Friday, May 5, 2017

CARAMEL CRUSH by Jenn McKinlay

Publisher:   Berkley
Published:   April 4, 2017    
ISBN:            978-0399583810
Genre:       Cozy Mystery
Format:     Print
Obtained via:  Publisher  
Reviewed by name and email address:  Gina



Mel Cooper’s two best friends, Tate and Angie are in the last stages of planning their wedding.  Happy for her friends, Mel has put aside her own wedding plans—despite the aborted elopement in Vegas not so long ago.  I mean, who would have thought “Elvis” turned out to be a fake in more ways than one? Thing is, the wedding has turned Angie into the worst Bridezilla of all time. So much so even Tate is hiding from his bride-to-be. In the midst of trying to focus on Angie’s needs a friend from Mel’s past appears on the scene.

Diane isn’t exactly a friend—in fact she’s a former roommate Mel would like to keep in her past. It seems Diane did Mel a favour back at school and now Diane is here to collect—she wants an order of “break-up” cupcakes sent to her soon to be former fiancé. Eager for the chance to break free of Diane, Mel agrees. Unfortunately Mike, the soon to be former fiancé, isn’t to be found…at least alive. When Diane is voted most-likely to have murdered the fiancé, she demands Mel prove her innocence.

It’s nice to see this series getting back on track—for awhile there the love triangle aspect, sadly a given part of each cozy series these days—is done and hopefully will not raise its spectre again. While this book bordered on chik-litish with Angie’s bridezilla episodes, McKinlay brings the story back on track when Angie explains why she’s gone so over the top.

I was surprised at who the killer was…there was really nothing in the story to give the reader a clue until the very end.  There were some nicely placed twists and turns throughout the story.  I have to say I wouldn’t mind seeing Diane back in another story – and this time having justice delivered to her.  You’ll have to read it to see what I mean.

There is a welcome update on Manny Martinez and his move to Vegas—I still have hopes of another series involving him and his heart of gold dancer having their own series. Manny really does deserve a happy ever after and the opportunity for some great stories in Vegas as well as cross overs for Mel and Angie would keep readers entertained for a long, long time.

My other “wishlist” item is for McKinlay to put out a cupcake cookbook.  Throughout the series she’s included recipes for some fantastic sounding cupcakes and to have them all in one place would be awesome.

All in all a nice addition to a fun series. McKinlay gives just enough backstory to catch readers up on what’s happened in the characters’ lives since the last book as well as bring new readers up to date. 

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


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