Pumpkin Spice Peril (Cupcake Bakery Mystery, #12)
In the twelfth Cupcake Bakery Mystery from New York Times bestselling author Jenn McKinlay, the Fairy Tale Cupcake crew follows the clever crumb trail of a killer who's anything but cookie-cutter.Life is all sugar and spice for the Fairy Tale Cupcake bakers--Melanie Cooper is engaged to the delectable Joe DeLaura, Angie Harper and her husband Tate are savoring married life, and the bakery is bustling with happy customers. Until one of their most valued cupcake connoisseurs ends up dead.Local glass artist and cupcake lover Rene Fischer-Klein has always suffered from a wide variety of health issues. In an effort to cheer her up, her doting husband, Peter, brings her a four-pack of her favorite cupcakes every week. But when the police discover that Rene has been poisoned, there's no sugarcoating the fact that the last things she ate were the bakery's signature pumpkin spice cupcakes! With their lives and bakery at stake, it's up to Mel and Angie to find out who poisoned their artist friend and why, before their future is frosted for good.

Pumpkin Spice Peril (Cupcake Bakery Mystery, #12) Details

TitlePumpkin Spice Peril (Cupcake Bakery Mystery, #12)
Author
LanguageEnglish
ReleaseApr 28th, 2020
PublisherBerkley Books
ISBN-139780451492654
Rating
GenreMystery, Cozy Mystery

Pumpkin Spice Peril (Cupcake Bakery Mystery, #12) Review

  • Toni
    January 1, 1970
    What a lovely series of cozies! It is bound to take your mind off the stress of your daily life and get totally immersed in solving the mystery.
  • Patricia Romero
    January 1, 1970
    The 12th Cupcake Bakery MysteryThe Fairy Tale Cupcake Crew is back!Melanie is riding high. Planning her wedding to the hunky Joe Delaura, things are going well with the bakery, Angie and Tate are finally married and even Uncle Stan seems to be finding love. So you know something bad is going to happen. Poor Mel is always in the thick of things.At the moment they are busily baking cupcakes for their dear friend Renee. An incredibly gifted artist working on a huge glass project installation in a The 12th Cupcake Bakery MysteryThe Fairy Tale Cupcake Crew is back!Melanie is riding high. Planning her wedding to the hunky Joe Delaura, things are going well with the bakery, Angie and Tate are finally married and even Uncle Stan seems to be finding love. So you know something bad is going to happen. Poor Mel is always in the thick of things.At the moment they are busily baking cupcakes for their dear friend Renee. An incredibly gifted artist working on a huge glass project installation in a few days. To keep her energy up her husband, Peter stops by every day for four of her favorite cupcakes. To Mel and Angie, this is a #relationshipgoal type of couple. But lately, Renee has been acting odd. Is she really stressed over this art installation? Or is she ill? When she is found dead at the gallery the day before her biggest triumph, the suspects are coming out of the woodwork. And a certain police chief is wondering why Melanie seems to be always stumbling over bodies.In order to clear her reputation, she will once again have to poke her nose where others wish she would not. But this time she'll be on her own. You will understand why after the first few pages of the book, so I'm not saying a word. Those DeLaura men thrill me and terrify me at the same time.These characters are so real that I have a theory that they are and maybe if I'm really good, I'll stumble upon Fairy Tale Cupcakes and sample some of those scrumptious cupcakes. Also, recipes are included. God Bless you, Jenn McKinlay!NetGalley/ April 28th, 2020 by Berkley Books
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  • Lori
    January 1, 1970
    Rene dies just before a catered event in which her artistic creation will debut. Mel becomes a suspect when the police chief questions how she keeps finding bodies and threatens her with an independent counsel investigation into her involvement in past homicides. Meanwhile Angie battles morning sickness but her brothers provide support for her and Mel. I found this to be a pleasant diversion. Even though I missed several installments, my familiarity with the characters was adequate to appreciate Rene dies just before a catered event in which her artistic creation will debut. Mel becomes a suspect when the police chief questions how she keeps finding bodies and threatens her with an independent counsel investigation into her involvement in past homicides. Meanwhile Angie battles morning sickness but her brothers provide support for her and Mel. I found this to be a pleasant diversion. Even though I missed several installments, my familiarity with the characters was adequate to appreciate this. Even though I rarely read more than 50 pages at a time, I enjoyed this one. These COVID-19 days filled with other distractions account for the length of time it took to read it. I suspect under normal circumstances this would have been read in a few hours. I received an advance review copy through NetGalley with the expectation of an honest review.
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  • Mark Baker
    January 1, 1970
    Over the years that best friends Mel Cooper and Angie Harper have run Fairytale Cupcakes, they have made friends with some of their customers. Near the top of that list are husband and wife artists Peter and Rene. Every Friday, Peter comes in to pick up cupcakes for Rene, who is currently putting the finishing touches on a major art installation to be unveiled in Scottsdale, Arizona, and Mel and Angie are providing the cupcakes for the opening night party. However, the night before the big Over the years that best friends Mel Cooper and Angie Harper have run Fairytale Cupcakes, they have made friends with some of their customers. Near the top of that list are husband and wife artists Peter and Rene. Every Friday, Peter comes in to pick up cupcakes for Rene, who is currently putting the finishing touches on a major art installation to be unveiled in Scottsdale, Arizona, and Mel and Angie are providing the cupcakes for the opening night party. However, the night before the big event, someone dies under suspicious circumstances. Has Mel been pulled into another murder?While the murder happens a little late in the book, the time is well used to introduce us to characters and provide plenty of conflict. I was never bored, and that only increased once the murdered happened and Mel started uncovering secrets. The series regulars all sparkle as always, and I enjoyed getting to spend time with them. The new characters are just as strong. The book has a more somber tone than some of the others in the series, but it fits the events of the plot. Don’t worry, there are still some good laughs along the way. We get four new cupcake recipes at the end that sound delicious. I raced through this book like always. This is another fun entry in one of my favorite series.NOTE: I received an ARC of this book.Read my full review at Carstairs Considers.
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  • Annie (Under the Covers Book Blog)
    January 1, 1970
    Jenn McKinlay is back with book twelve in the Cupcake Bakery Mystery series. You would think that with twelve books already out and a happily ever after for one of the main characters that McKinlay would have nothing else to write about, but she proves people wrong with this book.Not only do we get amazing news for our favorite couple right off the bat, but the same fun banter is still present. Now if youre used to more fast-paced mysteries then this series may not be for you. But I Jenn McKinlay is back with book twelve in the Cupcake Bakery Mystery series. You would think that with twelve books already out and a happily ever after for one of the main characters that McKinlay would have nothing else to write about, but she proves people wrong with this book.Not only do we get amazing news for our favorite couple right off the bat, but the same fun banter is still present. Now if you’re used to more fast-paced mysteries then this series may not be for you. But I definitely feel like this is my favorite style of writing that McKinlay does in her Mystery series. I prefer her more playful style with that touch of romance. It offers a more balance storyline in my opinion.McKinlay’s writing in this book does have quite a bit of repetition. This might be for the newbies to the Cozy Mystery genre to help guide them through the clues. However, it can sometimes slow the book down a touch, especially when it’s being repetitive more than once. But you just need to keep in mind that this is a lighter read in general.PUMPKIN SPICE PERIL was definitely a fun read and after reading this, I am definitely looking forward to the next book in the series.
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  • Peggy R
    January 1, 1970
    I am a big fan of this series (and author) and devour each new book. This is the 12th book in the Cupcake Bakery Mystery Series and it is a delightful addition to a series that just hits all the right notes for me when looking for a cozy mystery series. These characters are well rounded, developed with depth and personality, and there is still room for them to continue to grow and relationships to change along with that growth. Mel and Angie have the kind of friendship that just makes me smile. I am a big fan of this series (and author) and devour each new book. This is the 12th book in the Cupcake Bakery Mystery Series and it is a delightful addition to a series that just hits all the right notes for me when looking for a cozy mystery series. These characters are well rounded, developed with depth and personality, and there is still room for them to continue to grow and relationships to change along with that growth. Mel and Angie have the kind of friendship that just makes me smile. Their lives are changing but the two of them are learning to roll with those changes. The one thing that doesn't change is Mel's penchant for discovering dead bodies or being in the wrong place when one is discovered. Unfortunately, this time the death is Mel's friend and a renowned glass artist. The last time Mel sees her friend alive the visit is fraught with an argument. As a result, she feels like she has to see that justice is done. She does this with the help of Angie, Joe and the rest of the secondary cast of characters. There are some changes with the Cupcake Fairy family, one that made me happy and one tinged with a bit of sadness.The mystery was well done. While the identity of the killer was not a complete surprise, Ms. McKinlay does a good job of laying out clues that could fit a number of suspects and then leaving it to her readers to piece them together to see if they can determine the killer's identity. This is a highly entertaining series and I will always be back for more. I voluntarily read a digital advanced reader copy provided to me by the publisher, Berkley, through Edelweiss Books.
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  • Kristina
    January 1, 1970
    Pumpkin Spice Peril is the 12th A Cupcake Bakery Mystery. Each book can be read on its own, but you will be missing out on some delightful stories. I thought Pumpkin Spice Peril was well-written with developed characters. Angie Harper and Melanie Cooper have come a long way since Sprinkle with Murder. Angie is married to Tate and they are trying to conceive. Joe DeLaura and Melanie are engaged, and they are looking forward to their nuptials. Marty enjoys his job at the bakery and is dating the Pumpkin Spice Peril is the 12th A Cupcake Bakery Mystery. Each book can be read on its own, but you will be missing out on some delightful stories. I thought Pumpkin Spice Peril was well-written with developed characters. Angie Harper and Melanie Cooper have come a long way since Sprinkle with Murder. Angie is married to Tate and they are trying to conceive. Joe DeLaura and Melanie are engaged, and they are looking forward to their nuptials. Marty enjoys his job at the bakery and is dating the bakeries rival, Olivia. Oz has perfected his baking prowess and is a valuable member of their team. I enjoy the descriptions of Old Town Scottsdale, Arizona and the creative people who work in the area. The book is filled with activity. Angie learns some surprising news which has her protective brothers (seven of them) rushing to the bakery. It also has Melanie on her own in this investigation. The local police chief wonders how Melanie keeps stumbling over dead bodies. He intends to have a formal investigation launched into all the past cases that Melanie was involved in. Uncle Stan can only do so much to protect Melanie. One of the DeLaura brother’s is dating and he is keeping the ladies name to himself. You know the family is going to find out. We also get to learn more about the most secretive DeLaura brother. Oz gets a new haircut, has mysterious appointments and is wearing a suit. Melanie gives Oz his privacy, but she has an idea what is behind the sudden changes. The mystery of who poisoned Rene has several suspects including her husband and a rival glass artist. One clue will give you the answer if you pay close attention to the details. I love the movie quotes that the group use. I like the quirkiness it adds to the story. I enjoyed the word imagery of the beautiful glass sculpture. It sounded amazing. Plenty of cupcakes are consumed in this tale. Melanie needs to keep up her strength and deal with all the drama. One situation calls for a cupcake in each hand. There are recipes at the end for the yummy creations. Pumpkin Spice Peril is an engaging cozy mystery with tempting treats, a glorious glass creation, a perilous poison, a remarkable remake, busy brothers, and an amazing announcement.
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  • Melanie
    January 1, 1970
    Melanie Coopers Fairy Tale Cupcakes, in Scottsdale, AZ, is famous for its delicious and quirky creations. (Root Beer Float cupcakes, anyone?) As this episode of Cupcake Bakery Mysteries begins, the first mystery that presents itself is newlywed Angie Harpers sudden irritability and tendency to bolt for the nearest bathroom.Melanie and partner Angie are preparing a huge order for an art-glass installation over the canal, being crafted by longtime friend and customer, Rene Fischer-Klein. She and Melanie Cooper’s Fairy Tale Cupcakes, in Scottsdale, AZ, is famous for its delicious and quirky creations. (Root Beer Float cupcakes, anyone?) As this episode of Cupcake Bakery Mysteries begins, the first mystery that presents itself is newlywed Angie Harper’s sudden irritability and tendency to bolt for the nearest bathroom.Melanie and partner Angie are preparing a huge order for an art-glass installation over the canal, being crafted by longtime friend and customer, Rene Fischer-Klein. She and husband Peter have long been Mel’s exemplar of a perfect, supportive, loving marriage, one that she hopes to emulate when she weds Joe DeLuca, Angie’s older brother. But when Peter stops in that day to pick up his usual order of 4 cupcakes for Rene, he confides that his wife has been sick lately, claiming stress from the upcoming exhibition. She also has been uncharacteristically moody, paranoid, and unpredictable, and will not see a doctor.Mel, concerned for her friend, decides to visit Desert Winds Gallery, where Rene is working on the last pieces for the installation. Before she can get to Rene’s door, she learns that others have noticed - and been targeted by - Rene’s accusations, including Peter, who has been banned altogether. Rene’s gaunt and unkempt appearance is shocking, but not as shocking as her bitter, jealous rage - at Mel, who has to duck to avoid being hit by a piece of glass. What is happening to her lovely friend?The day before the exhibition, Peter has not shown up for his usual cupcakes, and Rene has not called. Worried, Mel is about to check in on Rene when Angie arrives, wide-eyed with horror: a death has been reported at Desert Wind. At the scene, their worst fear is confirmed. Rene is dead.The investigation begins with the pumpkin spice cupcakes that were in Rene’s studio. Although they are found to not have been poisoned, the police chief opens an investigation into Mel herself, since she has been “homicide adjacent” in so many murders already (a malady shared by many a cozy sleuth!). Of course, there are other suspects, beginning with Peter himself, and other artists from the gallery, including sultry Bernadette, hunky Byron,and others, who might - in a different context, be labelled “red herrings.” (Not even adventurous Mel would make Red Herring Cupcakes.)There are also delightful subplots. One of Joe’s brothers buys his girlfriend a fish and names it after himself, Mel’s mother has begun to date (and wait until you learn who her new boyfriend is!), and Mel’s chef, Oz, who suddenly transforms himself from Goth-punk to well-groomed grownup. Mel’s uncle Stan, a detective himself, has an insightful discussion with Joe about Arizona’s laws that incarcerate low-level drug users in prisons that are, increasingly, being privatized - an interesting side-note indeed. And I’ll add my own, personal puzzlement: do people really eat 4 cupcakes at one sitting? All is resolved, relationships are changed for better or worse, Angie’s new characteristics are most-delightfully explained, and many cupcakes are eaten. Many many cupcakes.Confession: this was my first Cupcake Bakery Mystery, but it won’t be my last. 5 stars and thanks to NetGalley for the ARC.
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  • Jeanie
    January 1, 1970
    This is one of my favorite food specialty cozy mystery series. I especially enjoyed this one, partly because of my love of all things pumpkin spice! One thing that attracts me to this series is the setting of Scottsdale, Arizona, where I worked in various offices in a past career. Being familiar with some of the area has been a treat, almost as much fun as imagining what these delectable cupcakes taste like! The characters are so well-defined that I would almost expect to bump into a couple of This is one of my favorite food specialty cozy mystery series. I especially enjoyed this one, partly because of my love of all things pumpkin spice! One thing that attracts me to this series is the setting of Scottsdale, Arizona, where I worked in various offices in a past career. Being familiar with some of the area has been a treat, almost as much fun as imagining what these delectable cupcakes taste like! The characters are so well-defined that I would almost expect to bump into a couple of them, or even see the elegant new glass artistry. Scottsdale developments enhance their appeal with fabulous works of art for public display that show the charm of the old West with bold, modern lines and mediums.Mel and Angie, with Angie’s husband Tate, are partners in Fairy Tale Cupcakes, a wonderful shop of unique, adorable, mouth-watering cupcake combinations. I wanted to find a cupcake bakery just reading about them! Mel is engaged to Angie’s brother, Joe. One of Angie and Mel’s friends in Old Town Scottsdale is Rene, a gifted glass artist. Rene made the cake topper for their upcoming wedding. Rene and her husband Peter have always seemed like the ideal married couple, completely in love with each other. They knew Rene and Peter from their earliest days in Old Town, when Rene was new to her studio at Desert Winds Gallery.Rene is at the peak of her career, with the most incredible new installation for which the opening is a week away at a prominent Scottsdale location. Peter expresses his concern about Rene’s health to Mel, and Mel tries to hide her horror at seeing the changes. Not only does Rene look sick, but her mental health is deteriorating, as evidenced by a wild accusation that Mel was having an affair with Peter. Rene finally calmed down, and Mel’s staff will be serving at the opening of her new work the following week. Except that Rene never got to see the grand unveiling of her beautiful artistry. She died the day before, at first thought to be of a heart attack.Mel was quickly accused of murder, as Rene had been poisoned. An anonymous tip cited that Rene had Mel’s cupcakes every week and Mel had delivered some when visiting her studio and learning she was dead. The tipster also claimed to have heard Mel and Rene arguing about her supposed affair with Peter the week before. Now the police chief of Scottsdale has Mel in her sites and isn’t letting go. It’s time for Mel and her friends to start asking questions and find out not only who has set her up, but who killed her friend, as Peter is the only other suspect.I love how well the characters get along, and how Mel’s fiancé always has her back. Each person is well-defined by their actions and conversations. Changes are coming to Fairy Tale Cupcakes, and I’m looking forward to seeing how it all works out (no hints!).There were definitely a few good suspects, yet I struggled to figure out the “why” to the “who”. It is a grieving crowd who gather to see the opening of Rene’s final, greatest work, showing at least a couple possible suspects. Mel begins to learn things about Peter that she wished she never heard. This fast-paced mystery is as exciting as it gets, and I couldn’t wait to find out really whodunit and why. I highly recommend this mystery to anyone who likes well-written cozy mysteries with lovable characters, a beautiful Southwest setting, humor, and of course, the best cupcakes (and recipes!).
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  • K.A. Davis
    January 1, 1970
    PUMPKIN SPICE PERIL, the twelfth book in the Cupcake Bakery Mystery series by Jenn McKinlay, is a much-needed, lighthearted read for this coronavirus pandemic time we find ourselves in. Ms. McKinlays humor brings some laughter and definitely lots smiles to the reader as the story unfolds. Protagonist Mel Cooper, along with her partner in the Fairy Tale Cupcake Bakery and soon to be sister-in-law, Angie, are just the sort of good people I like to spend time with. They are friendly and PUMPKIN SPICE PERIL, the twelfth book in the Cupcake Bakery Mystery series by Jenn McKinlay, is a much-needed, lighthearted read for this coronavirus pandemic time we find ourselves in. Ms. McKinlay’s humor brings some laughter and definitely lots smiles to the reader as the story unfolds. Protagonist Mel Cooper, along with her partner in the Fairy Tale Cupcake Bakery and soon to be sister-in-law, Angie, are just the sort of good people I like to spend time with. They are friendly and big-hearted, and able to banter and spout off movie quotes at the drop of a hat. Their antics and relationship with each other, their family members, and their employees bring joy to each page. As a long-time fan of this series, I’ve greatly enjoyed watching the core characters grow and change over the years and in this newest book there are changes aplenty! When one of their artist friends is found murdered, Mel becomes involved in finding out what happened. She feels guilt over not being a better friend to the woman, who had obviously been going through a stressful time. Ms. McKinlay’s descriptive voice shines through which allows the reader to experiences the art gallery and the gorgeous art produced there, the anguish Mel feels, and the suspects she talks to. I felt like I was right there, tagging along. Even though Mel’s Uncle Stan is the detective in charge, it doesn’t stop the chief of police from zeroing in on Mel and trying to prove she must be involved since she’s always stumbling onto dead bodies. Still, Mel presses forward to do everything she can for the victim. There were plenty of suspects to go around and some twists to keep the plot interesting. Of course with the central setting being Fairy Tale Cupcake Bakery, there are cupcakes galore mentioned throughout the story. Be prepared to drool! Fortunate for the reader, Ms. McKinlay provides several mouthwatering recipes at the back of the book. I was provided an advance copy. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
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  • Toni
    January 1, 1970
    4.5 StarsThis is the twelfth book in the Cupcake Bakery Mystery series by Jenn McKinlay.Basic premise: At the beginning of the book cupcake baker, Melanie Cooper gets a serious tongue lashing from her good friend, local glass artist Rene. She accuses her of everything under the sun including stepping out with her husband. Melanie is floored. There is something seriously wrong wrong with Rene. And her paranoia is only growing. When she ends up dead, Melanie discovers she is high on the police 4.5 StarsThis is the twelfth book in the Cupcake Bakery Mystery series by Jenn McKinlay.Basic premise: At the beginning of the book cupcake baker, Melanie Cooper gets a serious tongue lashing from her good friend, local glass artist Rene. She accuses her of everything under the sun including stepping out with her husband. Melanie is floored. There is something seriously wrong wrong with Rene. And her paranoia is only growing. When she ends up dead, Melanie discovers she is high on the police chief’s radar since she has been connected to so many murders over the last few years. This forces her to do some investigation to clear her name and find out what really was wrong with her friend.If you haven’t read this series yet, definitely pick this one up! Pumpkin spice is my go-to coffee drink at all times of the year. And McKinlay does a great job putting the pumpkin spice cupcakes in the spotlight. Are they the murder weapon? Maybe. You will have to read it and see.The drama between Melanie & Rene and Melanie & the chief really make this book a standout. I felt so bad for the girl. Of course, that didn’t keep me on speculating on whodunit. I had an idea who I thought had a good enough motive but it turned out my guess was wrong. Love it when the author surprises us with who the killer is and why.Definitely a series you should put on your must read list!If you enjoy a good cozy mystery, give this one a try, you won’t be disappointed! I received this as an ARC (Advanced Reader Copy) in return for an honest review. I thank NetGalley, the publisher and the author for allowing me to read this title.
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  • Kathy Kennerley
    January 1, 1970
    I loved it! I will never grow tired of this series. I look forward to a new release each year. Everyone and everything circulates around the cupcakes and it is so much fun. I did feel a bit of anxiety for Mel though when she was accused of things she didn't do. As if! Her bighearted friends are right beside her and something good always comes out of the bad - even if it's only a cupcake! ARC edelweissplus.com
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  • Leith Devine
    January 1, 1970
    Shorter and more rushed than previous books.
  • Brenda
    January 1, 1970
    This was my very first Jenn McKinlay cozy mystery & I enjoyed it very much! Her characters are fun & interesting and the storyline sucked me in & kept me interested until the very end. The bakery theme was wonderful and the recipes at the end an excellent bonus. I will go back to the beginning of the series & read them in order, as well as eagerly await the next in the series!!
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  • OpenBookSociety.com
    January 1, 1970
    https://openbooksociety.com/article/p...Pumpkin Spice PerilCupcake Bakery Mystery #12By Jenn McKinlayISBN 9780451492654Authors website: jennmckinlay.comBrought to you by OBS Reviewer JeanieSynopsis:In the twelfth Cupcake Bakery Mystery from New York Times bestselling author Jenn McKinlay, the Fairy Tale Cupcake crew follows the clever crumb trail of a killer whos anything but cookie-cutter.Life is all sugar and spice for the Fairy Tale Cupcake bakersMelanie Cooper is engaged to the delectable https://openbooksociety.com/article/p...Pumpkin Spice PerilCupcake Bakery Mystery #12By Jenn McKinlayISBN 9780451492654Author’s website: jennmckinlay.comBrought to you by OBS Reviewer JeanieSynopsis:In the twelfth Cupcake Bakery Mystery from New York Times bestselling author Jenn McKinlay, the Fairy Tale Cupcake crew follows the clever crumb trail of a killer who’s anything but cookie-cutter.Life is all sugar and spice for the Fairy Tale Cupcake bakers–Melanie Cooper is engaged to the delectable Joe DeLaura, Angie Harper and her husband Tate are savoring married life, and the bakery is bustling with happy customers. Until one of their most valued cupcake connoisseurs ends up dead.Local glass artist and cupcake lover Rene Fischer-Klein has always suffered from a wide variety of health issues. In an effort to cheer her up, her doting husband, Peter, brings her a four-pack of her favorite cupcakes every week. But when the police discover that Rene has been poisoned, there’s no sugarcoating the fact that the last things she ate were the bakery’s signature pumpkin spice cupcakes! With their lives and bakery at stake, it’s up to Mel and Angie to find out who poisoned their artist friend and why, before their future is frosted for good.Review:This cozy mystery was a fun, at times frightening, read! I appreciate sleuths who jump in to get justice for their friends or loved ones, or to get a friend or loved one “off the hook”. In this story, our sleuth wants to get justice for a friend even while trying to get that friend’s husband off the hook – and herself – for the murder. The characters are delightfully three-dimensional, the mystery did not have an easy solution, and sometimes friends have secrets best left unknown. Mel could end up in the pokey instead of marrying the love of her life!Mel Cooper owns an upscale specialty bakery, Fairy Tale Cupcakes in Old Town Scottsdale, with friends and partners Angie and her husband Tate Harper. Mel is engaged to the love of her life, Joe DeLaura. Joe is one of Angie’s seven older brothers and a county district attorney. Her uncle Stan is a long-time detective for the Scottsdale police department.Along with dreaming up new flavors and decorations for cupcakes, Mel has an unusual hobby. For some reason, Mel seems to be around when dead bodies are found. Often, they are people known by her or her friends, and some are not very nice folks. Mel has a way of finding clues, asking questions, and putting together what she discovers to figure out who committed the crime.Mel and Angie have known Rene Fischer-Klein for several years. A talented glass artisan, Rene and her husband, Peter, have been an example of what Angie and Mel consider a perfect marriage. The older couple have been at Desert Winds Gallery for years. Mel, Angie, and Rene have been friends within the Old Town Scottsdale “family” since Fairy Tale Cupcakes opened. Peter came into the cupcake shop every Friday to get a four-pack of Rene’s current favorite. Currently, her favorite is pumpkin spice. Mel went to see Rene at her studio later that day to discuss the cupcakes for her upcoming opening of the new installation that will bring her world-wide acclaim in her craft. Rene’s huge, fabulous glass design will be on display over the Scottsdale city canal, in view of a high-end business and condo district.Mel was shocked when she saw Rene. Her old friend looked as if she hadn’t slept well for a long time. Her weight was down, and she just looked ill. Even worse, Rene accused her of having an affair with Peter, and threw a glass creation at her. When she calmed down, she apologized, saying that the stress of the intense work she had been doing was affecting her, and at times it seemed like someone she didn’t know took over her personality.It would be the last time Mel saw Rene alive. The following week, the day before the opening of her incredible artistry, Rene died. People thought at first that she had a heart attack. Mel had a feeling it was much worse than that, however, and she was right. Unfortunately, Rene had been poisoned. Really unfortunately, an anonymous tip had been called into the police station, claiming that the cupcakes Mel brought over the day Rene died were suspect because of the argument someone witnessed the week before when Mel was accused of an affair with Peter. It only gets worse from there. The police chief now wants to order an independent investigation of every murder case Mel has ever been associated with whether through friends or acquaintances. Food establishments have long been known for drug dealing or money laundering.The characters in this novel are a great delight to know! Even so, there are surprises in this novel. Oz has a wild surprise for us this time, as does Angie. Each of our regulars is well-rounded, with more time spent showing us who they are than what they look like. It is still funny to hear Mel’s mother, Joyce’s, nickname for Joe!Mel found out more about Rene and Peter than she wanted to know. One of the things she must determine is whether their secrets led to Rene’s death. Mel can’t see Peter as the bad guy, but she realized she didn’t know him that well, after all. I simply couldn’t come up with a motive for two of my pet suspects, though! I was somewhat surprised, then, when the real killer and motive were revealed. This mystery exceeded my expectations in every way, and I highly recommend it!*OBS would like to thank the publisher for supplying a free copy of this title in exchange for an honest review as part of their ongoing blog tour*
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  • Jill
    January 1, 1970
    Melanie Cooper bakes cupcakes and stumbles over dead bodies. Its a strange combination, but it happens. With her best friend and business partner Angie Harper, Mel owns Fairy Tale Cupcakes in Scottsdale, Arizona, where their baked confections are considered treats of the highest order. So its really not a surprise when their friend Rene asked them to make cupcakes for the opening of her new art installation, a massive glass sculpture that is being designed to hang over the canal. Mel and Angie Melanie Cooper bakes cupcakes and stumbles over dead bodies. It’s a strange combination, but it happens. With her best friend and business partner Angie Harper, Mel owns Fairy Tale Cupcakes in Scottsdale, Arizona, where their baked confections are considered treats of the highest order. So it’s really not a surprise when their friend Rene asked them to make cupcakes for the opening of her new art installation, a massive glass sculpture that is being designed to hang over the canal. Mel and Angie have known Rene and her husband Peter for years. Mel considered their loving marriage as a goal for her and her fiance Joe DeLaura, and she is very much looking forward to the big night when Rene’s art piece would be unveiled. But when Mel goes to visit Rene to check on the cupcake order, she is met with someone she doesn’t know. Previously, Rene had always been friendly and gracious, but now she’s brittle and angry. Not only are her emotions unusually dark, Mel can’t help but notice that she had lost a lot of weight and now looks like little more than skin and bones. Mel is certain that her friend is under extreme stress to finish the installation, making sure everything is perfect, but she can’t help but worry that maybe something more is going on. While Mel is trying to figure out what’s going on at the art gallery, she also has to deal with problems back at the bakery. Angie is inexplicably sick, and their baker Oz is slipping out for appointments in a nice suit and with a new haircut. And then, when Rene turns up dead, Mel finds herself in a mixture of grief, uncertainty, frustration, questions, and trouble. Will Mel be able to figure out what’s happened at the art gallery in time to clear her friend’s name of the accusations of drug use, or will Mel herself end up under investigation simply for being too close to too many violent deaths? Also (and maybe more importantly), what exactly does a Root Beer Float Cupcake taste like, and why doesn’t a dozen of them come with the book when you buy it?!? Pumpkin Spice Peril is the twelfth in the Cupcake Bakery Mystery series from Jenn McKinlay, just one short of a baker’s dozen. And it’s just as tasty as the first. A story of human behavior and the connections that hold us together, this cozy is a fun, relatable, interesting, complicated murder mystery that will keep you on the edge of your seat. Or running to the kitchen for yet another cupcake. Pumpkin Spice Peril does include recipes for the Pumpkin Spice Cupcakes with Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting, Coffee Mocha Cupcakes with Mocha Buttercream, Root Beer Float Cupcakes with Vanilla Buttercream Frosting, and Passion Fruit Cupcakes with Passion Fruit Mousse and Vanilla Buttercream. Basically, this cozy is as delicious as the cupcakes it describes often. Maybe too often. It’s a little dangerous that way. Galleys for Pumpkin Spice Peril were provided by Berkley through Edelweiss, with many thanks.
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  • Smitten
    January 1, 1970
    Melanie Cooper and Angie Harper are always glad to see their friend and regular customer of their Old Town Scottsdale bakery, Peter Klein. Peter buys cupcakes for his wife Rene every week and now Melanie and Angie will be providing cupcakes for Renes upcoming unveiling of her new glass sculpture which will hang above a canal. Rene has been acting erratically and when Melanie visits her to follow up on the cupcakes, she can tell there is something serious wrong. When Melanie goes back to check in Melanie Cooper and Angie Harper are always glad to see their friend and regular customer of their Old Town Scottsdale bakery, Peter Klein. Peter buys cupcakes for his wife Rene every week and now Melanie and Angie will be providing cupcakes for Rene’s upcoming unveiling of her new glass sculpture which will hang above a canal. Rene has been acting erratically and when Melanie visits her to follow up on the cupcakes, she can tell there is something serious wrong. When Melanie goes back to check in with her a few days later, she learns Rene has died under suspicious circumstances. Even worse, Melanie becomes one of police chief Lori Rosen’s main suspects because of Melanie’s bad luck of discovering dead bodies. Melanie is more determined than ever to find the real killer to clear her name and get justice for her friend.I have read most of the books in this long-running series and think fans of the series will enjoy this fast-paced mystery as well as some new developments for a few of the characters. I think new readers can also enjoy the book but won’t have the background of seeing more of the close friendship between Melanie, Angie, Angie’s husband Tate, and Angie’s brother Joe, who is engaged to Melanie. It is mentioned Melanie, Angie, and Tate have been friends since middle school and that Melanie had a crush on Joe from the time she met him, but there aren’t as many scenes in this book that demonstrate the love they all have for each other. Melanie, Angie, and some of Angie’s other brothers can sometimes act immature for their age, but all are still likable characters. Tate doesn’t play a big part in this installment and I missed his presence. For such a well-liked woman as Rene, Melanie discovers there are quite a few possible suspects in Rene’s murder. She and Angie are also disappointed to learn everything isn’t as it seems in the life of the “perfect couple” Rene and Peter. I enjoyed Melanie’s investigation, but it felt like just as tension was beginning to build, the drama with Chief Rosen was over and the case was solved. I would have liked a little more substance to keep the suspense going a little longer. However, even though it’s a little rushed, I like the way the case wraps up. The characters are the strong point of the book and the series. I really like Melanie and Angie’s characters and how the friends and their families are always there to support them in times of need. There are recipes at the end for several different types of cupcakes, including Rene’s favorite Pumpkin Spice. Overall, the book is a fun, entertaining read that will please returning as well as new readers.~ Christine
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  • Jennifer
    January 1, 1970
    This book was probably the best in the Cupcake Bakery series. You get all the feels from this book. I cried and I laughed, and it left me wanting more!There are some big changes happening with the bakery family. Oz growing up, and Tate and Angie getting a surprise! The only thing missing was Mel and Joes wedding. The murder of Mel and Angies artist friend puts Mel in the sights of the police chief who thinks Mel is guilty in some way with all the bodies and killers she has come across. But in a This book was probably the best in the Cupcake Bakery series. You get all the feels from this book. I cried and I laughed, and it left me wanting more!There are some big changes happening with the bakery family. Oz growing up, and Tate and Angie getting a surprise! The only thing missing was Mel and Joe’s wedding. The murder of Mel and Angie’s artist friend puts Mel in the sights of the police chief who thinks Mel is guilty in some way with all the bodies and killers she has come across. But in a surprising twist the police chief asks for Mel’s help to find the truth in what happened. The murder was tragic as it happens around the biggest accomplishment of her life. But they used the showing as a memorial to Rene and her life’s work. I think that the cupcakes made for the unveiling were a perfect match for the ‘Seasons’ glasswork on display. I know it’s something that I would love to see. If I could I would give this book more than 5*s. I finished it in less than a day. Once you start reading you will not want to stop until you finish it. But it will make you want more in the series quickly!
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  • Michele
    January 1, 1970
    I really enjoyed this new installment in the Cupcake Bakery Series. I think it is one of the best in the series. I found that in some of the books in this series the characters behave in such a zany, off-the-wall manner that the plot seems unrealistic. In this book the characters behave in a much more mature way. Mel shows genuine concern when her talented glass artist friend, Rene, behaves in an erratic manner. Then she is devastated when she learns of the woman's death. The bakery friends I really enjoyed this new installment in the Cupcake Bakery Series. I think it is one of the best in the series. I found that in some of the books in this series the characters behave in such a zany, off-the-wall manner that the plot seems unrealistic. In this book the characters behave in a much more mature way. Mel shows genuine concern when her talented glass artist friend, Rene, behaves in an erratic manner. Then she is devastated when she learns of the woman's death. The bakery friends contemplate the meaning of life, the importance of one's life work, and moving on in life as they try to figure out who killed Rene . Oz takes a new prestigious job, and chooses to leave the bakery. The friends are sad, but realize Oz should fulfill his potential and move on to better things. The tone of the majority of this book is mature, and reflective. It doesn't have as much of a feeling of fun and playfulness as the other books in the series, but that is why it is one of my favorites!
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  • Julie
    January 1, 1970
    Mel's life is all buttercream and rainbows when she is married to the delectable Joe DeLaura, her best friends are still on their newlywed high, and the bakery is busy as ever. When Mel finds herself in the mix of an untimely death-- again. --Rene, a local glass artist, has been a valued customer of Fairy Tale Cupcakes but has been immersed in her work as she prepares for the unveiling of her largest sculpture yet. Her husband, Peter, has been delivering the cupcakes weekly to encourage Rene to Mel's life is all buttercream and rainbows when she is married to the delectable Joe DeLaura, her best friends are still on their newlywed high, and the bakery is busy as ever. When Mel finds herself in the mix of an untimely death-- again. --Rene, a local glass artist, has been a valued customer of Fairy Tale Cupcakes but has been immersed in her work as she prepares for the unveiling of her largest sculpture yet. Her husband, Peter, has been delivering the cupcakes weekly to encourage Rene to stay grounded. However Rene's behavior has become increasingly erratic and obsessive. When she is found dead, the police suspect foul play. Mel finds herself under extreme scrutiny when the police chief learns of her body count. Can one person really be that unlucky? --I just love how Jenn McKinlay writes a cozy mystery. She never puts her characters into overly unrealistic situations. The community and characters have grown in the last 12 books and I cannot wait to see where they go next. I flew through this book and can easily relate to the characters. Even if I cannot imagine Oz with short hair. 🤦‍♀️- -The best part-- the recipies. I cannot wait to play with the Pumpkin Spice Cupcakes.
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  • Holly
    January 1, 1970
    Book #12 in the amazingly enjoyable Cupcake Bakery cozy mystery series!Another winner in the Cupcake Bakery series by Jenn McKjnlay! This series is amazing and has everything I love about cozy mysteries- likable interesting characters, family,,friendship, and an intriguing cozy mystery! What's not to love? Melanie (Mel) ,Angie & Tate own a cupcake franchise. Mel is engaged to Joe and Angie and Tate are married and expecting a baby. Happy times! One of Mel's friends, Rene, is having a big art Book #12 in the amazingly enjoyable Cupcake Bakery cozy mystery series!Another winner in the Cupcake Bakery series by Jenn McKjnlay! This series is amazing and has everything I love about cozy mysteries- likable interesting characters, family,,friendship, and an intriguing cozy mystery! What's not to love? Melanie (Mel) ,Angie & Tate own a cupcake franchise. Mel is engaged to Joe and Angie and Tate are married and expecting a baby. Happy times! One of Mel's friends, Rene, is having a big art exhibit and wants the bakery to make the cupcakes for the event. Mel meets with Rene but Rene is acting a bit crazy. Then Rene ends up dead. It is a sadder event than in the other books as it affects Mel a lot. Jenn McKinlay brings the characters to life and you feel right along with them! There are quite a few light moments to keep the book from being morose. Well done and very enjoyable!
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  • Sheila Siarkiewicz
    January 1, 1970
    Pumpkin Spice Peril is the 12th book in the Cupcake Bakery Mystery series. Fairy Tail Cupcakes is bustling with customers, Melanie and her fiance Joe are planning their wedding and Angie and her husband Tate are enjoying life as newlyweds. When a local glass artist who loves the bakery's Pumpkin Spice cupcakes dies and it is determined that was was poisoned accusations abound. Did the husband do it? If not who did and why? As each person under suspicion is cleared questions still go unanswered. Pumpkin Spice Peril is the 12th book in the Cupcake Bakery Mystery series. Fairy Tail Cupcakes is bustling with customers, Melanie and her fiance Joe are planning their wedding and Angie and her husband Tate are enjoying life as newlyweds. When a local glass artist who loves the bakery's Pumpkin Spice cupcakes dies and it is determined that was was poisoned accusations abound. Did the husband do it? If not who did and why? As each person under suspicion is cleared questions still go unanswered. Since the cupcakes were the last thing she ate the bakery, and Melanie and Angie, come under suspicion. As business starts to drop off Melanie decided to investigate on her own. I love all the characters and this mystery is very well written and will keep you guessing. This is happiness in this story though I won't tell you what it is. You'll need to read the book to find out! An additional bonus are the delicious cupcake recipes in the back of the book. I definitely recommend this book!
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  • Kathleen Gray
    January 1, 1970
    Mel has always thought of Rene and Peter as having a marriage that's a role model for herself and Joe, her fiancé. After all, among other things, Peter always buys Rene cupcakes! But something's very wrong with the glass artist; when Mel stops by her studio she finds a Rene who is gaunt, angry, and very off. Then she's found dead and Mel, because her pumpkin spice cupcakes are found there and because she's been close to too many murders, is arrested. Yikes! This is is a classic cozy so you know Mel has always thought of Rene and Peter as having a marriage that's a role model for herself and Joe, her fiancé. After all, among other things, Peter always buys Rene cupcakes! But something's very wrong with the glass artist; when Mel stops by her studio she finds a Rene who is gaunt, angry, and very off. Then she's found dead and Mel, because her pumpkin spice cupcakes are found there and because she's been close to too many murders, is arrested. Yikes! This is is a classic cozy so you know that Mel and her friend Angie will figure things out (even as Angie deals with morning sickness). Rene wasn't the angel Mel thought she was but what about Peter? This is just twisty enough. Good characters and a zippy story made it a good read- and I had not read any of the books in the series! Thanks to Edelweiss for the ARC. A good diversion from the news and an excellent read.
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  • Christine
    January 1, 1970
    Fairy Tale Cupcakes in in the midst of preparing a large order for one of their favorite customers. Mel and Angie are excited for the opening of a glass installation in Scottsdale by their friend and artist Rene Fischer-Klein. Rene has been working diligently on her glass sculpting, sometimes even forgetting to eat. But lately Rene's behavior has been erratic and frightening. When Mel stops by with Rene's favorite flavor, pumpkin spice, she confronts Rene in the process of attacking her Fairy Tale Cupcakes in in the midst of preparing a large order for one of their favorite customers. Mel and Angie are excited for the opening of a glass installation in Scottsdale by their friend and artist Rene Fischer-Klein. Rene has been working diligently on her glass sculpting, sometimes even forgetting to eat. But lately Rene's behavior has been erratic and frightening. When Mel stops by with Rene's favorite flavor, pumpkin spice, she confronts Rene in the process of attacking her assistant. This is abnormal behavior and Mel is quite shaken by it. The next day Rene is found dead and the police think she overdosed on opiates. Mel is not so sure and she begins to unravel threads that lead to the murderer. I enjoyed this book and having been in Scottsdale recently, I was trying to imagine what a glass sculpting exhibit would look like over the canal.
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  • Paula Ratcliffe
    January 1, 1970
    In this book we learn some news about Angie which has everyone in a bustle add to it that local glass artist Rene has an upcoming show that Mel and Angie are hired to supply with cupcakes when Mel decides to visit Rene to finalize the recipe but finds her friend is anything but fine. Next thing you know Rene is dead and so many are wondering what happened/?Will Mel be able to put it all together or will she wind up facing a similar fate? So much was going on in this book it pulled you in until In this book we learn some news about Angie which has everyone in a bustle add to it that local glass artist Rene has an upcoming show that Mel and Angie are hired to supply with cupcakes when Mel decides to visit Rene to finalize the recipe but finds her friend is anything but fine. Next thing you know Rene is dead and so many are wondering what happened/?Will Mel be able to put it all together or will she wind up facing a similar fate? So much was going on in this book it pulled you in until you were immersed with the DeLaura family and Mel and her family wondering how it will play out and what the future will hold for Mel and Angie. I enjoyed this series even more than the Hannah Swenson series. The characters feel more real and yes they have their flaws but they don't let them drag them down!
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  • Ashley Cate
    January 1, 1970
    Pumpkin Spice Peril is the twelfth book in the Cupcake Bakery Mystery series by Jenn McKinlay. This series was one of the first cozy mystery series that I read and it got me hooked on cozies. This newest book is just as good as the earlier books in the series.The story contains a little bit of everything including one of the series regulars moving on from Fairy Tale Cupcakes. I laughed and I cried at several parts of the book. The mystery in this book is strong and I enjoyed the process that Mel Pumpkin Spice Peril is the twelfth book in the Cupcake Bakery Mystery series by Jenn McKinlay. This series was one of the first cozy mystery series that I read and it got me hooked on cozies. This newest book is just as good as the earlier books in the series.The story contains a little bit of everything including one of the series regulars moving on from Fairy Tale Cupcakes. I laughed and I cried at several parts of the book. The mystery in this book is strong and I enjoyed the process that Mel went through to find out who the killer was. I was stumped until Mel began to put the pieces together herself. I thought the mystery was resolved well and I have a feeling that the next book in the series may finally have the wedding we’ve been waiting for. I look forward to reading future books in this series.
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  • Christine
    January 1, 1970
    Visiting Fairy Tale Cupcakes is like visiting an old friend. Mel and Angie are providing the cupcakes for their friend, Rene's, art gallery. Right before the gallery Rene turns up dead. The chief of police seem to think Mel had something to do with it as someone told the chief she was arguing with Rene, and because she has been involved with a number of murders in the past. Not by her own fault of course. Mel, along with Angie and Joe, start asking questions. This book made me so happy. From the Visiting Fairy Tale Cupcakes is like visiting an old friend. Mel and Angie are providing the cupcakes for their friend, Rene's, art gallery. Right before the gallery Rene turns up dead. The chief of police seem to think Mel had something to do with it as someone told the chief she was arguing with Rene, and because she has been involved with a number of murders in the past. Not by her own fault of course. Mel, along with Angie and Joe, start asking questions. This book made me so happy. From the developments with Angie and Tate, to the wonderfully loud and hilarious DeLaura brothers, and of course Mel and Dear Joe, as Mel's mother refers to him. This book had everything that I love in a cozy mystery. They mystery itself was great. I need more in this series.
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  • Teresa
    January 1, 1970
    Mel, the owner of Fairy Tale Cupcakes, is all ready to deliver cupcakes to her friend Renes glass art show when she finds her friend angry, crazy, and insanely jealous. Something isnt right with her old friend, but Mel never gets the chance to find out. As Mel navigates the investigation with her fiancee Joe, she finds herself at the top of the polices suspect list because of a crazy encounter with the victim. Mel is surrounded by friends and family including her Uncle Stan on the police force. Mel, the owner of Fairy Tale Cupcakes, is all ready to deliver cupcakes to her friend Rene’s glass art show when she finds her friend angry, crazy, and insanely jealous. Something isn’t right with her old friend, but Mel never gets the chance to find out. As Mel navigates the investigation with her fiancee Joe, she finds herself at the top of the police’s suspect list because of a crazy encounter with the victim. Mel is surrounded by friends and family including her Uncle Stan on the police force. This is the twelfth book in the Cupcake Bakery Mystery Series and the author takes some time to catch up new readers to make it easy to read. Favorite Line: Life is beautiful but so very fragile. I obtained this book through Net Galley and have left an honest review.
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  • Rebecca
    January 1, 1970
    Thanks to the publisher, via Edelweiss, for an advance e-galley for honest review.Loved this new entry in the Cupcake Bakery series, as always! Mel is wrapped up in several problems in this one- not only is she devastated and wanting to find the killer of her friend and fellow Old Town area dweller, but the fact that she keeps finding herself in close proximity to dead bodies has drawn the attention of the Scottsdale police chief- plus there are some changes happening at the bakery. Lots to Thanks to the publisher, via Edelweiss, for an advance e-galley for honest review.Loved this new entry in the Cupcake Bakery series, as always! Mel is wrapped up in several problems in this one- not only is she devastated and wanting to find the killer of her friend and fellow Old Town area dweller, but the fact that she keeps finding herself in close proximity to dead bodies has drawn the attention of the Scottsdale police chief- plus there are some changes happening at the bakery. Lots to enjoy here, from Mel's creative cupcake ideas to the quippy banter. Don't start with this one- go back to find out all the connections!
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  • Laura
    January 1, 1970
    In this twelfth installment of Jenn McKinlays Cupcake Bakery cozy mystery series, Mel experiences some big life changes. I love when authors of longtime series allow their characters to change and grow even though Im sure there must be pressure to not fix what isnt broken.Mel is coping with a couple of big changes when an artist friend dies. Investigating the death because even after being warned off, Mel cant stop asking questions, leads to some unwelcome revelations about people in her circle. In this twelfth installment of Jenn McKinlay’s Cupcake Bakery cozy mystery series, Mel experiences some big life changes. I love when authors of longtime series allow their characters to change and grow even though I’m sure there must be pressure to not fix what isn’t broken.Mel is coping with a couple of big changes when an artist friend dies. Investigating the death because even after being warned off, Mel can’t stop asking questions, leads to some unwelcome revelations about people in her circle.As always, mentions of cupcakes are delicious and plentiful, including several recipes.This book was perfect comfort reading.Thanks to NetGalley and Berkley for a DRC.
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