Vangie Vale & the Strangled Strudel (The Matchbaker Mysteries) by R.L. Syme

Vangie Vale & the Strangled Strudel (The Matchbaker Mysteries)
Cozy Mystery 3rd in Series
Setting - Montana
Hummingbird Books (January 4, 2018)
Print Length: 330 pages
E-Book ASIN: B077GK124B

You could call it the straw that broke the camel’s back but it was more like a Montana forest timber. Just when Vangie Vale’s life was getting back to normal after a murder that rocked her little Rocky Mountain tourist town, she found herself in the middle of another murder... as the chief suspect.
Vangie stood shocked on the side of the curb as the sheriff stretched yellow crime scene tape around the front of her new bakery. Wouldn’t this make a lovely headline in next week’s paper: Local Baker Kills Parishioner With Pudding. Vangie’s road back to good graces as a part-time pastor was bumpy enough already. This would be a roadblock. Can't have that. 

 Character Guest Post: Vangie Vale of The Matchbaker Mysteries

Probably the most common comment I get when I meet people is that they’ve never met a female pastor before. I’m like the carnival sideshow sometimes, but it’s actually interesting. It provides me with a lot of opportunities to talk to people about who I am and why I do what I do.

For instance, I didn’t get into the business of church-ing because I like to preach. I don’t mind preaching, don’t get me wrong, but I’m not a preach-er by personality. I do it because it’s part of the job, but it’s not my favorite. I also don’t vote in elections. I don’t think it’s the church’s place to try to involve itself in government. In any way. Don’t even ask me if I have an opinion about politics. I do not.

But the difference between me and the “average” pastor is the same as the difference between any one pastor, and any other pastor. Pastors are people. They’re all different. All pastors are no more or less the same than all airline pilots are the same. People think I’m an anomaly because I’m a woman pastor. But really, I’m an anomaly because I’m human. And so was my pastor, and so is your pastor. We’re all different.

I like baking. I also like debating theology. I like watching crime shows and reading true crime books, because human psychology interests me. I also like reading church history because human psychology interests me. I like Montana because the mountains are the evidence of the grandeur of God. I like North Carolina because the ocean is the evidence of the grandeur of God. And I like croissants for the same reason. And people. I’m really a pretty easy person to get to know.

When it comes down to it, I’m a pretty simple person, in general. I like people. I like carbs. I like basketball. I like theology. I think the world could use more people who have a respect for the mystery of faith, and don’t need to have every answer and know every fact, because sometimes the world is unknowable. And in that unknowability, it’s more beautiful.

Beauty, folks. That’s why I got into the pastorate. For the beauty.

Some amateur sleuths can not help themselves. They keep returning to the scene of the crime. Of course when that scene is your own usiness, who can blame her?  Well, her neighbor, the sheriff, does try. And her biker boyfriend. But Vangie Vale has a mind of her own, as well as a secret past.
This was the first of the series I had read but I followed along well. I was anxious each time Vangie returned to her bakery or went to check on a friend, or suspect.  Truth can be stranger than fiction, and this book did read as if true!

R.L. Syme is a USA Today best-selling author of cozy mystery and small tow=n romance. She writes cozy culinary mysteries as R.L. Syme and small-town romance as Becca Boyd and. She is a writer of amateur sleuths worth loving and villains worth hating. Lover of fancy cheese, binge-watching, strawberries, and hope. A foodie and a baker herself, Becca grew up reading Nancy Drew mysteries passed on by her grandmother. A Tweeter and Pinner of things. She loves to connect with readers via social media.
Author Links:
  Facebook Page:
  Facebook Fan Group:
  Twitter: @beck_a_tron
  Amazon Author Page:

  Purchase Link Amazon 

  Have you signed up to be a Tour Host?
  Click Here Find Details and Sign Up Today!


  1. Thank you for your review on "Vangie Vale & the Strangled Strudel" and for being part of the book tour!

    I'd love to have the chance read this book!
    2clowns at arkansas dot net

  2. Thank you so much for reading Vangie! :)


Post a Comment

Thank you for visiting.
I love to hear comments
and like to visit you back.

Popular posts from this blog


Playing Possum (The 2 Sisters Pet Valet Mysteries) by Dane McCaslin