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Murder Takes The Cake Paperback – September 30, 2008


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 260 pages
  • Publisher: Bell Bridge Books (September 30, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0980245362
  • ISBN-13: 978-0980245363
  • Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 5.5 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (150 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,489,367 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

This one starts out like classic crime fiction with the discovery of a corpse and the possibility that a homicide has taken place. The narrator is a woman who is struggling to survive with a home-based cake baking business. The writer does a decent job of depicting some rather ordinary folk. It doesn't sizzle but it cooks nicely at a low heat. This has potential. -- Amazon Top Reviewer

When Daphne Martin, owner of Daphne's Delectable Cakes, finds cranky Yodel Watson dead on Watson's parlor sofa, Daphne knows she's stumbled on the ingredients for murder. Then she receives an odd call from Mrs. Watson's daughter, Annabelle, telling her that Yodel Watson kept a secret diary filled with gossip about most of the residents in her small Virginia town. The journal could hold clues to the circumstances of her death, so Annabelle asks Daphne to retrieve it. Upon reading the diary, Daphne is horrified to find a scandalous tidbit about her own mother and other neighborhood secrets best left buried. It turns out that practically everybody in town had reason to want Yodel Watson dead: the local pet store proprietor and his mistress, the bag boy at the grocery store, the town eccentric, and even Daphne's own sister, Violet. Cute but typical, this mystery is solid but uninspiring. The characters are likeable, although not unique. The dual puzzles are engrossing, but not particularly unparalleled. The recipes included in this book are fun but not distinctive. Overall, this is a good enough whodunit, but it lacks spice. -- manuscript review by Publishers Weekly, an independent organization

Yes, the title's an unfortunate pun (a cheese cake, perhaps?); Daphne, the main character, is a cake maker. And, delivering a cake to one of her customers, she stumbles upon the dead body of Ms. Watson. It's a silly story with a lot to love. Not a detective story, not a cake-lover's diary, it's the flavorful icing somewhere in between. -- Amazon Top Reviewer

About the Author

Gayle Trent lives in Southwest Virginia with her husband and two beautiful children, a boy and a girl. She's a full-time writer/editor/mom/wife and chief cook and bottle washer, and she love every minute of it. Okay, not the bottle washing so much, but the rest of it is great. --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

More About the Author

Gayle Trent (and pseudonym Amanda Lee) writes the Daphne Martin Cake Decorating series and the Embroidery Mystery series. The cake decorating series features a heroine who is starting her life over in Southwest Virginia after a nasty divorce. The Embroidery Mystery series features a heroine who recently moved to the Oregon coast to open an embroidery specialty shop.

The cake decorating series features a heroine who is starting her life over in Southwest Virginia after a nasty divorce. The heroine, Daphne, has returned to her hometown of Brea Ridge to open a cake baking and decorating business and is wrestling with the question of whether or not one can go home again. She enjoys spending time with her sister, nephew, and niece, but she and her mother have a complicated relationship that isn't always pleasant. Daphne has also reconnected with her high school sweetheart and is pursuing a rekindled romance while desperately trying to put her past behind her. Kerry Vincent, Hall of Fame Sugar Artist, Oklahoma State Sugar Art Show Director, and Television Personality says the series is "a must read for cake bakers and anyone who has ever spent creative time in the kitchen!"

Says Dean Koontz, #1 New York Times bestselling author, "One day I found myself happily reading . . . mysteries by Gayle Trent. If she can win me over . . . she's got a great future."

Gayle Trent lives in Virginia with her family, which includes her own "Angus" who is not an Irish wolfhound but a Great Pyrenees who provides plenty of inspiration for the character of Mr. O'Ruff.

Customer Reviews

A quick, fun read highly recommended.
Joseph Albanese
The characters were very interesting and it was a great murder mystery.
Nell
Not much of a mystery story, and too many plot points going at once.
Sheri

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

32 of 35 people found the following review helpful By Carla C. Thomas on April 4, 2011
Format: Paperback
What a sweet treat and a great first start for a new series!

Daphne is a middle aged divorcee who decides to start a new cake decorating in the town where she grew up. Unfortunately, her very first customer is murdered by poison and the fingers soon start pointing to Daphne. With the help of her sister, a childhood friend (who soon turns into an intriguing love interest) and some quaint hometown characters, she soon clears her name, catches the killer and gets her cake business up and running.

While I truly love cozy thrillers, this one had a bit more substance than most others I've read. The main character has a bit of a shady past that I know will come to play in other books and the love interest holds quite a bit of promise. The other characters in the book remind me a bit of Andy Griffith and Mayberry-funny and a little bit odd.

The cake decorating lingo was a bit hard for me to understand since I don't decorate but I know enough about baking to get the gist. If you don't know your way around the kitchen, you should probably skip this as long descriptions are in almost every chapter and Daphne dishes quite a bit about how baking soothes her soul. This is a cozy mystery, so no violent murder, graphic violence and any suggestive language or actions. Just a good, sweet murder mystery. I look forward to reading the 2nd one in the series.
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29 of 32 people found the following review helpful By Dawn Dowdle VINE VOICE on November 24, 2008
Format: Paperback
Daphne Martin has returned to her Virginia hometown and is working at establishing her new business as a freelance cake decorator. When Brea Ridge dies, suspicion turns to the cake Daphne delivered. No one listens to the fact that she found the body while delivering the cake. Daphne sets out to clear her good name and find the murderer.

Who knew a small town could have so many people who wanted Yodel dead, including Daphne's family? Can she find the murderer and make a go of her business?

I really enjoyed this book. I devoured it in a little over a day. It is such a fun, fast cozy read. The author has done a great job of setting it in a small town in Virginia with plenty of suspects and intrigue.

Daphne is a great character with plenty of depth and smarts to be an amateur sleuth. I really enjoyed her.

I highly recommend this book and can't wait to read the next one!
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20 of 22 people found the following review helpful By readwriteandedit on January 26, 2008
First-person narration, as found in many mysteries, should serve to add tension and convey the narrator's emotions. Murder Takes the Cake misses the opportunity to build tension or express the uneasiness that baker Daphne Martin should feel at finding a woman dead on a couch.

The story is serviceable, with a cute premise. But it lacks tension and drama. The setup introduces both a dead body and Daphne's personal issues, but there is little compulsion for the reader to read more. A murder mystery, even a cozy, needs more than a lifeless body to intrigue the reader. A strong hook would do it.

Author Gayle Trent has a firm grasp on the writing mechanics. She merely needs a stronger story to match her technical strengths.
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Loves FAB Romance on April 1, 2011
Format: Paperback
Daphne Martin is back in her hometown to start a new life; after her husband tried to kill her, she moved back to the little town to start a cake business. She's delivering a cake to her first customer, Yodel Watson, but when Daphne gets there, Yodel is dead! (<-- yes, that's her name, lol, it's explained later in the story) Now, even though the cake never left the box, the neighbors are blaming her cake for the death! Daphne soon learns that just about everyone in the town had a reason to dislike Yodel, she was a cranky busybody who kept a diary of all the sordid happenings around town. Daphne peeks into the diary and learns a deep, dark secret about her own family. As Daphne speaks with her family and her neighbors, trying to uncover the truth, she ends up with information in the mystery of Yodel's death. She's asking too many questions though, and gets a threatening warning to back off. Through it all she's baking cakes and more cakes and trying to keep her business afloat.

My thoughts: Murder Takes the Cake was cute, short read, but ultimately it couldn't hold my attention. Daphne is a likeable character, but we don't know too much about her past except that she's got an abusive ex-husband who tried to kill her. She's also got bad relationship with her mother, but we never find out why; just that her mother and sister have a good relationship. Apparently her mother thinks she should forgive the ex, which leaves my jaw on the floor just thinking about it. When she discovers her mother's secret, Daphne is even angrier, and I felt like this part of the story was never resolved.

The neighbors were quirky and provided for plenty of red herrings.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Penny Nichols on December 8, 2009
Format: Paperback
This is a comfortable, cozy mystery. We are introduced to female-sleuth Daphne Martin. She is divorced, age 40 and has just returned to her home town of Brea Ridge in southwest Virginia. She has bought a home and dreams of starting her own cake decorating business.

Daphne's first customer is Yodel Watson. Unfortunately Yodel is dead as Daphne discovers when she arrives to deliver the cake. She summons the police and tells them "I just brought the cake". Later the police discover that Yodel was poisoned. The book follows Daphne while she finds that she has to convince many of the townsfolk that her cake was not the cause of Yodel's death.

Author Gayle Trent makes Daphne into a very real, likeable character. I feel like she could be my friend and I'm participating in her life.

As a nice bonus, the culprit was not who I thought it would be. I'm looking forward to ready more books in the series.
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