Book Review: Cupcakes and Conspiracies

As anyone who follows me on Twitter might already know, I recently purchased a Kindle e-reader! I have an Amazon Prime account, so I decided to choose my inaugural e-book from the ample library available to Prime members at no extra cost.

Having just finished a surprisingly heavy fantasy novel, I was in the mood for something light and fluffy, the sort of book that wouldn’t give me an emotional reading hangover. Cozy mysteries – or, cozies, for short – are my favorite type of light and fluffy books!

Filtering through the Prime selections, I chose a cozy at random: Cupcakes and Conspiracies, by Katherine Hayton.

If you guessed that this cozy is about some baked goods gone afoul, you’d be correct. The book is about a middle-aged divorcee who heads back to her small New Zealand hometown to help her sister maintain their financially struggling family bakery after their father’s death. When someone attempts to murder their creditor with a peanut-laced cupcake, sisters Holly and Crystal must act fast to clear their names and find the real culprit.

The protagonist, Holly, serves as the prodigal child in this story. We watch her lick her wounds after a divorce and leave her high-powered position in the big city to come back to her roots at a bakery in a small town. She not only helps to solve the mystery, but along the way she also grows as a person and learns to put aside her prejudices. Two of my favorite quotes from this book regarded Holly’s character growth as the prodigal child:

“It felt odd to stand in the laundry — everything familiar, everything changed.”

“Holly understood she was here because it was easier than facing her demons”

Katherine Hayton, Cupcakes and Conspiracies

Overall, I absolutely loved this sweet treat of a novel. It was excellently paced, which is crucial for a mystery, and I enjoyed the escapism it provided. The small town in which it is set was very quaint, the sort of place where everyone knows everyone.

Another thing many readers will love is that this book is very clean. I would feel comfortable with my child reading this, as it has no cursing, no sex, and no graphic violence. This cozy is definitely suitable for all ages.

Aside from some mildly annoying typos, the only critique I have is that a few loose ends were not tied up at the end of the book. There was a secondary crime committed that was never fully explained.

Overall, I highly recommend this cozy mystery!


5/5 stars!

Safe from the following content: violence, sexual violence, language, sex, infertility, pregnancy/childbirth. mental illness, eating disorders

Contains the following topics: alcoholism sub-plot (though not graphic), brief mention of drugs, grief/loss sub-plot, divorce sub-plot


  1. Sounds fun! I’ve been reading a WIP novel for a blog friend and it’s pretty tight, but it’s a heavy read. I was thinking a treat read – my version of a cozy, I guess! – would be in order next. There’s a couple new editions to the Deadwood series I thought I’d check out, but this sounds fun!

    Liked by 1 person

    • That’s so awesome that you are reading a WIP for a blog friend!! The fantasy novel I finished before this cozy was pretty heavy. It gave me quite the emotional book hangover. I sometimes just need something light and fluffy! I haven’t read Deadwood – do you like it?

      Liked by 1 person

      • Nono, although those types of books are usually fun brain candy, too. The Deadwood books are kind of like the Stephanie Plum mysteries by Janet Evanovich. Hapless crime solvers. Except in these books, instead of a dumb luck bail bonds person, we have a bored, underemployed black sheep of a lead character.
        They are both fun-ish, but I think both series went on too long.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. You’re such a good reviewer! I didn’t realise stories could be written sans violence, sex, and/or foul language 😂 I might give it a try sometime. It does sound like an interesting, easy-to-read book from the way you’ve described it.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you! This book was definitely an easy-to-read delight, which honestly, is sometimes what I’m in the mood for mentally. I don’t know about you, but when my mental health struggles are getting the best of me, sometimes I just want some mental candy, as it were.

      Also, I have mixed feelings on stories without ANY violence, sex, or foul language. On the one hand, books like the one I reviewed here are great in the sense that I feel happy letting Jordan hear me read it aloud. On the other hand, it just seems so unrealistic to have absolutely no adult content of any sort even hinted at.

      Liked by 1 person

      • You do need that easy to read material from time to time. You can’t stay deep all the time or your brain will starve of oxygen.

        No, I don”t think you can get away with an adult story that doesn’t possess anything remotely adult. That’s what makes them adult stories, surely?

        Liked by 1 person

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