Jenn McKinlay’s Cupcake Bakery Mystery Series is the next in the posts I am writing about the most popular and recommended Cozy Mystery series. Sprinkle With Murder is the first in the series which introduces us to Melanie Cooper, Angie Delaura, Tate Harper and other characters closely associated with Mel, Angie and Tate. Mel and Angie have just opened a cupcake bakery in old town Scottsdale. Tate, an investment adviser, has invested in the bakery to support his two oldest friends, Mel and Angie.
Before you know it, Tate’s fiance is found murdered with a poisoned cupcake in her hand. Since Mel and Angie really disliked Christie (and there was much to dislike in the victim), it is only natural that they become prime suspects. After all, the cupcake in question was provided by Mel as a sample for the planned wedding.
Of course, there are several other suspects, including Tate himself. Given Christie’s personality, it seems that almost everyone in Scottsdale (or at least everyone who has met her) is a reasonable suspect.
Anyway, in order to clear her and her friends names, and to reverse the blot on the bakery’s reputation that a poisoned cupcake has caused, Mel, naturally, starts to investigate the murder.
This is a fun Cozy Mystery. I enjoyed the fast action and the distinctive (but not zany) characters. (Well, maybe the owner of the competing bakery in town is a bit zany — at least she is obsessed with the new competition.)
The book contains some potential romance for the two main female leads. This side of the story is not emphasized too much, so if you are like me and you are happy to focus on the mystery, the romance is fine.
Also, the book does contain recipes for cupcakes, but there is not excessive discussion of baking or running a bakery >> and that is fine by me! Don’t get me wrong, I like cupcakes (probably a bit too much) but, here as with most themed Cozy Mysteries, I like the characters and the mysteries to be the primary emphasis of the stories with the theme providing only an interesting background.
The Cupcake Bakery Mystery Series began in 2010 and will be up to nine books with the release of the next one planned in 2017. So, if you like series that don’t end after three or so books, this one might be for you. And, Sprinkle With Murder is 242 pages, so it does not hit the all too common 300 page length that I sometimes feel means the story is padded a bit. I enjoyed reading about Mel, Angie and Tate and look forward to the rest in the series.
To see all the series written by Jenn Mckinlay (aka Josie Belle & Lucy Lawrence), click here for her page on the site.