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Friday, August 24, 2012

Red Velvet Revenge by Jenn McKinlay

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Sandra Murphy

Check out details on how to win a copy of this book at the end of this review.

Mel and Angie from Fairy Tale Cupcakes are back again. In this newest adventure, business is at a crawl due to the hot weather—nobody can drag themselves out into the heat, even for cupcakes. As they consider closing for a couple of weeks to enjoy a vacation of their own, Oz, the youngest employee, has a surprise. He’s inherited a van of sorts and wants to turn it into a cupcake delivery truck.

Unfortunately, on their first test drive, it dies a terrible death right in the middle of traffic. Angie’s brother Sal comes to the rescue of the truck and Slim and Tammy Hazard, of Juniper Pass rodeo fame, rescue Mel, Angie, Oz and Marty. Slim’s looking for a way to bring new folks to the rodeo and to appeal to a wider audience. Marty convinces him cupcakes are just the thing to go with barbeque.

Tate, the silent but wealthy business partner, pays for extensive renovations to the van and Sal turns it into a real food truck. Two weeks and thousands of cupcakes later, the bakery is on the road to the rodeo.

Image source: Berkley

Sales are a little slow at first but some creative marketing on Mel’s part draws the crowds (see the recipe for French Toast Cupcakes with bacon). A side bet with the barbeque boys in the next booth adds some humor.

During the opening parade, Slim is shot while riding in an open convertible with Tammy by his side. Luckily, he’d leaned back to look at the crowd as the shot was fired and suffered only a shoulder wound. Was it a wild shot or is somebody out to kill the town’s benefactor?

One of Slim’s daughters is a barrel racer; the other is staging (staging being the keyword) an anti-cruelty protest at the gates. Is Tate really attracted to Lily the rider? She did teach him to lasso and two-step. And will Shelby, the wannabe actress/activist, carry Oz away? Even Marty gets a love interest in the form of Ms. Delia, proprietor of the hotel next door to the Last Chance Saloon.

Mel has a run-in, literally, with the rodeo’s star, Ty Stokes. He demands a dozen cupcakes as an apology. Too bad that Mel finds his bloody body when she tries to deliver the cupcakes.

In addition to a good mystery, the characters are likeable, believable and people you’d like to know, especially since they bake wonderful treats. Sub-plots include a run away, misunderstood bull who loves sweets, Angie’s angst about her rock star boyfriend Roach, the mystery of who unplugged the freezers and thawed all the frozen cupcakes and a nice visit to the local diner which results in Mel trading cupcake recipes for secrets for a great pie.

This is the fourth book in the series. The characters and relationships are developing nicely. Add this to your summer reading list. And when the weather cools, try out some of the recipes.

Previous books in the series are Sprinkle with Murder, Buttercream Bump Off, and Death by the DozenGoing, Going, Ganache.

To enter to win a copy of Red Velvet Revenge, simply email KRL at life@kingsriverlife[dot]com by replacing the [dot] with a period, and with the subject line “Velvet”, or comment on this article. A winner will be chosen September 1, 2012. U.S. residents only.

Sandra Murphy lives in the shadow of the arch, in the land of blues, booze and shoes—St Louis, Missouri. While writing magazine articles to support her mystery book habit, she secretly polishes two mystery books of her own, hoping, someday, they will see the light of Barnes and Noble. You can also find several of Sandra's short stories on UnTreed Reads including her new one Bananas Foster.


  1. I love Jenn's book! I can't wait to read this one.

  2. I love this series. I just finished ”Death by the Dozen.” Looking forward to the latest adventure. Thanks for the giveaway! Fingers crossed :)


  3. We have a winner thanks for entering
    Lorie Ham, KRL Publisher