When I reviewed the first installment in this series, I didn't like it. I think I felt the same with the second installment as well, but somewhere along the line, something happened and now this has become one of my favorite series.
I didn't think it would last to thirteen (the fourteenth will be released in the spring of 2022) but with each installment it's gotten better.
In this installment, Melanie "Mel" Cooper is days away from marrying Joe DeLaura and her best friend/soon to be sister in law/ co-owner of Fairy Tale Cupcakes, Angie Harper is about ready to give birth to her first child. You can imagine what's going to happen there.
Anyway, Mel has some last minute things to take care of at the resort where there reception is going to be held at, and former FTC employee Oz Ruiz is in charge of making the cupcakes for the reception.
While there, he gets into a very public argument with Chef Miles Gallway and after the chef winds up dead, Oz will eventually become the main suspect since he was over the body.
When Oz is temporarily suspended from the resort, he comes back to FTC for a short while to help train new employee, Madison Jacobson. Mel had secretly wanted Oz to come back to the shop, but knew that he wanted to have his own kitchen and he was being considered to have his own cooking show (something he didn't want).
As the wedding gets closer, Mel has been investigating and when one of her main suspects chases her through the resort and campus, she's afraid that she'll never get married and if she does, she's going to be all battered and bruised for her big day.
Relatively speaking, the book itself is pretty short and McKinlay offers up a nice selection of suspects. Although I was wrong in fingering who the murderer was. I've probably had a 30-70 ratio in actually figuring out who previous killers have been, but this one was kind of a head scratcher.
In this installment, the characters seem to be much more relaxed (along with the writing) so it's easy to go with the flow of the story.
I think in the previous installment, McKinlay introduced us to the DeLaura brothers and they themselves could have their own series, with Ray as the main character. She really makes these characters stand out.
Per usual, the book has recipes for what I would call complicated cupcakes, but they seem so decadent!