Monday, May 07, 2018

Cake & Punishment by Maymee Bell

If you like Tonya Kappes' humor and Southern knowledge in her mysteries, you'll welcome her debut as Maymee Bell, author of Cake & Punishment. It's once again set in Kentucky, and features a quirky cast of strong Southern women. It's a delightful kickoff to the Southern Cake Baker series.

Sophia Cummings hasn't lived in Rumsford, Kentucky for ten years. She's a pastry chef in New York City, and even though she's back, she's telling everyone she just needed a break. Actually, she broke up with her cheating boyfriend, but she's planning to return to her job. Even so, when she runs into her distraught best friend from high school, she agrees to help Madison. She'll make the wedding cake, using the kitchen at the country club where the wedding is scheduled.

When Sophia and Madison arrive to check out the kitchen, Madison learns she has bigger problems than the cake. The chef is dead, murdered, and Sheriff Carter Kincaid has his eye on the general manager of the country club. No matter how hot Carter is, Sophia knows he's wrong. That chef was not killed by his own frying pan.

Yes, Cake & Punishment is another cozy mystery series with an amateur sleuth who returns home after breaking up with a cheating boyfriend. But Bell's cast of characters is believable and authentic. The character-driven mystery is filled with amusing, gossipy Southern women. Despite the formulaic launch of a cozy series, Cake & Punishment feels fresh. Readers who enjoy Jenn McKinlay's Cupcake Bakery mysteries may want to try out this one.

Maymee Bell's website is

Cake & Punishment by Maymee Bell. Crooked Lane Books, 2018. ISBN 9781683315711 (hardcover), 320p.

FTC Full Disclosure - I received the book to review for a journal.


Elle said...

This book sounds like a fun read. I would never think about baking and solving crimes at the same time xD

Lesa said...

I couldn't handle it, Elle. It's all I can do to keep the recipe straight. But, the book was fun.