cozy4 star

The Candy Cane Cupcake Killer

Fresh-Baked Mystery, Book #10

By Livia J. Washburn

ISBN13: 9780451416711

Author website:

Brought to you by OBS reviewer Kayt


In the latest from the national bestselling author of Trick or Deadly Treat, Phyllis Newsom returns with a festive Christmas recipe that’s to die for…

‘Tis the season in Weatherford, Texas, and everyone in town is gearing up for the annual holiday parade and tree-lighting ceremony in the town square, where Phyllis Newsom will be serving her much-anticipated candy cane cupcakes. Local rancher Barney McCrory manages to charm one away from her before the ceremony begins. But unfortunately, when the minty confection is finished, so is he.

This isn’t the first time someone has dropped dead after eating one of Phyllis’s treats. But when the paramedics determine the rancher was shot, suspicion swiftly falls on McCrory’s daughter and her husband—who both stand to reap some sweet rewards from his death. Though Phyllis doesn’t want to get mixed up in another murder investigation, something about this case doesn’t sit right with her. With a little help from a tabloid TV news crew, Phyllis must unwrap the truth and restore good cheer to Weatherford before its too late…

Includes recipes!


I have never read any of the books in author Livia J. Washburn’s “A Fresh-Baked Mystery” series and I am going to rectify that now. You do not have to have read any of them to easily follow and thoroughly enjoy The Candy Cane Cupcake Killer as a stand-alone read. The main character, Phyllis Newsom is enjoyable, intelligent and not your normal cozy lead. She and her friends are seniors and I love them. It is Christmas time in Weatherford, Texas and the town is in the holiday spirit. They are having their annual holiday parade and tree-lighting ceremony in the town square. Phyllis has tried a new recipe that she knows will be a winner. She doesn’t expect them to kill anyone. So when rancher Barney McCrory falls down on the job after eating one of her cupcakes, she hopes it wasn’t food poison.

It is determined that McCrory was actually shot and in full view of the town. How could that have happened? Phyllis tries not to get involved in another murder mystery, but she gets pulled in anyway. With the help of an off color TV news crew, Phyllis and her cast of friends try to get to the bottom of things. The tabloid news gang are pretty persistent trying to get answers from her, even setting up shop outside of her home. So Phyllis decides to get them to help and it actually works out very well.

This is the perfect holiday cozy. Great characters in Phyllis and her cronies, including Sam, Carolyn and Eve. Wonderful writing and entertaining storyline and intriguing mystery. Definitely a fun read. As I said I have not read any of the others in this series, but I was pulled in so much that I am going to start from the beginning. The way Phyllis investigates and follows clues is intelligent and I really enjoyed going along with her and her friends on this mystery. The recipes are great at the back of the book. I may just have to try them for the coming Christmas season.

I would recommend The Candy Cane Cupcake Killer to anyone that enjoys a fun cozy. The mature characters really appealed to me even though I am not a senior, yet. Even if you have not read any of the other books in this series, you will be able to thoroughly enjoy this one. The setting is perfect, the characters are fun and intelligent, and the mystery is a great whodunit. I loved meeting this new cast of people and cannot wait to visit Weatherford, TX again very soon. A perfect book for a Christmas gift to a cozy lover. This is a wonderful read and a series that I am going to enjoy delving into very soon.

*OBS would like to thank the publisher for supplying a free copy of this title in exchange for an honest review as part of their ongoing blog tour*