Halloween Cupcake Murder

Kensington. Aug. 2023. 320p. ISBN 9781496740267. $27. M
Don’t touch that cupcake—at least, not until Halloween. Amateur sleuths investigate when cupcakes become the weapon of choice in this collection of cozy novellas. In Carlene O’Connor’s “Halloween Cupcake Murder,” Tara’s first Halloween in Galway, Ireland, involves a dead shop owner whose face is smeared with a cupcake and a group calling themselves the Samhain Six, who ask her to join them. April Claus brings a new holiday and trouble to Santaland in Liz Ireland’s “Mrs. Claus and the Candy Corn Caper,” set during a candy corn–themed Halloween bake-off. A stolen shipment of the candy and the murder of a baker elf keep Mrs. Claus busy. In “A Triple Layer Halloween Murder” by Carol J. Perry, Lee Barrett, program director for WICH-TV in Salem, MA, rescues a cat up a tree but has no idea that the cat, Cupcake, belongs to a rich bakery owner who has disappeared. Lee uses her new skills in scrying to investigate the case.
VERDICT The three cozy writers successfully exploit the deadly-cupcake theme in entertaining mysteries that will appeal to readers looking for a holiday treat.
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