Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Book Review: Dark Chocolate Demise by Jenn McKinlay (Cupcake Bakery Mysteries #7)



Stars: 5 out of 5
Pros: Great character development in a different mystery
Cons: Non-fans of the series won’t fully appreciate the story told here
The Bottom Line:
Death at Zombie walk
Opens different book fans
Will appreciate




Shot at the Zombie Walk

I don’t do Zombies.  Seriously, I can handle some forms of the rest of the creepy monsters out there, but Zombies truly freak me out in any form.  So I wasn’t sure how I would respond to Dark Chocolate Demise, which starts off with a scene at a Zombie walk.  Turns out, I enjoyed it.

Scottsdale is hosting a Zombie walk with a huge party at the end, and Mel and Angie are taking their Fairy Tale Cupcakes truck down to sell some spooky themed cupcakes.  Naturally, they and their staff are dressed for the occasion, and they even have a coffin outside their truck that people can pose in for pictures.

However, the fun comes to a halt when Mel finds a real dead body in their coffin, one that looks like someone she knows very well.  Mel’s ex-boyfriend (and Angie’s older brother) Joe is trying a case involving a mob boss.  Was this a hit out to distract him from his case?  Are they in danger?

Because of the plot, this is actually a bit of a darker book than the rest of the series.  The murder hits very close to home to the characters we love, and they react appropriately.  I actually liked that aspect of the book, and I would have been bothered if they hadn’t reacted this way.  It also allowed for some great characters growth in a couple of our regulars.

And the more serious plot is balanced out by some of the funniest sub-plots and scenes in the series to date.  A couple of the scenes had me laughing at the antics of the people we met in this book.  It was a much needed tension breaker.

Now before you start worrying since I’ve talked about this book being darker than usual, I’m talking about a shade of gray.  This is still a cozy mystery, and there is nothing here that will disappoint fans of the series or the genre in the slightest.  Having said that, I think this book is best read by people who are already fans of the series since they will most appreciate the story told here.

Speaking of which, we get some interesting developments in our ongoing storylines.  I complained that one of them was turning toward soap opera after reading the last book, and I feel that this book takes a step back from that.  At least I hope so, although things are still left open for the next book in the series to fully resolve.  The other thing I have to remind myself is that book 2 through this book have all taken place in just over a year.  We readers often get impatient with the characters but fail to take into account how quickly or slowly series time is moving.  (Having said that, I hope some things are close to being resolved here.)

The mystery itself?  At times it takes a back seat to how the events are effecting our characters, but that feels right given the nature of the story.  I was never bored, and the ending comes as a surprise.

Naturally, the recipes for the cupcakes that Mel created for the Zombie walk are included in the back of the book, and they sound delicious.  A bit creepy, but delicious.  There are a total of five recipes in the back to be enjoyed later.

This is a book for the fans of the series, so if that is you, pick up Dark Chocolate Demise today.  And if you haven’t started this wonderful series yet?  Back track to book one.  You’ll be caught up before you know it.

In fact, to help you out, here are the Cupcake Bakery Mysteries in order.

NOTE: I was sent a copy of this book in hopes I would review it.

6 comments:

  1. Would love to read and just love the title am a fan of dark chocolate! ptclayton2@aol.com

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  2. I've read the first few in the series and enjoyed them. Now I definitely need to catch up because this one sounds like a lot of fun. I like that it's a bit darker and a touch of grit in a cozy is always good. I'm not a zombie person either. They don't really scare me I just don't see the appeal. I'm glad to hear the zombie aspect didn't make you enjoy the book any less and I think I'd be a bit more hesitant to pick this one up without knowing that.

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  3. I love this series and am looking forward to Vanilla Beaned!

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  4. Cupcakes recipes are always appreciated.

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  5. I haven't read any of this series but I do love the photo of the cupcakes on the cover.

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  6. Yeah I definitely would have to read them in order.

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