Sugar and IcedSugar and Iced by Jenn McKinlay is the sixth book in the “Cupcake Bakery” mystery series. Publisher: Berkley Prime Crime, April 2014

Sugar and spice and murderous vice.
That’s what pageants are made of.

Normally Melanie Cooper and Angie DeLaura wouldn’t be caught dead at a beauty pageant, but when Mel’s mom asks them to provide cupcakes for the seventy-fifth annual Sweet Tiara contest as a favor for her best friend, they can’t say no. Plus, between cooking up a daily display for the three-day event and sponsoring a cupcake creation challenge for the participants, Fairy Tale Cupcakes will get great publicity.

But the world of pageants is even hotter than Mel’s kitchen. A high-strung judge and a pushy stage mom target Lupe, a young friend of Mel and Angie’s, at the competition and aim to take her out—by any means necessary. When the same judge shows up dead underneath Mel and Angie’s cupcake display, Lupe is crowned the lead suspect. Now Mel and Angie will have to find the real killer quickly or Lupe may be strutting the catwalk in prison pinstripes.

Once again, we find our intrepid duo baking delectable cupcakes while putting on their crime hat to clear a friend’s name. I love the comfortable tone and the way the story flows from chapter to chapter in the light and fresh drama. This was a fun read and I enjoyed the interplay between all the characters. There were some surprising twists contained in this whodunit that I didn’t see coming and with that I can’t wait to see what happens next in this delightfully charming series. Bonus recipes are included.

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