4 star rating
Gluten for Punishment
A Baker’s Treat Mystery, Book #1
By Nancy J. Parra
ISBN# 9780425252109
Author’s Website:

Brought to you by OBS reviewer Dawn


With her mother’s death, Toni Ryder returns home to OilTop, Kansas bringing her gluten-free bakery business with her. But Toni has never felt at home in her hometown and cooking wheat-free in the middle of wheat country isn’t making her any less a fish out of water. When Toni becomes a suspect in OilTop’s first homicide investigation in twenty years, she must count on her crazy family and follow the clues to solve the mystery and clear her name. (Goodreads)


I have wondered about the fuss related to gluten free foods. It is fully expldained in Gluten for Punishment. Oiltop is a town of farmers, they don’t take kindly to the idea of gluten free food.

Toni comes home to open her own bakery. She knows it will be tough but she doesn’t shy away from that. During her opening, Toni gets pelted with flour by an on-looker, though no one saw who did it.

Soon after, a dead body shows up outside her shop. That is when it gets interesting.

Tasha, Toni’s closest friend, has a son with allergies/special needs. He benefits from a gluten free diet. I love how Parra explains Celiac disease and the need for gluten free food.

I love Toni’s Grandma Ruth. She is a great character in the story. She prompts Toni to dig deeper, to find out what’s going on. When another body shows up, Toni needs to find the truth before she is blamed. All the while, she is receiving threats, her shop is vandalized multiple times and she’s trying to run a business. The positive point: the controversy drew in the gawkers and she sold a lot of baked goods. It gave her quite the opportunity!

Two local men are interested in Toni but she’s fresh from a divorce. Brad and Sam are pretty funny, both being jealous of the other.

Toni is a tough cookie. She gets knocked down more than once but she gets right back up. She will not let anything stop her.

This is another great book club choice. Women will love this book as will bakers. Some of the baked goods sound so delicious! I was nearly drooling. LOL.

It’s a really good book.