Devereaux “Dev” Sinclair's Dime Store is taking part in a cupcake contest to end all cupcake contests. Kizzy Cutler is the famous Cupcake Queen, and she's returning home to be a part of the contest, and award the grand prize. Not everyone is happy to see Kizzy Cutler though. When her assistant is killed, and attempts are made on Kizzy's life, it is clear that someone wants the Cupcake Queen dead. With Noah and Jake out of town, Dev and friends, along with the help of the sexy new fire chief, Coop, get on the case to find out who is trying to kill Kizzy.\
I have to say Denise Swanson sure knows how to pack a punch with her cozy mysteries. With 21 cozy mysteries published between her two series, she certainly has the experience and this shows in her latest offering, Dying for a Cupcake.
It's a action-packed time for Dev, as she helps with the Cupcake Contest. This isn't the taste-testing, which surely Dev would prefer, but keeping her Dime Store running, keeping Kizzy under control with her infamous short-temper, and more importantly, keeping Kizzy alive! From High School Queen to Cupcake Queen, Kizzy has a natural ability at annoying people, and it turns out she's annoyed one person so much that they want her dead.
Noah and Jake are both absent in this story, with Noah providing medical aid overseas and Jake on the trail of the man who kidnapped his ex-wife, leaving Dev alone to sort through this mess. She's more than capable... after all she's solved three other cases!! However, we have a newcomer on board in the form of the new fire chief, Coop. Sexy as all get up, Coop isn't shy to show his interest for Dev, and I think it will be interesting to see how that storyline plays out in future books.
What I enjoy the most about Denise Swanson's books is she provides a fun adventure, with adorable and obnoxious characters alike, but she touches on some real issues as well. In Dying for a Cupcake, she touches on the tender subject of bullying and does it in a way that is subtle but to the point. I always turn the final page of her books, feeling like I've had satisfied of a great read and a great adventure.
Whether it's a visit to Scumble River or to Shadow Bend, you can't go wrong with a mystery by Denise Swanson.
I listened to Dying for a Cupcake on audio, and I loved it. I whiled my weekend away knitting, while I soaked up to atmosphere in Shadow Bend, and it was a fantastic listen. I've listened to all four books on audio, and I love Maia Guest's narration. For me, she is the voice of the inhabitants of Shadow Bend, and I'm hoping she will continue to narrate the books in this series.
Listen to a Sample of Dying for a Cupcake by Denise Swanson, narrated by Maia Guest: