Tuesday, April 28, 2020

Book Review: Pumpkin Spice Peril by Jenn McKinlay (Cupcake Bakery Mysteries #12)

Stars: 5 out of 5
Pros: Strong characters and mystery
Cons: A bit more serious than some entries, but it fits the book well
The Bottom Line:
An art opening
With mood dampened by murder
Another great book

Exhibiting a Murder

My favorite series are comfort food – much like cupcakes.  So I was very much looking forward to diving into Pumpkin Spice Peril, the twelfth Cupcake Bakery Mystery from Jenn McKinlay.

Over the years that best friends Mel Cooper and Angie Harper have run Fairytale Cupcakes, they have made friends with some of their customers.  Near the top of that list are husband and wife artists Peter and Rene.  Every Friday, Peter comes in to pick up cupcakes for Rene, who is currently putting the finishing touches on a major art installation to be unveiled in Scottsdale, Arizona, and Mel and Angie are providing the cupcakes for the opening night party.  However, the night before the big event, someone dies under suspicious circumstances.  Has Mel been pulled into another murder?

The book takes a little time introducing us to suspects and setting the story in motion before we get to the murder, but I didn’t mind because there was still plenty of conflict to keep us engaged.  And once the murder happens, we are given plenty of questions and twists as Mel tries to reach the climax.  There’s a great sub-plot related to the murder as well.  It added up to a book I couldn’t put down, and I breezed through it quickly.

Of course, the reason I love this series is because of the characters.  It was wonderful to spend time with all of them once again and see how their lives are advancing.  They are such fantastic characters.  The new characters are just as sharp.  I’d say wonderful, but some of them are suspects, so they can’t all be wonderful, right?

This book was more somber than some of the others in the series.  Mel feels this particular death pretty hard, and that comes through to us.  I appreciated how that was dealt with realistically.  The result isn’t a book that’s as light as some of the others in the series, although we do get a few laughs over the course of the book.

And, of course, there are cupcake recipes.  I’m sure it is no surprise when I say that one of them is pumpkin spice, but I’m most interested in trying the root beer float cupcake.  All told, there are four new cupcakes to try when you are done with the book.

Fans of the series are in for another treat with Pumpkin Spice Peril.  And if you aren’t a fan yet, you need to fix that today.  You’ll soon be addicted, but don’t worry, it’s a good addiction.

Enjoy more delicious mysteries with the rest of the Cupcake Bakery Mysteries.

NOTE: I received an ARC of this book.


  1. I can’t wait to read this one!

  2. I'm starting this one tonight and am looking forward to it. Thanks for the heads up that this is a bit more serious as this is usually a pretty light series.

  3. Hopefully, my copy will arrive by Saturday - thanks for the review.


Thanks for stopping by. In order to combat spam, I moderate most comments. I'll get to your comment as soon as I can.