Retro Reading: Buttercream Bump Off by Jenn McKinlay
Valentine's Day is Right around the Corner, but Murder is Closer
If you were a middle aged woman and on your first date in years what would you do if your date was murdered?
That's the question in the second installment of the Cupcake Bakery Mysteries by Jenn McKinlay.
Melanie Cooper and business partner/best friend Angie DeLaura's bakery, Fairy Tale Cupcakes has become a popular bakery and with Valentine's Day right around the corner they've come up with a clever idea to offer baking classes for couples. Melanie's mother Joyce stops by and announces she has a date, the first since her husband passed away a decade ago.
Joyce couldn't turn down Baxter Malloy's request and what she doesn't know is Baxter's a shady investor. It just so happens while on their first date with Joyce caught in a compromising position.
Since Malloy was a shady investor a stranger comes into town and accuses Melanie of the murder, thinking she's the prime suspect in Baxter's murder.
While love seems to be in the air (Melanie has just started dating Angie's brother Joe) Angie becomes attracted to rock musician Roach. And while Valentine's Day is just around the corner the girls come up with a promotional raffle to attract business and in walks Marty, a little old man who starts to spend a lot of time at the bakery. He spends a lot of time in the bakery buying as many cupcakes as he can in the hope of winning the raffle.
Buttercream Bump Off does have more improvements than the debut novel of the series. There's still the annoyance of the multitude of movie quotes, but at least the characters are starting to come into their own. They've started to take on their own personalities which were lacking in the first book and with the introduction of two more characters the pace picks up a little more.
McKinlay also manages to bring the story in again under 300 pages and the recipes she offers at the end of the book seem to die for although I don't really have the time nor patience to bake but if you do pick up this book you may want to try the cupcakes.