Dying For Devil’s Food by Jenn McKinlay

A Cupcake Bakery Mystery
“Mean Girls meets Fairy Tale Cupcakes”

Dying for Devil’s Food (Cupcake Bakery Mystery #11) 4 Stars

In this installment, cupcake bakers and bakery owners, Mel and Angie, are baking cupcakes and preparing for their high school reunion. However, Mel is doing so under protest. Mel did not have the best experiences in school as she was overweight and bullied terribly. Although, thinned down and successful, Mel is still terribly insecure. Mel soon finds out that time doesn’t change everyone. The night of the reunion, things are just like high school. Her bullies are still there, holding court, and ready to bully her. The plot thickens when one of her tormentors is found dead and she is the prime suspect.

Determined to clear her name, Mel works with some unlikely people from her past. Together they are determined to find the killer and uncover secrets that may unravel a lot of lives. Some people are willing to do anything to keep their secrets, even kill for them.

I wasn’t surprised really by the culprit, as I suspected them at one point throughout the story but it was still a shock at the reveal.

I love Angie and Tate as a married couple now and I really liked Mel and Joe’s relationship in this book. I was never really Team Joe, always Team Martinez. And as odd as it may be to see Uncle Stan and Mel’s mom together, it makes me happy that they are finding companionship at this time in their lives. I am not sure when book 12 is going to be released but I cannot wait for it, as there will be a lot going on from the way this one ended.

I had the audio version of this book narrated by Susan Boyce. Highly recommend.

Murder With Cucumber Sandwiches by Karen Rose Smith

A Daisy’s Tea Garden Mystery

Murder with Cucumber Sandwiches (Daisy’s Tea Garden Mystery #3) 5 Stars

I adore this series. The setting of a small town tea shop, the cast of characters, and the sweet and sinister plot lines have made the Daisy’s Tea Garden Mysteries one of my top series.

First and foremost, I love any book, especially a cozy, that has a middle aged (give or take a few years) protagonist. Also, when said protagonist is a single woman battling her own insecurities while trying to keep it together for her family, that’s the perfect recipe to connect emotionally with the books.

In this series, Daisy, a widow with 2 teenage daughters, returns to her small, home town to be closer to her family. In need of a fresh start, Daisy and her aunt Iris open a Tea Shop. Although the business is very successful, its seems a dark cloud has been hovering around the town, especially the tea shop. With murder and mystery popping up in town, Daisy or someone she cares about always seem to be a suspect.

In this installment of the series, a local food critic is going around town reviewing local businesses. With the extremely unfavorable reviews he is giving, it is no surprise that he meets an untimely demise. The twist, it may have been food from Daisy’s Tea Garden that did him in. With her staff being prime suspects, Daisy and her somewhat boyfriend, Jonas, are on the case. If that’s not enough, there seems to be something going on within her own family.

I had no idea who the culprit was of the murder and the why. I did have my a strong idea of what was going on with Daisy’s family. This book, although Cozy, has a strong emotional theme. The sense of strength, family, support, and love are very strong in this novel. When a book can surprise me, make me laugh out loud, and tear up with emotion, it gets a 5 Star rating.

I received an advanced digital copy of this book from NetGalley in return for my honest review.

I am highly anticipating the release of book 4, Murder with Cherry Tarts, 11/26/19.