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Showing 1-10 of 111 reviews(Verified Purchases). See all 161 reviews
on January 9, 2010
I downloaded this on to my Kindle when I saw it was a free book. This was the first free book I read, and I was quite surprised by how good it was. The characters were rich, described in fine detail, to the point of feeling as though you knew these people. It was a very easy read, in that it wasn't an edge-of-your-seat "who done it," but more of an easier, smoother mystery that was solved by the newest resident, Daphne.

It wasn't full of drama and suspense that made you not want to read if there wasn't anyone at home with you, so that made it more comfortable and fun to read. I loved the writer's detailed cake decorating parts of the book, and it made me want to try my hand at it. I didn't realize there was so much work to baking and decorating a cake :-)

The storyline certainly wasn't anything new, murder, but it was fun reading how a cake decorator accidentally uncovered the truth and revealed the murderer of the town gossip/busybody/blackmailer. There were funny parts, some sad parts, and there was quite a bit of personal baggage that our heroine, Daphne, disclosed, which I'm not sure had anything to do with the storyline, but it certainly let you get to know her better.

All in all, a good book, and I'm hoping the next installment of Daphne's sleuthing, Dead Pan, comes down a bit in price (currently $9.99) so that I can enjoy another easy and enjoyable read. This is an author that I wouldn't mind reading more of because it's oftentimes fun to read books that are not so complicated with twisted plots and storylines that they're not as enjoyable to read. Gayle's book had a clean and easy to follow storyline, characters that were eccentric but easy to differentiate from one another, and fun. I can honestly say that I'd guessed the completely wrong person as the one who committed the crime, and when the truth was revealed, I was a little surprised. That's a good book; I'd never suspected the one actually guilty of the crime, and the one(s) I thought were responsible, really had absolutely nothing to do with the murder. Thank you for reading my review.
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on December 14, 2015
Trent delivers an amusingly solid and intrinsically whimsical read with the first outing of her delectable Daphne Martin Cake Mystery Series. Her writing is crisp, smooth and chockful of belly jiggling laughs. Murder Takes the Cake delivers an entertaining mystery, a courageous heroine, eccentric characters, and a whodunit well-dolloped with red herrings.

And the recipes will make you want to grab your Rachael Ray bakeware and start baking.

Copyright © 2015 by Diane Morasco

Review first published on Blogcritics website.
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on May 29, 2014
Every town has their local town gossip and holder of all information about everything and everyone that has done something less than stellar. But not everyone is asked to bake their first cake for their new business, just to find that the customer is that town's gossip, and Daphne's cake delivery finds her dead on her own couch. This is what happens to Daphne when she moves back to her hometown planning to start her cake baking business there. Rumor has it that Daphne's cake poisoned her customer. Finding connections to Daphne's families less than perfect past doesn't help either. She can either find the real murderer or say good bye to her yummy cakes. She does just that with the help of, Ben, the town's newspaper editor and Daphne's old "sweet treat".

This is an intriguing mystery with lots of fun additions. Family relations are perfectly portrayed with feelings or love, jealously, family togetherness, and a checkered pasts. Cakes are described so deliciously that I had to take cupcake breaks throughout the book. But best of all, the relationships between the town characters was priceless. Would I want to live in that town? I probable do if I knew all of my town's secrets. Great fun to read this start of the Daphne Martin Cake Mysteries. I listened to this on audio and really enjoyed the narration too.
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on January 9, 2012
Daphne Reynolds begins a small bakery with a pinch of murder in this tale by Gayle Trent.

Four themes quickly emerge in Trent's writing:

1. the baking, selling, and adoration of cakes,
2. a frustrating family mystery, which could be solved at any time by having the characters actually communicate with each other,
3. a perfunctory romantic interest, and
4. a small town whodunit.

And the author prioritizes her writing effort in exactly this order. If this is an experiment in food-porn literature, I think it failed. If we could reduce the story to just the small town whodunit, it would be an extremely short and uninvolved mystery. If you are looking for Miss Marple with a rolling pin, look elsewhere.
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on August 5, 2011
But the murder mystery aspect was a little on the light side. Ms. Trent introduces us to the main character and almost immediately has her find a dead client. This is not a problem for me, but the fact that she has Daphne go back to the scene of the crime and enter the house soon after finding the body (no police tape) and remove what could be considered evidence all for someone she's never met, is a little bit of a problem. Then our heroine sits down and reads the murdered women's diary (the evidence she removed). Not much more is mentioned about the murder, or the investigation, while we learn more about Daphne and her family. Much of the book is spent Daphne, her mother, and secrets she finds out from reading the diary. This seems to be unrelated until the end of the story when the mystery is solved, rather thinly, in my opinion.

While there are problems with this story, I still think it was cute and entertaining. The descriptions of Daphne making and decorating her cakes is a little distracting and annoying. I will read the next one, if it is not too expensive.
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on February 18, 2010
I don't know the literary definition, if there is one, of a "cozy mystery", but I think "Murder Takes the Cake" should be it. One reviewer talked about there not bieng a strong enough hook. Well, if it weren't supposed to be a "cozy mystery", that reviewer would be right. This is more of a fun murder mystery than a hard crime type murder mystery. It's chock full of interesting and quirky characters, if you ask me, and that's part of the coziness. Daphne is just barely beginning to be a sleuth at this point. Over time, the author could certainly show Daphne growing in her crime solving skills, but eventually, I think it would have to stop being "cozy". This is a light book, but it's supposed to be light, even with a murder as a plot point. I give it 5 stars because I think it accomplishes what it is supposed to do, that being providing a fun read with a mystery that doesn't cause the reader to twist his or her mind around as to get a headache or cause frustration to its limits of the human mind over trying to figure out an obtuse and complicated plot. Those kinds of books already exist and are written well on their own. This is light-hearted and made me feel good to read it. I hope anyone else who reads it would feel the same way. My only complaint, if you can call it that, is that the book was about half as long as I would have liked it to be. I hope that in the future Gayle Trent will double the size of her books, at least.
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VINE VOICEon January 12, 2010
This is a passable mystery, but a good start to a new series. Daphne Martin is a newly divorced, 40ish cake baker that has moved back to her home town in West Virginia after her husband tried to shoot her and failed. She delivers a cake to the town gossip Yodel Watson and finds her dead. Police determine it is murder and the hunt is on for who did it.

My major issue with the book is that there are so many subplots leading up to the denouement that the end of the book seems forced and contrived instead of a solution to the murder. It is fairly easy, if you are a mystery writer, to figure out how Yodel died (this is a contemporary mystery and a lab with any sophistication most likely would have figured this out before Daphne did) and who did it.

My other issue had to do with the writing itself. At times the descriptions and dialogues seemed forced and the writing too simplistic for this level of a mystery. A good solid editing would most likely help this area.

I hope the author continues the series. Daphne and her family and circle of friends are interesting and should provide years of material for the reader. The cake decorating aspect is interesting, although if you don't bake the descriptions without illustrations were not that enthralling. After reading the book I found myself craving a slice of cake--and I don't really care for this particular dessert!
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on April 23, 2010
There were some positives about this book:
A) Got it free.
B) I did actually finish it.
C) It's many discriptions of cakes and decorating caused me to check out the website [...] and I spent an enjoyable hour purusing the horrible (and beautiful Sunday posts) cakes.

And some negatives:
1) Simplistic writing, repeting the same plot points over and over.
2) Way too many characters, by the time it ended it was anti-climactic because I couldn't remember who they were refering too and how that person's life tied into other peoples lives.
3) Too many eccentric characters in one town. Rich lady breading champion guinee pigs? Really?
4) Daphne's (main character) mother thinks Daphne should have stayed with her abusive ex husband who tried to kill her....... Uh, if that's the case, you have no business being around your mother, this is a toxic (not quirky) relationship.
5) Not only was there way too much information on cake decorating, which really had nothing to do with the story, halfway through I had to go out and buy pound cake mix. While the story was tepid at best, it DID cause me devour 1/2 a pound cake. Reader beware!

Would not recommend this if you have to pay for it, or read anything other than Harliquin romance type books.
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on August 8, 2017
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on January 18, 2010
I enjoyed this book and the main character but I have to admit it was a bit of fluff. Still a fun read but not that much substance. The glitches in the text did get a bit annoying at times and there was a bit too much detail on how to decorate cakes (if I wanted that information, in that detail, I would have downloaded a cake decorating book). Still it was worth finishing, a nice beach or rainy Saturday read.
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