Title: Vanilla Beaned
Author: Jenn McKinlay
Publisher: Berkley
Release Date: April 5, 2016
Pages: 304
Book Source: Paperback


Melanie Cooper and Angie DeLaura are taking a gamble by opening their first franchise of the Fairy Tale Cupcakes Bakery, so where better to hit the jackpot than in Vegas? Business manager Tate Harper has lined up a meeting with Holly Hartzmark, a former showgirl who’s looking to bring Mel and Angie’s sweet treats to Sin City, but Mel isn’t so sure she’s ready to hand her recipes over to a complete stranger—especially one as brash as Holly.

But after the potential bakery location gets blown up, Mel begins seeing another side to Holly—one that reminds her very much of herself. Determined to help a kindred spirit, Mel sets out to discover who is trying to keep the bakery from cashing in. But with a murderous mischief maker on the loose, the odds are stacking up against a happy ending for Mel and her friends…

My Review:

This cozy is the eighth installment in the Cupcake Bakery Mystery series. I have not read any of the others in this series, but it didn’t hinder me in any way as to being able to catch up on the relationship between the characters.

It may because Holly is a new character, so McKinlay was focusing a bit more of the story on her, but I have to say Holly was my favorite. Whereas Melanie, the main character, was my least favorite. When she kept going on about feeling jealous about her best friends being happy as a couple, it started getting annoying. By the fifth time, I will admit I was just skimming over those sections, wanting to get back to the story and Holly!

Having this book set in Vegas was very entertaining. I loved that there was an Elvis conventions going on. And who doesn’t love showgirls?!? McKinlay left enough clues, if you were looking, that you could figure out the mystery. But if you were just reading the book for enjoyment, I could see being surprised by the ending.

This was a fun, fast read, and I could see myself getting Sprinkle with Murder, and starting the series from the beginning.

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