Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Review and Giveaway: Death by the Dozen

Death by the Dozen (Cupcake Bakery Mystery - Book 3) by Jenn McKinlay

Publication Date: October 2011
Publisher: Penguin Group USA
Genre: Cozy Mystery
Pages: Paperback, 304pp
ISBN-13: 9780425244050
ISBN: 0425244059

(Received for an honest review from Berkley Prime Crime)

Purchase: Barnes & Noble, Book Depository, IndieBound

Jenn McKinlay on the WEB: website, facebook, twitter

Excerpt from Death by the Dozen


Melanie Cooper and Angie DeLaura are determined to win the challenge to the chefs at this years Scottsdale Food Festival. Taking home first prize will be great publicity for their Fairy Tale Cupcakes bakery - and beating rival Olivia Puckett will be the cherry on top.

Mel's mentor from culinary school, Vic Mazzotta - now a Food Channel celebrity chef - is one of the judges, but Mel and Angie will have to win fair and square by whipping up delicious cupcakes with a mystery ingredient.

Though the real mystery is who put Vic Mazzotta on ice, literally - when his dead body is found inside a freezer truck. Mel and Angie will need to use their best judgement to find the cold-blooded killer who iced Vic, or they may lose more than the contest - they may lose their lives...


Jenn McKinlay returns readers to the Fairy Tale Cupcake Bakery in her third book in the Cupcake Bakery Mystery series, Death by the Dozen. This a cozy that will appeal to many different kinds of readers including those with a sweet tooth. McKinlay plays on the increasing popularity of the Food Network and shows like Master Chef and Chopped to bring readers not only a challenging mystery, but a food competition that adds another dimension to the story. 

McKinlay's ability to set the scene in this series is both authentic and realistic. Setting the series in her own hometown of Scottsdale, Arizona has allowed McKinlay to add details that outsiders may not be familiar with. It gives her writing credibility and allows readers who are from the area to feel nostalgic as they read. Death by the Dozen is set against the backdrop of the Scottsdale Food Festival and readers will be drawn in by the competitive nature of the chefs and their rivals and when Vic Mazzotta ends up dead, it doesn't seem too far fetched to believe someone wanted one of judges put on ice.

Returning heroine's Mel and Angie are once again the center of attention as they prepare to show off their culinary chops at the festival. McKinlay continues to develop her characters by bits and pieces. Mel's relationship with Joe is continuing to progress and we see more of both Mel and Angie's family and friends in this one. I liked the addition of Oz, the new apprentice baker in the Fairy Tale Cupcake Bakery and I look forward to seeing where McKinlay leads this cast of characters. With each addition to the series she strengths the bonds and draws the reader further into the lives of this group of people.

The mystery aspect of the book was well written and kept the interest and tension high. Vic's murder is definitely center stage, but the food competition also allows the reader a second hook, something else to hinge their interest on. I thought McKinlay did a fantastic job of adding just enough 'red herrings' to keep the reader off track on figuring out the killer before the end. There were plenty of suspects and their motives were fresh and believable. McKinlay's ability to plant clues to the murder in plain sight without coming off as pretentious was amazing. Mel and Angie have their hands full with this one and readers will be on the edge of their seats all the way through.

Death by the Dozen is a great addition to the series. Readers will love the sneak peek at the next book in the series, Red Velvet Revenge and they'll probably be spending hours in the kitchen trying out the recipes in the back of the book. I recommend this one to cozy mystery fans. McKinlay's Cupcake Bakery series is one of my favorites and I'm sure it will become one of yours.

Death by the Dozen is available NOW from your favorite bookseller.

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

Jenn McKinlay has baked and frosted cupcakes into the shapes of cats, mice, and outer space aliens, to name just a few. Writing a mystery series based on one of her favorite food groups (dessert) is as enjoyable as licking the beaters, and she can't wait to whip up the next one. She lives in Scottsdale, Arizona, with her family.  


The publisher is sponsoring a giveaway for one copy of Death by the Dozen by Jenn McKinlay.

~ You must be a Google Friend Connect follower to participate.
~ US addresses only! (Publisher Request)
~ The deadline to enter this giveaway is Midnight EST November 2nd.

1. Please leave a comment in appreciation to the author on THIS post.
2. Please fill out the FORM


Karen T said...

Thanks for the giveaway.

Myra C said...

It sounds like a fun, sweet series! Thanks for the giveaway.

Pat L. said...

Thanks for the giveaway.

cyn209 said...

thank you for the giveaway......can't wait to read this one!!!

Martha Lawson said...

Sounds like a really great cozy!!

mlawson17 at hotmail dot com

rubynreba said...

Thanks for the chance to win this book. Looks like a very good one!

lag123 said...

This is a new series for me! Thanks for the giveaway!

lag110 at mchsi dot com

Theresa N. said...

Sounds like a good mystery.
Theresa N

Karen B said...

Cupcakes and Food Network based competitions - what's not to love!
GFC follower as Karen B.


Tore said...

Thanks for the giveaway. I can't wait to read this book.

Tanya said...

I have just finished readign the First 2 books in this series, and I just love them. I love the friendship between Angie and Mel and the hijinks they get into. I also love the cupcake receipes, YUMMY! Thanks for the opportunity to win!

Carol N Wong said...

I have definite sweet tooth so I know I will love this cozy. That part about the dead person on ice gave me the chills! It just turned oool here in North Texas.


mamabunny13 said...

This sounds like a cozy mystery I would love!
mamabunny13 at gmail dot com

Helen L. said...

Thanks for the giveaway.

Nancy said...

Another great Cozy to read!!!

ann said...

Another book that I would enjoy reading

amhengst at verizon dot net

Joanne V. said...

Another great giveaway.

Linda Kish said...

I thought this was a very informative review and it makes me want to read the book and the series.

lkish77123 at gmail dot com

misskallie2000 said...

Thanks for another great cozy mystery giveaway. I love sweets so this was written for me. lol

Thanks for the opportunity to enter giveaway.

Old GFC follower

misskallie2000 at yahoo dot com

Carol M said...

I'd love to read this! It sounds good!