By: Jenn McKinlay
In the twelfth Cupcake Bakery Mystery from New York Times bestselling author Jenn McKinlay, the Fairy Tale Cupcake crew follows the clever crumb trail of a killer who’s anything but cookie-cutter.
Life is all sugar and spice for the Fairy Tale Cupcake bakers–Melanie Cooper is engaged to the delectable Joe DeLaura, Angie Harper and her husband Tate are savoring married life, and the bakery is bustling with happy customers. Until one of their most valued cupcake connoisseurs ends up dead.
Local glass artist and cupcake lover Rene Fischer-Klein has always suffered from a wide variety of health issues. In an effort to cheer her up, her doting husband, Peter, brings her a four-pack of her favorite cupcakes every week. But when the police discover that Rene has been poisoned, there’s no sugarcoating the fact that the last things she ate were the bakery’s signature pumpkin spice cupcakes! With their lives and bakery at stake, it’s up to Mel and Angie to find out who poisoned their artist friend and why, before their future is frosted for good.
And we’ve got another DNF. I read over half the book, so I feel comfortable leaving a starred review. This is the twelfth book in the Cupcake Bakery Mystery series, and I’m calling it. I can no longer read this series. I loved the first seven books. They introduced me to cozy mysteries, and for a time, I couldn’t get enough. The last five books, however, have taken a sharp decline. Book ten was okay, but the others have been so disappointing.
The main character Mel has become a giant pushover, except when it comes to murders. Which is a bizarre thing to feel comfortable pushing back on, but it’s a cozy mystery. Her fiancé and almost any male in her life do whatever they want when it comes to her. I’m supposed to think it’s sweet that they’re so protective, but they treat her like a child. It’s infuriating. I swear it didn’t use to be like this, but maybe I’m mistaken.
The side characters, whom I used to love, have also taken a bit of a hit. Mel’s best friend Angie used to be a fiery woman who didn’t put up with most things. She was able to control her brothers as no one else could, and now they walk all over her. Sure they’ve got a reason to be protective, but they bothered me. Of course, she’s barely in the story, so it’s not like I had much to go off of there.
Looking back, I think one of the things that I dislike about the newer books is that the side characters are barely in the series anymore. It’s sad. They were a large part of why I loved the series.
After reading Pumpkin Spice Peril, I’m not sure if I’m going to even bother catching up with McKinlay’s Library Lover’s Mystery series. I seem to be one of the few people who disliked this book, so if you’re a fan of the series, I would probably ignore my review.