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It is my pleasure to share my thoughts today about
Murder is a Piece of Cake by Valerie Burns!
Murder is a Piece of Cake (A Baker Street Mystery)
2nd in Series
Setting – Michigan
Kensington (June 27, 2023)
Paperback : 272 pages
ISBN-10 : 1496738233
ISBN-13 : 978-1496738233
Kindle ASIN : B0BGYW4DMG
With small-town New Bison’s Spring Festival just around the corner, the pressure is on Maddy to continue her late great-aunt Octavia’s legacy. That means scoring the top prize and transforming Baby Cakes into Southwest Michigan’s must-visit bakery, even though her inexperience in the kitchen brings nightmares of humiliating tagged photos and scathing reviews.
There’s another reason for lost beauty sleep. A second bakery is opening in town under the ownership of CJ Davenport, a shrewd investor with a reputation for sabotaging anyone who gets in his way. And savvy, flashy Maddy tops his list. It’s a sticky spot to be in—more so when Davenport turns up dead with a Baby Cakes knife stuck in his back.
Maddy’s whole life just went from #thriving to barely surviving. Now, supported by the crafty Baker Street Irregulars and her new boyfriend, she must find the courage to face off against a killer who could very well get her name trending for the first and last time…
Maddy Montgomery is working hard to continue her late great-aunt Octavia’s legacy and that means getting the Baby Cakes bakery reopened and participating in the baking competition at the New Bison’s Spring Festival and winning a top prize. Thankfully she has a wonderful team helping her because her own baking skills still need work. When she learns another bakery is opening across the street and it is owned by CJ Davenport, a man who just happens to have a huge connection to Sheriff April Johnson she is apoplectic and she isn’t the only one. But when the man is found dead with one of Maddy’s knives in his back her ire is replaced by fear that she could go to jail for a murder she didn’t commit. Pushing her fear to the side she works with her wonderful boyfriend and the Baker Street Irregulars to catch the killer before #newbisonbakerdead is trending all over social media.
All our favorite characters are back from Two Parts Sugar, One Part Murder. Maddy is finding her place in New Bison and slowly learning to bake her great aunt’s delicious baked goods but Leroy Danielson and Miss Hannah are still doing the majority of the baking. I love the way the relationship between Hannah’s grandson, the local vet Micheal Portman and Maddy is evolving. He is a great guy with a huge heart. Leroy has been crushing hard on Sheriff April Johnson so CJ Davenport’s arrival in town adds an interesting twist. All the characters continue to develop nicely as we get to know them even better in this story when backstories emerge.
Baby, the two-hundred-fifty-pound English mastiff Maddy inherited from Octavia again found his way into my heart. In this story, he is feeling out of sorts and not acting like himself. His vet Michael runs a bunch of tests. It was a heartwarming moment when he and Maddy figured out what was wrong as was the solution to the problem. Ms. Burns always catches the dogs in her story’s personalities so well and she did it again here. I loved it. He also protects his new person, Maddy. I wouldn’t take any malicious actions against her when he is near. He went to great lengths to come to her rescue in this story.
The mystery had good old-boy Trooper Bob on the case because April had to recuse herself. That didn’t mean she wasn’t investigating though. As was Maddy who got some help from an interesting person. There were a nice number of suspects other than Maddy but Trooper Bob sure didn’t appreciate her help. I really enjoyed following along with the clues. The case was more complicated than I first thought and had tentacles that were far-reaching. While the current mysteries are solved I have a feeling there are still things to uncover in New Bison.
Murder is a Piece of Cake is a terrific follow-up to Two Parts Sugar, One Part Murder. A multi-layered mystery, with captivating characters set in the unique small town of New Bison, Michigan. A great big dose of humor and just the right amount of romance add to this very entertaining read. With Baby’s Cakes now open I can’t wait to see what Valerie Burns has in store for her characters next. #5starread #5recipes #perfectescape #letemeatcake #cozymystery #babycakes #englishmastiff #somuchfun
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About Valerie Burns
Valerie (V. M.) Burns is the author of the Mystery Bookshop Mystery series. Her first book, The Plot is Murder, was nominated for an Agatha Award for Best Debut Novel. She is the author of the Dog Club Mystery Series, the RJ Franklin Mysteries, a three-time finalist in the Next Generation Indie Book Awards, and an Edgar Award-nominated short story. Her newest series, Baker Street Mysteries, are now available, and her Pet Detective Mystery series will release in 2023. Valerie is on the board of Sisters in Crime and the Southeastern Chapter of Mystery Writers of America. She is also a member of Dog Writers of America, Crime Writers of Color, and International Thriller Writers. She is a manager for a Fortune 100 company and a mentor in the Writing Popular Fiction Program at Seton Hill University in Greensburg, PA. Born and raised in northwestern Indiana, Valerie currently lives in the southeastern United States with her two poodles. Readers can visit her website at vmburns.com.
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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.”