Daphne Martin has recently moved back to her hometown in Virginia to open Daphne’s Delectable Cakes. Shortly after starting her cake business, Daphne discovered her first customer dead, of suspicious circumstances. After helping to solve the mystery behind Yodel Watson’s death, Daphne is hoping to spend some time making Christmas cakes and all around getting ready for the season.
That all changes when half of her small town becomes ill at an office Christmas party. Thankfully, the doctors there were able to help everyone. Everyone except Fred Duncan. What would appear to be a simple case of food poisoning quickly turns into murder and Fred’s mother is asking Daphne to help her discover what happened to Fred, before anyone else gets hurt.
Daphne is at it again in this second installment in the Daphne Cake Mysteries. Daphne is doing much better since the end of “Murder Takes the Cake.” She’s getting along better with her family, her cake business is gaining ground, and her relationship with Ben is going smoothly. Her natural inclination to ask questions and ferret out the truth makes her a wonderful candidate to assist in finding answers to Fred’s death. Her previous accomplishment solving Yodel Watson’s murder also adds to her credibility.
In the first novel, her cake business had barely taken off, but in this installment, you can tell she is doing much better.
I have to admit that I have conflicting feelings about this novel, as a whole. The mystery is intriguing and I was happy to discover that we have a better look into the personality and character of Fred Duncan. After meeting him in the first novel, I was surprised that he was the victim in this novel, and more worried that we would not be presented with a full picture into his life and personality. I was thankful that we were.
I was also happy that we were able to learn more about Fred’s car accident and his resulting brain injury that was mentioned in the first novel but not expounded upon.
I found that by the end of the novel, I had numerous questions that were not addressed in this book. During her investigation, Daphne manages to learn a lot about Fred and the people in his life, some of which seemed important to the mystery, however, some of the information’s involvement was never explained. Also, there were some questions about some of Daphne’s business endeavors that were never explained either.
In the end, I found myself stuck somewhere in the middle. I liked the mystery, I wasn’t surprised by the big reveal, and I found myself with a number of unanswered questions.
I would recommend this novel to readers who enjoyed book one and would like to learn more about Daphne Martin. I may read book three in the future, in the hopes of having some of my questions answered, though I cannot say when that will be.
I received my copy of this novel from the author for the sole purpose of providing an honest review and have permission from the publishers at Bell Bridge Books to use an image of the cover artwork featured above.
Daphne Martin loves baking cakes. So when her life takes a nose dive, Daphne decides to start a cake business in her hometown in southern Virginia. When Daphne finds her first customer, town gossip Yodel Watson, dead in her home, Daphne’s Delectable Cakes takes a hit. With business going slowly, Daphne realizes that the sooner she can clear her name, the sooner she can get back to work.
But, as it turns out, Yodel Watson’s gossiping has left her with quite a lot of enemies, and every one of them is a suspect. Can Daphne solve the case before she becomes the next target?
I thought this book was a good read. I liked the character of Daphne early on, her love of cakes and her niece and nephew. I was a little surprised by some of the other characters, things they would say or do, but for the most part, I felt they were still realistic characters.
The small town setting was perfect for the small business venture, as well as, the mystery behind the murder of Yodel Watson. I liked how, even though Daphne just moved back to town, she was meeting new people, they were not all acquaintances from her childhood, and that she was able to learn and get to know them, fairly quickly.
A large portion of this novel focused on Daphne’s family issues more than the mystery, or so it seemed. Since it took so long for the connection to be revealed, it seemed as though the novel had veered away from the mystery. I really wish that there had been more investigating into other possibilities during this section of the book, so that I did not feel that the mystery had taken a back burner to the main character’s problems. I realize that having a good main character, with a strong background is necessary for the book to work. I just felt that Daphne should have delved into more possibilities as far as motive is concerned during this time, in order to give the story more depth.
I was somewhat surprised by the ending. I figured out who the murderer was before Daphne, but only just before. I love being surprised by the end of a good cozy mystery, so this was a very good ending.
I would recommend this novel to anyone who enjoys a good cozy mystery, and cakes.
I bought my copy of this novel from bookoutlet.com and have been granted permission from the publishers at Gallery Books to use an image of the cover artwork above.
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