Life is sweet and business is booming at the Fairy Tale Cupcakes bakery--and the fact that Mel and Joe are getting married is the icing on the cake. Their reception will be held at the swanky resort where Oz works as the pastry chef. The wedding planning is all fun-fetti and games until Mel and Joe meet the head chef at the resort who has been making Oz's life miserable. When the eccentric chef insults Mel's bakery, Oz gets into a blowout argument with the culinary prima donna.
Things turn extra sour when the chef is murdered, and Oz is the police's main suspect. As the countdown to the wedding day begins, Mel, Joe, and the rest of the Fairy Tale Cupcake crew must sift through clues to catch the real killer and clear Oz's name before their wedding plans are totally battered and baked.
Weddings! I love weddings! I can go to a complete stranger’s wedding and cry tears of joy as the bride and groom make their vows. I’m totally serious. I could be hired out as a plus one and I will not disappoint. I’ll happy cry, make a heartfelt toast, and dance my bootie off. I am all in! Weirdo, I know.
Not surprisingly, I did seven tours of duty as a bridesmaid/maid of honor. While not all of the dresses were awesome, the ceremonies were! There’s just something so wonderfully optimistic about a bride and groom, standing up in front of their loved ones and promising to love each other forever and ever through all of the cap on and seat down issues that you know are coming for them.
This love of weddings made writing the wedding scene in the thirteenth installment of the Cupcake Bakery Mystery series such a joy. Because my mysteries are an Agatha Christie—I Love Lucy mash up, you know that there will be a puzzler of a mystery but also a lot of laughs –
usually because something unexpected happens. I can confirm that the wedding ceremony in For Batter or Worse takes a dramatically unexpected turn. That’s all I’m saying. No spoilers here.
The delightful perk about writing a long anticipated wedding into the plot was that I got to write in some poignancy as well. For those who’ve read the series, you know that Melanie Cooper’s father passed away ten years before the series begins. It is a loss Mel feels quite deeply and an event, like a wedding, which is a special moment between a parent and child brings the loss front and center in Mel’s heart and mind. A touching moment ensues between Mel and Uncle Stan, her father’s brother, who has been a surrogate father to her and I have to admit, I wept while writing it. See? I told you weddings make me cry.
It is my hope, dear reader, that as you attend the wedding of Dear Joe and Mel, you enjoy the wedding, with laughs and tears, as much as I enjoyed writing it. And, of course, before you get to witness the nuptials, there’s a mystery to solve when an executive chef is murdered and our favorite sous chef Oz as the prime suspect. As if getting married isn’t stressful enough, Mel has to prove her friend innocent before his new career as a pastry chef at a posh resort is frosted for good!
The Cupcake Bakery Mystery series is in the top 3 of my all-time favorite cozy mystery series, and just happen to be the first I ever read. I went through them like I had been starving for reading (and I was at that point in my life). And here we are at book 13!
Some may say that a series that runs too long will get stale. Those people have never read the Cupcake Bakery Mysteries by Jenn McKinlay. The very opposite of stale, FOR BATTER OR WORSE, is fresh and fabulous, and the perfect addition to this series. Once I sank my teeth into the first page, I devoured the rest of the book in one setting, and was instantly hungry for the next installment.
FOR BATTER OR WORSE is the book we’ve been waiting for. The marriage of Mel and Joe! Or is it? ;-) Things are never as easy as it seems for the Fairytale Cupcake crew. But they always manage to bounce back. The characters in this series just keep getting better and better. Author McKinlay is so great at letting the characters grow. We find out something new about one of them in each volume, and this one is no different.
As for the mystery in, FOR BATTER OR WORSE, wow! I mean, I was all over the place trying to figure this one out. Everything that seemed crystal clear at one moment, became thick as frosting the next. With more twists and turns than the swirled icing on a cupcake, I kept running in circles with my guesses. Seriously, each time I had the villain guessed, I was proven so very wrong. Brava, Ms. McKinlay.
Returning fans to this series are going to love, FOR BATTER OR WORSE. If you haven’t read the series, please, don’t wait any longer. You have no idea what you’ve been missing!
Visit her website at: www. romantic comedy and the Fresh Fiction award for best cozy mystery. A TEDx speaker, she is always happy to talk books, writing, reading, and the creative process jennmckinlay.com
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