Murder Takes the Cake finds Daphne Martin caught up in a whodunit regarding the murder of one of her clients for her new cake baking business. As Daphne investigates with the help of the newspaper editor (a once and current love interest), she uncovers more secrets than she expected—her own mother’s past may hold the key to figuring out who killed the town’s notorious gossip.
Being that Daphne is a baker, it makes sense that Murder Takes the Cake is full of baking scenes, but it’s a little too full. Now I’m someone who loves baking as well, but even I felt Gayle Trent went a little overboard with some the precise descriptions of cake decorating. Here’s an example: “I put a cake icing tip into a sixteen-inch featherweight decorator bag and added a generous amount of thin-consistency icing.” That is the opening sentence of the third paragraph of baking and decorating description. Nowhere in these three paragraphs does the plot move forward.
Now onto that plot. The murder mystery was good. I liked how Daphne slowly put the pieces together with a number of red herring stumbles, but the subplot with her mother didn’t do much for me. After Daphne discovers her mother had an affair, Daphne is all sorts of upset. She laments about the affair constantly and frequently calls her uncle (on her father’s side) to find out more. It seems to be a major factor in both the plot and Daphne’s life; then it’s just over. Daphne finds out that the affair has nothing to do with the murder, so the whole thing is just dropped. Just a little more fine-tuning and Murder Takes the Cake actually could take the cake.
Review copy provided by the publisher, Gallery Books.
I made one the cakes from this book! Read about it here.