Wednesday, March 28, 2018

Murder with a Cherry on Top: A Lickety Splits Ice Cream Shoppe Mystery

Murder with a Cherry on Top by Cynthia Baxter is the first installment in A Lickety Splits Ice Cream Shoppe Mystery series.  Katherine “Kate” McKay has opened Lickety Splits Ice Cream Shoppe in Wolfert’s Roost, New York.  It is a dream come true for Kate and the start of a new chapter in her life.  Then she notices Ashley Winthrop of Sweet Things Pastry Palace posting a sign in her window stating that they are now selling homemade ice cream.  It seems Ashley is continuing the rivalry that began in kindergarten.  After having a public argument with Ashley in front of the store, Kate heads out to Juniper Hill Organic Dairy where she encounters her old high school boyfriend, Jake Pratt.  The sight of him still makes her heart skip a beat.  The next day Kate is awakened to pounding on her door and Officer Pete Bonano on her doorstep.  Ashley was killed in her bakery the night before, and Kate is at the top of the suspect list courtesy of her vocal disagreement with the victim.  With gossip causing a decline in business, Kate sets out to find Ashley’s killer before her dream melts away.

I liked the premise for A LicketySplits Ice Cream Shoppe Mystery series.  Ice cream and mystery in one book (I love ice cream and have a bowl every day).  The author created an adorable shop for Kate McKay to sell her homemade ice cream treats as well as a charming small town.  Readers are entertained with delectable descriptions of ice cream throughout the book (the Tahitian Vanilla sounds scrumptious).  Every ice cream that Kate sells to a customer is described in detail. The book is nicely written and has a steady pace.  The author has an easy, breezy writing style.  There are some quirky characters like Willow Baines, Kate’s best friend.  I liked Grams and Kate’s niece, Emma.  I fell in love with Gram’s beautiful Victorian home (I want it).  The mystery, though, was lacking and it was not the primary focus of the book.  The investigation consists of Kate asking questions and speculating on the identity of the guilty party (no action or suspense). Instead of Kate identifying the killer, she stumbles upon the solution.  I wish the author had put as much effort into the mystery as she did into coming up with the ice cream flavors.  Of course, there is are requisite clich√© nasty detective (thankfully we do not see much of him). My rating for Murder with a Cherry on Top is 3 out of 5 stars.  Murder with a Cherry on Top is a cute and entertaining cozy mystery that will have readers pulling their favorite frozen treat from their freezers.

If you like my book reviews, please consider following my blog (upper right).  Thank you for stopping by today.  I will return next time with my thoughts on Plain as Day by Laura Bradford.  I hope you have a rewarding day.  Take care and Happy Reading!

The Avid Reader

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