Saturday, April 26, 2014


Publisher:  Berkley
Published:   October 4, 2011
Genre:   Cozy Mystery
Format:  Paperback
Obtained via:  Publisher
Reviewed by name and email address:  Gina


Mel and Angie, cupcake bakers extraordinaire are back and this time they are participating in a baking contest that could really put Fairy Tale Cupcakes on the map in a big way.  Over several days, starting with forty-four contestants and ending with one winner the bakers will have one hour to bake an exceptional dessert.  Not one of their own tried and true recipes. Oh no!  The contest is built around the judges providing one surprise ingredient a day. To prepare Mel and Angie, along with their friend Tate, are up at the crack of dawn to bake.  Each morning Tate arrives with his own surprise ingredient and as the clock begins to tick, the girls devise some pretty amazing cupcakes.  Adding a little something extra to the contest is the fact that Mel’s former professor, Vic, is one of the judges.

But all is not rosy.  First there is their long-time nemesis, Olivia who will stop at nothing to win.  Then there is her former co-student, Dutch, who hasn’t changed a whole lot since school.  And let us not forget Bertie who really dislikes Vic beyond just intensely.

Day one of the contest things are looking pretty good when Mel and Angie pull into first place.  Day two, however, not so great.  Not when Vic is found dead.  Can Mel and Angie find the killer before he finds them?

I enjoyed the first two books in Jenn McKinlay’s Cupcake Bakery mystery series, SPRINKLE WITH MURDER and BUTTERCREAM BUMP OFF so I was looking forward to DEATH BY THE DOZEN.  I have to say McKinlay really outdid herself with DEATH BY THE DOZEN.  It is a fast-paced who done it that certainly kept me guessing who the killer was till pretty much the end.  I suspected who it was early on but I was never quite sure. 

I like how Mel and Angie have developed as well as their relationships.  Even Angie’s brothers…the brothers…while minor characters, have grown a bit as we get into this current story.  Best of all is the addition of Captain Jack.  I don’t know why McKinlay added him but I was very happy to see him.  She does a great job with his behaviours…and you’ll have to read the book to see just what I mean. 

This is a fun series, a well done cozy and this story is the best yet.  For the bakers in the crowd McKinlay provides several tasty cupcake recipes at the end along with a teaser of the next book in the series.

Each book is a standalone and you don’t have to read the earlier ones to enjoy the current story—but really, do you want to read them all because they’re just plain ole good reading.

This is an objective review and not an endorsement of this book.


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