Death of a Wedding Cake Baker–review

This is the eleventh book in the long-running series Hayley Powell Food & Spirits by Lee Hollis, the pseudonym for brother/sister writing team Rick Copp and Holly Simason. I know I’ve really enjoyed a book when I finish reading it, think about it some more and keep saying “Wow, that was really good!”

When I went to leave the review at Amazon, I happened to noticed that while still coverless, the twelfth book is called Death of a Blueberry Tart, and it’s up for preorder on Amazon. It releases on March 31, 2020. I’m super anxious for that book too and very happy that it comes out a month sooner than I figured next year’s book would, since Wedding Cake Baker released April 30.

My Goodreads review:

Death of a Wedding Cake Baker (Hayley Powell Food and Cocktails Mystery #11)Death of a Wedding Cake Baker by Lee Hollis

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Even though I haven’t read all of the series yet, I feel like I know Hayley and her friends pretty well and it was fun trip back to Bar Harbor. Her longtime diva friend Liddy was getting married to her on-again, off-again fiance, Sonny Lipton. Liddy was livid when her mom wanted to use her “stupid awful ogre” cousin Lisa as the cake baker. Hey, I did have to giggle a couple of times when she called her that, especially when she added “may she rest in peace” after Lisa was found dead in her bakery.

This was a really awesome mystery with some very clever twists. I had not seen that killer possibility coming–maybe I thought about it but couldn’t think of a reason, so I was back to just reading and enjoying how the story played out. I thought Hayley was a little foolish to confront the killer like she did, but she did use her head when it counted. The side mystery all tied in as well, so I really can’t mention anything about anything for fear of spoiling it. All I can say is, Lee Hollis, please, please, please get that next book published soon!

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Cake and Punishment–review

This is the very first book in what I hope will be a long-running series by well-known and established author Tonya Kappes, writing under the pen name of Maymee Bell. I love the other series books I’ve read by Tonya so I knew this was going to be a fun series as well. I know that Tonya went all out to make this the really awesome book that it is. She even took cake decorating lessons so she would completely know what it’s like to bake and professionally decorate a cake like what Sophia does in her story. You will love this book!

My Goodreads review:

Cake and Punishment (A Southern Cake Baker Mystery #1)Cake and Punishment by Maymee Bell

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I did not want this book to end, that’s how good it was! From the small town Southern setting to the amazing characters and their overall chemistry with one another, I loved everything there was about this mystery. I do admit that I was able to guess the killer but it was fun seeing how that person got caught. Retribution came swiftly to the killer at the end, but to me it was very satisfying.

Sophia Cummings was head pastry chef for The Manhattan, an exclusive New York restaurant, who, after finding her boyfriend Noah, their main chef, with the hostess, needed some time away to keep herself sane. She came back to her hometown of Rumford, KY where just about right away she found herself the cake baker for her good friend Charlotte’s wedding. The more word spread about Sophia’s amazing desserts, the more people just assumed she would be staying. Sophia even let herself dream about staying every so often when she saw that the local bakery had closed. Conveniently, her friend Madison was the listing agent for it as well as a very cute little cottage.

Sophia didn’t think there would ever be a murder in this small town but when the country club chef was found dead and Evelyn, the general manager became the main suspect, Sophia felt it was only right to clear her longtime friend who had given her her first job right there at the country club. Hopefully Sophia and her other friend Madison can figure out who the killer is before Sophia becomes the next one killed!

This book had so many fun and likable characters! Sophia’s mom, Bitsy, was a real trip! She had a way of getting her way all the time but everyone loved her for the kind person she was. I felt like any of the main characters would make for some really good friends especially Madison and Charlotte. At first I wasn’t sure whether to trust Charlotte’s fiance Brett or some of the other suspects to choose from. I did pick the correct one but I feel like the author helped a lot by planting clues that I picked up on.

I could totally picture this book as a TV mystery movie since it has everything they look for in a very sweet but compelling mystery. There was a wedding, a budding romance, a few tense or scary moments but the very happy ending that I always love when I read a cozy mystery. This book fit everything I have come to expect in a great cozy! I absolutely cannot wait for the next book!

I voluntarily read and reviewed an advance e-copy of this book provided by the publisher and NetGalley.

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