Thursday, August 3, 2017

review: sprinkle with murder by jenn mckinlay

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Best friends since their youth, Melanie, Angie, and Tate own a cupcake shop in Scottsdale. The trio is tight meeting up regularly for movie night although there is a little bit of strain lately because Tate is marrying a woman Melanie and Angie do not like. Even so, Melanie hesitantly agrees to the bride’s outrageous demand that her wedding cupcake flavors be exclusive to the wedding. But there will be no wedding. When Melanie goes to meet with Christie about the cupcakes, she discovers Christie’s body and becomes the prime suspect. Melanie could leave the matter to the police (her uncle is on the force after all), but she’s determined to find the killer and clear her name.

Jenn McKinlay brings Scottsdale and the rest of the metro area to life with her descriptions and characterizations (particularly the older women who support Melanie because she is “from South Scottsdale”)—I kept thinking I could drive right over to Fairy Tale Cupcakes. Some of the story seems a little far-fetched—surprisingly, not Melanie solving the murder; instead it’s the extent of the rivalry between Melanie and another bakery owner. The frequent movie quotes between Melanie, Angie, and Tate also feels a little off after the murder of Tate’s fiancĂ©e. Despite those flaws, Sprinkle with Murder is an entertaining cozy with a mystery that comes together with just the right pacing.

About the audiobook: Sprinkle with Murder is read by Susan Boyce, whose reading unfortunately sometimes took me out of the story. While her narration was generally great, Boyce’s tone during pieces of dialogue didn’t always match what the dialogue tag indicated. For example, “Hi Joe,” Angie said with a glare that could have melted ice. “Did Tony and Sal send you?” has Angie sounding fairly nonchalant for the “hi Joe” portion. Later the owner of the jewelry store by the bakery calls to complain about flyers calling Melanie a murder being posted on his windows and Boyce focuses so much on trying get the owner’s described faint Indian accent that the tone is not even close to the annoyed condescension McKinlay indicates.

Also, Boyce has characters native to Arizona using the British pronunciation of “aunt,” which is unusual in the United States. The audio version of Sprinkle with Murder was published November 2016 by Dreamscape Media. It runs 6.5 hours. Missing from the audiobook are the recipes apparently included in the print version.
Review copy provided by Audiobook Jukebox.

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