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Death of a Cupcake Queen

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As the food and cocktails columnist for the Island Times, Hayley Powell attends a lot of events—but this one will be murder… On the eve of her high school reunion, Hayley dreads seeing the trio of mean girls who used to torment her: Sabrina Merryweather, Nykki Temple, and former prom queen Ivy Foster. These days Ivy wears a different crown as the cupcake queen—and flaunting As the food and cocktails columnist for the Island Times, Hayley Powell attends a lot of events—but this one will be murder… On the eve of her high school reunion, Hayley dreads seeing the trio of mean girls who used to torment her: Sabrina Merryweather, Nykki Temple, and former prom queen Ivy Foster. These days Ivy wears a different crown as the cupcake queen—and flaunting her success is just the icing on the cake. But maybe the prom queen should have been voted Most Likely to Die. At the reunion, Ivy is found murdered, cupcakes scattered around her. Is a killer out to teach the mean girls a lesson? As Hayley tries to get the scoop, she’ll have to be careful…or someone may be writing this columnist’s obituary next. Includes seven delectable recipes from Hayley’s kitchen!


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As the food and cocktails columnist for the Island Times, Hayley Powell attends a lot of events—but this one will be murder… On the eve of her high school reunion, Hayley dreads seeing the trio of mean girls who used to torment her: Sabrina Merryweather, Nykki Temple, and former prom queen Ivy Foster. These days Ivy wears a different crown as the cupcake queen—and flaunting As the food and cocktails columnist for the Island Times, Hayley Powell attends a lot of events—but this one will be murder… On the eve of her high school reunion, Hayley dreads seeing the trio of mean girls who used to torment her: Sabrina Merryweather, Nykki Temple, and former prom queen Ivy Foster. These days Ivy wears a different crown as the cupcake queen—and flaunting her success is just the icing on the cake. But maybe the prom queen should have been voted Most Likely to Die. At the reunion, Ivy is found murdered, cupcakes scattered around her. Is a killer out to teach the mean girls a lesson? As Hayley tries to get the scoop, she’ll have to be careful…or someone may be writing this columnist’s obituary next. Includes seven delectable recipes from Hayley’s kitchen!

30 review for Death of a Cupcake Queen

  1. 5 out of 5

    Anastasia

    Death of a Cupcake Queen by Lee Hollis is the 6th book in the Hayley Powell Food and Cocktails Mystery series. At their 20th High School reunion, former prom queen and now cupcake queen, Ivy Foster is killed and Hayley is again in the middle of the investigation. An entertaining and fun book. Lots of delicious sounding recipes and I love Hayley's column. The solution was a bit of a let down, but overall an enjoyable, light, typically cozy mystery. Death of a Cupcake Queen by Lee Hollis is the 6th book in the Hayley Powell Food and Cocktails Mystery series. At their 20th High School reunion, former prom queen and now cupcake queen, Ivy Foster is killed and Hayley is again in the middle of the investigation. An entertaining and fun book. Lots of delicious sounding recipes and I love Hayley's column. The solution was a bit of a let down, but overall an enjoyable, light, typically cozy mystery.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Berit☀️✨

    This was probably one of the very best cozy mysteries I have ever read!!! Fantastic characters, so well-developed, so likable, so absolutely believable. This was just such a fun and easy read. Haley was just so relatable, I enjoyed her relationship with her kids, her man, and her friends. The mastery kept you guessing until the very end. I also enjoyed all the recipes in the book, unfortunately I don't cook, but they made me not to. This was probably one of the very best cozy mysteries I have ever read!!! Fantastic characters, so well-developed, so likable, so absolutely believable. This was just such a fun and easy read. Haley was just so relatable, I enjoyed her relationship with her kids, her man, and her friends. The mastery kept you guessing until the very end. I also enjoyed all the recipes in the book, unfortunately I don't cook, but they made me not to.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Jonathan

    Excellent, this series has become one of my favorites. Highly recommend!

  4. 4 out of 5

    Paula Adams

    I love this series. Haley some how gets involved in planning their high school reunion along with a couple of the mean girls, one of which is a cupcake baker/queen. The columns the Haley writes are a hoot, I can't believe her friends and family speak to her after reading it. The recipes sound yummy. There is a surprise ending, I never figured entirely who the killer was. I love this series. Haley some how gets involved in planning their high school reunion along with a couple of the mean girls, one of which is a cupcake baker/queen. The columns the Haley writes are a hoot, I can't believe her friends and family speak to her after reading it. The recipes sound yummy. There is a surprise ending, I never figured entirely who the killer was.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Jenni Schell

    I cannot get enough of this series. I just fly through each book. The characters are warm and funny and there is always a great mystery. I can't wait for more. I cannot get enough of this series. I just fly through each book. The characters are warm and funny and there is always a great mystery. I can't wait for more.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Nicole

    Events from the past are brought into the present day in this fun 6th cozy in the Hayley Powell series, loved it! :-)

  7. 4 out of 5

    Nancy H

    I really like this series, and this is another excellent entry. The plot is very good, the characters are good, and the only issue I have with this particular story is the stereotyped librarian. I was a school librarian for many years, and my library was a vibrant, fun place, with lots of great projects, excellent learning taking place, and yes, noise! - all of which I encouraged. The days of librarians shushing everybody are long gone - and should be in fiction, as well. I also did not treat my I really like this series, and this is another excellent entry. The plot is very good, the characters are good, and the only issue I have with this particular story is the stereotyped librarian. I was a school librarian for many years, and my library was a vibrant, fun place, with lots of great projects, excellent learning taking place, and yes, noise! - all of which I encouraged. The days of librarians shushing everybody are long gone - and should be in fiction, as well. I also did not treat my returning students like this woman did - instead I rejoiced with them as the mature, contributing adults they turned out to be. I know this was just a minor character in the story, but it bothered me, as you can tell. Other than that, I would recommend this series.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Lisa Morin

    While this wasn't my favorite book in the series, it was still a very good story. High school reunions can be killer and Haley's certainly was. When the cupcake queen is found dead, there are plenty of suspects and Haley plans on solving this one. The reason I like this series is because of the humor and well developed characters. To me, this is a comfort series that I can turn to when I need a good laugh. The author brings the characters to life and I feel like I know all of them. While this wasn't my favorite book in the series, it was still a very good story. High school reunions can be killer and Haley's certainly was. When the cupcake queen is found dead, there are plenty of suspects and Haley plans on solving this one. The reason I like this series is because of the humor and well developed characters. To me, this is a comfort series that I can turn to when I need a good laugh. The author brings the characters to life and I feel like I know all of them.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Denise

    Another great book in the series. I'm binge reading the series. On to the next one. So far, all have been great. Hope you enjoy the series too. Another great book in the series. I'm binge reading the series. On to the next one. So far, all have been great. Hope you enjoy the series too.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Dawn

    This series continues to know exactly who it is, with its overboard situations and caricature characters. Less likable and more ridiculous entertainment, it isn't my favorite cozy mystery series, but it's amusing brain candy, which I know going in, so the expectations are realistic for what I'm going to get. What I liked about Death of a Cupcake Queen: It's an easy read - I mean, most cozies are, but this is somehow even more "beach read"-y than the usual fare of this particular genre. In a year w This series continues to know exactly who it is, with its overboard situations and caricature characters. Less likable and more ridiculous entertainment, it isn't my favorite cozy mystery series, but it's amusing brain candy, which I know going in, so the expectations are realistic for what I'm going to get. What I liked about Death of a Cupcake Queen: It's an easy read - I mean, most cozies are, but this is somehow even more "beach read"-y than the usual fare of this particular genre. In a year where I have set out on a mission to get current in all the various series I have in progress -- which is ripe with cozy mystery options -- this manages to break some of it up with its, shall we say, quirky personality. The mystery was clever - This is actually the thing that keeps me coming back to the Hayley Powell series. The mysteries and motives have some unique qualities, and even though I correctly suspected who was the murderer this time around, the twists and turns always throw me off the motive until its reveal. This one was right on target. What I didn't care for: The coarseness - Most cozies, at least the ones I've picked up, I find to be pretty tame. There is often some romance and maybe some vague allusions to "bedroom activities," but this series tends to be a little more saucy and elaborate with the details than the others. I always feel it is unnecessary to the story being told, so why include it? I wish there were at least one likable character - That shouldn't be so much to ask. But either they are annoying or ditzy or just somewhat unpleasant, possibly one-dimensional, that I don't actually find that I am rooting for anyone or care what happens to them. Better research PLEASE - A character puts on a red Celtics cap...when the Boston Celtics' colors are green and white. In a church, it's called a lectern, not a podium, and the ministers' chair is placed in the Chancel (the area around the altar), not the pulpit, which is where he would stand to preach the sermon. Also, I have never seen a minister wear only his undergarments under his robe. They are either dressed in typical clerical collar and dress pants or business casual under their robes...which you can tell because you can see shirt collars and pant cuffs showing. I realize that not everyone is going to pick up on these inconsistencies if they aren't exposed to them, but for crying out loud, would it kill the authors to make a little effort in researching what they write? Six books into this series, I'm unlikely to fail seeing it through, even though there are qualities about it that grate on me just a bit. The pros continue to outweigh the cons for me, so I will stick with it, but it isn't a series I ever find myself recommending when friends ask for a new cozy series to reach for.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Val

    So much is happening in Hayley's life right now. Gemma is graduating high school 🎓, Hayley has a 20 year class reunion and 2 mean girls Hayley went to high school with are murdered. (Is it any wonder she drinks?🍸🍹🍷🍺😉). Anyway Hayley being well, Hayley she looks into things and discovers secrets from high school have a way of coming back to get ya. So much is happening in Hayley's life right now. Gemma is graduating high school 🎓, Hayley has a 20 year class reunion and 2 mean girls Hayley went to high school with are murdered. (Is it any wonder she drinks?🍸🍹🍷🍺😉). Anyway Hayley being well, Hayley she looks into things and discovers secrets from high school have a way of coming back to get ya.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Sue Ross

    In this book in the Haley Powell food and cocktails mystery, there is a high school reunion and everybody is there to attend. Haley’s three worst enemies, aka, the mean girls are on the planning committee with Haley. When one of them turns up dead, there are unanswered questions from years ago about how a semi famous actor died 20 years ago. Clues lead back to the mean girls. Did the death of the cupcake queen tie into that death so many years ago? Lee Hollis is a master at mystery. She makes her In this book in the Haley Powell food and cocktails mystery, there is a high school reunion and everybody is there to attend. Haley’s three worst enemies, aka, the mean girls are on the planning committee with Haley. When one of them turns up dead, there are unanswered questions from years ago about how a semi famous actor died 20 years ago. Clues lead back to the mean girls. Did the death of the cupcake queen tie into that death so many years ago? Lee Hollis is a master at mystery. She makes her stories easy to read and enjoyable. This is a great series and I can’t wait for the next one to come out.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Dawn Frazier

    I loved this book, as I have all of the others in this series. They are just so much fun!

  14. 4 out of 5

    Ranie Elias

    This was the funniest mystery book I ever read...it was fast paced, interesting and comical...it will keep you laughing and guessing till the end. I highly recommend it, to everyone!

  15. 5 out of 5

    JoAnne McMaster (Any Good Book)

    When Hayley Powell is railroaded into providing food for her high school reunion, she doesn't expect that the only other person with food will be murdered before the cupcakes are even set out. One of the mean girls in school, Ivy Foster, is found murdered in the kitchen of the club where they're holding the reunion. While several people aren't surprised - Ivy was not a nice person and even had no problem fighting with her husband in public - someone hated her enough to bash her head in. And Hayl When Hayley Powell is railroaded into providing food for her high school reunion, she doesn't expect that the only other person with food will be murdered before the cupcakes are even set out. One of the mean girls in school, Ivy Foster, is found murdered in the kitchen of the club where they're holding the reunion. While several people aren't surprised - Ivy was not a nice person and even had no problem fighting with her husband in public - someone hated her enough to bash her head in. And Hayley, knowing somehow Sabrina might be involved, decides to find the killer.... Well, let me first say that the best part of this book is Hayley's phone. I want one. Because in one scene, someone takes it and smashes it against the wall, and in the very next, she pulls it out of her pocket to answer it. Wow. Who wouldn't want a phone that magically reassembles itself after something like that? You get my drift... Now, the rest of the review is a huge spoiler, because it's the end of the book and tells why it was bad. Please don't read if you haven't already read this book or are planning on never doing so. It gives the ending away! (view spoiler)[The murders Did Not Make Sense. The murderer killed two women and was going to kill a third because - get this - twenty years ago his father died because he hit his head on concrete and fell into a swimming pool and drowned. Okay, 1) the guy who died was trying to rape a teenage girl at the time; 2) the girls were upset and trying to escape from being attacked or worse; 3) the dead guy was an actor who paid off his son's mother because HE WOULDN'T ADMIT PATERNITY. That's right, folks! His father wouldn't admit he was his dad and paid off the SIXTEEN-YEAR-OLD girl's parents and wanted nothing to do with him or his mother! But hey - 4) he's so upset about this (the father that wanted nothing to do with him or his mom and wouldn't acknowledge his existence) that he feels the need to vindicate him. Say what????? It does not make sense. At all. In any way, shape or form. WHY would he even be concerned about the guy who impregnated his mother and then acted like she (and he) didn't exist? What the fudge? And we're supposed to think this is believable. (hide spoiler)] So, if you've read the spoiler, then you'll understand why this book was a huge disappointment. It rather ruins the rest of the book when the ending doesn't make any sense.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Darlene

    This cozy mystery was a great whodunit, and which had a lot more going on than what first appeared! Hayley Powell is a single mom of two teenagers, who works for the local newspaper. Her boyfriend is a veterinarian, and she writes a culinary column in the local newspaper. With her high school’s forthcoming 20-year reunion, Hayley is not looking forward to seeing some of her classmates. You know the ones, the snobby girls who made everyone else’s life miserable! Somehow, Hayley ends up getting rop This cozy mystery was a great whodunit, and which had a lot more going on than what first appeared! Hayley Powell is a single mom of two teenagers, who works for the local newspaper. Her boyfriend is a veterinarian, and she writes a culinary column in the local newspaper. With her high school’s forthcoming 20-year reunion, Hayley is not looking forward to seeing some of her classmates. You know the ones, the snobby girls who made everyone else’s life miserable! Somehow, Hayley ends up getting roped into preparing all the appetizers for the big event while one of the former queen bees, Ivy Foster, offers to bring her trademark cupcakes which have made her into a successful businesswoman. Before anyone can sample Ivy’s treats, she is bludgeoned to death in the kitchen! This was a fun cozy mystery that kept me guessing! My favourite character is Police Chief Sergio Alvares, who is married to Hayley’s brother. Since English is not Sergio’s first language, he butchers common English expressions which had me laughing out loud! Even though I jumped into this series at Book #6, I was able still able to follow along with no problems. However, I would like to start the series from the beginning to learn the backstories of all the characters, in particular Hayley’s ex-boyfriend. This review was posted on my book blog: http://darlenesbooknook.blogspot.ca/2...

  17. 5 out of 5

    Paula Ratcliffe

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. This book follows Hayley, Liddy, and Mona who are getting ready for their twentieth reunion. Of course Mona in all her glory doesn't want to go at all. She gets tricked into going by Gemma Hayley's daugter. Which was hilarious to see. Of course the trio really could do with out the mean girls Nykki, Ivy and Sabrina who have not been the nicest in school. While Sabrina was a good friend to Hayley when they were young that all changed when high school hit. When one of the mean girls is found dead i This book follows Hayley, Liddy, and Mona who are getting ready for their twentieth reunion. Of course Mona in all her glory doesn't want to go at all. She gets tricked into going by Gemma Hayley's daugter. Which was hilarious to see. Of course the trio really could do with out the mean girls Nykki, Ivy and Sabrina who have not been the nicest in school. While Sabrina was a good friend to Hayley when they were young that all changed when high school hit. When one of the mean girls is found dead in the kitchen at the reunion. Hayley wonders who would be angry enough with Ivy to kill her. And what does this have to do with high school. Hayley ends up digging real deep into history of the year after they graduated to an actors death and what really happened! Will Hayley figure it out in time or is the reunion going to be the last thing Hayley remembers? I love this series it's great to see what the girls are up to. Who winds up dead and why? Also in this book are fabulous cocktails and food recipes to try at home. These books are definitely ones you can't put down even if you tried because you never know what you will miss! My favorite go to mystery.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Traci

    Hayley, Mona, and Liddy are getting ready for their 20th classroom reunion. The Mean Girls from their class are back in town. They are suppose to be working together to make sure the reunion goes off without an issue. Does that happen? Well, one of those Mean Girls is found dead while at the reunion. Hayley investigates the murder. Is the motive for the murder because of current issues or did something happen in the past? Meanwhile, her daughter is getting ready for her prom and graduation. I enjo Hayley, Mona, and Liddy are getting ready for their 20th classroom reunion. The Mean Girls from their class are back in town. They are suppose to be working together to make sure the reunion goes off without an issue. Does that happen? Well, one of those Mean Girls is found dead while at the reunion. Hayley investigates the murder. Is the motive for the murder because of current issues or did something happen in the past? Meanwhile, her daughter is getting ready for her prom and graduation. I enjoy the friendship between Hayley, Mona, and Liddy. They each have their own personalities but get along really well even though it might seem like they don't get along at times. Sergio, Hayley's brother-in-law, is a favorite. He is the police chief. English is not his native language since he is from Brazil. Sergio is constantly making mistakes with his English like asking if someone had a bulge instead of a grudge. I also enjoy reading Hayley's articles for the local newspapers. The stories she tells are hilarious.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Kathleen Chrisman

    Hayley Powell and her best friend Liddy are willing to help with the class reunion that is only a few days away. unfortunately, the three mean girls from high school are also working on the plans which quickly become a lot of work with little help. At the reunion one of the mean girls is found dead and her husband is taken into custody. But, it looks like someone is trying to get rid of the mean girls one by one. Can Hayley gather all of the clues to help her brother in law find the real killer Hayley Powell and her best friend Liddy are willing to help with the class reunion that is only a few days away. unfortunately, the three mean girls from high school are also working on the plans which quickly become a lot of work with little help. At the reunion one of the mean girls is found dead and her husband is taken into custody. But, it looks like someone is trying to get rid of the mean girls one by one. Can Hayley gather all of the clues to help her brother in law find the real killer before it's too late? I really liked the trip back to high school Hayley was forced to take. The mean girls that have been mentioned in the previous books can now be seen with all of their flaws and secrets. Great story line with lots of twists and surprises.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Amy Moreno

    Another good book in the series I am determined to see all the way to the end. They are starting to seem very interchangeable and form (Haley goes about her normal day, Haley has one added thing on her schedule, Haley stumbles upon a dead body, Haley does the police's job for them and the police are okay with that, Haley solves the case and puts herself in a dangerous situation and is rescued.) They are fun to read anyway just don't expect jaw-dropping changes this late in the game. And the reci Another good book in the series I am determined to see all the way to the end. They are starting to seem very interchangeable and form (Haley goes about her normal day, Haley has one added thing on her schedule, Haley stumbles upon a dead body, Haley does the police's job for them and the police are okay with that, Haley solves the case and puts herself in a dangerous situation and is rescued.) They are fun to read anyway just don't expect jaw-dropping changes this late in the game. And the recipes are always a nice bonus which is part of why I read this genre anyway.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Laura Ruetz

    This is still an enjoyable mystery with the very relatable and likable Hayley Powell. She is down to earth, smart and I just find her easy to relate to. She is the shining light in all of the books. I felt the plot on this one was a bit too convoluted and it made muddled up the last 1/4 of the book.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Amy

    Great book! I had a long, long wait for something and was laughing out loud during the first two chapters. I was enjoying it so much that after only those two chapters, I stopped and made a note in my phone of the title and author because it was such a great read. I couldn't put it down, and look forward to some humor mixed in with the murder for this series. Great book! I had a long, long wait for something and was laughing out loud during the first two chapters. I was enjoying it so much that after only those two chapters, I stopped and made a note in my phone of the title and author because it was such a great read. I couldn't put it down, and look forward to some humor mixed in with the murder for this series.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Amanda

    4.5 stars. Another great book in this series. One of these days I will make a recipe that are in them. Do you remember high school? Did you ever go to your reunion? I am betting yours didn't include a dead classmate during it. Just think how memorable that would be! Who did it? Another classmate? Or someone else? Tune in and see! 4.5 stars. Another great book in this series. One of these days I will make a recipe that are in them. Do you remember high school? Did you ever go to your reunion? I am betting yours didn't include a dead classmate during it. Just think how memorable that would be! Who did it? Another classmate? Or someone else? Tune in and see!

  24. 4 out of 5

    Lorraine

    I almost put this down after a few chapters because it sounded like a bad version of Sweet Valley High. But, it did get more interesting toward the end. I'll give this series one of two more tries. They are fairly fluffy entertainment. I almost put this down after a few chapters because it sounded like a bad version of Sweet Valley High. But, it did get more interesting toward the end. I'll give this series one of two more tries. They are fairly fluffy entertainment.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Sandra

    This was a good cozy mystery. Generally I like mysteries that have their roots in the past and this one does. The title gives too much away, though, and there were several story lines that started but were never resolved. There was a surprise twist at the end.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Mary Corso

    Reunion time Who doesn't have heartbreaking memories from high school as well as happy ones? And we all remember the mean girls who are so much meaner than boys ever were. A mystery uniting the past and present. Reunion time Who doesn't have heartbreaking memories from high school as well as happy ones? And we all remember the mean girls who are so much meaner than boys ever were. A mystery uniting the past and present.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Amy

    Probably my favorite Hayley Powell mystery so far. The reunion, prom, Aaron, Sergio, the death - well done. Lists of fun. Oh and the recipes were enticing. But, a petty comment, there were sections that seemed like the editor just skipped over. In one five line paragraph there were five typos.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Em(ily) Ann ♡︎♡︎♡︎ - theglitterybookworm_

    These books are so addicting!

  29. 4 out of 5

    Kim j

    I really enjoyed this one. This is what I expect a cozy to be. I love the characters and easy anyone can relate to them. The plot was great and a nice twist at the end!!!

  30. 5 out of 5

    Janet

    Fun! I am so enjoying this series. I recommend to those who love a cozy mystery, good characters and some laughs along the way. There's a funeral scene that definitely made me laugh - no spoiler! Fun! I am so enjoying this series. I recommend to those who love a cozy mystery, good characters and some laughs along the way. There's a funeral scene that definitely made me laugh - no spoiler!

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