Release Date: 4 Jan 2011
Publisher: Berkley Prime Crime
Genre: Cozy Mystery, Mystery
Summary: Melanie Cooper and Angie DeLaura's Fairy Tale Cupcakes bakery is gearing up for Valentine's Day. Unfortunately someone has iced Baxter Malloy on his first date with Mel's mother. Now Mom's a suspect, and Mel and Angie need to find time around frosting to dig into the man's shady past and discover who served him his just desserts.
Buy It: Paperback or Kindle eBook
Review: I was so glad that Olivia from Sprinkle with Murder, the previous novel, continued on in Buttercream Bump Off as Mel and Angie's humorous rival bakery owner. I hadn't expected her to return after how the last book turned out so it was a pleasant surprise when this book opened with her shenanigans. I love it when there's a 'nemesis' that continues on throughout a series; they're like beloved superhero villains to me and few things are more fun than seeing them come back for more comeuppances.
"Oh, thank God, you answered,” Joyce said breathlessly. “My dress did it again.”
“What? What do you mean?”
“My dress,” Joyce said. “It caused another heart attack, and this time I think I killed him.”
Mel's mom annoyed me a little bit in Sprinkle with Murder with her insistence that Mel was in love with Tate. She was pretty amusing in this book though now that she was in Mel's shoes as a suspect. Thankfully she couldn't go on about Tate anymore since Joe, one of Angie's many brothers, was in the picture.
She gave him a pained look. “Apparently Detective Martinez asked my mother if Baxter was into eroto-asphyxiation, and Uncle Stan almost punched him in the face.” Both Tate and Angie cringed. “Then, of course, Uncle Stan had to explain what that is to Mom, which gave her a fit of hysterics.”
If you've ever watched CSI or a similar crime show with an 'older' person you'll enjoy laughing at Uncle Stan's expense. I also enjoyed all of the poking fun at Mel's mom McKinlay included in Buttercream Bump Off. 'Playing shoe salesman', the killer dress, etc. Joyce's naivety wasn't overplayed and their teasing came off exactly the way loving families manage it. I was pleased that this was believable and not overdone.
"I'm not giving up on us, Cupcake, and neither should you. I'll call you tomorrow.”
Where have I heard something similar to the above quote before... Oh, I know! Evanovich's Stephanie Plum series has has a Joe that calls her cupcake too. Joe Morelli works in law enforcement and this Joe is a DA. They're both Italian... and the similarities don't stop there. But this was too many things in common for me with both being from cozy mysteries. It felt uncomfortable to read and made me dislike Buttercream Bump Off's Joe.
"Well, that stinks."
"Agreed," Mel said. She didn't like the idea of Marty and Tate going off on their own. What if they blew it? This was her idea after all. She should be in charge.
"Come on," she said to Angie. "I'm sure we can blend in with the furniture, and they'll never know we're there."
Over the course of two books, I've come to find Mel charming and amusing but she's a touch more harebrained than I'd like. Tate is taking Marty (an elderly gentleman who is trying to win a contest that their bakery is holding by doing favors for entries) to meet a possible suspect where he is going to pose as a wealthy businessman. Tate specifically tells Mel and Angie that they'll stand out and ruin everything. Mel ignores him and does whatever she wants. She does this time and time again and occasionally it's funny (when it's something involving Olivia) but most of the time I want to wring her neck. Rating: 3½ Bites (Really enjoyed it -- Good)
What is one of the most embarrassing things your parents have naively asked you about?
Have you ever yelled at a character (out loud) for doing something stupid?