Thursday, May 10, 2018

Cake and Punishment: A Southern Cake Baker Mystery

Welcome!  Best Beach Ever by Wendy Max will be published on May 22.  It is the sixth novel in the Ten Beach Road seriesToo Many Cooks Spoil the Plot by Sarah Osborne comes out on May 29.

Cake and Punishment by MaymeeBell is the first tale in A Southern Cake Baker Mystery series.  Sophia Cummings, a pastry chef, has returned home for a visit to Rumford, Kentucky after finding her boyfriend, Noah in a compromising position with the maître d’ where they work.  At the Rumford Country Club (RCC) she encounters her friend, Charlotte Harrington who is getting married in a few days.  Charlotte’s cake baker has quit, and Sophia offers to make her a beautiful wedding cake.  The next day they head to the RCC kitchen and find Chef Emile dead on the floor with a new cast iron skillet nearby.  When Evelyn Moss, the RCC manager, becomes the primary suspect, Sophia sets out to prove her innocence (plus she is plain curious).  To help out Evelyn and for a chance to snoop, Sophia agrees to be Emile’s replacement until a new chef can be hired (oh dear—can you see where this is heading).  Emile may have been a good chef, but he was lacking in the personality department.  Sheriff Carter Kincaid may wish Sophia would keep her nose out of his investigation, but he does enjoy spending time with her and Sophia does uncover some helpful information.  Which one of the people Chef Emile antagonized whacked him with an iron skillet?   Sophia needs to work quickly, or she will find herself the latest resident of the Rumford cemetery!

Cake and Punishment is a humorous new Southern cozy mystery written by Tonya Kappes using the non de plume of Maymee Bell.  It is a light-hearted story full of quirky characters and small-town charm.  Gossip spreads faster than a forest fire during a dry spell in Rumford, Kentucky.  Sophia’s mother, Bitsy is a force to be reckoned with.  When she sets her mind upon a task, people need to watch out (especially Sophia).  Sophia is a pastry chef who loves to bake and goes around with baked goods in her bag (which makes her a very popular person).  It was entertaining to see her get pulled back into her hometown and the subtle hints from friends about how they would like her to stay.  I thought Cake and Punishment contained good writing and a steady pace.  I would like for better character development.  We get to know very little about Sophia’s past and we are not given the last names of many characters.  The mystery had misdirection and a few suspects.  Avid mystery readers will have no problem pinning down the killer’s identity.  There is flirtation and attraction between Sophia and Carter which is helped along by Bitsy Cummings.  There are delectable baked good descriptions included in the book with recipes at the end.  I appreciated the addition of little libraries in the story.  They are a great way to get people of all ages to read.  We have several in my community with one being just down in the street in my local park (I am a frequent visitor).  Cake and Punishment is an entertaining story that will have you chuckling frequently.

Thank you for visiting today.  I will be sharing my review of Just in Time by Marie Bostwick tomorrow.  May you have a jubilant day.  Take care and Happy Reading!

The Avid Reader

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