Wednesday, May 18, 2016

REVIEW TOUR AND GIVEAWAY: Never Trust A Skinny Cupcake Baker (Death By Cupcake #1) by D.E. Haggerty

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Genre: Cozy Mystery
  • Series: Death by Cupcake
  • Paperback: 134 pages
  • Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (April 12, 2016)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1530753228
  • ISBN-13: 978-1530753222

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Synopsis: A cozy mystery with a heap of laughs, a generous portion of romance, and just a smidgeon of suspense. 

Callie’s life is rather awesome. She owns a successful bakery and teaches German literature at the local university. There’s just one tiny problem. She has no self-confidence when it comes to her body. And then there’s the little matter of her being accused of murdering her pole dancing instructor. There’s no way Callie’s going to risk losing her teaching position and thus she embarks, with her best baker bud Anna, on a journey to discover the real killer. Between stripper auditions and a detective who insists Callie is the woman of his dreams, it’s a roller coaster adventure. Cupcakes not included.

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Anna starts to fiddle with the lock, but it’s pretty clear she has no idea what she’s doing. My heart nearly jumps out of my chest when I hear the door behind me open. “What are you doing?”
I turn to stare at the man yelling at us and nearly fall down the stairs in surprise. He’s tall, way taller than Ben, although the kitten heels he’s wearing probably add several inches to his already impressive height. He’s wearing a pink flowered silk robe and his hair is in a hair net. Is that mascara he’s wearing?
I start to apologize for bothering him and take the first step down the stairs, but Anna interrupts my escape attempt.
“Oh thank goodness, you’re home.” She smiles up at him and flutters her lashes. “We’re in a bit of a jam.”
The neighbor crosses his arms over his chest causing the robe to drape open. His chest is completely hairless. I look down to see he’s wearing woman’s underwear. And not just some simple underwear from the local department store. This is the good silk and lace stuff. That can’t be cheap.
“Richard Wagner reportedly liked to wear women’s underwear made of silk and satin.” I can’t seem to help myself from blurting out random facts when I’m nervous.
He ignores me and demands, “What’s going on?” in a voice that makes it clear that although he may enjoy wearing woman’s clothing, he’s definitely a man who won’t be putting up with silly females.
“We’re at our wit’s end,” Anna says as she saunters up to him. Never one to acknowledge another’s personal space, she’s nearly rubbing up against him. With their difference in height, Anna’s chest is nearly aligned with the neighbor’s manly parts. I start to worry about the effect, if any, having Anna’s female attributes in such close quarters will have on the man’s underwear. “We’re trying to notify all of Dolly’s friends about the funeral, but those stupid police took her phone. We have no idea how to find her friends now.”
The man leans away from Anna and relaxes a tiny bit. “You’re friends of Dolly? I haven’t seen you around here before.”
“We know her from work,” I pipe up.
He raises an eyebrow at me and then proceeds to very obviously check out my assets. A smile lights up his face. “Yeah, I can see you working at Club Bristol.” He looks down at Anna and smirks. “But this little pink-haired one isn’t exactly the type.”
I nearly swallow my tongue and manage to stop myself from asking what Club Bristol is. He needs to think we work there as he obviously doesn’t know about Dolly’s job as a pole dancing instructor. Anna is much quicker on the uptake than me. “I work behind the scenes,” she says. “You know costume design and that sort of thing.” Does she actually know what Club Bristol is? Or is she guessing?
The neighbor nods as if it makes sense. I can only hope it does. “Sorry, I can’t help you. I don’t have a key to Dolly’s place.” He scoots back into his apartment. “I need to get some sleep. I had a late shift last night.” I wonder what kind of work he does. “Good luck.” And with that, he shuts his door, and I hear the lock click as well.

Review:  One of my favorite authors, cupcakes, and cozy mystery--it's a trifecta of perfection!!  This is the fifth book I've read by this author, and I have yet to be disappointed. From chick-lit to cozy mysteries, she is a winner!

This series features Callie, a curvy woman who owns a bakery and is a professor of German literature at the local university. She has very low self-esteem and self-confidence, in spite of being chased for the past year by Detective Hottie, as Anna, her pink-haired pixie of a baker, calls him. Anna and Callie play off each other SO well, and add plenty of humor to the story. I also enjoyed the cute little quotes/comments at the beginning of each chapter,which usually have something to do with cupcakes.

Ben, the detective, is a true gentleman, and a romantic to boot. I kept wanting to shake some sense into Callie every time she tried to tell him that he was out of her league, or anything else along those lines. Getting to witness her journey to believing in herself, and in the two of them, is going to be a great side story in this series.

I enjoyed trying to solve the murder along with this trio. I thought I had it figured out at one point, but boy, was I wrong...the final reveal was a shocker for me!  I can't wait to see what other adventures these characters get into as the series progresses.

**I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions are entirely my own.**

Rating: Four stars

About the author
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I grew up reading everything I could get my hands on from my mom's Harlequin romances to Nancy Drew to Little Women. When I wasn't flipping pages in a library book, I was penning horrendous poems, writing songs no one should ever sing, or drafting stories which have thankfully been destroyed. College and a stint in the U.S. Army came along, robbing me of free time to write and read, although I did manage every once in a while to sneak a book into my rucksack between rolled up socks, MRIs, t-shirts, and cold weather gear. A few years into my legal career, I was exhausted, fed up, and just plain done. I quit my job and sat down to write a manuscript, which I promptly hid in the attic after returning to the law. Another job change, this time from lawyer to B&B owner and I was again fed up and ready to scream I quit, which is incredibly difficult when you own the business. Thus, I shut the B&B during the week and in the off-season and started writing. Several books later I find myself in Istanbul writing full-time.

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D.E. Haggerty said...

THanks for taking the time to read & review Callie's book. I'm excited you enjoyed it! I just sent Anna's book off to the editor. More hijinks on the way...

Kim hansen said...

The cover, excerpt and the review.