When Devereaux “Dev” Sinclair hosts a cupcake contest at her five-and-dime store, she discovers that someone is just dying to win...
Kizzy Cutler finds it so delicious to be back in her hometown of Shadow Bend, Missouri, that she seems to have forgotten why she fled twenty years ago. For now, she’s excited to kick off her new line of cupcakes with a competition, which Dev has agreed to host in her shop. But before the first yummy cupcake is even baked, Kizzy's assistant Fallon dies from a mysterious ailment.
While the medical examiner attempts to discover what killed Fallon, Kizzy declares that the show must go on. However after Kizzy escapes several near misses, Dev is convinced that someone in Shadow Bend has it in for the cupcake queen. Is the secret from her past so dark someone still wants to kill her for it?
With a list of not-so-sweet suspects, Dev’s in a race against the timer to solve the murder before someone else gets iced…Kindle Edition, 272 pages
Three Stars: A cozy mystery with a believable storyline.
Dev Sinclair settles in for another meeting amongst the business owners of Shadow Bend. Everyone is looking for a way to put a little extra cash in their pockets. Luckily, there seems to be a lucrative event in the works. Former resident, Kizzy Cutler, the Cupcake Queen, is back in town with her latest cupcake creation. To kick off her new flavor, Kizzy has agreed to host a cupcake baking contest, which will be held in Dev's dime store. Everyone digs in and preps for the weekend, only to have disaster strike before things get started. Kizzy's assistant dies under mysterious circumstances right after she arrives in town. All signs point to murder. Who is trying to sabotage the cupcake contest?
What I Liked:
- A cozy mystery is always a nice way to cleanse the palate between reads. I reach for one after I have read several darker reads to lighten the mood. I always appreciate that cozies are quick, light, easy and fun. Even though this one lacked a bit of the cozy that I love, I liked that it had a good mystery that was actually believable.
- Even though this is book four in the series, I was able to jump in without having read any of the others. The author does an excellent job of bringing the reader up to speed on all the important events. I never felt lost. This is easily a series you can pick up at any point.
- Usually I prefer a cozy that is set in a bakeshop or restaurant as I like the food aspect. This one was a bit different in that it was set in a Dime Store. Even though I missed all the delectable food descriptions, I enjoyed the simple setting of the store, and I found myself settling into the comfortable atmosphere.
- I appreciated that Dev was a level headed character who has been through her fair share of ups and downs. She was likable and smart and realistic. She isn't one of those cozy heroines who bumbles around and manages to solve the crime because the law enforcement is incompetent. Instead Dev works with the police and sounds ideas off friends that help her get to the bottom of the mystery.
- When all was said and done, I liked the way it all played out. Usually with a cozy mystery, the reader has to strain to believe the way it all works out. This one had a more realistic feel to it, and I liked the motives for the crime. Bullying is an issue in the book, and I appreciated the way the author handled it.
- The ending wraps up all the loose ends as far as the murder mystery goes while leaving plenty of the main overall story arcs undone. I got a complete story with one book.
- The narration by Maia Guest was well done. I thought Maia did a good job with Dev and I liked her emotion. I will definitely pick up another audiobook by this narrator.
And The Not So Much:
- This series features an ongoing love triangle. While I wasn't up to speed on all the events that had transpired between the romantic interests, I was given enough detail to get the big picture. Luckily, both of the love interests were conveniently out of town and thus, out of the story for the most part. I was relieved that I was settling in with a mystery that was without the romance, until another male suitor pops into the picture. Face palm.... really? As if two men interested wasn't enough, you have to add in a third? The whole romance is ridiculous.
- One of the boyfriends is out of town working on some type of sinister case with a murderer/psycho kidnapper. I didn't like this little story line, it was distracting and it had no bearing on the story. Furthermore, it took away from the coziness. Plus, the ending was weird.
- I was excited to read this because I was looking forward to all the cupcakes. Unfortunately, the cupcake contest is only a small snippet of the story. I was expecting to read about all the yummy cupcakes and possibly get some cupcake recipes. That doesn't happen. There are hardly any mentions of cupcakes and no recipes. So if you are a cozy enthusiast who likes food in the cozies, this one will disappoint you.
Dying for a Cupcake was a different type of cozy. I liked the dime story setting, and I appreciated that the heroine had a good head on her shoulders. This wasn't a mystery that came across as being realistic. The one drawback is that the series features a love triangle and now possible a love square? If you are not a fan of this type of romantic entanglement in your cozy, you may not enjoy this. Still if you are looking for a good mystery, you can grab any book in this series and dive in.
I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own and I was not compensated for this review.