Pumpkin Spice Peril (Cupcake Bakery Mystery #12) by Jenn McKinlay

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In the twelfth Cupcake Bakery Mystery from New York Times bestselling author Jenn McKinlay, the Fairy Tale Cupcake crew follows the clever crumb trail of a killer who’s anything but cookie-cutter.

Life is all sugar and spice for the Fairy Tale Cupcake bakers–Melanie Cooper is engaged to the delectable Joe DeLaura, Angie Harper and her husband Tate are savoring married life, and the bakery is bustling with happy customers. Until one of their most valued cupcake connoisseurs ends up dead.

Local glass artist and cupcake lover Rene Fischer-Klein has always suffered from a wide variety of health issues. In an effort to cheer her up, her doting husband, Peter, brings her a four-pack of her favorite cupcakes every week. But when the police discover that Rene has been poisoned, there’s no sugarcoating the fact that the last things she ate were the bakery’s signature pumpkin spice cupcakes! With their lives and bakery at stake, it’s up to Mel and Angie to find out who poisoned their artist friend and why, before their future is frosted for good.

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Rating: 2 out of 5.

Pumpkin Spice Peril by Jenn McKinlay

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

This was fun and snappy. Not all things worked for me though. Those looking for a lighthearted romance read will enjoy this one.

The Story
Was cute.

Wasn’t one of my favorites from McKinlay. I’m wondering if maybe the Cupcake Bakery Mystery series is for me.

It was much linear and singular which was fine, but felt manufactured, like a factory-filled dialogue of a story that just didn’t hold for me.

I felt like that friend who came for the friendship and party, stayed for the cupcakes.

All coming into questioning, the plot was just meh for me. Didn’t take me into the places I was hoping as far as unfolding of mystery plot, nor character interest or depth, and so it was very flat. Where I felt like a side story or tension outside of the main plot would have brought some more life into it. When some elements were sort of visible and present, they were not interesting to me.

It may have been because of overall tone, as well as characters and character build.

The Writing
Snappy, quick witted which I enjoyed.

Dialogue, which in itself was bright, staccato, and fun in small doses, ended up feeling like much too chattery and less meaningful because every tiny interaction and conversation from sun up to sun down was recorded for me to read.

Tone
Felt judgy. Competitive, sour, jabby, catty, and sometimes icky. I quite like some snappy, quick observations sometimes parody or satire, but some of the descriptions felt off and misplaced, and most of all, detached from character at hand. Not just with one character quirk but with all. Sort of felt like an ill perspective coming across all characters and circumstance. To where I didn’t really want to spend time with or be in the world of most of these characters as a result.

A point where I felt, okay, this is just being outright mean now. Therefore less authentic as this tone was adapted to each character without distinction from each other, so no character had qualities of endearing or tender moment, redemption, or sympathetic expression from this point which didn’t make a good, well-rounded, cohesive story for me. There wasn’t much to embrace after a while.

Characters
I’m not sure if I was buying the connectivity amongst some of them as a result.

Puppy love relationships and teenage fleeting friendship. I didn’t feel like circumstance and life stages were appropriately matched for the age ranges amongst this friend circle.

Loved the cupcake descriptions though! And it has recipes!

I’ll have to check out more of others outside of this series.

View all my reviews

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