Cupcake Bakery Mystery, No 3
Berkley Prime Crime
Oct 2011/ 978-0-425-24405-0
Mystery / Cozy / Amateur Sleuths
by Laura Hinds
Fairy Tale Cupcakes bakery, run by friends Melanie Cooper and Angie
Deluca, is the small town of Scottsdale’s favorite dessert
haven. Their competition, Confections, a bakery owned by personal
and professional rival Olivia Puckett, keeps them on their toes.
The Food Channel is coming to town with a competition called “Challenge
to the Chefs.” Olivia has won it five years in a row and she
is bound and determined to retain her title.
One of the Food Channel’s celebrity chefs, Vic Mazzotta,
just happens to be Mel’s mentor from her time in culinary
school. Yet Mel and Angie know the only way they will win is based
on the merits of their baking and use of a mystery ingredient. Unfortunately,
after Vic doesn’t show up for the judging, his body is found
in a freezer truck. Who killed Vic and why? It’s up to Mel
and Angie to track down the killer, bake the best cupcakes for the
contest, and watch each other’s backs. If they aren’t
on top of things, they could be the killer’s next victims.
This mystery literally gets off to a running start, and remains
fast-paced throughout the book. Populated with interesting characters,
readers may feel as if they are visiting old friends in a small-town
setting. McKinlay sets a comfortable tone, and defines the characters
smoothly. Scottsdale feels warm and familiar, yet is not idealistic,
and readers can expect some action-packed scenes.
I enjoyed the book very much, and I recommend the whole series.
This is fine as a stand-alone read, but even better if you read,
“Sprinkle with Murder” and “Buttercream Bump Off”
as well. “Death by the Dozen” is fine for teens and
up, is a fast read, and even includes recipes at the back of the
book. You can’t go wrong with cupcake recipes! Just make sure
you have some cupcakes handy when you read it, or you’ll be
running to a nearby bakery with your mouth watering!