Now that I'm no longer in Arizona, Jenn McKinlay's Cupcake Bakery mysteries have become comfort reads. Familiar cities, familiar characters, cupcakes and recipes. Some would say it doesn't get any better than this. But, it does. In her latest book, Going, Going, Ganache, Jenn takes a new direction with the relationships for her characters. It takes a talented writer to keep readers on their toes so the series doesn't get stale. McKinlay is one of the best writing cozy mysteries right now.
It isn't business as usual at Fairy Tale Cupcakes in Scottsdale's Old Town when Southwest Style magazine is shooting in the bakery. Melanie Cooper and Angie DeLaura feel out of sync in the outfits they're wearing for the photo shoot. But an appearance by their arch rival, Olivia Puckett, turns the whole shooting into a shooting match. And, in order to repair the damage, the magazine staff becomes part of the bakery's staff for an entire week while they make 1000 cupcakes for a gala.
In the close quarters of the bakery, Mel understands what Ian Hannigan, owner of SWS, meant when he said the staff needed to learn to work as a team. The pettiness and backstabbing between them is tough to deal with, but it's even worse when Mel finds the body of a staffer outside the bakery one morning. Now, she doesn't know if there's a killer lurking in her bakery. And, it doesn't help when her Uncle Stan, a Scottsdale police detective, shows up with a new partner. The newly engaged Mel shouldn't feel quite so attracted to Detective Martinez, who seems particularly interested in the woman who found the body.
The Cupcake Bakery mysteries always start with a bang, one that leaves readers laughing. This time, McKinlay adds some twists to the plot. New directions for series characters, an unexpected twist at the end, even gluten-free cupcakes. It's no surprise to see Going, Going Ganache on the New York Times bestseller list. Jenn McKinlay knows how to punch up a plot so it doesn't become stale, adding new flavors and surprises to an excellent cozy mystery series. Going, Going, Ganache should be going on every cozy reader's shelf.
Jenn McKinlay's website is www.jennmckinlay.com
Going, Gong, Ganache by Jenn McKinlay. Berkley Prime Crime. 2013. ISBN 9780425252079 (paperback), 294p.
FTC Full Disclosure - The publisher sent me a copy of the book, hoping I would review it.