Retro Reading: Sprinkle With Murder by Jenn McKinlay
Murder was an Unplanned Ingredient in this Mystery
You know the old saying about judging a book by its cover? Well, for the last couple of years I've been trying to dive into the Cupcake Bakery Mystery series and I finally did.
Starting with said cover it has great artwork and has been the most colorful cover I've ever seen and it has a '50's diner look to it. So with the first in the series Sprinkle with Murder I thought it was going to be a fun read.
I'm still debating whether or not I like the series.
In the debut, author Jenn McKinlay introduces us to three friends from high school (now in their early to mid 30's) Melanie Cooper, Angie DeLaura and Tate Harper. During their high school years they seemed to be the outcasts and while the three of them bonded they're not only friends but business partners.
Melanie and Angie are the owners of Fairy Tale Cupcakes (with Tate as a silent partner) and while the business is doing okay the girls are preparing for Tate's upcoming wedding to shrewish Christine Stevens, a well known clothing designer.
Christine wants cupcakes designed especially for the wedding along with a non disclosure clause so no one else can replicate the originals. In fact everyone involved with the wedding planning has had to sign the agreement.
On the morning Melanie is to meet Christine she finds it odd that the back door to her studio is open and discovers Christine's body. With all of the people Christine has been screwing over the list of suspects is quite long and with any crimozy Melanie becomes a prime suspect in bridezillas murder.
Every writer knows that in order to create a good mystery the crime should occur within the first 10-20 pages. The discovery of Christine's body doesn't happen until page 45 and throughout these pages I was becoming annoyed with the characters.
The big issue I had was although the three main characters are friends they manage to get together every Friday night to watch old movies. I get it that it's their thing to do, but, they like to throw movie quotes around as if they're tossing a ball. A quote here or there would have been okay, but it seems like more than half of their dialogue is made up of movie quotes. When they do this quirky habit, the person it's directed to is required to name the movie.
I was also under the impression that solving the murder would have been a joint effort between Melanie and Angie. This would have been a good twist in the story since most of the time there's only one person doing the investigating instead of the police.
The series does have potential and since this is a foodie mystery McKinlay does offer up a few cupcake recipes at the end of the book.