Kara hopes to win a scholarship to La Patisserie Pastry School so she can escape her bleak life by becoming a professional baker, but she has to contend with a secret stalker as well.
Kara also deals with the death of her older sister, Kellen. She sees Kellen often—perhaps not so much as a ghost but more as a psychological presence. Kara’s domineering mother quit her high-power attorney job at Kellen’s death, got religion, and now runs a restaurant/food kitchen. Kara knows her mom will never allow her to go to California for the scholarship contest, so she gets a job so she can buy her own plane ticket, permission or no. Meanwhile she feels both attracted to and suspicious of Charlie, who works for her mom and clearly likes Kara. But who is sending her the creepy, anonymous letters? Could it be Charlie? Grogan doesn’t go in much for nuance. Kara’s absent father is terminally neglectful, and her mother is crazy. Even her best friend constantly taunts her sarcastically, so much so that readers might wonder why Kara keeps her as a “friend.” However, the story builds and sustains tension deftly, offering just the right level of clues as to the identity of the stalker. Kara’s love of baking is a nifty distinguishing feature, and the author includes her cookie recipe at the end.
Involving and suspenseful. (Mystery. 12-18)