(written as part of Jen Forbus' Moonlighting for Murder blog tour. Check it out!)
This is the true story of six strangers, picked to live in a house, to find out what happens when people--
Wait a minute, that's not right.
Ladies and gentlemen: the story you are about to hear is true. Only the names have been changed to protect the--
Hang on, bear with me. It's been a long day and all I really want to do right now is curl up in a comfy chair with a good book and a giant cupcake.
Oh that's right! That's what I was going to talk about! Murder!
Here's the thing: I could get on my little electronic soapbox here and tell you all about how awesome Jenn McKinlay's Fairy Tale Bakery series is, but let's face it, I'm just some random dude whose book-review blog you stumbled across while trying to avoid processing a travel reimbursement. I feel you. It's Friday. So, while I've already reviewed both books in depth earlier -- Sprinkle with Murder and Buttercream Bump-Off, let me take only another thirty seconds of your time, then you can go watch awesome videos on YouTube and elsewhere. (Trust me: I feel you on those travel reimbursements.)
So here's the scoop on this series: IT'S AWESOME.
Three reasons why!
1. It's character-driven and complicated.
Hey, you know what would be better than just having bakers stumble across corpses every now and then, get them suspected of the crimes and then try to solve it themselves? If you gave them messy personal lives on top of that.
Mel, Angie and Tate are great, memorable characters in and of themselves, but McKinlay's really created something special by combining them and hitting FRAPPE. Make them stubborn and a little broken and a little more stubborn and kind of crazy -- in other words, realistic.
Oh, and the first book's about Tate's fiancee getting murdered. Gutsy!
2. McKinlay writes really bomber physical comedy.
Yeah, I know it's old-fashioned, but I really love those classic old screwball comedies from the 40s and 50s (Duck Soup, anyone?) but it's really damn hard to get that kind of energy down on the page and make that scene come alive in the same way. There's a frankly *genius* scene in Buttercream Bump-Off where Mel and her new assistant are trying to outwit the hilariously unhinged Olivia, and I'm not going to spoil it for you, but it involves seltzer and sliding under things and screeching and -- and it's all just so VIVID. Sometimes I pull that book down off the shelf and just reread that one section.
The beginning of the third book features something similar (including Olivia, who is possibly my favorite villain ever at this point) and jumping and throwing and rolling ...and screeching.
So sue me, I'm a girl what knows her ticklespots.
3. The recipes make me really, really want to make cupcakes.
They all sound good. Holy tar. I don't bake a ton, but I might have to start. Mojito cupcakes. Tinkerbells (lemon cupcakes with raspberry buttercream frosting, rolled in pink sugar). Orange Dreamsicle cupcakes. White chocolate cupcakes with raspberry frosting.
Happy Friday, y'all...