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!
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