I received this book for free from Berkley Prime Crime in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.Vanilla Beaned (Cupcake Bakery Mystery, #8) by Jenn McKinlay
Published by Berkley on April 5th 2016
Number of Pages: 304
Genres: Cozy Mystery
Source: Berkley Prime Crime
Purchase: At Amazon
Melanie Cooper and Angie DeLaura are taking a gamble by opening their first franchise of the Fairy Tale Cupcakes Bakery, so where better to hit the jackpot than in Vegas? Business manager Tate Harper has lined up a meeting with Holly Hartzmark, a former showgirl who’s looking to bring Mel and Angie’s sweet treats to Sin City, but Mel isn’t so sure she’s ready to hand her recipes over to a complete stranger—especially one as brash as Holly.
But after the potential bakery location gets blown up, Mel begins seeing another side to Holly—one that reminds her very much of herself. Determined to help a kindred spirit, Mel sets out to discover who is trying to keep the bakery from cashing in. But with a murderous mischief maker on the loose, the odds are stacking up against a happy ending for Mel and her friends...
I loved Mel and Holly. Especially their first meeting, where Mel realizes she had been super mean, and how they get past that point. I loved Holly’s little girl Sydney, and Mel’s friends were funny as well.
The twists and turns the plot took made me not want to put the book down until I was finished. I loved all the ideas they came up with as to who was behind the explosion. I had absolutely no idea who it was until around 3/4 of the way through the book. The way they caught the person was a huge plus as well. Instead of running out into danger without thinking, like a lot of cozy mystery characters do, Mel made Holly stop and use her head.
I loved how vivid the imagery was, it felt like I had taken a trip to Las Vegas, even though I have never been there. The book was also filled with funny moments, and a small side plot of romance. I haven’t read any other books in this series, but will totally be looking into reading the earlier books after having read this one. If you like a cozy with humor and smart characters, you need to try this series.
Recipes Included: Vanilla Beaned (cupcake), Snickerdoodle Cupcakes, The Elvis (cupcake), Cherry Cola Cupcakes.