This book pretty much fell into my lap. I was looking for cozy mysteries without any other requirements – just your good ol’ reliable, light-hearted murder mystery, right? I did that typical “judge a book by its cover” thing that we’re all guilty of. Don’t even try to lie to me, there’s been a book that you saw and thought “oooh, I want” without ever looking at the back.
Sprinkle with Murder by Jenn McKinlay is the first installment, published in 2010 (back when nobody wore masks, so it was a little jarring to read at first with all the hugging and breathing in the same space), of the Cupcake Bakery Mystery series, and it did not disappoint.
The main character, Melanie Cooper, or Mel, runs a cupcake bakery with her childhood bestie, Angie DeLaura, along with their other bestie, Tate McRae, although he doesn’t work in the shop, rather he’s an investor. It’s set in Old Town Scottsdale – that’s right, literally in my same state! Clearly this book was brought to me by fate itself!
Let’s jump into the review:
Tate needs another vendor for his wedding with fashion designer and absolute nightmare, Christie Stevens, so he utilizes our main girls and their cupcake talents. Mel soon finds out just how insufferable Christie is when the latter tries to control every single aspect of their catering. That is, until Mel stumbles upon Christie’s corpse.
Between the photographer who recently worked with Christie, her assistant designers Alma and Phoebe, and Mel herself, its up to Mel to figure out whodunit! At one point, she even suspects rival bakery owner Olivia Puckett, who drives past their bakery at least 9 times a day! Honestly, Olivia, focus on yourself, girl.
As soon as their business, Fairy Tale Cupcakes, starts to suffer from the bad press (and let’s be honest, slander, ahem), Mel races against time and the other suspects to find the real killer and put him or her behind bars.
When I read a cozy, I always try to figure out who the culprit is in the first couple chapters, but the more I read, the more theories I have. I ended up being right in my initial assumption this time around, and I’m going to credit my experience with, as the kids say, “fake bitches” for that.
Like with every cozy, our protagonist Mel, of course, has herself a bit of a love interest, but you’ll have to read it yourself to find out if that pans out, or blows up in her face.
My favorite part of every cozy is when our amateur sleuth is rushing to reveal the Big Bad and it ends up being a major plot twist. The rush I get from reading the hastiness of it all rivals when I used to run every day- I miss that endorphin rush but this feels pretty close. When I tell you I did not put this book down at all once I got to that part *fans self* It was so satisfying!
Check out the book for yourself and let me know what you think, or comment your thoughts if you’ve already read Sprinkle with Murder!