Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Review: To Have and to Kill

To Have and to Kill: A Wedding Cake Mystery by Mary Jane Clark

Publication Date: December 2010
Publisher: Harper Collins Publishers
Genre: Cozy Mystery
ISBN-13: 9780061995545

(Received for review from Harper Collins Publishers via Net Galley)

Purchase: Barnes & Noble, Book Depository, Borders, IndieBound

If you live in Morehead, KY or the surrounding area:

Purchase from our local independent bookseller: CoffeeTree Books
Borrow from our local library: The Rowan County Public Library

Mary Jane Clark on the web: Website, Blog, Facebook

Synopsis (Barnes & Noble):

New York Times bestselling author Mary Jane Clark delights readers with her tasty new mystery
To Have and to Kill

Piper Donovon never imagined that decorating wedding cakes could be so dangerous!A struggling actress with no immediate prospects and a recently broken engagement, Piper moves back in with her parents to take stock of her life. She steps tentatively into the family bakery business and finds herself agreeing to create a wedding cake for the acclaimed star of a daytime television drama. But soon someone close to the bride-to-be is horribly murdered and it seems that that someone is ruthlessly determined to stop the wedding.

With the help of her former neighbor, Jack, a handsome FBI agent with a soft spot for the gorgeous cake-maker, Piper moves closer to the truth. And as she narrows in on a suspect, she realizes that it's hotter in kitchen than she may be able to handle...


To Have and to Kill is mystery writer, Mary Jane Clark's first foray into the world of cozy mysteries. Clark is well known for her hard core mystery series about the Key News crew. This book is a definite change of pace from her normal super suspenseful books. With a great new heroine in, Piper Donovan, the Wedding Cake Mysteries are sure to be a hit with both cozy and mystery/thriller readers.

Piper Donovan is a actress down on her luck. Since her stint on the daytime soap opera "A Little Rain Must Fall" ended, the acting gigs haven't been what she expected. To cut costs and to rethink her life a bit, Piper gives up her Manhattan apartment to move back in with mom and dad in New Jersey. When she starts to work in the family bakery, Icing on the Cupcake, she is asked by a good friend, Glenna from her soap opera days to create the perfect wedding cake for her Christmas Eve wedding. When another cast mate sips from a drink meant for Glenna and ends up dead, it's up to Piper and her neighbor Jack an FBI agent to figure out whodunit.

Author, Mary Jane Clark has written 12 Key News books, that are suspenseful and full of dark characters and crimes. Her latest book, To Have and to Kill is definitely on the lighter side. Cozy mysteries tend to be not quite as dark and foreboding as most mysteries and I was worried that Clark wouldn't be able to pull it off considering it isn't her normal type of writing. I was pleasantly surprised that she pulled it off with style.

Piper Donovan is a great new heroine. She is fun and sassy and keeps the reader on their toes. Not to mention being gorgeous, an actress, with a hunky next door neighbor doesn't hurt either. Clark is able to give Piper a very personable attitude, people are drawn to her and she is very charismatic. The secondary characters like Piper's parents, and Glenna are also very well developed, even the dog, Emmett is a great addition to the story. The plot is fast paced and has a great cast of suspects that kept me guessing to the very end. Clark has a knack for being able to keep the reader just enough off balance that they can't quite figure it out.

To Have and to Kill is available NOW from your favorite bookseller.

I'm giving this one 4 out of 5 apples from my book bag!

Like Piper Donovan, New York Times bestselling author Mary Jane Clark has a mother that made customized cakes for the neighborhood kids when Mary Jane was growing up. After a career at CBS News and writing twelve media thrillers, the author is currently taking cake-decorating classes herself, having fun as she works on her baking skills and concocts her next novel.


Mystica said...

Thanks for this review.

Kaye said...

I liked this book too. I thought Piper was a great new character and I will read the next book in the series.

Have a happy new year, a great week and happy reading!