Sunday, April 9, 2017

CARAMEL CRUSH by Jenn McKinlay

Book 8 in the Candy Holliday Mysteries
by B.B. Haywood

The New York Times bestselling author of Town in a Cinnamon Toast returns to Cape Willington, Maine, where blueberry farmer Candy Holliday springs ahead into sleuthing...

The imminent arrival of spring has the locals gearing up for their sweetest celebration ever—the first annual Maple Madness Weekend. Along with maple sugar house tours, a community-wide marshmallow roast, and a weekend-long pancake breakfast, restaurants will be serving up special maple syrup dishes. But the weekend festivities are put in jeopardy when things start to get sticky...
One of Candy’s friends is accused of stealing sap from a rival’s sugar maple trees, and landscaper Mick Rilke is found dead, floating down the river wrapped up in a fisherman’s net. As Candy taps into Mick’s life, his unsavory side comes to light, as well as a possible connection to both crimes. Now it’s up to Candy to follow the flow of suspects to a cold-blooded killer...



This sticky whodunit will have you glued to the pages!

It’s always so exciting for me when a new Candy Holliday book comes out. I look forward all year to getting a hold of it, and settling down for hours of cozy mystery enjoyment. TOWN IN A MAPLE MADNESS did not disappoint!

As is common with this series, the Prologue is from the POV of the murder victim, and is happening during the death scene. This one was “slightly” more graphic than in the past, but not so much so as to turn me off from reading it.

There was so much going on in this eighth installment of the Candy Holliday Mysteries. Between the Maple Madness Weekend, the discovery of the body, and then the investigation, along with other side storylines, Candy had her hands full! Just like Candy, readers will find themselves in the middle of so many things that it could become overwhelming. However, author Haywood writes in nice short chapters that serve as a reminder to breathe more often during the excitement of the story. And excitement there is! It feels to be to be the most action packed story yet.

It’s not all drama and mayhem in TOWN IN A MAPLE MADNESS. There are lovely scenes too, and a happy surprise or two as well. And food! Lots of yummy food! So make sure to check out the recipes in the back of the book.

Candy Holliday fans, you’re sure to love TOWN IN A MAPLE MADNESS. It serves to remind readers why we became fans of this series in the first place!


Book 9 in the Cupcake Bakery Mysteries
by Jenn McKinlay

When a breakup via cupcake threatens to crumble their friend's life for good, Mel and Angie race to solve the murder as this New York Times bestselling series continues...
Love is in the air at Fairy Tale Cupcakes as Angie prepares for her wedding, but co-owner, Mel, is preparing for a breakup. Her old friend, Diane Earnest, is dumping her fiancΓ© after discovering he’s only marrying her for her money. She wants Mel to personally deliver a batch of caramel breakup cupcakes to the louse and give her a play-by-play of his reaction.
When Mel finally tracks the man down, the look on his face isn’t the reaction she was expecting: he’s dead. After the police arrive and see the incriminating cupcakes, Diane becomes their prime suspect. If she hopes to taste freedom again, Mel and Angie must make sure the real killer gets their just desserts...



I’m always thrilled when there’s a new Cupcake Bakery Mystery!

First off, an award goes out for sweetest way to break up with someone, and another award for most creative place to find a body. And the last award is for tastiest sounding cupcakes! My stomach always growling when reading a Cupcake Bakery Mystery. Thankfully, author Jenn McKinlay includes recipes so readers can bake their own treats from the book! Hmmm . . . I for one would love to see a Fairytale Cupcakes cookbook come from this series.

CARAMEL CRUSH starts off fun and fast. There was so much going on it made it hard to put the book down. Between wedding plans with Angie and Tate, break up talk with Marty and Olivia, and Mel as away in the middle of it all, it was hard to catch my breath. And that was just the first chapter!

In the center of all the chaos that is Fairytale Cupcakes and its crew, CARAMEL CRUSH had a good solid mystery that had my brain working overtime to solve. Once the who and why are revealed, a reader normally thinks the end of the surprises are near. Not so with this story. As seems to be the style of Jenn McKinlay, more so in recent books, there is a huge cliffhanger at the end.

This has been one of my top three favorite series sense I started reading cozy mysteries. I adore everything about it. The setting, the characters (One of the greatest cast of characters ever.), the entire concept. That being said, with all the positive things about this book, something felt off about CARAMEL CRUSH.

The first thing I noticed, the fun sarcasm associated with this series seemed a little over done in this story. What made me laugh in past books, made me cringe a bit in this one and think to myself . . . That was a bit harsh and over the top. Second thing, Mel has found dead bodies before. The way she handled the discovery in this story seemed a little reckless and out of character for her. And the main thing that about the book, it just felt . . . off. Almost as though author McKinlay came up with the whole thing, but someone else wrote it. You know what I mean? I

Having said all that, I do love this series. Every time I read one, I feel like I’m with good friends. You know, I’m there with them, just a silent character. J  I am already anticipating book 10, WEDDING CAKE CRUMBLE. 

Both of these great titles are available now!

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  1. Thanks, Lisa! Peaceful Sunday, to you.

  2. Thanks for sharing your reviews, Lisa. Here's two books I have to read.

  3. Wonderful reviews thank you,

  4. Looking forward to reading book of these new releases. Loves these series.

  5. I loved your comments as i always do and was happy to be introduced to these cozies stories in advance of purchasing them. Thank you.

  6. I loved your comments as i always do and was happy to be introduced to these cozies stories in advance of purchasing them. Thank you.

  7. Thank you for your reviews of both of these books. I've read some of the books in both series, but haven't gotten completely caught up on them yet. I'm always behind on my reading. And thank you for talking honestly about what you didn't like about the book as well as what you loved about it. You don't see an honest review like that very often. And I appreciate it when I do.