Vanilla Beaned (Cupcake Bakery Mystery)
8th in Series
Settings – Series Originates in Arizona but this installment travels to Nevda
A Berkley Prime Crime Mystery (April 5, 2016)
An Imprint of Penguin Random House LLC
Cover Illustration by Jeff Fitz-Maurice
Cover Design by Leslie Worrell
Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
E-Book ASIN: B011IVP96E
Melanie Cooper and Angie DeLaura are taking a gamble by opening their first franchise of the Fairy Tale Cupcakes Bakery, so where better to hit the jackpot than in Vegas? Business manager Tate Harper has lined up a meeting with Holly Hartzmark, a former showgirl who’s looking to bring Mel and Angie’s sweet treats to Sin City, but Mel isn’t so sure she’s ready to hand her recipes over to a complete stranger—especially one as brash as Holly.
But after the potential bakery location gets blown up, Mel begins seeing another side to Holly—one that reminds her very much of herself. Determined to help a kindred spirit, Mel sets out to discover who is trying to keep the bakery from cashing in. But with a murderous mischief maker on the loose, the odds are stacking up against a happy ending for Mel and her friends…
Fairy Tale Bakery is expanding! opening a franchise store is Las Vegas! Tate and Angie are ready to gamble on showgirl Holly Hartzmark, to be their first franchisee but Mel still isn’t ready to throw the dice just yet. The threesome travel to Vegas to meet with Holly and their visit just happens to coincide with an Elvis Presley impersonator convention. Mel tries to give Holly the brushoff but agrees to at least scout out the proposed location for the shop. When the store gets blown up in front of their eyes and leaves a lawyer dead Mel finds that Holly is very much like herself. She also realizes the showgirl may be in danger. The Fairy Tale bakers need to band together before everything is “All Shook Up” and one of them has their fairy tail come to an end.
These are some of the best characters in the cozy genre. Over the years we have watched them grow and evolve in so many ways. Tate and Angie are now engaged and no, they are not eloping in Las Vegas, her family would be heartbroken. Mel and Joe are still on the outs and she and Manny still have that flirty thing going on. Manny, Marty and Oz all show up in Vegas when they think Mel may be the real target due to case Joe has been working on. But Holly has a stalker so she could be the target too.
The setting of this story was very interesting. I have never been to Las Vegas but hope to someday. I am sure I couldn’t afford the rooms that Tate provided but it sure would be fun. One place we were taken was behind the scenes at a Las Vegas show. The whole set up is very unique and not the best or easiest place to catch a killer.
Jenn McKinlay has written a wonderful mystery with twists and turns liberally sprinkled through the entire book. She keeps us readers on our toes and we nibble our way through the clues. I started to catch on just a little before the characters but there was so much happening I never slowed down. I was so excited coming into the last pages and McKinlay twisted things again. I can’t wait for the next book in this series.
I always recommend reading the books in a series in order but this one would read very well as a stand alone too. I bet you will go back to read them all. Even in Vegas that bet would have great odds.
Don’t forget all the cupcake recipes. Of course there is a Vanilla Bean cupcake recipe but there are also recipes for Snickerdoodle cupcakes, an Elvis cupcake, and Cherry Cola cupcakes. Bake up a batch of your favorites and escape right into this tasty mystery.
Find out all about Jenn McKinlay and her books on her webpage here.
Cupcake Bakery Mysteries
Click on covers to order from Amazon.
Click here to see more books by Jenn McKinlay.
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Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. Receiving a complimentary copy in no way reflected my review of this book. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”