Road Trip Reads Giveaway (Michigan): Murder Is a Piece of Cake by Valerie Burns

Posted June 29, 2023 by meezcarrie in cozy mystery, giveaway, mystery/suspense, Road Trip Reads Giveaway 2023, V.M. Burns / 52 Comments

today’s book: Murder Is a Piece of Cake by Valerie Burns

We are moving right along on our summer-long Road Trip Reads Giveaway where we will be visiting all 50 states on the pages of recently released books. Because road trips are always better with friends – and books – right? So grab your fave snacks, a cold soda or bottled water, an upbeat playlist and let’s head back up north!

today’s stop: Michigan


Baker Street Mysteries #2
GENRE: Cozy Mystery (Clean)
PUBLISHER: Kensington
RELEASE DATE: June 27, 2023
PAGES: 258

Perfect for readers craving the cozies of Joanne Fluke and Ellery Adams, the acclaimed Agatha award-nominated author returns to her charming small-town culinary cozy series featuring a social media expert turned bakery owner and sleuth.

“Snappy dialogue, a well-drawn supporting cast and an irresistible canine companion all add delicious flavor. Gulp this book down or savor it, but consuming it will guarantee a sustained sugar high.” —New York Times Book Review on Two Parts Sugar, One Part Murder

With small town New Bison’s Spring Festival just around the corner, the pressure is on Maddy to continue her late great-aunt Octavia’s legacy. That means scoring the top prize and transforming Baby Cakes into Southwest Michigan’s must-visit bakery, even though her inexperience in the kitchen brings nightmares of humiliating tagged photos and scathing reviews.

There’s another reason for lost beauty sleep. A second bakery is opening in town under the ownership of CJ Davenport, a shrewd investor with a reputation for sabotaging anyone who gets in his way. And savvy, flashy Maddy tops his list. It’s a sticky spot to be in—more so when Davenport turns up dead with a Baby Cakes’s knife stuck in his back.

Maddy’s whole life just went from #thriving to barely surviving. Now, supported by the crafty Baker Street Irregulars and her new boyfriend, she must find the courage to face off against a killer who could very well get her name trending for the first and last time . . .


Other Books In This Series

When last we left Maddy, Baby, and the folks of New Bison, Michigan, I said that although one murder was solved, two deaths remained mysterious and I wasn’t sure who to trust in the town or even in Maddy’s inner circle. Well after reading Murder is a Piece of Cake, I’m no longer unsure of who to trust (many characters confirmed my initial good opinion of them) but I’m definitely unsure about who NOT to trust. Some people I thought were safe in book one definitely seem to be hiding some things in book two… and I’m pretty sure at least one of those people is a murderer. I love this story arc that connects the whole series, and I can’t wait to see how it all plays out in future books!

Maddy is once again an absolutely lovable character, as is her 250-pound English Mastiff – Baby. They’re actually a lot alike, though I wouldn’t necessarily tell this to either of them lol. Both characters have big hearts and lots of love to give. They will fiercely protect the ones they love, and they both have instincts that people need to pay more attention to. And… they both appreciate good food that other people fix haha. (Though, kudos to Maddy, who is getting her bake on more in this book.) We also get to know April and Leroy’s backstories more in Murder is a Piece of Cake, and of course I still adore Maddy’s swoony new veterinarian boyfriend Michael and his grandmother Hannah who is a sassy spitfire, despite battling dementia.

There’s a lot of mystery swirling around New Bison in this book, and I have a strong feeling that even more layers will come to light in book three. The initial victim is decidedly unlikable, but the suspects are a who’s-who list of my fave characters. Needless to say, Maddy is personally invested in this case, and so was I. It’s a lot more complex than it first appears to be, and I enjoyed piecing clues together as more elements were revealed. The small town/bakery/influencer vibes complement the mystery-solving aspects of the story, and I really admire how the author develops the characters in step with the sleuthing. Also, if I’m ever in danger, I want a dog like Baby in my corner. #doggoals

Bottom Line: Murder is a Piece of Cake by Valerie Burns is fun and entertaining, with mouthwatering food and heart-racing mystery. Bodies and suspects pile up along with a hearty dose of small town scandal and Trooper Bob grumpiness as Maddy & her Baker Street Irregulars tackle another investigation in New Bison. Wonderful characters, lots of intriguing layers, and some swoony (but not overdone) romance mean you’re in for a delightful read from cover to cover.

(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 / loved it!

KissingBooks Level: 3 / may forget to breathe on occasion

Reviewer’s Note: Readers of this blog may want to be aware that there are a couple instances of very mild language in this book, as well as the occasional use of ‘God’ as an exclamation.

affiliate links used

Valerie (V. M.) Burns is an Agatha, Anthony, Edgar, and Next Generation Award Finalist.
She is the author of the Mystery Bookshop, Dog Club, RJ Franklin, Baker Street Mystery,
and Bailey the Bloodhound Mystery series. Valerie is a member of Crime Writers of Color,
Sisters in Crime, Mystery Writers of America, Dog Writers of America, Thriller Writers
International, and The Crime Writers Association. Valerie has a Bachelor’s Degree from
Northwestern University, a Master’s Degree in Business from the University of Notre Dame,
and a Master of Fine Arts from Seton Hill University. In addition to writing, Valerie works as
a manager at a call center, and is also a mentor in the Writing Popular Fiction MFA Program
at Seton Hill University in Greensburg, PA. Born and raised in northwest Indiana, Valerie
now lives in Northern Georgia with her two poodles. Follow Valerie (V. M.) Burns at

Valerie Burns is offering a $20 Gift Card to one of my readers! (Void where prohibited by law or logistics.) This giveaway is subject to Reading Is My SuperPower’s giveaway policies which can be found here. Enter via the Rafflecopter form below.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

What about you? What makes you want to read Murder is a Piece of Cake by Valerie Burns? Have you ever visited Michigan?

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52 responses to “Road Trip Reads Giveaway (Michigan): Murder Is a Piece of Cake by Valerie Burns

  1. Amy Donahue

    I love cozies and cake so this sounds perfect for me 😉 I have been to Michigan once.

  2. Marisela Zuniga

    I just love reading mysteries and this one sounds good. I’ve never been to Michigan

  3. Sandy Avery

    I haven’t read this series but it sounds like a lot of fun!

    I’m a Michigan native, lots of beautiful areas to visit in the state.

    • Emily Catan

      I always love Ms. Burns’ cozy mysteries. I have her Baker Street Mysteries Book # 1 – Two Parts Sugar One Part Murder, and I would love to read Book # 2 of this series – Murder Is A Piece Of Cake! I haven’t been to Michigan but learned about it during my high school geography class. I would love to see its beautiful fall foliage.

  4. Patty

    I was born and raised in MI, and would love to visit it again in the pages of this book!

  5. Jeanna Massman

    I have driven through Michigan but we didn’t stop to see many of the tourist attractions.

  6. Laura DeLaRosa

    I’ve never been to Michigan. The closest I’ve ever been is watching “Somewhere in Time” starring Christopher Reeve and Jane Seymour.

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