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The Cakes of Monte Cristo
Piece of Cake #6
Jacklyn Brady

Berkley Prime Crime
January 5, 2016 / ISBN 978-0-425-25828-6
Mystery/Amateur Sleuth/Cozy

Reviewed by Laura Hinds


Zydeco Cakes in New Orleans has been hired to cater the Belle Lune Ball for the Crescent City Vintage Clothing Society. It is a sophisticated event and cake shop owner Rita Lucero and her staff are busy making several cakes which are designed to look like dress forms with dresses from the 1930's. They also have buffet food to prepare, and timing is everything.

When the ballroom where the benefit is to be held is flooded, a replacement room at the Monte Cristo Hotel is needed, and that turns out to be the least of Rita's problems. An appropriate room is secured and Rita is even able to hire a temporary replacement for office manager Edie Bryce who is on maternity leave. The temp, Zoey, is more than a bit clumsy, and thanks to an accident on the staircase at Zydeco a long-lost and supposedly cursed ruby necklace is found hidden away. Now that it has been found (if in fact it's the real thing), does that mean the curse has been brought back to life as well?

It certainly appears that way when the gem appraiser who has it dies suddenly. There is a lot of local interest in the necklace, and it seems everyone knows the story of the curse. When it appears someone is after Rita, she has to take the situation a lot more seriously before the curse strikes home.

Each book in this series is better than the last one. I look forward to each installment. There are both recurring and new characters in this story, and the element of superstition and curses which New Orleans is famous for added to the drama. Brady uses her strong writing skills to the draw the reader into the mystery as well as into the lives of Rita, her mother-in-law Miss Frankie and the staff at Zydeco Cakes.

If you've been reading this series right along, you won't want to miss "The Cakes of Monte Cristo," and if you are new to these mysteries, it is fine as a standalone. However, I recommend you collect all six books in the series and indulge in a binge reading session on a cold winter weekend. Enjoy!

Reviews of other titles in this series

A Sheetcake Named Desire #1
Cake on a Hot Tin Roof #2
Arsenic and Old Cake
The Cakes of Wrath #4
Rebel Without a Cake #5
The Cakes of Monte Cristo #6

Reviewed 2016