Book Review (and a Giveaway!): Cake and Punishment by Maymee Bell

Posted April 30, 2018 by meezcarrie in contemporary, cozy mystery, giveaway, Kentucky, Maymee Bell, mystery/suspense, Tonya Kappes / 8 Comments

about the book

SERIES: A Southern Cake Baker Mystery #1
GENRE: Southern Cozy Mystery
PUBLISHER: Crooked Lane
RELEASE DATE: May 8, 2018
PAGES: 257

In the first of a delectable new Southern-set baking cozy series, Sophia Cummings, pastry chef extraordinaire, must craft the perfect cake for an old friend’s wedding while sifting through the suspects in a murder.

Bucolic Rumford, Kentucky has glowing fields of bluegrass, a fine selection of bourbons, and now a professional pastry chef. Broken-hearted Sophia Cummings has come home from New York City. She’s not there a minute before she’s charmed into making her high school friend Charlotte’s wedding cake. The kitchen at the Rumford Country Club seems perfect until Chef Emile’s body is discovered, sprawled near the stove, a cast iron skillet on the floor close by.

With one look at the shiny, new frying pan, Sophia knows it’s not Emile’s. She offers her knowledge to Sheriff Carter and her talents to Evelyn, the manager, who needs an interim chef. The mood in the country club is grim: Emile’s peppery personality had burned members and staff alike. Sophia wonders which one of them burned him?

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What a fun cozy mystery with a southern drawl! A Kentucky drawl, to be precise, so you know I love it. Perfect for the armchair sleuth with a sweet tooth, this new series is off to a great start!

Sophia is a little bit ‘Sweet Home Alabama’, returning home to small town Kentucky from her high-profile job as a pastry chef for an elite restaurant in Manhattan after she catches her chef boyfriend cheating on her with the hostess. Her group of long-time friends, not to mention her colorful mother, are the perfect counterparts to Sophia – not to mention the swoony sheriff Carter with the slow drawl who is smitten with Sophia from the get-go. Loved the romance angle to this story! (I’m sure none of you are surprised lol) It’s just so tender while at the same time completely knee-weakening.

The mystery is very well-plotted and is the perfect blend of amateur sleuthing and consulting with the swoony sheriff. I thought I had it figured out a couple of times, only to discover that I didn’t. By the end, I knew who the murderer was before Sophia did – or at least I thought I did – but the story itself is so enjoyable that it really didn’t matter.

Bottom Line: Nobody does small town Kentucky quite like Maymee Bell and her alter ego, Tonya Kappes. Add in a delightful cast of quirky and endearing characters, one swoony sheriff, delectable baked goods, and an intriguing cozy mystery with a whole menu of suspects. Stir things up a bit with a no-good ex. Blend in the perfect amount of nostalgia, wit, and some gorgeous Kentucky scenery and Voila! A delicious first book in what proves to be a wonderful new series!

(I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book which I received from the publisher. All views expressed are only my honest opinion.)

My Rating: 4 stars / Love it!

KissingBook Level: 3 / May forget to breathe on occasion

Reviewer’s Note: Readers may want to be aware that there is some occasional profanity scattered throughout this novel.

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about the author

Maymee Bell is the pen name of USA Today Bestselling author Tonya Kappes. She lives in Kentucky with her family and her two schnauzers. She likes strong coffee, slow-country days, and fresh-baked cookies – but she like telling stores best of all. This is her first SOUTHERN BAKER MYSTERY.

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This giveaway is hosted by Great Escapes & Tonya Kappes, not RimSP.
Follow along with the tour here.

What about you? What’s your favorite pastry/cake? Do you prefer to bake it yourself or get it from someone else?

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8 responses to “Book Review (and a Giveaway!): Cake and Punishment by Maymee Bell

  1. Michelle Connell

    This sounds like a deliciuos read. I like too many kinds of cake to pick a favorite but one is carrot cake w the cream cheese frosting and from a bakery.

  2. Kay Garrett

    I’m definitely a bake my own. I love my time in the kitchen. Hubby loves it too so always fun for us both to get in there working together. My favorite cake will always be my Mom’s Hungarian Coffee Cake which by today’s standards would be a yummy, gooey stick bun cake with pecans all made from scratch. It was always the cake I requested as my birthday cake. I still make it but Mom’s made with a Mom’s love was always better. 🙂

    Thanks for the review and for being part of the book tour. I’d love the opportunity to read the book which is on my TBR list.

  3. Janet Estridge

    My favorite cake is my Grandmother’s chocolate cake with 13 layers and home-made chocolate frosting. Yes, I have the recipe and No, I’m not going to make it.

  4. Winnie Thomas

    I love most any kind of cake, and I’ve given up baking them, because I tend to eat too much of them. Some of my favorites are cheesecake, chocolate, Jello poke cake, my sister’s buttermilk cake or her chocolate cake.

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