With Angie and Tate's wedding just around the corner, it's a happy time for Melanie Cooper and the bakery crew. Not only are they finessing the last-minute details of the big day, but their bakery, Fairy Tale Cupcakes, has just been hired to bake cupcakes for the blockbuster book signing of a controversial author who wrote a steamy bestseller filled with juicy local gossip. But one by one, the people Angie has hired to work the wedding begin turning up dead. As the body count rises, the bestselling author is the next to bite the dust. Mel quickly realizes she needs to figure out how the murders are connected and why-before the killer brings the entire cupcake crew crumbling down. After all, Angie and Tate deserve their sweet happily ever after.
About the Author
Jenn McKinlay is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of several mystery series, including the Good Buy Girls series and the Decoupage Mystery series, which she wrote under the pseudonyms Josie Belle and Lucy Lawrence. A former librarian, she studied English literature and library science at Southern Connecticut State University before moving to Arizona, where she lives in a house that is overrun with kids, pets, and her husband's guitars. For more information, visit her at www.jennmckinlay.com.
Susan Boyce is an award-winning audiobook narrator. She has recorded over ninety audiobooks in a variety of categories, and her talents have been put to work by industry giants such as Amica, Hasbro, and Mattel. She earned a bachelor of fine arts from the University of Rhode Island in 1979 and has worked on-stage at Trinity Repertory Theatre, Worcester Foothills Theatre, The Edinburgh Festival in Scotland, and every major Ragtime and Traditional Jazz Festival in the United States.
Read an Excerpt
"Here comes the bride," Melanie Cooper sang as she held a bouquet of multicolored snapdragons in front of her as if she were walking down the aisle.
"Practicing for your own wedding?" Angie DeLaura asked her.
"No, just yours," Mel said, then she smiled. "For now."
They'd been best friends since they were twelve years old, so it was no surprise that Mel would be Angie's maid of honor when Angie and their other childhood friend Tate Harper tied the knot in just one week.
Today, Mel and Angie had left Fairy Tale Cupcakes, the bakery they co-owned, in the capable hands of their employees while they ran around town, finalizing payments to vendors and making sure everything was a go for Angie and Tate's big day. At the moment, they were paying for Angie's flowers, calla lilies, with their stems wrapped in aqua and pewter ribbons.
"Annabelle? Hello!" Angie called. She rang the bell on the counter and peered at the back room. "What do you suppose is keeping her?"
"No idea," Mel said. She admired the brilliant yellow petals on a huge sunflower. So pretty.
"Okay, so after we pay the florist, who's next?" Angie asked.
Mel put the snapdragons back in their display bucket and checked her smartphone, where she kept her to-do list updated.
"We need to pay the photographer and the caterer." She glanced at Angie. "Are you really having them make Jell-O? 'Because crème brûlée can never be Jell-O'."
"'I have to be Jell-O,'" Angie said. For emphasis, she tossed her long, curly brown hair over her shoulder.
"My Best Friend's Wedding," they identified the movie quotes together and then laughed.
Since middle school, the three friends, Mel, Angie, and Tate, had shared a love of sweets and movies. Now as adults they tried to stump one another with random movie quotes, and in the case of serving Jell-O at their wedding, Angie chose it deliberately. She wanted Tate to know she was his comfort food, his Jell-O, which he had always loved, much to Mel's cordon bleu dismay.
"Do you think we should leave and come back?" Angie asked Mel. "Maybe she's on her coffee break and forgot to lock the door."
"Maybe." Mel frowned. She didn't want to admit she was starting to get a hinky feeling in the pit of her stomach.
Annabelle Martin's flower shop sat in the heart of Old Town Scottsdale. Despite the small size of the space, it was full to bursting with blooms, both real and silk, as Annabelle's talent with flowers was legendary. In Scottsdale, Arizona, a wedding was just not a wedding unless Annabelle did the flowers.
"But even if Annabelle stepped out, why isn't anyone else here? Doesn't she have four assistants?" Mel asked.
Angie nodded and Mel saw her big brown eyes get wide and Mel knew she was thinking the same thing that Mel was. Angie swallowed and in a soft voice, she said, "Maybe something happened to her?"
They stared at each other for a moment. Over the past few years, they had suffered the misfortune of stumbling upon several dead bodies. Given that Angie was one week from saying "I do," it would just figure if they found a body now.
"This can't be happening," Angie said. "Not now."
"Don't panic," Mel said. She blew her blond bangs off her forehead. Being a chef, she kept her hair nice and short to keep it out of the food, because nothing said "Ew" like finding a hair in your frosting.
"Don't panic?" Angie cried, her voice rising a decibel with each syllable. "Why would I panic? It's only a week until my wedding, you know, the most important day of my life to date."
"Breathe." Mel squeezed Angie's arm as she scooted past her and around the counter. "I'll just check in back and make sure everything is okay."
A curtain was hanging in the doorway to the back room. She knew from being here before that the back room housed all of Annabelle's supplies as well as a kitchenette and her office. It was a tiny space and she had to turn sideways to maneuver through the packed shelves.
Vases of glass, steel, and copper; baskets; ribbons; glass marbles; florist wire in all sizes and colors-all of it-was stuffed onto the shelves until they looked as if they'd regurgitate the goods right onto the floor.
Mel shimmied her way past until she cleared the shelves and reached the worktable in back. A couple dozen purple irises were scattered across a sheaf of floral paper as if someone had just left them out of water and gasping for air.
Annabelle loved flowers; they were her passion. Mel couldn't imagine that she'd have just left these here to rot. Mel felt the short-cropped hair on the back of her neck prickle with unease.
Where was Annabelle? What could have happened to her? Mel closed her eyes for a moment, trying to dredge up the courage to circle the table and see if Annabelle was there, lying on the floor, unconscious, bludgeoned, bloody, bleeding out even as Mel stood here shaking like a 'fraidy cat.
"Hello? Annabelle? Are you here?" Mel called.
There was no answer. She opened her eyes. She was just going to have to see for herself. She took a steadying breath and stepped around the worktable. She glanced at the floor. It was bare. The breath she'd been holding burst out of her lungs as the sound of a toilet flushing broke through the quiet.
Mel whipped around to face the back hallway just as Angie came barreling through the curtain into the back room.
"Any sign of her?" she asked.
"Maybe," Mel said. She stared down the hallway, listening to the water running in the bathroom. Please, please, please, let it be . . .
"Well, doesn't that just figure?" Annabelle asked as she strode towards them. "It's quiet all morning and then the second you go to the bathroom someone shows up."
"You're okay!" Mel cried. Impulsively, she threw herself at Annabelle's big-boned frame and hugged her tight. "You're not dead."
"Oh, honey." Annabelle hugged her back. "You need to calm down, maybe take a vacation or something."
Mel let her go with a nervous laugh. "Ha, you're right. I must be working too hard."
Annabelle fluffed her close-cropped curls and then turned to Angie with a hug and a smile. "And how is our bride? Seven days to go! Are you ready?"
"More than," Angie said. "I'm excited for the wedding but I'm even more excited to have it over and be Mrs. Tate Harper."
Annabelle clasped her hands over her heart and sighed. "Of all the events I arrange flowers for, weddings are my favorite. Yours aren't here yet, but come on, I'll show you what I just got in."
Annabelle scooped up the irises and put them in water and then led them to the front of the shop. While she and Angie oohed and aahed over some of the fresh flowers, Mel took a moment to get herself together. Clearly she had some issues if her first thought when Annabelle hadn't been available was that she was dead. Seriously, what was wrong with her?
She had been around an inordinate amount of death over the past few years. She wondered if perhaps it was her own fault. Maybe she found all of these bodies, maybe bad things happened all around her, because she went looking for them. The thought disturbed Mel on a lot of levels.
"Did that daisy do something to offend you?" Annabelle asked.
Mel looked at her in question and Annabelle pointed to Mel's hands, where just the stem and one petal were left of an orange gerbera daisy. Mel had been systematically stripping the petals off of it without realizing.
Snatching off the last petal, Mel said, "He loves me. Phew!"
Angie looked at her as if she thought Mel was drunk or crazy or drunk and crazy. Mel shrugged. Annabelle gave her a concerned look and took the stem out of her hands and threw it in the trash.
While Angie paid Annabelle for her flowers, Mel picked up the petals and then paced up by the front of the shop. She didn't trust herself not to destroy any of the lovely arrangements and kept her hands in her pockets just in case.
With a wave, they left Annabelle and her flowers to head to the photographer's studio. It was across Scottsdale Road, on a small side street, nestled in amongst the trendy restaurants and art galleries.
"Okay, what gives?" Angie asked as soon as the door shut behind them.
"What?" Mel asked.
Angie widened her eyes and said, "Come on, you know what. You started shredding flowers in there. What was that all about?"
"Nothing. I just had this random thought," Mel said. "It was silly."
"Good, then you won't mind sharing."
Mel pursed her lips. Angie was a badger. There was no way she was getting out of this.
"Fine, if you must know-"
They paused at the corner to wait for the crossing light.
"I just thought it was weird that my first instinct when Annabelle wasn't readily available was that she'd been murdered. I mean that's weird, right?"
Angie squinted at her. "There's more, isn't there?"
Mel blew out a breath. "Okay, it also occurred to me that maybe, just maybe, the fact that I am always looking for something bad to have happened is what makes it happen."
The light turned and the walk signal lit up. Angie opened her mouth to speak, closed it, then took Mel's arm and pulled her across the street.
Once they stepped onto the curb, she looked at Mel and said, "Now, that is nuts."
"Is it?" Mel asked. "I mean, isn't there a whole philosophy that says whatever you put out there comes back to you?"
"So, you think that by putting out thoughts of dead bodies or worst-case scenarios, that's what makes them happen?"
"Yeah . . . maybe . . . no . . . I don't know."
"Listen, we've definitely had some crazy stuff happen to us since we opened the bakery, but don't you think it's because we work in a service industry with a whole lot of different people with all sorts of bad and good things happening in their lives?" Angie asked. "I mean, how many weddings, birthdays, retirement parties, etcetera, have we baked cupcakes for and nothing bad has happened? Quite the opposite, in fact-the person has had the greatest day ever."
She began walking and Mel fell into step beside her.
"You're right," she said. "Maybe I just have a little post-traumatic stress going because the bad when it's bad is so very bad."
Angie nodded. "I'm sure that's it, but since my wedding is coming up in a matter of days, why don't we hedge our bets, and you just keep picturing happy things in that head of yours."
"Like puppies and kittens?"
"Yeah, or go big with unicorns and glitter bombs," Angie suggested.
Mel laughed. Angie was right. She needed to chillax. Probably, she was just nervous about the wedding. She was maid of honor, after all, which carried a lot of responsibility. Not that she thought Angie would pull a runner, but it was Mel's job to get her to the church on time, dressed appropriately, and to be prepared to crack some skulls if anyone interfered with her best friend's wedding.
"Okay, glittery unicorns it is," Mel said.
"That's my girl." Angie paused in front of the photographer's studio, pulling out her phone to check the time. Mel glanced over her shoulder and noted that they were right on schedule. Excellent.
Blaise Ione, the photographer, was a friend of Tate's from his days in the high school marching band. After graduation, Blaise had gone to art school and lived in New York City for several years, but when his aging mother needed him, he'd come home to Scottsdale to be nearby.
Blaise was a hardcore hipster and wore his short hair bleached white and paired it with his large Andy Warhol glasses, striped skinny pants, and pointy-toed shoes. He was exuberant, enthusiastic, and always made Mel laugh. She knew the wedding was safe in Blaise's hands.
Although it was a small space, Blaise made the most of it with huge portraits decorating the black walls, and mid-century modern furniture that made a statement as well as being a place to sit. Through the window, Mel studied one of the chairs, which looked to be molded out of cement. The statement she got was, This is uncomfortable, so move along, which, knowing Blaise, was exactly what he wanted it to say.
Angie pulled open the door and a gong sounded somewhere in the back of the space. Leave it to Blaise to have an unconventional door chime.
"Blaise? Hello?" Angie called out.
Mel moved towards the wall to study the portraits. Blaise had done Tate and Angie's engagement pictures and they were spectacular, managing to capture the longtime friendship that had morphed into romantic love between the couple.
Mel's favorite shot had been taken in black-and-white in an old movie theater. In it, Tate and Angie were sharing a bucket of popcorn, the red and white stripes on the bucket the only pop of color in the photo, as they gazed at each other with all the love in their hearts. It made Mel water up every time she saw it.
Oh, and here it was on the wall! Blaise had added it to his display. Mel felt her throat get tight.
"Hey, I didn't know he was going to put that up," Angie said as she joined her. "That's my favorite."
"Mine, too," Mel said. "Wow, it keeps hitting me that in a few days you'll be married to Tate."
"I know, right?" Angie grinned. "Say it again, it makes me dizzy."
"In a few days you'll be married to Tate." Mel laughed and hugged her friend close. "I am so happy for you both."
"Thanks," Angie said. "Man, I can't believe I spent all those years thinking he was in love with you."
"Idiot." Mel's voice was teasing when she said it, and Angie laughed and said, "Yep."
They sighed and then glanced around the studio. There was no sign of Blaise. They glanced at each other and Mel shrugged.
"Blaise, hello," Angie cried out. "It's Angie, your favorite bride."
Silence greeted them. Mel felt the hair on the back of her neck begin to prickle. No, no, no! She wasn't doing that again. She pictured a unicorn prancing through the studio. It didn't really help.
"Probably, he's in the bathroom," she said.
"Yeah," Angie agreed. "I'll just poke my head in the back."
"Okay," Mel said. Under her breath, she began to chant, "Unicorns and glitter, unicorns and glitter, come on, unicorns and glitter."
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
I love those series for so many reasons! There’s the cozy mystery vibes, movie quotes, zany situations, delicious cupcake recipes, strong friendships, humor, and sweet romances-I mean, 10 books for Angie and Tate to FINALLY put a cap on their relationship required perseverance! And...I really need at least one more book for Mel and Joe to have a wedding too!! However, the main reason this series has been so much fun is due to the character driven storyline. I found myself invested time after time with these characters and I’m so happy with the way things have turned out!
Enjoy a couple of her series. This book was very well done.
Not only does Mel and co have to plan Angie and Tate's wedding but of course there's a mystery to solve as well. Tenth book in the Cupcake mystery series is just as good as the other books in the series. Love this series not only for the setting, and covers but of course the characters is what makes this and the Hat Shop mystery series quite the cozy reads. Don't know what else to say that I haven't said about the series.
Another great mystery from the Cupcake Bakery Mystery series! As preparations gear up for Angie's wedding, Mel finds herself in the midst of dead bodies once again. The plot is multi-layered as the mystery is unwound and the personal lives of the characters once again becomes intertwined. Excellent plot with superb characters keep you entertained and engaged with the story!
Dollycas’s Thoughts Wedding bells will soon be ringing for Angie and Tate and Fairy Tale Cupcakes is busy baking cupcakes for an author’s book signing. They just need to stay clear of any dead bodies until after the wedding. Yeah, right, this is Mel and Angie we are talking about. The book signing is for an author that has written a thinly veiled novel about a neighborhood much like her own and filled it with truth and gossip, not trying to really hide the people’s identities with very telling nicknames. Shortly after her big event, she found dead and Mel thinks it may be connected to some other murders. Can she solve the case before Angie’s trip down the aisle? Or will everything crumble down around them? This was such a sweet read. Mel, Angie and the Fairy Tale Bakery gang are some of my favorite cozy characters. This being book ten, I truly feel like I am visiting old friends and excited to attend this long-awaited wedding. Mel, Angie, and Tate have been through so much. I was so happy to see this wedding take place. Hopefully, Dear Joe and Mel’s will follow soon. I really enjoyed the way each character was utilized throughout the story. In addition to creating the cupcakes for the wedding, Oz was having some personal problems. Marty has personal issues on his mind too. Uncle Stan seemed preoccupied and even Mel’s mom has a secret. Each of these characters has their own little subplot. I loved it! While the story does feature a lot about the wedding Jenn McKinlay doesn’t hold back on the murder/s mystery. The bodies start to pile up early and a clever twist turns the everyone’s thinking around, but finding the real motive takes a bit of sleuthing. The suspect pool changed and it was overflowing of suspects. Another epic twist gets to the heart of the issue and everything falls nicely into place. What a fantastic journey to a very satisfying ending. This series debuted in 2010 and I have loved all of them. Sprinkle With Murder, the first book in the series, was one of the 1st books featured on my original Dollycas’s Thoughts blog. I hope this series continues for at least 10 more! I do recommend starting at the beginning to get maximum enjoyment of the characters and their growth, but you can jump in anywhere along the way. You can’t go wrong with a Jenn McKinlay novel. Be sure to check out the recipes in the back of the book too.
Jenn McKinlay knows cupcakes... and murder! Readers will get a taste for it too in the tenth book in the Cupcake Bakery series, Wedding Cake Crumble. Long time readers of the series will be excited about the upcoming nuptials of Angie and Tate. But all is not well at Fairy Tale Cupcakes, when the wedding purveyors start ending up dead. McKinlay really puts it all on the line with tons of murders in this one. It's one big cozy mess and readers will love it! What I liked: This is one of those books that has so much going for it. I love a good cozy mystery with lots of red herrings and twists and turns that make you scratch your head, but this one is in a league by itself. You don't just one murder tied up with a bow in this. How about five or six, and one wicked killer. McKinlay is just full of surprises. You'd think ten books into the series, things would be slowing down a little bit, not so with this author. It's full steam ahead! I liked the fact that she really catches the reader off guard. I mean six murders, really? That's impressive. I always wonder if Jenn McKinlay is a cupcake maker herself. I mean the way she describes cupcakes in her books is just mouth watering. One of my favorite parts is always that little section at the back of the book with recipes in it. But just the general reading of the book, let's the reader know that this author has done some research and what better thing to learn about than cupcakes. Description, description, description. This book is a sensory feast for readers who like the overall theme of the series. Cupcakes. Angie and Tate are long time favorites of mine. I've always enjoyed their relationship and how they interact with the heroine of the series, Mel. When the photographer, the chauffeur and the baker are among the dead, the reader has to wonder, who in the world the happy couple ticked off. My first thoughts were, that someone was out to stop the wedding. Then a local inflammatory author is in the mix of dead. How does the author tie into the wedding? Oh what a tangled web we weave and readers will love trying to figure it all out before the end. What I didn't like: I wouldn't say I didn't like this, but it is something to consider. How do you fit all that murder into one book? There would have to be a murder every other chapter. Some readers might not like that and think that it takes away from the overall arc of the story. How can the characters interact and move the series forward with all this going on? But in my opinion it was pretty daring and I think it worked. It could be a little much for some readers though, so keep it in mind. Bottom Line: There's a lot, lot, lot going on in this book. Readers get some real bang for their buck when it comes to murder in this book. The cupcake descriptions are out of this world as usual and McKinlay's general humor and sense of the macabre is on point. If you're looking for a book that packs a punch this is it. Cozy mysteries can often seem a little predictable. I think you can throw that assumption out the window with this one. And Angie and Tate are so cute together. Ahh wedded bliss with a murderous twist. So good!
Ten books already? In a way, it feels like I just started reading this delicious series. Yet, in another way, I feel like I have been friends with these characters for decades. There’s even a new character that I feel I’ve known my whole life. All I know is this, it’s my extreme wish that I get to spend at least ten more books enjoying the Fairy Tale Cupcakes gang! As with all the books in the Cupcake Bakery Mysteries, WEDDING CAKE CRUMBLE drew me in on page one and held me captive until the very end. I didn’t close the book until I had finished the story, and the great recipes included afterwards. With the time clicking down toward their nuptials, wedding excitement for Angie and Tate can be tasted on every page. But, as a killer mystery will do, that sweet taste is interrupted with murder. Then, author Jenn McKinlay treats us to another murder, because like a cupcake, you can’t have just one. So, wedding plans and investigations intertwine making for a hectic time for our cast of characters, but a thrilling time for readers as the story amps up on every chapter, until it’s final, surprising reveal, and its conclusion. Oh wait! I totally forgot to mention if Angie and Tate finally take their vows. Well . . . you’ll just have to read WEDDING CAKE CRUMBLE and find out for yourself!
In this next book of the series Angie and Tate's wedding is on the horizon and there is much excitement in the air. While running wedding related errands Angie and Mel inadvertently find the body of the wedding photographer and Tate's good friend murdered with his own camera. Who would have killed such a great guy and why? When it comes to light that several other vendors have met a bad end Angie worries that it has something to do with her upcoming nuptials. To keep their minds off of things Angie volunteers them to cater a book signing of a local author who has in a sense written a tell all about an affluent area in town. When the author is murdered it looks like all the deaths might be related to her and not to Angie's wedding. The owner of the bookstore and publisher of the book becomes the main suspect, it looks like she has a great deal to gain from the authors death. Mel can't believe that Cassie was in anyway responsible for the death and let's everyone know her feelings on the subject. Follow along as Mel investigates the people from the book, does her maid of honor duties, and runs the cupcake business. With all that's going on will she be able to help clear her friends name. This is such a fabulous series filled with great characters, a wonderful story line, and tasty recipes at the end. I always look forward to each new book and the adventure the author takes us on.
Angie and Tate are finally getting married! As the date gets closer and more stressful, the bodies of people hired for the wedding start showing up all over town. To keep Angie's mind away from the problems they take on a last minute job of creating cupcakes for the extravagant book signing for a huge tell all book by a popular new author. Little did they know when they took the job that the next person to show up dead would be the author. Mel must follow the clues to find the killer before anything happens to her best friends or their well planned wedding. I was riveted to the story from the very first page. I have been watching this group of friends grow their business and their relationships since the very first book in this series. I think this book is one of my favorites so far.
It is one week until Angie and Tate’s wedding, and Mel, as maid of honor, has joined Angie in running errands to various venders to make payments. A stop at the photographer turns up a nasty surprise – his dead body in his office. Mel’s Uncle Stan, a homicide detective, quickly makes a connection to another murder, that of Angie and Tate’s limo driver. Is someone out to sabotage the wedding? Will any of them be the next target? This book is a pure delight for fans. The wedding does take over a bit in the second half, but I didn’t mind in the slightest. We’ve been waiting a lot of books for this moment. And that’s not to say we don’t get a good mystery with some interesting twists. The new characters are good, but the series regulars shine with their own sub-plots. This book also has some great laughs.
Wedding Cake Crumble by Jenn McKinlay is the 10th book in her Cupcake Bakery Mystery series. This was my first book in reading this series, as I have read McKinlay’s Bluff Point series . Though the characters are recurring, it wasn’t too difficult to meet the main characters and the small town they all live in. Mel and Angie are our heroines, and best friends who own Fairy Tale Cupcakes bakery. In Wedding Cake Crumble, Mel and Angie are busy preparing for Angie’s wedding to Tate, and when they go visit their friend Blaise, who is the photographer, they find him dead. Soon they will learn that two other murders have taken place recently, all being vendors for Angie’s wedding. When they have to deliver cupcakes for a book signing of a local author, Mel will suspect that Angie’s wedding is not the intended target, instead it is the author, who also used the same vendors. When the author, who wrote a negative book about the town residents, is attacked, one of their friends becomes the suspect and Mel will focus on helping her friend, while she also helps Angie with the preparations of the wedding. When the author dies, Mel is determined to read the book, and find the culprit who is committing these murders. We get to meet all the regulars of this series, and they were very likable, from Joe, Mel’s fiancée, Uncle Stan, Cassie, Oz, Marty, Angie and Mel’s family to name a few. The wedding preparation and the actual wedding were nicely done, giving us a nice glimpse at the closeness of the family and friends in this town. Angie and Tate made a great couple, as did Mel and Joe, who I expect will be tying the knot perhaps in the next book. What follows is a nice mystery, with Mel putting herself in danger, as she comes close to solving the murders, with some surprises along the way. I enjoyed this lighthearted story, with very nice characters, small town atmosphere and a good mystery. If you enjoy a simple murder mysteries, sweet leading characters , wonderful small town, then you should be reading this series.
Wedding Cake Crumble by Jenn McKinlay is the tenth book in A Cupcake Bakery Mystery series. Angie DeLaura is marrying Tate Harper in just one week. Angie and Mel have left Fairy Tale Cupcakes in the capable hands of Oz and Marty while they head out to issue payment to wedding vendors. After visiting the florist, they head to Blaise Ione’s studio, the wedding photographer and old friend of Tate’s. They find Blaise sitting at his desk with a camera strap twisted about his neck. Later that day, they discover that the driver Angie hired was found bludgeoned to death. Is someone trying to sabotage Angie and Tate’s wedding? To keep their minds and hands occupied, they agree to provide five hundred cupcakes for a book signing Cassie Leighton of A Likely Story is hosting the next day. The event is for the release of Elise Penworthy’s The Palms which has many people up in arms. It turns out that Cassie needed a new baker because the one she hired had been murdered. It seems that Cassie had hired the same photographer and driver for Elise that Angie was using for the wedding. Mel and Angie rush off to find Elise, but they are too late. Elise has been stabbed in the back with her own pen (ouch). Cassie ends up arrested. Angie and Mel know she did not kill anyone and set out to find the guilty party. The suspect list for those who disliked Elise is quite lengthy thanks to her book. Can the cupcake ladies find the killer before the wedding march begins? Wedding Cake Crumble is not a standalone novel. You need to read the other books in the series prior to picking up Wedding Cake Crumble. I thought the book was well-written and had a nice, steady pace. Jenn McKinlay has a writing style that draws the reader in and keeps their attention. The characters are well-developed and relatable. There is a nice mix of personalities and Angie’s brothers will have you in stitches. Marty is a unique character that has issues with his daughters and his girlfriend, Olivia Puckett. I was happy to see him stand up for himself (finally). Oz has come such a long way. From the descriptions provided, the cupcake tower he made for the wedding was beautiful (the color scheme for the wedding was aqua and pewter). My favorite character was Peanut, Elise Penworthy’s puppy (he stole the show). His hijinks will have you laughing out loud. Peanut and Captain Jack are adorable together. The mystery was not complicated (unfortunately). Identifying the guilty party was child’s play. I thought it was clever how the author managed to work in a mention of an incident from the of A Hat Shop Mystery series. There are plenty of cozy moments in Wedding Cake Crumble with the family and friends coming together for Angie and Tate’s wedding. I am looking forward to Joe and Mel’s upcoming nuptials now that they have set a date. I am giving Wedding Cake Crumble 4 out of 5 stars (I liked it). Jenn McKinlay has provided readers with an entertaining cozy mystery that they will delight in devouring as quickly as possible.
Wedding Cake Crumble is the tenth book in the Cupcake Bakery Mystery series in this very enjoyable series Angie’s wedding day is just a few days away and they are busy scurrying around making sure everyone is on the same page. Their first stop is to check with the photographer, Blaise Iones. Unfortunately, they find him sitting at his desk having been strangled by someone using his camera’s strap. They head back to the bakery after having been interviewed by Mel’s Uncle Stan. When they return to the bakery, Angie gives the limo service a call and finds out that the driver that was hired has been bludgeoned to death with a tire iron. Quite naturally they are thinking that someone is out to ruin the wedding, at the very least, or someone is out to make sure there is no wedding. Mel returns an urgent phone call from Cassie Leighton, owner of A Likely Story a small independent bookstore and indie press. Leighton needs 500 cupcakes for a book signing the next evening. The signing is for Elise Penworthy’s new book Palms, which Leighton is also publishing. Angie insists that they take the job, as it will take her mind off the terrible things that have taken place preparing for her wedding. The next evening at the signing many of the neighbors of Penrose who are portrayed in the exposing of the neighborhood of Palms show up to express their displeasure with her book. The most vocal is the current wife of Elise’s ex. Earlier that evening Mel learns that Leighton had hired the same limo driver and photographer as Angie. When Penworthy leaves, Mel goes in search for her as she thinks that Penworthy was the one who the attacks might have been directed at and he life might be in danger. Mel goes to the bar to look for Penworthy and finds her at a table in a dark corner stabbed with the pen she used at the signing and dies a short time later. Mel and Angie will have to sort through the many suspects to find the killer before Angie’s wedding day to make sure that she was she wasn’t the intended victim. Another well-plotted and written story from Jenn McKinlay. Most all of the interesting and believable characters are back to help protect Mel and Angie and to help find the killer. Delicious sounding recipes are also included with the book. I will definitely be watching for the next book in this interesting series.