Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Book Review: Caramel Crush by Jenn McKinlay (Cupcake Bakery Mysteries #9)



Stars: 5 out of 5
Pros: Good mystery with characters who are friends
Cons: Mel’s actions at the end
The Bottom Line:
Dead before break up
Mel plunged into mystery
Will make fans happy




Break Up Cupcakes for a Corpse

After spending most of 2015 catching up on Jenn McKinlay’s Cupcake Bakery books, the last year has been very long.  I’ve missed Mel, Angie, Tate, and the rest of the gang, so I was looking forward to catching their latest case with Caramel Crush, and I wasn’t disappointed.

For two years in college, Mel Cooper roomed with Diane Earnest, another marketing major.  While they haven’t had much contact recently, Mel still owes Diane a favor, so when Diane walks into Fairytale Cupcakes to ask a favor, Mel really doesn’t feel like she can say no even though she wants to.  You see, Diane wants to break up with her fiancé via cupcake, and Mel is to personally deliver them and film his reaction.

His reaction isn’t what Diane is hoping for or even what Mel expects.  When Mel arrives at Party On!. his party rental company, she finds him dead in the middle of one of their rental ball pits.  Of course, the ex-fiancee is always a suspect, and Mel finds her requested favor changing from delivering cupcakes to keeping Diane out of jail.  Can she do it?

Seriously, how can you not love a book that starts out with breakup cupcakes and a dead body in a ball pit?  Even if I didn’t already love the series, I knew I was off to a great start with those elements.  Of course, Mike wasn’t a great guy, which gives us some good suspects before we reach the climax.  My only complaint about the book was that Mel acted rather stupidly at the end, but this isn’t the first time she’s gone off and done something dumb to catch a killer.  Not that it really ruined the book for me.

By the time you are this far into a series, fans have grown to love the characters.  While Mel is the only series regular I mentioned in my teaser, the rest of the gang is all here, and they are their usual charming selves.  The new characters are quite interesting and will definitely make you glad not to have people like them in your life.  In other words, they are the perfect suspects.

The series has always had a strong romantic elements to it, and that continues here.  After so many books rooting for these characters, I loved reading these scenes.  And if one scene in particular (and one line) doesn’t melt your heart, something is wrong with you.

Which isn’t to say that this book doesn’t end with a cliffhanger.  I’m definitely ready to read the next book in the series to find out what happens to one of my favorite characters.  (Oh, who am I kidding?  I love all of these characters.)

By the time this book is over, you’ll definitely be craving cupcakes, which means that the recipes at the end will be quite welcome.  There’s a total of 5 cupcake recipes, including two that appeal to me most – caramel crush and key lime.  Yum!

It’s truly hard not to love this series, which is why it has so many devoted fans.  Caramel Crush will leave them happy and wanting more.  And if you haven’t started this series yet, you’ll find it is as addicting as cupcakes, but with a lot fewer calories.

Enjoy more sweet murder with the rest of the Cupcake Bakery Mysteries in order.

NOTE: I received a copy of this book.

Giveaway!

Thanks to the publisher, I have one copy of this book to give away.  Because it is a physical book, the contest is limited to residence of the US.

Just leave me a comment with your e-mail address so I can get in touch with you if you win.  I will pick the winner next Tuesday, April 11th, so please leave your comment before 12:01AM Pacific Time on 4/11.  You will have until midnight on 4/16 to get back to me, or I will choose a new winner on 4/17.

50 comments:

  1. Yay!!! Thanks so much, Carstairs Considers! I saw your name on the review list from my publicist and was hoping you'd like the book - you know how I value your opinion! You made my day!!!

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  2. Great review I love this series, thanks
    Penney penneyw(at)sbcglobal.net

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  3. I'm looking forward to starting this series, I have the first few books on their way! Love your reviews! barbie17 (at) gmail (dot) com

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  4. Thanks for the review & chance to win.
    kckendler at gmail dot com

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  5. You are right, breakup cupcakes and a dead body is an excellent beginning to a book! Thank you for the review and giveaway.
    debprice60@gmail.com

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  6. Good review! Good book!
    Annermarshall@gmail.com

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  7. Would love to read pwtish171@gmail.com

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  8. I love this series and the cupcake recipes that come with it. Thanks for the review! aut1063@gmail.com

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  9. I just started this series and am almost caught up! I love the gang! Thanks for the great review and giveaway! Fingers crossed!
    MarshaMysteryreader@yahoo.com

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  10. Sheila says: I love this series and can't wait to read this! Review was great! generallylost@hotmail.com

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  11. thanks for the chance. Janngrogan@yahoo.com

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  12. It sounds really interesting, thank you for the chance. Its an awesome series. Donamaekutska7@gmail.com

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  13. It sounds really interesting, thank you for the chance. Its an awesome series. Donamaekutska7@gmail.com

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  14. I love this series and would love to win. mcastor07@gmail.com

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  15. Good review and i love this series thanks for a chance to win celsaieh88@gmail.com

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  16. Love these characters as well! Thanks, cckauntiem@gmail.com

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  17. After reading your review, I can't wait to read this. kscove@hotmail.com

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  18. Super excited to read Caramel Crush! Thank You for your review and giveaway!
    b.alexander9212@gmail.com

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  19. Loved the review and can hardly wait to read the book. I too love these characters!

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  20. As always, I enjoyed your review. Thanks for the giveaway! doward1952(at)yahoo(dot)com

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  21. Me please. barbandshawn218@hotmail.com

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  22. Thanks for the review! Can't wait to read it! Lettie0305@gmail.com

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  23. I love ❤️ this series, thanks for the great review, I can't wait to read it!!!
    yellowwyytch@yahoo.com

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  24. Can't wait to read the book. Your review was awesome.
    jhdwayne(at)peoplepc(dot)com

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  25. love this series..I'm a few behind but would love to read this..thx for chance
    greeneyes2755@yahoo.com

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  26. Given!!!!!! B bevarcher@me.com

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  27. I love this series though I'm woefully behind! I have noticed Mel does have a tendency to act stupid. I keep hoping that will change but so far no luck. Regardless this sounds like a great read though I definitely wouldn't want to broken up with a cupcake. I don't think I'd be able to eat one again and I love them! Thanks for hosting the giveaway - Katherine.e.pitts(at)gmail(dot)com

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  28. It does sound like it starts out great! I love the humor in all these books and can't wait to read this new one--Thanks for the chance to win!
    JHolden955(at)gmail(dot)com

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  29. I love this series and I love the title of this book. Thanks for the chance.
    moonbay7399@gmail.com

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  30. I absolutely love and devour this series and can't wait to get my hands on the new book!! Thank you for a great review and a wonderful giveaway!
    tiggercat24alisha@yahoo.com

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  31. Great series!! Keep them coming!!!
    Oneponychick66@hotmail.com

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  32. I think I would be tempted by the caramel cupcakes and key lime cupcakes as well. jenne.turner at unt.edu

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  33. I like cozy mystery. My email is marierauch@yahoo.com.

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  34. The Cupcake Bakery Mysteries are one of my favorite series. Can't wait to read "Carmel Crush".
    diannekc8(at)gmail(dot)com

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  35. I've enjoyed the previous books in this series. Can't wait to read Carmel Crush. dbahn@iw.net

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  36. Love this series! Thanks for the chance. Maceoindo@yahoo.com

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  37. I love this series!! Thanks for the chance. I can't wait to read this book!! ematov@comcast.net

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  38. I love this series and would love to win the print copy to review on goodreads and amazon ptclayton2@aol.com

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  39. I just love this series.
    bpwoodfield(at)gmail(dot)com

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  40. Had this preordered for months now. It's been driving me crazy. Why do publishers wait so long. The suspense is killing me (no pun intended..lol)

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  41. What a great review! mommatoodle at msn dot com

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  42. Really appreciate your review. And it does look seriously like a great read. do appreciate the chance for the book your giveaway offers. Della at deepotter (at) peoplepc (dot) com

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  43. Enjoyed reading your review. I don't need a copy, but wanted to comment. Really appreciate the comprehensive review and comments. Thanks!

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  44. It sounds like a great book! a_stonecipher(at)yahoo(dot)com

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  45. One of my favorite cozy authors - would love to read this! parkeremma2003 at yahoo dot com

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  46. I really want this book, thank you for the chance. Donamaekutska7@gmail.com

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  47. I love this series and it is calorie free
    gibsonbk at hiwaay dot net

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  48. Love this series - love cupcakes!
    kpbarnett1941[at]aol.com

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  49. Wonderful review! I'd read Jenn's grocery list if it were available to me, that's how much I enjoy her books!
    sxygrndma48@yahoo.com

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  50. Nice review. lady(dot)janel(@)hotmail(dot)com

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