Wedding Cake Crumble
Cupcake Bakery Mystery
By Jenn McKinlay
Author’s Website: jennmckinlay(.)com
With Angie and Tate’s wedding just around the corner, it’s a happy time for Melanie Cooper and the bakery crew. Not only are they finessing the last minute details of the big day, but their bakery, Fairy Tale Cupcakes, has just been hired to bake cupcakes for the blockbuster book signing of a controversial author who wrote a steamy bestseller filled with juicy local gossip.
But one by one, the people Angie has hired to work at the wedding begin turning up dead. As the body count rises, the bestselling author is the next to bite the dust. Mel quickly realizes she needs to figure out how the murders are connected and why–before the killer brings the entire cupcake crew crumbling down. After all, Angie and Tate deserve their sweet happily ever after.
I have entered the Cupcake Bakery Mystery series at book #10, Wedding Cake Crumble. Have I been missing a delectable series! I must say, now that I have had a sliver of the series, I am more than tempted to devour the whole series, right from book #1. But first… my review of book 10 ☺.
Initially, I was apprehensive that I might find it difficult to enter the series at such a late date. My fears were quickly squelched. The characters quickly felt like I had known them for a long time, even though this is my first exposure to the these characters of Scottsdale, Arizona.
Angie DeLaura and Melanie Cooper (aka Mel) are not just best friends from childhood (they met when they were twelve) but also business partners – co-owners of a bakery named Fairy Tale Cupcakes. With just one week to go until Angie’s wedding, the list of last minute details to get through are many. During one such errand, Angie and Mel discover the photographer (Blaine Ione – good friend of Angie’s fiancé Tate) dead in his studio. You know when you find your wedding photographer dead that no good can come of this. And thus the amateur sleuthing begins. One would think that with a wedding so close, that they would leave it to the police but apparently sleuthing takes Angie’s mind off her pre wedding jitters. To add further complexity – Mel’s Uncle Stan Cooper is a local homicide detective and her fiancé Joe DeLaura is a public prosecutor. So all of this is “in the family”.
Before long though, more murders happen and it begins to look like they are all connected. But what is that connection?
I quite enjoyed the way the sleuthing was laid out and as luck would have it, there were many twists and turns, along with many bodies that muddied the efforts to find the killer(s). I like my cozy mysteries to keep the mystery alive for as long as possible and I am happy to say that it took until the very end (and one specific “ah ha” moment of Mel’s) to figure out the killer(s) identity.
The way that Mel described hugs from the Cooper clan (her dad and Uncle Stan) got to me:
“There was nothing polite about Cooper men’s hugs. They were big, meaty bear hugs that made even a tall girl like Mel feel safe and protected.”
And then, I fell “in-like” with Joe when Mel described the following:
“One of the many reasons Mel had fallen in love with her fiancé, Joe DeLaura, who was also Angie’s older brother, was that he could give the same type of no-reservations-all-in-don’t-worry-I’ve-got-you sort of hug.”
Humor also abounds in this cozy mystery. I loved the scene where Mel is playing tennis (and yup…she actually can’t play tennis but needs to fake it to further her sleuthing):
“One ball whizzed by Mel on the right. Another ball whizzed by her on the left. When the third one came at her dead center, she yelped and hit the ground, putting her racket over her head.”
“There was a snort of laughter from the sidelines and Mel glanced over to see Ray with a fist at his mouth, as if he could force himself to swallow the laughter that was trying to roar up out of him. She wanted to hit him with her racket.”
Eventually (of course), the mystery is solved but I was dismayed by how people treat each other – a sad commentary on human values… and this led to … you guessed it… murder! So not only is this a cozy mystery with romance and humor but also a bit of social commentary thrown in. Oh…and cupcakes!
The cover art is so enticing…making me want to go out and get a cupcake or two ☺.
Now that I have enjoyed book 10 so very much, I will rush out and get book one and read the series from the beginning! I think I have found another favorite cozy author.
*OBS would like to thank the publisher for supplying a free copy of this title in exchange for an honest review*