Title: Murder Takes the Cake
Author: Gayle Trent
Release Date: March 29, 2011
Publisher: Gallery Books
Genre: Cozy Mystery
Rating: 4 out of 5
When Daphne Martin delivers a cake to the home of town gossip Yodel Watson, she expects the cranky old bat to, once again, tell her that it’s not good enough. The last thing she thinks she’ll find is Yodel dead on the floor. Daphne tries to be sympathetic, but Yodel wasn’t liked around town, and since discovering the body, Daphne’s fledgling cake business has lost a few customers. But when Daphne gets ahold of Yodel’s diary, in which she wrote about everyone in town, Daphne learns some troubling things about her own family and realizes how many people had a motive to murder Yodel.
Murder Takes the Cake is a fun cozy mystery with an appealing main character. Daphne Martin is determined to start over in her hometown after a divorce. She decides to pursue her passion, making and decorating cakes, and turns it into a business. The cake descriptions in this novel are delectable; Trent really draws the reader in with the amazing cakes that Daphne bakes. It’s a nice treat for the foodies among cozy mystery lovers.
Though this is a light, easy cozy mystery, it has a bit more depth and substance than most books in this genre. Daphne had a very bad breakup with her ex (he tried to kill her), and she hasn’t forgiven her mother for her refusal to acknowledge the gravity of Daphne’s situation. It makes for a very complicated mother-daughter relationship, made moreso by what Daphne discovers about her family in Hazel’s diary. I appreciated that the main character had a personal stake in the story, as it gave the novel an added layer.
The mystery in Murder Takes the Cake is solid; though readers may have a suspicion about the culprit, the ending is still surprising and overall it makes for a fun read. A word of warning to readers, though: if you aren’t a fan of cake or baking descriptions in your reads, this book may be too much. Daphne gets very involved in her baking, and while it’s a real treat for those who enjoy living vicariously through their novels, others may become impatient. As a whole, this was an enjoyable, breezy cozy mystery, and I look forward to the next book in the series.