Monday, May 5, 2014


Publisher:  Berkley  

Published:   April 2, 2013
ISBN:  978-0425252079
Genre:   Cozy mystery
Format:  Paperback
Obtained via:  Publisher - ARC
Reviewed by name and email address:  Gina


Southwest Magazine is in Scottsdale with Mel and Angie front and center with the chance of a lifetime—a spread in the famed publication.  Before their photo shoot can get underway, however, their nemesis, Olivia Puckett arrives in an outlandish poodle skirt with her own array of cupcakes.  Before Olivia can take center stage a food fight consisting of some freshly baked and iced cupcakes ensues.  Not only are Olivia, Mel and Angie dripping in buttercream frosting—the magazine crew is also pelted with the goodies.  When business partner, Tate, arrives along with the magazine owner Ian Hannigan, he is less than pleased.  Ian, however, sees the food fight as an opportunity not to be missed. 

Ian explains that while the cupcake throwing was messy, Angie, Mel, Oz and Marty worked as a team, something he hasn’t been able to get his own employees to do.  Ian announces that the best way to make up for any monies lost due to the delay in filming is for Angie and Mel to hold a cupcake boot camp for his employees—1,000 cupcakes for charity in a week. 

Mel and Angie aren’t too pleased with the proposition, but there doesn’t seem to be much else they can do so they go along with the plan, each putting aside their own private life concerns to do so.  Before you can say ganache, though, one of the magazine employees is found dead outside the bakery door.  Can the girls find the killer before someone else is frosted?

I’ve enjoyed Jenn McKinlay’s cupcake bakery mysteries from the first book, SPRINKLE WITH MURDER. For me the best was DEATH BY THE DOZEN where the characters hit their stride, had great chemistry, were moving along with their relationships and the mystery that unfolded was a real page turner.  McKinlay also added some wonderfully quirky characters that fleshed out the series.  RED VELVET REVENGE was a step back but still enjoyable.  The latest though, GOING, GOING GANACHE, was a huge disappointment.

I got the feeling the author had run of out steam or ideas for the book and rather than find a new direction for Angie and Mel to pursue, she focused on pretty much destroying their relationships.  Far too much time was spent with Mel agonizing over whether or not she really wants to be with Joe and Angie, who waited a lifetime for Tate wasn’t too far behind in the ambivalence dance.  The whole Martinez and Mel thing was boring at best.  At worst it took away from her solving the mystery of who killed Sam. The story turned into a badly written chick lit rather than a cozy mystery. I really hope this whole relationship fiasco simmers down by the next book and the author brings the series back on track. 

For instance—Joe is a district attorney—Mel’s uncle is a detective—why, if the author wants to get away from so many people dying around the bakery, doesn’t she use those two characters to launch Angie and Mel into investigating some cold cases? 

And Olivia in this one?  She went from a major antagonist early on to a vehicle to start a fight or the stepping off point for Angie and Mel’s newest murder investigation, to…well her role at the end was more like women’s fiction gone bad. 

I just don’t have much nice to say about GOING, GOING GANACHE except the recipes at the end look pretty easy to bake and sound mighty tasty. 

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

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