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Tuesday, 29 July 2014

Blog Tour - What Would Mary Berry Do? by Claire Sandy

Marie Dunwoody doesn't want for much in life. She has a lovely husband, three wonderful children, and a business of her own. Except, her cupcakes are crap. Her meringues are runny and her biscuits rock-hard. She cannot bake for toffee. Or, for that matter, make toffee.

Marie can't ignore the disappointed looks any more, or continue to be shamed by neighbour and nemesis, Lucy Gray. Lucy whips up perfect profiteroles with one hand, while ironing her bed sheets with the other. Marie's had enough: this is the year it all changes. She vows to follow - to the letter - recipes from the Queen of Baking and at all times ask 'What would Mary Berry do?'

Husband Robert has noticed that his boss takes crumb structure as seriously as budget sheets and so puts on the pinny: serious redundancies are on the horizon. Twins Rose and Iris are happy to eat all the half-baked mistakes that come their way, but big brother Angus is more distant than usual, as if something is troubling him. And there is no one as nosey as a matching pair of nine-year-old girls . . .

Marie starts to realise that the wise words of Mary Berry can help her with more than just a Victoria Sponge. But can Robert save the wobbling soufflé that is his career? And is Lucy's sweet demeanour hiding something secretly sour?

This is a delicious feast of a funny novel, perfect for fans of Jenny Colgan and Allison Pearson.

This book has been published bang on time, with The British Bake Off starting again on our screens next week, Mary Berry will be everywhere! Although the only appearance Mary Berry makes in this book is a mention in the title and her recipe book being the bible for the main character Marie, it is a book about discovering the love of baking and the enjoyment it can bring. Paul Hollywood and Delia Smith also make appearances in the battle of the chefs - who is the best cook??

This is a great read, one which would make a perfect holiday read while relaxing by either a swimming pool or catching some sun in the back garden. The only warning I must give prior to reading this book is that if you have a sweet tooth don't read it while hungry. The book is split into sections, months of the year and named with desserts/baked goods which Marie endeavours to make for occassions occurring during that time. They all sound gorgeous and all are made with reference to Mary Berry's recipes. It is one of those books that you read and are accompanied by bouts of laughter and feel good factor.

I really liked the characters in this book. I would love to have lived in the close where Marie and Lucy lived - it sounds like one of those old fashioned areas where everyone knows everyone else, they have a neighbourhood watch style meeting regularly and know each other's business. However, what goes on behind closed doors is of couse secret and while things may look rosy and happy on the outside, of course things are different when the front door is closed!

I recommend this book to all my blog readers - it is a a fantastic read and I am looking forward to seeing what the author, Claire Sandy, writes next.

Thank you to the publishers, Pan Books, for sending me the book in return for an honest review.

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