May 31, 2022

Strawberried Alive by Jenn McKinlay

Strawberried Alive by Jenn McKinlayStrawberried Alive by Jenn McKinlay
Series: Cupcake Bakery Mystery #14
Published by Berkley on May 3, 2022
Genres: Mystery
Pages: 287
Format: Paperback
Goodreads
four-half-stars
Also by this author: Pumpkin Spice Peril, For Batter or Worse
Also in this series: Pumpkin Spice Peril, For Batter or Worse

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.

About Strawberried Alive

Things start out innocently enough – Mel’s working late on a cupcake order, Angie and Tate are at home with their newborn, Mel’s husband is waiting for her at home, and former employee Oz is upstairs in his apartment. 

Then Mel goes out the back door and a figure in black shoots at her.

A cascade of fear and resentment starts with other business owners, many of whom are convinced the bakery is a disaster magnet. Then another owner is shot. And some owners are calling for the bakery to be closed. And it’s obvious that some people resent the bakery’s success. Tempers flare. And another owner is attacked.

My thoughts about Srawberried Alive

In long-running series, I’ve often wondered if the people around the amateur sleuth ever get suspicious, nervous, or angry. This answers that question in a realistic way.

The mystery was twisty and satisfying. And as usual, the cupcake descriptions were luscious sounding. Recipes included.

This gives you:

🧁Cozy mystery

🧁Bakery setting with lots of cupcake descriptions

🧁Baking besties

🧁Great descriptions of interfering but loving families

🧁Adorable baby and pets

🧁Small biz community

🧁Humor, especially from secondary characters

🧁Strong ties with friends/found family

In closing

Even though Strawberried Alive is the 14th entry in the cozy culinary Cupcake Bakery series, Jenn McKinlay provides enough backstory that it’s a great entry point for new readers but not so much that longtime fans are bored.

My thanks to Berkley for the ARC!

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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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