Reviewer: Robyn Roberts
Title: Murder Has a Sweet Tooth - 5th in the Cooking Class Mystery series
Author: Miranda Bliss
Publisher: Berkley Prime Crime
Release Date: December 2009
Genre/Sub-genre: Cozy Mystery
Year/Setting: Present Day, Virginia
Overall Rating: 4.75
Sexual Content Rating: None
Language (Profanity/Slang) Content Rating: Mild
Violent Content Rating: Minimal
Miranda's Website/Blog: berkleysignetmysteries.com/author324
Annie Capshaw is engaged to the transplant from Scotland, Jim MacDonald. He owns Bellywasher’s bar and grill and is equally in love with Annie. While Annie might be an amateur detective, Jim is enjoying keeping a big secret from her. He’s having his house renovated as a wedding gift for Annie. Jim’s cousin, and best friend, Alex Bannerman has come all the way from Scotland to be in the wedding. While in the States, he’s helping Jim by doing the renovations on the house—and taunting Annie with his knowledge of the changes to the house.
Annie has her hands full trying to prepare for her simple wedding. The biggest hurdle in her wedding plans is her best friend, Eve. It seems that Eve thinks this second marriage should be even more lavish than the first one was. When all Annie wants is a simple and tasteful wedding that is just family and friends.
In the midst of wedding plans going awry, Jim & Annie get a call from Alex. He’s in jail, having been arrested in connection with a murder. Seems the lady he met at a local bar is now dead and Alex doesn’t remember anything. He woke up in the alley with the bloody murder weapon in his hands.
Even though Annie is told to keep out of official police business, she can’t help herself. She sees Alex as a brother and won’t rest until the real killer is found and behind bars. Annie finds out that the victim was living the perfect suburban wife and mother life that she has always dreamed of having for herself. Can she insinuate her way into the soccer mom crowd and discover who the real murderer is?
A delightful read that puts a bit of humor into a heavier situation. Miranda Bliss knows how to keep the reader involved in the story and uses humor to her advantage. She takes moments that would become too dark and heavy for a cozy mystery and lightens them with some humor. I found Annie’s attempt to make it in a soccer mom world to be a little cathartic for my own life. I think many women have these same dreams or fantasies of what that ‘perfect’ life could be. When that fantasy is broken up by a murder, it does make you take stock and realize reality isn’t so bad, either.
While Annie is the star of the story, the secondary characters are well developed and really make the story exceptional. Without strong supporting characters, the book would have been flat. The other moms and their husbands keep everything lively and as several ‘accidents’ happen to Annie, I was on the edge of my seat trying to figure out which new friend might be trying to kill her next.
As a bonus, there are several recipes included at the back of the book. I’ve already added some into my recipe box and will be trying out some of these appetizers with my friends in the near future.
If you like a really good mystery that isn’t dark and heavy, then Murder Has a Sweet Tooth is the perfect book for you.
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