May 8, 2020

Review: Pumpkin Spice Peril

Review: Pumpkin Spice PerilPumpkin Spice Peril by Jenn McKinlay
Series: Cupcake Bakery Mystery #12
Published by Berkley on April 28, 2020
Genres: Mystery
Pages: 268
Format: Paperback
Goodreads
three-half-stars

I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Cozy mysteries are a go to comfort genre for me. Quaint settings with quirky characters where it’s all about the investigating and not about the gruesomeness of murder and death. No unreliable narrators here.

In Pumpkin Spice Peril, the twelfth installment of Jenn McKinlay’s Cupcake Bakery cozy mystery series, Mel experiences some big life changes. I love when authors of longtime series allow their characters to change and grow even though I’m sure there must be pressure to not fix what isn’t broken.

Mel is coping or trying to cope gracefully with a couple of big changes to her life when an artist friend dies. Investigating the death because, even after being warned off, Mel can’t stop asking questions, leads to some unwelcome revelations about the people in her social circle.

My thoughts about Pumpkin Spice Peril


I thought it was interesting that the murder didn’t happen until midway through the book. Usually in cozy mysteries, the body turns up in the first  chapter or so. I enjoyed the change in pacing. Just like I enjoy characters growing, I like seeing authors develop and refine their writing.

As always, mentions of cupcakes are delicious and plentiful, including several recipes.

This book was perfect comfort reading.

Other books

sprinkle with murder
Sprinkle with Murder by Jenn McKinlay
and then there were crumbs
And Then There Were Crumbs by Eve Calder
the cracked spine
The Cracked Spine by Paige Shelton

Sprinkle with Murder is the first book in the Cupcake Bakery mystery series.

Jenn McKinlay also writes two other cozy mystery series – the Library Lovers and the London Hat Shop mysteries.

If you enjoy baking with your cozy mystery, try Eve Calder’s Cookie House series. And Then There Were Crumbs is the first book in the series. I recently reviewed Sugar and Vice, the second book in the series.

If you’d prefer a book store setting, try Paige Shelton’s Scottish Book Shop series. The Cracked Spine starts off the series. I recently reviewed The Stolen Letter, the fifth book in the series.

Share your thoughts

Tell me what you think about Pumpkin Spice Peril or the Cupckake Bakery Mystery series in the comment box below.

In conclusion

Thanks to NetGalley and Berkley for the DRC.

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About Jenn McKinlay

I wrote several mysteries. I submitted to agents and publishers. No one loved the whole package. They loved my characters and hated my plot or vice versa. It was agony. Then a lone voice, an agent, decided she thought I was a genius (always a good sign).

She signed me and now I had a buddy to suffer the rejection with me. It still hurt. We kept trying. It went on for two years. And then we sold! In 2008, I agreed to write a decoupage mystery series, then I submitted an idea for a cupcake bakery mystery series and it sold. Sadly, my original agent left to pursue new and different dreams of her own. I stayed with my agency, liking her partner very much. I knew it was a good match when I submitted an idea for a library lover’s series and my new agent loved it and sold it.

You’d think I’d rest now. You know, take a chill pill and just enjoy the ride. Yeah, I’m not built that way. After so many years of hours hunched over my keyboard, banging out stories, years spent checking my mail box and my email inbox for good news, I don’t think I’ll rest until I really feel like I’ve achieved what I set out to do. And so, I agreed to write the bargain hunters series and then, I sold another idea for a mystery series set in London, which is my fifth mystery series.

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