The Cookie Crumbles

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When Jillian Green and her great aunt, Cornelia Montgomery, win an auction for the contents of a storage unit, little do they know the mystery that will unfold as they rummage through its recesses.

The locker contains the furnishings from a family restaurant once owned by Wallace and Gracie Mae Gonce. Its liquidation is necessitated by the mysterious disappearance of the Gonces years ago.

Cornelia is certain they can use some of the materials, either in Belle Haven, their antebellum home, or at The Chocolate Shoppe bakery in the sleepy Southern village of Moss Hollow, Georgia. Jillian isn't so sure. In fact, she thinks most of it needs to be recycled or entrusted to a dumpster.

But that all changes when Jillian discovers a map detailing a remote part of Nathan County--a map stained with what appears to be human blood! Does the map, as Aunt Cornelia asserts, lead to some kind of hidden treasure? Or does its wending track mark a sinister and deadly path? Jillian and her best friend, Savannah Cantrell, are determined to find out.

Their journey is fraught with danger as someone tries to keep Jillian and Savannah from learning the secrets of the plat. First someone tries to break into Belle Haven, a robbery thwarted by Possum, the intrepid house cat. Then Jillian and Savannah are attacked as they search the countryside for clues.

Will Jillian find the proverbial pot of gold at the end of the trail? Or does X mark the spot that spells doom for one of the adventurers?

The Characters

At 39, Jillian is living the life she always dreamed. Using her creative talents, she's built a successful career as one of the top executives at a prestigious advertising agency in California, and she's engaged to an amazing man who showers her with love and the finer things in life. Life couldn't be more perfect.

But as quickly as a chocolate souffle can flop, Jillian's "perfect" fiance is arrested for embezzlement, putting a quick end to the engagement, and the advertising agency coincidentally "downsizes" Jillian after the scandal, leaving her without a job. But Jillian is a strong Southern woman who has learned how to endure from her feisty and iron-willed grandmother. She decides to leave California and make a fresh start where her life began, in the quaint town of Moss Hollow, Ga.

Under Grandma Bertie's roof at Belle Haven mansion and under her wing, Jillian prepares to take over the family business: The Chocolate Shoppe Bakery. But she doesn't expect to find murder on the menu! Will returning home to reconnect with her Southern roots ultimately prove to be a blessing or a fatal mistake?

Longtime member of the Sweetie Pies baking club and grandmother extraordinaire, Lenora has managed the bakery for decades and is considered a part of the family. Since fixing a salad is Jillian's greatest culinary accomplishment on most days, she encounters a few hurdles while learning how to create the decadent treats the bakery is known for. She's grateful for Lenora's wise counsel and encouragement!

The curious and cuddly house cat keeps a close eye on the happenings at Belle Haven mansion and lends a hand -- or paw -- in helping Jillian solve the intriguing mysteries of the small town.

Savannah is one of Jillian's oldest and best friends. She's delighted Jillian moved back to town and looks forward to reconnecting with her childhood companion. But she's also keeping a secret that may be the key to unlocking the mystery of Nadine's untimely demise.

Jillian's down-to-earth and lovable grandmother is ready to retire from the hectic demands of running The Chocolate Shoppe Bakery, but she refuses to sell to a complete stranger. Jillian is her last hope for keeping the business in the family, even if Jillian can barely boil water. Bertie is determined to help Jillian succeed in the business and to see her marry a good Southern man before the bloom falls completely off the rose.

Cornelia may be Bertie's twin, but she is different from her sister in every way, from her flair for the dramatic to her eccentric nature. She moved back to Belle Haven mansion to live with Bertie five years ago after the death of her husband. She claims to possess a joie de vivre that simply cannot be tamed. Bertie prefers to call it "flighty." Despite her theatrics, Cornelia has a generous heart and wants nothing but the best for her grandniece. She will do anything to see Jillian happy and settled in Moss Hollow ... even if it means bending a few rules.