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Ratings and Reviews (6 6 star ratings
6 reviews
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4.7 out of 5
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    Intriguing!

    Very nice introduction to the new Southern Cake Baker Mystery Series! Word of Caution: you will be hungry while you read about all the delicious desserts, cookies and cakes the lead character creates! Small town charm is working to lure Sophia Cummings back from her dream job as Pastry Chef at The Manhattan in New York. She comes home for a visit for all the wrong reasons but she may discover that all the right answers may be found in her hometown of Rumford. That is if she survives a little mystery, mayhem and a whole lot of murder! I was provided an ARC of this book but the opinions expressed here are completely my own and without influence.
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    This is a good mystery.

    This is a good mystery. There were several suspects and I didn't guess the answer, so I really liked this mystery. Sophia has come home to visit after 10 years. She is nursing a broken heart and gets thrown into several activities that will take her mind off of her troubles. When a chef is discovered dead in the kitchen and Sophia's old friend is the lead suspect, she decides to help find the real killer. As Carter is trying to solve the murder, Sophia and her friends are also investigating and Carter is trying to keep Sophia safe. Will Sophia get the cake made for her friend's wedding before the killer gets to her?
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    Weddings and Murder

    Sophia Cummings returns home to the small town of Rumford, KY, after living in NYC for several years. Sophia is visiting her family while she is mending her broken heart after her boyfriend betrayed her. While in town she runs into high school friends, Charlotte and Madison. Charlotte’s is getting married and needs someone to make her wedding cake. Sophia being a pastry chef agrees to help her friend out. While visiting the wedding venue, Rumford Country Club aka RCC, Sophia and Caroline happen upon the scene of the dead body the country club’s chef. The manager of RCC, Evelyn, quickly becomes the prime suspect. Charlotte’s wedding is in danger of being canceled due to the chef’s death and Evelyn being a suspect. Sophia is determined to save Charlotte’s wedding and clear Evelyn. Sophia and Sheriff Carter but heads along the way over the investigation. Can Sheriff Carter accept Sophia’s help? Can Sophia find the killer without getting herself hurt? Will she stay in Rumford or go back to NYC? I really enjoyed this book. It’s a great start to a new series. The book is full of southern charm, humor, and intrigue with a touch of romance. The story is well paced and easy to read. The red herrings throughout the book give the reader several suspects to consider as he or she tries to solve the murder along with Sophia and her friends. The characters are well developed, I loved the relationship between Sophia and her bossy mom. I also love how Sophia and her high school friends just pick up their relationships as if no time has passed. I can relate because this is exactly how my friends and I are when we get together for reunions. Sophia is my favorite character. During the story you see Sophia growing, her heart healing, finding her inner peace and discovering where she truly belongs. A bonus to an already great book, recipes for several of Sophia’s desserts are included. I recommend this book to southern, culinary, cozy mystery fans. I was provided with an ARC of this book in hopes I would submit a review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
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    Sinfully rich and delicious!

    I had no idea Maymee Bell was a pen name for one of my favorite authors, Tonya Kappes. But no surprise when I did find out because I completely fell into this new series without looking back. Pastry chef Sophia Cummings heads home to Rumford, Kentucky after finding her chef boyfriend exchanging more than recipes with one of their coworkers. While trying to ease her broken heart, Sophia reconnects with old friends and steps in to save the day of one her high school BFF’s when her baker quits right before her wedding. Vowing to help Charlotte have her fairly tale wedding, Sophia finds hers of pulled into a murder investigation and filling in for the murdered chef at the local country club. But will Sophia keep the wedding on track and not let it be delayed? She will do her best to be the best friend she should have been over the past ten years since graduation. The story has a great plot, well develop d characters, and just the right amount of romance and mystery. Tonya has done it again and now I have another series to add to my list of must read books!
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    An entertaining new cozy mystery

    Cake and Punishment by Maymee Bell is the first tale in A Southern Cake Baker Mystery series. Sophia Cummings, a pastry chef, has returned home for a visit to Rumford, Kentucky after finding her boyfriend, Noah in a compromising position with the maître d’ where they work. At the Rumford Country Club (RCC) she encounters her friend, Charlotte Harrington who is getting married in a few days. Charlotte’s cake baker has quit, and Sophia offers to make her a beautiful wedding cake. The next day they head to the RCC kitchen and find Chef Emile dead on the floor with a new cast iron skillet nearby. When Evelyn Moss, the RCC manager, becomes the primary suspect, Sophia sets out to prove her innocence (plus she is plain curious). To help out Evelyn and for a chance to snoop, Sophia agrees to be Emile’s replacement until a new chef can be hired (oh dear—can you see where this is heading). Emile may have been a good chef, but he was lacking in the personality department. Sheriff Carter Kincaid may wish Sophia would keep her nose out of his investigation, but he does enjoy spending time with her and Sophia does uncover some helpful information. Which one of the people Chef Emile antagonized whacked him with an iron skillet? Sophia needs to work quickly, or she will find herself the latest resident of the Rumford cemetery! Cake and Punishment is a humorous new Southern cozy mystery written by Tonya Kappes using the non de plume of Maymee Bell. It is a light-hearted story full of quirky characters and small-town charm. Gossip spreads faster than a forest fire during a dry spell in Rumford, Kentucky. Sophia’s mother, Bitsy is a force to be reckoned with. When she sets her mind upon a task, people need to watch out (especially Sophia). Sophia is a pastry chef who loves to bake and goes around with baked goods in her bag (which makes her a very popular person). It was entertaining to see her get pulled back into her hometown and the subtle hints from friends about how they would like her to stay. I thought Cake and Punishment contained good writing and a steady pace. I would like for better character development. We get to know very little about Sophia’s past and we are not given the last names of many characters. The mystery had misdirection and a few suspects. Avid mystery readers will have no problem pinning down the killer’s identity. There is flirtation and attraction between Sophia and Carter which is helped along by Bitsy Cummings. There are delectable baked good descriptions included in the book with recipes at the end. I appreciated the addition of little libraries in the story. They are a great way to get people of all ages to read. We have several in my community with one being just down in the street in my local park (I am a frequent visitor). Cake and Punishment is an entertaining story that will have you chuckling frequently.
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