Saturday, June 30, 2012

Book Review - Red Velvet Revenge


Red Velvet Revenge: A Cupcake Bakery Mystery

By: Jenn McKinlay
Publisher: Berkley
Publication Date: July 2012
ISBN: 978-0425251386
Reveiwed by: Deb Fowler
Review Date: July 1, 2012

Melanie Cooper and Angie DeLaura were lamenting the fact that business was deader than dirt at their shop, Fairy Tale Cupcakes. The Cake Boss had it all over them in the business department, but then again it didn’t hurt to have a popular television series. They did have something he didn’t have and that was Marty and Oz, two devoted employees who looked out for them. Oz had inherited an old bread truck, replete with a bit of “eau de stink,” a vehicle that would be their cupcake van. Olivia Puckett, owner of Confections Bakery and snoot extraordinaire, decided to be Daisy Mae Duke and challenged them to a drag race.

After a whole lotta bird flipping, a doo dah’s worth of stink eye, and a call for a tow, the gang found themselves under a highway underpass. A Cadillac Escalade rolled up beside them and a man exclaimed, “Slim Hazard at your service.” After flopping around in their future cupcake van, Mel and Angie were glad for the help. Slim just happened to be “one of the greatest cowboys who ever lived” and when he offered them space to sell their cupcakes at the Juniper Pass Rodeo, the disastrous Twinkie truck drag race was forgotten. The gang had to get to work planning the cupcake coup. The van, the vehicle that made road kill look lively, was soon turned into a Fairy Tale Cupcake delight.

Even Angie was willing to ignore her rock star boyfriend, Roach, for their cupcake extravaganza. They were unruffled until they met the Bubbas, Billy ‘n’ Bob. “Darlin,’ who do you think is going to buy a cupcake when you are situated next to a booth full of meats?” The two rednecks seemed mild in comparison to what would happen next. Slim took a bullet to the shoulder, someone was trying to sabotage their business, and Ty Stokes, the bull riding draw of the rodeo, was found gorged to death in a stall. Mel had no idea what more could go wrong until Sheriff Hadley Dolan crooned, “Ms. DeLaura, I’m going to need you to stop by the station to be fingerprinted.” Huh?

The mix of cowboys, cupcakes, with a dash of murder is a baker’s delight. Mel, Ange, and the rest of their wild and crazy gang are almost believable, least ways I wanted them to be. This cozy mystery was thumbs up zany and fun to read. It had that who shot J.R. type twist that will make you feel as if you’re right in the middle of a soap opera trying to figure out whodunit without laughing. There aren’t any cliffhangers, but there were plenty of characters you’ll feel like pushing off one. There’s Shelby, the aggravating daughter, the Bubbas, and, of course, Olivia. If you need something light and fluffy, you definitely won’t be disappointed with the recipe Jenn McKinlay whipped up this time!

Quill says: If you like your cozy mysteries hot out of the oven and bursting with laughs, Red Velvet Revenge is just what you'll need to tickle your funny bone!