Tuesday, May 7, 2019

Book Review: Dying for Devil's Food by Jenn McKinlay (Cupcake Bakery Mysteries #11)

Stars: 5 out of 5
Pros: Strong characters, addicting mystery
Cons: Doesn’t come with actual cupcakes (just recipes)
The Bottom Line:
High school reunion
Ends with the class bully dead
Fast, fun like always

Somebody’s Dying for this Reunion

When I was a teen, I thought the idea of high school reunions was fun.  I certainly was looking forward to my own and I was going to attend all of them.  Last year was my 25th high school reunion, and I have yet to attend any of them.  Then again, if they are like the one in Dying for Devil’s Food, maybe I am better off not going.

This book is the eleventh in the Cupcake Bakery Mysteries from Jenn McKinlay and it finds our main characters, Mel Cooper, Angie DeLaura (now Harper), and Tate Harper, facing their 15th high school reunion.  Mel has no plans to attend since her high school days were miserable, years she only survived because of her close friendships with Angie and Tate.  But Angie is thrilled; she’s even gotten them the catering job of providing cupcakes for the event and talks Mel into going.

The reunion starts off as poorly as Mel expected, but as the evening goes on, she begins to get a sense of closure as she realizes her old high school classmates’ opinions of her don’t matter to her any more.  All that good will vanishes, however, when Mel finds the body of Cassidy in the bathroom.  Cassidy had been the worst bully in high school, and based on the run ins she and Mel had at the reunion, she hadn’t changed in 15 years.  Now, her entire graduating class thinks that Mel killed her.  So Mel must set down her cupcake pans and start sleuthing again to figure out what happened to Cassidy all while dealing with people she would rather put out of her life completely.

While we’ve heard about Mel’s life in high school, this is the first time we get an up-close look at it.  If my years in high school had been this bad, I would certainly understand Mel’s reluctance to go to her high school reunion.  Of course, this past drama spills over to the present and gives us lots of fodder for further conflict.  Cassidy wasn’t well liked back then, and she hasn’t changed much, giving us plenty of suspects and motives.  Watching Mel sort through all of this was as addicting as always, and I sailed through this book is just two days because I had to know just what was happening and why.  I was certainly satisfied when I reached the end.

What I think surprised me the most about this book was the character development.  We may be eleven books into the series, but we got to see another side of the characters, especially Mel.  We saw some real growth for her over the course of this book.  Even more surprising was just how deep the characters we met here turned out to be.

Of course, all this is still wrapped in a package of fun.  I grinned and laughed multiple times as the pages flew by.  These books are popular because they are so fun, and this entry is no different.

Those looking for cupcake suggestions will be pleased to learn we get three new recipes at the end of this book.  Personally, I’m most intrigued by the pineapple upside down cupcakes.

This series is still just as addicting as a batch of fresh baked cupcakes.  I may have just finished this entry, but I’m already craving another one.  Fans new and old will be delighted to devour Dying for Devil’s Food.

Need more delicious mysteries?  Here are the rest of the Cupcake Bakery Mysteries in order.

NOTE: I received a copy of this book.


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 Tuesday May 14th, so please leave your comment before midnight Pacific Time on 5/14.  You will have until midnight on 5/19 to get back to me, or I will choose a new winner on 5/20.


  1. I can’t wait to read this one! It’s one of my favorite series. Sarakgrotz at gmail dot com.

  2. Would love to win this! Thank you for the chance! clawry89@gmail.com

  3. Would love to win this book. Thank-you for the chance & the review. kckendler at gmail dot com

  4. Love this author and series - and cupcakes!!

  5. ❤️ this series

  6. I love this series. Thanks for the giveaway and chance to start catching back up on it. doward1952(at)yahoo(dot)com What a great review, by the way!

  7. I’d love to read this! Legallyblonde1961 at yahoo dot com

  8. I love this series! Thanks for the fun review and a chance to win! ljbonkoski@yahoo.com

  9. I love this series! beckman.sarah@gmail.com

  10. One of my all-time favorite series! I can’t wait to read the new book! cking78503(at)aol(dot)com

  11. I so enjoy Angie and Mel, looking forward to reading this! Thanks!

  12. I agree. This is such a fun series. Thanks for the giveaway!
    turtle6422 at gmail dot com

  13. I enjoy this series. Never been to a high school reunion.

  14. I like this series. Thank you for this chance. pgenest57(at)aol(dot)com

  15. Canary201@aim.com
    Thanks for the opportunity

  16. Thank you for the opportunity
    robsnest60 (at) yahoo (dot) com

  17. This is one of my favorite series and the recipes are always to-die-for! Thanks for the chance to win! aut1063(at)gmail(dot)com

  18. Please enter me! This sounds really good.
    clarksrfun at gmail dot com

  19. Would love to win! Thanks for the chance angelcake12@optonline.net

  20. I really love this series! Can't wait to read. Thanks for the chance.

  21. I'd love to read this book soon. Donakutska7@gmail.com here's hoping

  22. Great title! Sounds like a great read. 📚

  23. This series is one of the best & I'm not just saying that since Jenn McKinlay lives in Arizona ;7)