint and wants what Walter had given Erin since she was his granddaughter but it all ends well. Its Halloween and Erin shows them the signed baseball bat and balls that Walter gave them and it costs a lot of money. They go out while Sophie Mae and Ambrose stay home and talk. Thats a pretty good ending. But anyway, this was a great book and I was glad its a series. I'll look out for the other books at the library. Enjoy!!!! ...more
5

Apr 19, 2012

Wow, I enjoyed this a lot more than I thought I would! I really had no clue who killed Walter until the very end of the book when it was revealed. There were a ton of twists and turns, new ideas, new branches of the story line, and new hypotheses introduced that it made for a really clever book. I really enjoyed this a lot!

Full review originally posted on The Book Addict's Guide: Wow, I actually really enjoyed this a lot more than I thought I would! It was a nice, cozy mystery but there were a Wow, I enjoyed this a lot more than I thought I would! I really had no clue who killed Walter until the very end of the book when it was revealed. There were a ton of twists and turns, new ideas, new branches of the story line, and new hypotheses introduced that it made for a really clever book. I really enjoyed this a lot!

Full review originally posted on The Book Addict's Guide: Wow, I actually really enjoyed this a lot more than I thought I would! It was a nice, cozy mystery but there were a lot of surprise twists and turns in there. Those are the kinds of things I love - When the author introduces a completely new idea (new to the reader, anyway) and it's something I couldn't have possibly seen coming or predicted but it totally fits and makes sense. There were a few of those in this book that really made it just more than a cozy little story.
Even though it's set in a small town, the story doesn't get swallowed in the "small town" feel. Sometimes I feel like authors focus too much on the fact that the town is small and that everyone knows each other that it gets too boxed in and unrelatable for me. This has the laid-back feel, but even mystery so that new characters can be introduced when necessary and not everyone has to be an outsider.

Also, I really liked the main character -- Sophie Mae -- and how she was portrayed throughout the story. She's determined and stubborn, like any good female detective/snooper, but she does it in a way that's aloof to the possibility that she's putting herself in danger. She was a very likeable character, and I really liked her budding relationship with Detective Ambrose! It was introduced very subtly and slowly and it made me want to keep on reading the next books to find out what happens between them. ...more
3

Jun 27, 2014

Sophie Mae is typically busy concocting and selling her homemade beauty products out of the home she shares with her best friend. However, all of her work is put on hold one day when she walks into her workroom and finds the neighborhood handyman, Walter, dead. It appears that he has consumed lye, but Sophie Mae is the only one convinced that it wasn't a suicide. As she starts to dig into Walter's guarded life for clues, she quickly finds he had a very trouble past full of secrets that Sophie Mae is typically busy concocting and selling her homemade beauty products out of the home she shares with her best friend. However, all of her work is put on hold one day when she walks into her workroom and finds the neighborhood handyman, Walter, dead. It appears that he has consumed lye, but Sophie Mae is the only one convinced that it wasn't a suicide. As she starts to dig into Walter's guarded life for clues, she quickly finds he had a very trouble past full of secrets that surprisingly intertwine with someone she knows.

This book has been on my Kindle for quite some time now and I'm happy that I was finally prompted to read it for a challenge. I didn't realize that the author also writes the Magical Bakery Mysteries as Bailey Cates. Quite frankly if I would have known that I probably would have reached for this book sooner. I adore the bakery series and enjoy the author's writing style. This book was quite enjoyable. I figured out a good chunk of the mystery pretty early on, but was still surprised at a few facts revealed during the confession at the end. There were defintiley enough convincing suspects. I really liked the main character, her housemate/best friend and the detective!! The new chemistry between Sophie Mae and Ambrose is great and I look forward to watching their relationship develop. I thoroughly enjoyed the scenes that described the products that Sophie Mae creates. I have loved making DIY beauty products for years and I also use essential oils so it was fun to see those interest incorporated into a story. Book number two will definitley be added to my list. ...more
3

Aug 25, 2014

It was good, a fun easy mystery. Not terribly mysterious, and a little awkwardly written at times, but enjoyable nonetheless. I'll probably read more of McRae's books, because I like mysteries and I believe this is her first one so perhaps some of the rough edges of her writing and mystery-crafting get smoothed over time.

The main annoyance I found was the writing was quite uneven. At times it could be totally compelling, and at others the author seemed distracted to the point of rambling. Not a It was good, a fun easy mystery. Not terribly mysterious, and a little awkwardly written at times, but enjoyable nonetheless. I'll probably read more of McRae's books, because I like mysteries and I believe this is her first one so perhaps some of the rough edges of her writing and mystery-crafting get smoothed over time.

The main annoyance I found was the writing was quite uneven. At times it could be totally compelling, and at others the author seemed distracted to the point of rambling. Not a deal breaker on a book, but it easily could have been a star-higher if she'd had a better editor to look out for that sort of thing (I don't need 5 pages in a row on in-depth details of how to make soap--several times throughout the book!)

I also didn't love the slight love interest. It didn't seem believable, almost like the girl had no chemistry with the guy she was supposedly interested in.

The mystery itself was at the same time too simplistic, and way too over-complicated. It wasn't hard to figure out most of it early on, and the character descriptions and interactions were done so heavily that McRae was basically drawing giant neon arrows to the guilty party(ies).

But like I said, it was a quick, mostly compelling, enjoyable diversion from my daily train commute, and that is something I always need more of! ...more
4

Aug 29, 2011

Sophie Mae Reynolds runs a home business making soaps, bath salts, lotions, etc. Should be a cushy life, one far away from murder and mayhem. Yet, when Sophie finds her next-door neighbor and handyman murdered in her studio, crime comes crashing through the back door.

When police determine that Walter, the handyman, died in Sophie's studio after drinking lye, she turns into their number one suspect. Sophie is determined to prove them wrong and clear her name.

I really liked the characters in this Sophie Mae Reynolds runs a home business making soaps, bath salts, lotions, etc. Should be a cushy life, one far away from murder and mayhem. Yet, when Sophie finds her next-door neighbor and handyman murdered in her studio, crime comes crashing through the back door.

When police determine that Walter, the handyman, died in Sophie's studio after drinking lye, she turns into their number one suspect. Sophie is determined to prove them wrong and clear her name.

I really liked the characters in this book. Sophie is both hard-headed and stubborn and those traits lead her to uncover some clues that point to the murderer. Her detective skills are both exasperating to local law enforcement agent Barr Ambrose and endearing and the romantic side-note is a nice surprise.

What I especially like about it was more than just the cozy feel. Sometimes, cozy mysteries can leave me feeling a bit underwhelmed but this had quite a bit of unraveling to do and kept my attention right to the end. I loved the multi-generational feel to the story. It is one that many family members could read and decode together--something for everyone. No grisly murders, no bad language-nothing that would offend a young adult or elderly grandma. In all, a pleasant introduction to this series and author and one I will be checking out again. ...more

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