Death by the Dozen

(Cupcake Bakery Mystery, Bk. 3). 7 CDs. 8 hrs. Dreamscape. Jan. 2017. ISBN 9781520063676. $59.99. 1 MP3-CD. F
Fairy Tale Cupcakes owner Mel Cooper and her business partner and best friend Angie deLaura are entered in the Challenge to the Chefs at the county fair. When one of the judges, Mel's culinary school mentor, dies, the cops think he committed suicide. Mel doesn't believe Vic would have taken his own life, and the field is wide open with people who would have been happy to do it for him. Meanwhile, fellow contestant (and Mel's nemesis) Olivia Puckett is determined to get Mel disqualified, and Mel's DA boyfriend is the first to catch on that Mel may be one of the intended targets of the killer on the loose. Susan Boyce does a credible job of bringing McKinlay's creation to life. Most of the characters were out of central casting, including the boisterous deLaura brothers and the egomaniacal chefs, but others, such as Mel's high school student intern, a hulking boy who cooks like a dream and has marketing chops to boot, add an unexpected edge. Boyce has a limited vocal range, but the cast isn't large enough to pose a problem.
VERDICT An appealing series entry for cozy fans. Now if it just came with cupcakes.

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