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.
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