Sunday, August 21, 2011

Review: Sprinkle With Murder

Sprinkle With Murder
Jenn McKinlay
Available at Barnes & Noble online,
Amazon, Barnes & Noble brick and mortar stores,
and as an e-book for the Kindle or Nook.

Good evening constant reader.
In a nutshell, if you like a good who did it, with believable characters in believable situations, with a tasty culinary background, then this is the book for you.

Melanie Cooper and her best friend Angie DeLaura are the owners and operators of Fairy Tale Cupcakes, a cupcake bakery in Scottsdale, Arizona.  Business is good and the two young women couldn't be happier.  They are joined in this business venture by Tate Harper, their friend since grade school.

It's Tate's upcoming nuptials that start the cupcake crumbling, when his caustic fashion designer bride to be, Christie Stevens, wants to contract Melanie to create 5 original cupcake flavors for their wedding.
When I say contract, I mean contract, as in, the cupcakes become the bride's property and Melanie may not make them for sale in her shop.  As it turns out, Bridezilla has extended the contract business to her gown designer and photographer.
Understandably, this has all the creative types fuming, yet they are reluctant to take Christie on, as her name can mean bigger and better things to their futures.  Who wants to go on record as turning down her business?

Melanie creates the 5 flavors and they're picked up by Christie's assistants.
The next morning, Melanie has an appointment at the crack of dawn to meet with Christie to see if her creations past muster.  She arrives at Christie's design studio to find it quiet...too quiet...and discovers Christie's dead body, with one of Melanie's cupcakes at hand.

Thus begins Melanie's efforts to clear herself and find out who did Christie in and why.
There are numerous suspects, all with an ax to grind, and some clever hey-I-bet-it's-this-guy moments, that may or may not prove to be true.

Jenn McKinlay deftly weaves a compelling tale, combining realistic dialogue and character actions that were very refreshing.  I hate it when characters don't sound convincing and do dumb things, most especially in a mystery.
Melanie, Angie and Tate form a great triad of friendship that obviously has stood the test of time and is put to the real test with Christie's murder.
Supporting characters are well drawn and come and go as needed, including Melanie's mother and Angie's over-protective brothers.

Have I mentioned the cupcakes?
Oh, the cupcakes!
4 recipes are included at the end of the book that sound divine.

This is a brilliant start to a continuing series.
The second book in the series, Buttercream Bump Off is available now. (And I went out and bought it as soon as I finished Sprinkle), with #3, Death By The Dozen due in October 2011.

For more information on Jenn McKinlay, please go to:
Jenn McKinlay on Facebook
Jenn McKinlay's home page

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