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Sprinkle with Murder

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Melanie Cooper and Angie DeLaura are finally living out their dream as the proud owners of the Fairy Tale Cupcakes bakery. But their first big client is a nightmare. She's a bridezilla who wants 500 custom cupcakes for her wedding. When Mel stumbles upon the bride-to-be dead-by-cupcake, she becomes the prime suspect. To save themselves and their business, the ladies need Melanie Cooper and Angie DeLaura are finally living out their dream as the proud owners of the Fairy Tale Cupcakes bakery. But their first big client is a nightmare. She's a bridezilla who wants 500 custom cupcakes for her wedding. When Mel stumbles upon the bride-to-be dead-by-cupcake, she becomes the prime suspect. To save themselves and their business, the ladies need to find the real murderer, before the cupcake killer ices someone else.


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Melanie Cooper and Angie DeLaura are finally living out their dream as the proud owners of the Fairy Tale Cupcakes bakery. But their first big client is a nightmare. She's a bridezilla who wants 500 custom cupcakes for her wedding. When Mel stumbles upon the bride-to-be dead-by-cupcake, she becomes the prime suspect. To save themselves and their business, the ladies need Melanie Cooper and Angie DeLaura are finally living out their dream as the proud owners of the Fairy Tale Cupcakes bakery. But their first big client is a nightmare. She's a bridezilla who wants 500 custom cupcakes for her wedding. When Mel stumbles upon the bride-to-be dead-by-cupcake, she becomes the prime suspect. To save themselves and their business, the ladies need to find the real murderer, before the cupcake killer ices someone else.

30 review for Sprinkle with Murder

  1. 5 out of 5

    James

    3+ stars to Jenn McKinlay's Sprinkle with Murder, the first book in the "Cupcake Bakery" cozy mystery series. I'm a fan of Ms. McKinlay, as I enjoy both her "Hat Shop" and "Library Lovers" mystery series, which pushed me to try this one. It was a fun read that took me about two hours on a train to/from Long Island to see family for the day, and I will continue to read the series. Story Mel and Angie have been best friends since an incident with a chocolate bar and a bully in the sixth grade. A 3+ stars to Jenn McKinlay's Sprinkle with Murder, the first book in the "Cupcake Bakery" cozy mystery series. I'm a fan of Ms. McKinlay, as I enjoy both her "Hat Shop" and "Library Lovers" mystery series, which pushed me to try this one. It was a fun read that took me about two hours on a train to/from Long Island to see family for the day, and I will continue to read the series. Story Mel and Angie have been best friends since an incident with a chocolate bar and a bully in the sixth grade. Almost 25 years later, they co-own a cupcake bakery together in their Scottsdale, Arizona hometown. When their third best friend Tate ask them to design his wedding cake for the upcoming nuptials, they are a little leery (give he is their silent partner in the business) and they aren't very keen on his bridezilla. Christie Stevens was a famous designer who seemed to make it big by stealing from others and being a general nasty businesswoman. When she ends up dead after taste-testing one of the cupcakes Mel made, the press suspects foul play, claiming Mel had long-buried feelings for Tate. In order to save her reputation, and the bakery, Mel investigates Christie's life and comes up with a few suspects. While trying to save themselves from the murder, someone else falls prey to the killer, and a rival bakeshop owner takes advantage of the situation. In the end, the stories collide for a bit and Mel almost bites the dust. Luckily, her new crush, Angie's brother, comes to her rescue. Strengths 1. McKinlay's writing is direct, funny and charming. She's consistent in her tone and story, finds good red herrings and creates strong interest in the cast and story. 2. The characters are likable, and they have some longevity. The rivalry will turn out to be a fun one to follow, as will the different love interests. Suggestions 1. In the beginning, McKinlay is clear to call out that Tate isn't gay although he was teased about it as a child. What's wrong with making a supporting character gay? Perhaps because in this case it was his bride-to-be who was murdered, him being gay wouldn't have turned out too well... especially when there are already strong hints that he has feelings for either Mel or Angie, and Angie has secret feelings for him. I think it would have been a better and stronger story if he was gay and there weren't any romantic feelings between the 3 friends. 2. The book is over 7 years old, so it may have been one of the first, but there are at least 10 of these types of series where the protagonist gives up a day job to own a bakery and then solves murder mysteries. Love the concept. Perhaps it was the trend setter. But... something needs to stand out to make it different than the rest. I've only read a few series, and just the first one of this series... so I'll hold judgment until I get through a few more. Make it stand out, Jenn... I know you can do it! Final Thoughts A fun read, definitely worth giving it a chance. But challenge yourself. Find 5 or 6 of these series where they revolve around bakeries and decide which has the best chance to survive! McKinlay's definitely at the top of the list in my book and if the series pushes a bit more in the next book, I'm sure it'll get a 4 of 5 stars from me.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Luffy

    I wish I was an avid moviegoer. Then I would have a quote apt for the occasion. That's one of the things that the three friends in the book, Tate, Angie and Mel do. It's the first time I've read a Kill Bill quote in a book. It has been a long time since I figured the culprit in a mystery novel, but then I had a tip - not a real spoiler - from another reader. I liked the pacing in the book. I can't get enough of these culinary mysteries for the moment and though it might not last forever, it will I wish I was an avid moviegoer. Then I would have a quote apt for the occasion. That's one of the things that the three friends in the book, Tate, Angie and Mel do. It's the first time I've read a Kill Bill quote in a book. It has been a long time since I figured the culprit in a mystery novel, but then I had a tip - not a real spoiler - from another reader. I liked the pacing in the book. I can't get enough of these culinary mysteries for the moment and though it might not last forever, it will be later rather than sooner before I'm ready to move on.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Carole (Carole's Random Life in Books)

    This review can also be found at Carole's Random Life in Books. I enjoyed this fun cozy mystery. I recently read Jenn McKinlay's contemporary romance, About a Dog, and loved it so I started looking at some of her other works. When I saw this series set in a cupcake shop, I knew I wanted to give it a try. Who doesn't like a little mystery with their cupcakes? This audiobook ended up being a really quick listen for me because I found myself wanting to listen to it for hours at a time. Mel and Angie This review can also be found at Carole's Random Life in Books. I enjoyed this fun cozy mystery. I recently read Jenn McKinlay's contemporary romance, About a Dog, and loved it so I started looking at some of her other works. When I saw this series set in a cupcake shop, I knew I wanted to give it a try. Who doesn't like a little mystery with their cupcakes? This audiobook ended up being a really quick listen for me because I found myself wanting to listen to it for hours at a time. Mel and Angie have been best friends for a very long time and are now working together at the cupcake shop. They are also best friends with Tate who is soon to be married. Tate's fiance is rather difficult and when she shows up to the shop to decide on cupcakes for the wedding, she proves how difficult she can really be. They also have a rival bakery owner hanging outside of their store at all hours. It was obvious early on that Mel and Angie would have a few challenges. When I read a cozy mystery, I like to try to figure out who is going to be the one to die before it is revealed so I didn't really read the summary before jumping in to the book. Once Mel discovers the body, I had a guess about who the murderer was right away but I really had no idea how things would play out. This story did take a few turns that I never expected and did me guessing and entertained to the end. This was the first time that I have ever listed to a book narrated by Susan Boyce but I thought she did a fantastic job. She handled a large number of characters very well in this story and used a very distinct voice for each one. I always knew who was speaking during conversations. I thought she also did a great job of portraying the character's emotions. I always felts like I knew how the character was feeling. I would recommend this book to cozy mystery fans. It was a really entertaining story filled with wonderful characters. I look forward to continuing with this series very soon. I received a review copy of this audiobook from Dreamscape Media, LLC via Audiobook Jukebox. Initial Thoughts This was a really quick listen for me. The characters were great and I loved the little cupcake shop. I had a pretty good idea who the culprit would be as soon as the character was introduced but I had a lot of fun seeing how everything would play out.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Kate

    I picked up this book because I liked the theme (yummy cupcakes!), the cover (so fun looking!) and the idea that the book revolves around the death of a bridezilla to be. Sadly, reading the book wasn't as fun as looking at its cover. The book definitely has its moments, and there is some good writing in here. But, with that being said, I could have filled most pages with red ink correcting editing mistakes and ridiculously awkward and confusing sentences (ex: "If everyone was looking at her, then I picked up this book because I liked the theme (yummy cupcakes!), the cover (so fun looking!) and the idea that the book revolves around the death of a bridezilla to be. Sadly, reading the book wasn't as fun as looking at its cover. The book definitely has its moments, and there is some good writing in here. But, with that being said, I could have filled most pages with red ink correcting editing mistakes and ridiculously awkward and confusing sentences (ex: "If everyone was looking at her, then they weren't looking at whoever really did it. And if they weren't going to, then someone had to, and since it was her neck in the noose, it looked like it was going to be her.") I've never really read a book before where I was constantly distracted by the writing, and wanting so badly to change it, and it was very annoying to say the least. The story is only 215 pages so it should have been a very quick read, but it felt much longer than that. To sum it up: fun idea, good theme, and a good general story line and mystery are bogged down with errors and a NUMBER of awkwardly worded sentences, making the book difficult to get through. Hopefully the next book in the series, "Buttercream Bump Off," will be much, much better, since the whole theme of this series and the characters presented have so much promise.

  5. 5 out of 5

    ᴥ Irena ᴥ

    Melanie Cooper and Angela DeLaura own a cupcake bakery, Fairy Tale Cupcakes. Their third best friend, Tate, is a partner there and he is getting married soon. His fiancée is a caricature of bridezilla. She is not just obsessed with the wedding. She wants to own everything connected to it: photographs, special flavour of cupcakes and probably many other things as well. And she ends up dead. The prime suspect is Mel. The rest follows the well known cozy mystery pattern. Mel investigates Christie an Melanie Cooper and Angela DeLaura own a cupcake bakery, Fairy Tale Cupcakes. Their third best friend, Tate, is a partner there and he is getting married soon. His fiancée is a caricature of bridezilla. She is not just obsessed with the wedding. She wants to own everything connected to it: photographs, special flavour of cupcakes and probably many other things as well. And she ends up dead. The prime suspect is Mel. The rest follows the well known cozy mystery pattern. Mel investigates Christie and finds the murderer. There is an attempt to hide the culprit behind many red herrings. Everyone, and I mean everyone had a reason to hate Christie and want her dead. Her character goes beyond over the top ruthless fashion designer. There was something seriously wrong with her. In the end, there was no great surprise. As for Mel being the prime suspect, that was really annoying. Not because you know she didn't do it, but because of her behaviour. She overreacts to everything. The second thing is that you aren't given any real believable reason why she would be. Christie's father wanting a murderer caught is hardly a reason. And almost everyone around her believe her capable of it. Characters are not deep. They were given one of two character traits and that seems to be it. For example, Angie has seven brothers and they are overbearing and overprotective. Mel has a crush on one of Angie's brothers, Joe. He gets a bit more space in the book since he is an assistant DA and with him you get that romantic touch every cozy mystery I've read so far has. He gets to be handsome too. In the end, the more I think about it, the more I am annoyed by some of the unresolved or at least unmentioned issues. Christie's father does something he should be punished for and it is not mentioned. Unless it gets more attention in later books and gets resolved, Angie's secret was unnecessary and a bit depressing. If you are looking for depth, you won't find it here. What you are going to find, though, is a cute light story that will probably make you hungry in the end (if you like cupcakes). There is a lot of dialogue, so it makes it a very fast read. Considering the way most people rate the books, I always feel I have to explain my rating even though it follows the Goodreads rating system. That makes this one an ok story that didn't have any surprises. I would recommend it after some depressing or dark book and if you want something light and fast.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Lisa Kay

    ★★★★½ Just loved it - and I've dived into the next one right away. I just discovered this author this month and I love her writing. ★★★★½ Just loved it - and I've dived into the next one right away. I just discovered this author this month and I love her writing.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Berit☀️✨

    I was seriously craving a cupcake throughout this entire book.... This was a fun start to the series, that I will definitely be continuing....Mel and Angie were both very likable, girls you would love to hang out and have a cupcake with... I like both of their love interests, and I’m looking forward to those relationships developing..... The mystery was interesting and it took me a while to figure it out.... wondering if Olivia will continue to be a nemesis??? *** narrator:Susan Boyce did a very g I was seriously craving a cupcake throughout this entire book.... This was a fun start to the series, that I will definitely be continuing....Mel and Angie were both very likable, girls you would love to hang out and have a cupcake with... I like both of their love interests, and I’m looking forward to those relationships developing..... The mystery was interesting and it took me a while to figure it out.... wondering if Olivia will continue to be a nemesis??? *** narrator:Susan Boyce did a very good job, I think she voiced all the characters very well...

  8. 5 out of 5

    Nidah (SleepDreamWrite)

    Huh, surprised I finished this already. I like that while a quick read, it was kind of enjoyable in a way. Maybe it had to do with the number of pages or the writing style. Either way, this was a good start. Didn't love it but still like it. Near the end couldn't help but smile. Throughout, I been thinking, hmm, suddenly I want a cupcake. Anyway, this was good, the characters I kind of like, at first anyway. Then as the story went along and you get to know them, I like them a little bit more. Esp Huh, surprised I finished this already. I like that while a quick read, it was kind of enjoyable in a way. Maybe it had to do with the number of pages or the writing style. Either way, this was a good start. Didn't love it but still like it. Near the end couldn't help but smile. Throughout, I been thinking, hmm, suddenly I want a cupcake. Anyway, this was good, the characters I kind of like, at first anyway. Then as the story went along and you get to know them, I like them a little bit more. Especially Angie, Tate and Mel's friendship. Joe included. Been wanting to read more cozy mysteries and the different themes, either a bookish or food theme. Plus I like the covers for these. Already want to read the next one.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Lesa Divine

    Book 1 of my own 24 hour cozy mystery readathon is complete. Best friends partner up to open a bakery cupcakes. But once bridezilla the bride to Tate is murdered Mel is the prime suspect which puts her new business in jeopardy. Mel and her friend Angie determined to find out who killed Tate's bride by all means. Enjoyable quick cozy mystery read. Book 1 of my own 24 hour cozy mystery readathon is complete. Best friends partner up to open a bakery cupcakes. But once bridezilla the bride to Tate is murdered Mel is the prime suspect which puts her new business in jeopardy. Mel and her friend Angie determined to find out who killed Tate's bride by all means. Enjoyable quick cozy mystery read.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Gaetagrl13

    Did I figure out the murder by the 4th chapter? Yes. Did it make me want a cupcake? Also, yes. Was I entertained enough to want to read the next book the series? Maybe. Probably. We’ll see.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Peggy R

    This series has been on my TBR pile for way to long and I can't believe I waited so long to get around to reading it. This is a good start to the series. The characters are all fun, engaging, and relatable. I love the friendship dynamics between Mel, Angie and Tate. The each have something different they bring to the friendship and it works. I also love the old movie lines peppered throughout the book and how they try to stump one another. These are characters that I really enjoyed and I can't w This series has been on my TBR pile for way to long and I can't believe I waited so long to get around to reading it. This is a good start to the series. The characters are all fun, engaging, and relatable. I love the friendship dynamics between Mel, Angie and Tate. The each have something different they bring to the friendship and it works. I also love the old movie lines peppered throughout the book and how they try to stump one another. These are characters that I really enjoyed and I can't wait to get more books in this series. This was an easy, entertaining read. I was able to finish it in one day. The mystery was solid and the author did a good job of setting up the story so there there were several suspects each with good motives which made them great candidates to be the murder. There is a nice twist that I did not see coming and so I was surprised by the identity of the killer when revealed. This is fun series that is well written and has terrific characters. I will definitely be picking up the next few books in the series.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Sheri

    I haven't read many cozy mysteries, but this one would be a great intro for anyone new to the genre and I plan on reading the next one and maybe the one after that. This has great characters, a fast paced story, and just enough twists to keep me interested. Cupcakes and mystery. What’s not to love. I would definitely recommend this terrific cozy. I haven't read many cozy mysteries, but this one would be a great intro for anyone new to the genre and I plan on reading the next one and maybe the one after that. This has great characters, a fast paced story, and just enough twists to keep me interested. Cupcakes and mystery. What’s not to love. I would definitely recommend this terrific cozy.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Jammin Jenny

    I really enjoyed this cute cozy mystery where a group of three friends are dealing with the marriage of one of them to someone no-one really seems to like. She's a bridezilla, and is demanding that her cupcakes become her property and that the owner can no longer make those types of cupcakes for anyone else. After sending the cupcakes over with her two assistants, the next morning the woman is found dead in her fashion boutique. Mel (the cupcake owner) is one of the prime suspects...can her frie I really enjoyed this cute cozy mystery where a group of three friends are dealing with the marriage of one of them to someone no-one really seems to like. She's a bridezilla, and is demanding that her cupcakes become her property and that the owner can no longer make those types of cupcakes for anyone else. After sending the cupcakes over with her two assistants, the next morning the woman is found dead in her fashion boutique. Mel (the cupcake owner) is one of the prime suspects...can her friends and family help her figure out who the real killer is before it's too late? Read and see...

  14. 4 out of 5

    Bea

    2.5 stars Meh. Too many love triangles and romances and the mystery was tepid.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Fallon

    3.75 stars! This was a really cute start to a new cozy series! I enjoyed the main characters and am excited to continue on with the series 😊

  16. 5 out of 5

    Annu

    A real quick read. I had a little bit of starting trouble with this book but once the story started, I didn't realise the time pass by. The chemistry between Mel, Angie and Tate is great and their backstory of how they met and became friends was good. The mystery was okay, figured out the whodunnit pretty quick. But I'll definitely be reading the second book because I want to know how a certain relationship pans out 😃 A real quick read. I had a little bit of starting trouble with this book but once the story started, I didn't realise the time pass by. The chemistry between Mel, Angie and Tate is great and their backstory of how they met and became friends was good. The mystery was okay, figured out the whodunnit pretty quick. But I'll definitely be reading the second book because I want to know how a certain relationship pans out 😃

  17. 4 out of 5

    QNPoohBear

    Mel Cooper and Anglie DeLaura have been best friends since middle school. They recently left their traditional jobs to open Fairy Tale Cupcakes, the cupcake bakery of their dreams with their best friend Tate Harper as an investor. The trio have been happy as friends sharing a passion for old movies and junk food. Now things are about to change because Tate is marrying star fashion designer Stevens and Christie wants Mel and Angie to make the cupcakes. Christie turns out to be a bridezilla but Me Mel Cooper and Anglie DeLaura have been best friends since middle school. They recently left their traditional jobs to open Fairy Tale Cupcakes, the cupcake bakery of their dreams with their best friend Tate Harper as an investor. The trio have been happy as friends sharing a passion for old movies and junk food. Now things are about to change because Tate is marrying star fashion designer Stevens and Christie wants Mel and Angie to make the cupcakes. Christie turns out to be a bridezilla but Mel realizes this could be a golden opportunity to bring in more business for the shop. Fairy Tale Cupcake's biggest rival, Olivia Puckett is none too pleased and would do anything to put Fairy Tale Cupcakes out of business. Would she stoop to murder? When Christie is found dead with one of Mel's exclusive cupcakes in her hand, the police suspect Mel murdered Christie in a fit of passion because Mel loves Tate. Mel knows nothing could be farther from the truth but no one seems to believe her, not even Angie's hunky older brother, Joe DeLaura, an assistant at the DA's office. Only Angie and Tate believe in Mel and the ladies set out to clear Mel's name and find out who the real killer is. This is a cute, fluffy mystery. It is similar in tone to Jenn McKinlay's Hat Shop mysteries but the characters have a little more depth. The plot was pretty typical of a cozy mystery. I didn't find it super engaging that I HAD to stay up all night. I thought I knew who the murderer was anyway but I was surprised by the direction the story took. I found it hard to believe the police would zero in on Mel and not look at other suspects. I also thought Mel and Angie were kind of stupid to confront suspected murderers. Mel also makes a stupid mistake that almost leads to another murder. I especially liked the relationship between Mel, Angie and Tate. It was nice to read about friends who are just friends and a guy who isn't gay being friends with a woman. I strongly identify with Mel and what she went through in Junior High. I wish I had had an Angie in my life. I really felt a lot more sympathetic towards Mel because of it. Mel is kind of stupid at times, which is typical for a cozy mystery heroine but I admire her and Angie for having the guts to live their dream. I also love the characters because I love old movies. I really liked Tate. He seems very genuine and kind. I don't know how intelligent he is to want to marry Christie! The secondary characters are all crazy, except for Joe. Joe is tall, dark, handsome and a very good prosecutor but like Tate, he lacks common sense where women are concerned. I'm not sure I really like him. Scottsdale, Arizona must be breeding crazy people because Angie's whole family and Mel's mom are too outrageous to be believed and the villain/s is/are also totally insane. I found those characters hard to take because they didn't seem realistic. There are four cupcake recipes in the back of the book. They sound wonderful and I was so happy to see so many different cupcakes. I'd like to read more of the series as a fun diversion in the next few weeks.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Diane ~Firefly~

    A fun, quick read. I liked the characters and see lots of room for growth. There doesn't seem to be a love triangle which makes me very happy. The cupcakes sound amazing during the story, I was a bit disappointed not all the ones mentioned had a recipe, but maybe they will show up in future books. I'm looking forward to the sequel. A fun, quick read. I liked the characters and see lots of room for growth. There doesn't seem to be a love triangle which makes me very happy. The cupcakes sound amazing during the story, I was a bit disappointed not all the ones mentioned had a recipe, but maybe they will show up in future books. I'm looking forward to the sequel.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Cathy

    Excellent book! I couldn't put it down! Excellent book! I couldn't put it down!

  20. 4 out of 5

    Meg

    A couple of inconsistencies/confusing entries but otherwise quite a good mystery. Plan to try next in series to see how things go.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Tari

    Melanie, Angie and Tate have been best friends for years and now Tate was getting married to fashion designer, Christie Stevens. The 3 friends co-own Fairy Tale Cupcakes who of course got the order for the reception. Christie was such a bridezilla though that she wanted to own the flavors. When Mel took over the samples, she found Christie dead in her studio and soon became the prime suspect. Of course with half the town thinking she did it as well as the police and the press, Mel was determined Melanie, Angie and Tate have been best friends for years and now Tate was getting married to fashion designer, Christie Stevens. The 3 friends co-own Fairy Tale Cupcakes who of course got the order for the reception. Christie was such a bridezilla though that she wanted to own the flavors. When Mel took over the samples, she found Christie dead in her studio and soon became the prime suspect. Of course with half the town thinking she did it as well as the police and the press, Mel was determined to clear her name and Tate's, who somehow got dragged in and depicted as Mel's old boyfriend by the press. Mel's arch nemesis Olivia, who owns a rival bakery in another part of town would probably be thrilled if Fairy Tale Cupcakes went poof! Mel had to get answers fast before she ended up in jail. This was such an awesome group of main characters! I loved the idea of three childhood friends meeting every week and watching old movies like these three did. Uncle Stan who was a detective seemed like a teddy bear and just the best person to have around. I could really relate to what Mel said about seeing her father's face every time she looked at Stan. I have two uncles left that make me think of my sweet dad every time I see them. I loved how protective of Angie all her brothers were. I never had a big brother so even though to her it was a pain, I thought it was kind of sweet how they looked out for her, well maybe a little extreme at times! ;) The only character I didn't like one little bit was the rival baker, Olivia. She was just plain mean spirited and awful! Am I bad person for wishing she was out of the way or becomes out of the way in a future book? I sure thought I had the killer picked out but what a cool twist at the end. The take down was exciting and actually kind of funny because I could picture it happening in a movie. Things got wrapped up and the killer was hauled off to jail. The story ending after the killer was dealt with was very sweet but I won't give any of it away. I can't wait to read the next book!

  22. 4 out of 5

    Becky

    This was a great cozy! I love the trio of best friends. Very easy to read. Cupcakes and murder. What's not to love. This was a great cozy! I love the trio of best friends. Very easy to read. Cupcakes and murder. What's not to love.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Srividya

    My first ever experience with cozy mysteries and I must say that I quite enjoyed the ride. Was it the perfect mystery book? Well not really but then you can’t expect cozy mysteries to have the hard core elements that define a mystery and a thriller right? Melanie Cooper and Angela DeLaura are the proud owners of a cupcake bakery, Fairy Tale Cupcakes and are quite happy with their business. Their other partner, major investor and best friend Tate is getting married to Christie, who is proving to b My first ever experience with cozy mysteries and I must say that I quite enjoyed the ride. Was it the perfect mystery book? Well not really but then you can’t expect cozy mysteries to have the hard core elements that define a mystery and a thriller right? Melanie Cooper and Angela DeLaura are the proud owners of a cupcake bakery, Fairy Tale Cupcakes and are quite happy with their business. Their other partner, major investor and best friend Tate is getting married to Christie, who is proving to be quite the bridezilla! She gives them an order of 500 cupcakes for her wedding, wanting specially created flavours that have never been created before. While working on this order and getting her fledgling business to soar to great heights, Mel stumbles upon the Christie – dead by cupcake! To make matters worse or rather obvious, Mel finds herself being suspected of murdering her. Now Mel is faced with the task of not only running her business but also of finding the real killer, who is out there loose somewhere! The plot was predictable and so was the killer. It was pretty obvious at the first instance. Of course Mel and the others have to go about their own way and stumble upon the truth in a truly melodramatic way, which I guess is the style used in these books (I am not really sure). So, if the plot was predictable and the mystery nothing great, what is it that made this book a really nice read? Well, very simply the way in which it was written, the dialogues, the characters and the numerous funny moments, where you simply can’t help but laugh out loud. Few characters will stay in your mind the way Joyce, Mel’s mother does, who was rip-roaringly humourous in this book. I simply loved her! She was completely over the top but it was so beautifully done that you had to love her. The interactions between Mel and her mom were exceedingly funny and made for a good laugh, something I desperately needed. The friendship between Mel, Tate and Angie, although not really gone into very deeply in this book made for a pleasurable reading as well. Their constant exchange of movie dialogues and the appropriate use of them made it a fun read. Incidentally, the slightly simmering chemistry, which was not full blown but still somewhat anticipatory in nature between Mel and Joe was also nicely done, making the book a romance within a mystery. Yeah okay, I can hear you say that there is no need for a romance within a mystery but do remember this is a cozy mystery, where everything is accepted and even encouraged! All in all, the dialogues in this book were really great in some places while being quite obvious in others. So, where the book does not score in plot or even the mystery part of it, it sure does by way of its dialogues. And finally, what’s a cupcake mystery without a few recipes right? Don’t worry, the author does give you a few at the end, which make up for a really sweet finish. All in all, I found it a really breezy and cozy read, one that gave me a lot of pleasure and some laughing moments. Will definitely recommend it to those who want a light read and are not too bothered by a lack of plot; someone who wants to laugh while getting some sweet treats in return; for all of you – this is a good book but hardcore mystery fanatics – do stay away else you might be disappointed. As for me, I enjoyed it and am looking forward to reading more of such books and also this series, who knows the series might just tempt me to bake some cupcakes :P.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Danielle

    I waffled between giving this book two or three stars, and I finally settled on three, for story alone. Or maybe we should fudge and say 2.5. The story is cute and clever. Mel and Angie have just opened a cupcake bakery, Fairy Tale Cupcakes. Their business partner is their longtime best friend, Tate. The three of them are inseparable, having the kind of friendship only lifelong friends can have. They quote old movie lines at each other and get together regularly for classic movie nights. Other cha I waffled between giving this book two or three stars, and I finally settled on three, for story alone. Or maybe we should fudge and say 2.5. The story is cute and clever. Mel and Angie have just opened a cupcake bakery, Fairy Tale Cupcakes. Their business partner is their longtime best friend, Tate. The three of them are inseparable, having the kind of friendship only lifelong friends can have. They quote old movie lines at each other and get together regularly for classic movie nights. Other characters are interesting too. There’s Joe, Angie’s district attorney brother whom Mel’s had a crush on since high school. Olivia, a rival baker, is just as campy as she needs to be. And Mel’s mother is meddling but well-meaning, if a bit clueless. Mel and Angie are hired to bake the cupcakes for Tate’s upcoming wedding to Christie, a fashion designer. This is where the book takes its first stumble, because I doubt anyone believes there’s a market for couture high fashion in Scottsdale, Arizona. You’ve got to have a believable setting for certain kinds of jobs, and Arizona just doesn’t work for fashion design. Christie is murdered, and Mel is fingered for the crime, because one of her cupcakes was in Christie’s hand at the time of her death, and it’s found to be poisoned. Mel sets out to clear her name and finds herself the target of the real killer in the process. So yes, I enjoyed the story. I want to read the next one in the series. But there are some major problems with the writing that kept me cringing, reading awkward sentences aloud to my husband, and marking pages for this review. Here are a few. Mel looked at her and noticed that her large brown eyes looked flat-out scared. Well, no, they didn’t. Eyes don’t look scared. A person’s facial expression makes her look scared. If everyone was looking at her, then they weren’t looking at whoever really did it. And if they weren’t going to, then someone had to, and since it was her neck in the noose, it looked like it was going to be her. I’m sorry, but what?! They looked at her with the grim inevitability of prison walls. Again, what? Joe’s brows lowered over his eyes like storm clouds on the horizon. No, they didn’t. His gaze met hers, and the blue depths were amused. Again, no. Do I sound like a broken record? I'll stop. These and other clunkers are first the fault of the author for writing them, but I have to chastise McKinlay’s agent and editor, as well. And a lot of the blame goes to Berkley, which publishes some of the best cozy fiction around. There’s no room in professional, published writing for these kinds of missteps. Too many cliches can nearly ruin a book, as these almost did. Readers are smart and expect the authors whose books they buy to be smart as well. I’ll give McKinlay one more chance with her sequel, and hope this book’s problems were just first-book problems, but after that, no more chances from me. I expect more from a book once it’s reached publication.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Alexandra

    I have completely and utterly found a new favorite genre of books. The "cozy murder mystery." Why didn't anyone tell me these books existed?!?! I randomly found this book on listopia while perusing a list of books with cupcakes on the cover, don't ask me how I got there. The cover caught my eye and the description made me laugh out loud. "…the ladies need to find the real murderer - before the cupcake killer ices someone else…" LOL Mystery books have always appealed to me, but sometimes they get t I have completely and utterly found a new favorite genre of books. The "cozy murder mystery." Why didn't anyone tell me these books existed?!?! I randomly found this book on listopia while perusing a list of books with cupcakes on the cover, don't ask me how I got there. The cover caught my eye and the description made me laugh out loud. "…the ladies need to find the real murderer - before the cupcake killer ices someone else…" LOL Mystery books have always appealed to me, but sometimes they get too dark. Police officers and FBI agents, rape, and kidnapping and all sorts of terrifying things. Blood and gore and maniacs. Sprinkle with Murder is a "cozy murder mystery." Yes, there is a murder. But instead of being a serious, draining book, it's sort of…comical. Not the fact that someone was murdered mind you, but how the case goes about being solved. Cupcake bakery owner goes sleuthing around on her own. There's lots of frosting and eggs flying every which way and overprotective best friend's brothers. It's not supposed to be dark and horrible, it's just a cutesy, pink, cupcakey whodunnit. And I LOVE IT. To give you an idea of the tone of this book, here is an excerpt between co-bakery owner Angie and her attorney brother: Angie trotted back into the kitchen with a glass of milk and a Cherry Bomb cupcake. She plopped them down on the table in front of Joe. "Consider it a bribe," she said. "Just think, if Mel gets arrested, no more cupcakes for you." He looked stricken, but then gave his sister a dark look. "I can't be bribed." Angie gave a long suffering sigh. "Then I'll have to lower myself to threats. Help us, or I'll tell Mom." "You wouldn't," he said. "Try me," she returned as she handed him a fork. ♥ ♥ ♥

  26. 5 out of 5

    Dawn

    I did not need another cozy mystery series demanding my attentions when I already have nine of them in varying stages of progress, only one of them current, but here we are. And I am hooked. Amusing and fun, I liked the characters immediately. The pages turned easily. I figured out whodunnit just before The Big Reveal. Really, my only complaint was the heavy hand with all the similes. Ease up a little on that front, please! I'll be back for book two, no question about that. I did not need another cozy mystery series demanding my attentions when I already have nine of them in varying stages of progress, only one of them current, but here we are. And I am hooked. Amusing and fun, I liked the characters immediately. The pages turned easily. I figured out whodunnit just before The Big Reveal. Really, my only complaint was the heavy hand with all the similes. Ease up a little on that front, please! I'll be back for book two, no question about that.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Jeanne Adamek

    A lot of fun! Best friends that one could relate to!

  28. 5 out of 5

    Jackie

    Although I figured out who did it very easily this was a fun book to read!

  29. 5 out of 5

    Jackie

    Rating: 4 out of 5 stars One of my absolute favorite things to bake is cupcakes, so when I saw that there was a mystery series focused around a cupcake baker, I naturally had to read it. From the start, I really liked the pacing of the story--it was just right. I also liked the fact that I was able to connect with, or at least engage with the characters and story right away. I've found that, at least for me, reading cozy mysteries can be hard as I sometimes have trouble connecting with the charact Rating: 4 out of 5 stars One of my absolute favorite things to bake is cupcakes, so when I saw that there was a mystery series focused around a cupcake baker, I naturally had to read it. From the start, I really liked the pacing of the story--it was just right. I also liked the fact that I was able to connect with, or at least engage with the characters and story right away. I've found that, at least for me, reading cozy mysteries can be hard as I sometimes have trouble connecting with the characters and story right away. Not only was I able to engage with the characters, but I was also able to engage with the story, feeling fully engrossed in Mel's cupcake store. Though I had my suspicians about who the killer was, and despite being right, I still found myself fully engaged in all aspects of the mystery. More importantly though, I didn't feel that my knowing who did it took away from my enjoyment. Oh, and a plus to this has got to be the recipes at the end!:) I know I'll be trying some of these out this summer. Overall, Sprinkle with Murder was a very enjoyable mystery and I'll definitely be continuing with the series...especially if there are more recipes.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Jonathan

    Sometimes, you just need a little break. This "cozy" mystery was a fun little read and I enjoyed every page. Mel, Angie and Tate made a great trio, with relationships that date back to before high school. But the trio is threatened when Tate decides to marry a woman the two ladies dislike, although they try their best to understand. But when the bride turns up dead, all eyes look to the "jealous" lover Mel and she needs to figure out who did it before the local (heartthrob!) assistant DA comes a Sometimes, you just need a little break. This "cozy" mystery was a fun little read and I enjoyed every page. Mel, Angie and Tate made a great trio, with relationships that date back to before high school. But the trio is threatened when Tate decides to marry a woman the two ladies dislike, although they try their best to understand. But when the bride turns up dead, all eyes look to the "jealous" lover Mel and she needs to figure out who did it before the local (heartthrob!) assistant DA comes after her. So I enjoyed the description of the tensions of a male / female friendship. Especially given the extra pressure of Mel's mom telling her how she should just give up trying to fight her attraction to the very desirable Tate and marry him already, when she just wants to continue to be friends, watching old movies as a threesome. So it was a fun little mystery. I have to admit, not being very familiar with the "cozy mystery" genres, I am wondering how they can keep having Mel, as the owner of a cupcake shop, keep getting involved in murders! But I do appreciate the recipes at the end of the book and I may just have to try one or two of them!

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