Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Book Review: Going, Going Ganache by Jenn McKinlay (Cupcake Bakery Mysteries #5)

Stars: 5 out of 5
Pros: Strong characters; mystery and subplots weaved together well
Cons: May cause strong cupcake cravings.
The Bottom Line:
Cupcake photo shoot
Magazine staffer murdered
Strongest entry yet

Page Turning and Mouth Watering

I am so glad I’ve been making the effort to catch up on Jenn McKinlay’s Cupcake Bakery mystery series this year.  I’ve fallen in love with the characters, and each book pulls me further into their lives.  I’ve just finished Going, Going, Ganache, and I’m already hungry for the next one.

Mel, Angie, and their Fairytale Cupcakes are being featured in Southwest Style magazine, and the duo are hoping that this will help propel their business even further.  However, when their rival Olivia tries to sabotage the photo shoot, the duo find themselves hosting a cupcake boot camp for the magazine’s staff to make amends for the results of Olivia’s crashing the party.

The staff is fractured and constantly fighting, and the magazine’s new owner thinks that working together to bake 1000 cupcakes before a big gala in a week is the perfect way to mend some fences and mold them into a team.  However, the second morning, Mel finds one of the staff members dead behind her bakery.  With the prime suspects in her shop baking, Mel figures she has the perfect opportunity to sniff out clues.  Can she find the killer?

I cannot say this enough, the characters in this book are strong.  Yes, the series regulars are great, and I loved getting to spend more time with them.  However, the new characters are just as real.  I could feel the tension between them in many of the scenes, and the murder does nothing to lessen that tension at all.

Naturally, this means the mystery is filled with viable suspects, and the clues and red herrings are there to keep us guessing until the end.  There are some wonderfully subtle clues in the book as well.  I was quite proud of myself for going back and finding one, in fact.  The ending is wonderfully suspenseful and perfectly logical.

But let’s go back to the series regulars for a minute.  There are several sub-plots involving them, and I actually found myself caring more about how they would be resolved than who the killer was at times (not that the mystery ever took a backseat for very long).  Fans of the series will definitely feel the same way I do, and love how these sub-plots are expertly weaved in and out of the mystery.  (Although I’d love to slap some sense into Mel.)  And the ending?  I’m going to have to pick up the next book soon to see where everyone goes from here.  I see some interesting possibilities coming down the road.

In case you are in the mood to bake after reading this book, you’ll find recipes for four of the cupcakes that the characters make in the back of the book.  Trust me, you will be craving them after reading the book.  There was a fifth cupcake featured that sounded delicious as well.  I’ll have to go back and see if we’ve previously gotten the recipe; if not, I hope it appears in a book soon.

I’m really regretting putting this series off for so long.  It’s obvious from Going, Going, Ganache why this series has so many loyal fans.  If you aren’t in that number, fix that today.

And you'll definitely appreciate the characters more if you watch them grow by reading the Cupcake Bakery Mysteries in order.


  1. Count me in as one of those longtime, loyal fans! It's a great series!

    1. I'm hoping to be up to date before the new ones comes out in April.

  2. Haven't read this series yet ...count me in. jchizmar01@windstream.net

    1. You've got some great reads ahead of you in that case.