|By Gayle Trent|
Murder Takes the Cake is the first book in Gayle Trent's Daphne Martin Cake Mystery series. Daphne has recently returned to her childhood home in a small Virginia town. She's recently divorced from an abusive husband who is serving prison time for trying to shoot her. Her fresh start in life is opening her own cake decorating business, Daphne's Delectable Cakes. Unfortunately for Daphne, she discovers one of her first clients dead when she delivers her cake order. The deceased happens to be a spiteful busybody who kept a journal full of the town's secrets. When it's revealed that the victim was poisoned, fingers point to Daphne and her cakes. Soon she's forced to solve the mystery in order to save herself and her business.
I've decided that cozy mystery is my new genre for 2011, and Murder Takes the Cake is the first one that I've read (unless you count the Sookie Stackhouse books). Because I'm new to cozies, I can't compare this book to others. But, I can say that I really enjoyed it! The mystery itself was a fairly simple one, so in my opinion the book's strength came from the intersting characters and their interwoven relationships. The author did a great job making the small town characters' quirky personalities pop off the page. I loved Daphne, and I could really connect with her. There was just the barest hint of romance between Daphne and her long lost boyfriend Ben who helps her solve the mystery. The only thing that slowed the story down somewhat was the detailed descriptions of Daphne's cake decorating. Some of it I enjoyed learning about, but it did take up a big chunk of the story.
Murder Takes the Cake is a quick and entertaining read fans of cozy mysteries and even chick lit would enjoy. This book was first published in 2008. The copy I reviewed is the March 2011 trade paperback edition. Up next in the Daphne Martin Cake Mystery series: Killer Sweet Tooth.