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Red Velvet Revenge
A Cupcake Bakery Mystery #4
Jenn McKinlay

Berkley Prime Crime
July 2012/ISBN # 0425251381 / 978-0425251386

Reviewed by Cheryl Green

I always feel that I am in for a delectable treat when I get to read one of Jenn McKinlay's CupCake Bakery Mysteries. Red Velvet Revenge, I am happy to report, is no exception. Melanie Cooper, Angie DeLaura and their employees, Marty and Oz, are taking Oz's new but ancient van for a spin when it breaks down. Lucky for the"Cupcake Gang," Slim Hazard and his wife, Tammy, come along and rescue them from getting heat stroke in the Arizona sun. Slim owns the Juniper Pass Rodeo and invites them to sell their FairyTale Cupcakes during the upcoming annual rodeo. Since business was slow and the rodeo would have around 25,000 visitors, the plan was to fix the van and start selling cupcakes. Their last minute decision got them booked into the Last Chance Saloon. The balcony off their rooms gave them an ideal view of the kick off parade. It also gave them ringside seats when Slim gets shot. Why would anyone want to shoot the nicest man in town? Was it really just an accident or something more serious?

Mel and Tate go to wish Lily good luck before the barrel riding event begins. Lily is Slim's daughter and is as nice as they come. As they were leaving, Mel accidentally bumps into a very drunk Ty Stokes and things get ugly. Ty is a mean drunk and believes his own press about being the best bull rider and why the rodeo is such a success. Slim and Tammy come along and make Ty apologize for being so rude.

Deciding to bring Ty a peace offering of cupcakes, Mel and Angie try his trailer first and learn he had gone to the bull pens with Shelby - Slim's other daughter. Rather than leave the box of cupcakes with Ty's crew - Mel wants to make sure he actually gets the cupcakes. What they find in the building that housed the bulls is a very dead Ty with several holes in his chest. Was he gored by an errant bull or shot to death?

Some other questions that need to be answered: Will Angie move to California to be with her rock star boyfriend? Will Tate ever tell Angie how he feels about her? Who will win the Cupcake/BBQ wars?

Jenn McKinlay has written another charming mystery with her usual cast of scrumptious characters. I enjoyed every morsel. Plus she includes some yummy recipes too.

Reviews of other titles in this series

A Sheetcake Named Desire, No 1
Buttercream Bump Off , No 2
Death by the Dozen, No 3
Red Velvet Revenge, No 4

Reviewer's Note: Other CupCake Bakery Mysteries: Sprinkle With Murder; Buttercream Bump Off; Death By the Dozen; Author of the Library Lover's Mysteries
Reviewed 2012