Carmel Crush (Cupcake Bakery Mystery #9) By: Jenn McKinlay
When a breakup via cupcake threatens to crumble their friend’s life for good, Mel and Angie race to solve the murder as this New York Times bestselling series continues…
Love is in the air at Fairy Tale Cupcakes as Angie prepares for her wedding, but co-owner, Mel, is preparing for a breakup. Her old friend, Diane Earnest, is dumping her fiancé after discovering he’s only marrying her for her money. She wants Mel to personally deliver a batch of caramel breakup cupcakes to the louse and give her a play-by-play of his reaction.
When Mel finally tracks the man down, the look on his face isn’t the reaction she was expecting: he’s dead. After the police arrive and see the incriminating cupcakes, Diane becomes their prime suspect. If she hopes to taste freedom again, Mel and Angie must make sure the real killer gets their just desserts…
This was not one of the more entertaining and fun Cupcake Bakery books. I’ve never been a fan of Mel, it’s always been the side characters that have me enjoying the series, but this time they were just as annoying as her. The constant Mrs. Tate Harper and Mrs. Joe DeLaura, or whatever their last names are, was annoying. I’ve always hated that and I felt like I was beat over the head with it. There was constant “I’m not good enough for my man” to the point where I almost stopped reading. Angie and Mel were both like this so it was just constant. If maybe one of them had been confident with some self-esteem it might not have been so bad, but you’d get finished reading about one’s “failures” and have to start reading another. It was awful.
The mystery at least was fine. There were plenty of suspects to kill the guy, the clues were there to pick out who did it, the dude “deserved” to die. It was the only good part of the book.
Oh, before I forget, Mel’s college friend was awful. She was supposed to be unsympathetic to a point, but because of reasons owing to Mel’s lack of self-worth and messed up view of the world, she felt like she had to help her out. There was even a “cute” little romance between Diane and her IT guy. Of course this is all thrown away in the last part of the book and I just wanted to scream.
The views in this book about women and their relationships were awful. You do not owe someone big if they save you from being rapped and the video of your rape being distributed. They were being the bare minimum of a decent human. When you get married it’s not just about being someone’s wife and what you can offer them. I feel like McKinlay knows this but it was not clearly conveyed in the book and because of everything else that was going on it added to the lack of a positive female message.
I was really disappointed with this book, but I feel like I’ve invested so much time in the series so far that I need to continue it. Hopefully, things are better in the next installment.