There aren't many things pastry chef Rita Lucero hates more than losing. But two years after her marriage to fellow baker Philippe Renier fell apart, she's still trying to get him to sign the divorce papers. Exasperated, Rita visits Philippe's high-end New Orleans shop, Zydeco Cakes, to get his signature---and discovers that her marriage is already over when she finds Philippe dead with a chef's knife in his chest.
Rita is shocked to discover the body, and overwhelmed to learn that since the divorce wasn't final, she now inherits part ownership in Zydeco Cakes. But it's a mixed blessing: the gorgeous shop is actually in financial trouble, and Rita's windfall sets her up as a prime suspect in Philippe's murder. Her former mother-in-law demands that Rita find out who killed her son, and his former employees don't know whether to trust her. The feeling is mutual---especially since the real culprit is still out there, and Rita may be the next victim served....
I have confessed in the past that I have an addiction to Food Network and the Cooking Channel and I do love a good cozy mystery, especially a foodie cozy mystery. A SHEETCAKE NAMD DESIRE combines a fix for both of these two addictions most spectacularly.
The Food Network/Cooking Channel aspect is covered with cake baking like one of my favorite shows, Ace of Cakes, since the setting of this mystery series is a cake bakery, Zydeco Cakes, where they create extravagantly crazy cakes for those willing to foot the bill.
I loved the setting of this book. I've been to New Orleans several times in the past and am fascinated with this old world feel city. The book shows more than Bourbon Street, thankfully. The whole city has something to offer, not just having a good time drinking a Hurricane in Pat O'Brien's.
The bakery and the employees felt so real, I want to visit this place and order a cake.
The reader doesn't get a chance to meet the victim. He's killed before we are introduced. I learned about him through everyone else's descriptions and experiences. I'm not sure if I'd have liked him, but others did. Others..not so much. Others with agendas.
Rita, the main character, has decisions to make, her life to get on with. I liked watching her emotional roller coaster as she dealt with how she felt with her not-so-ex-husband and his death. And that his death will mean changes to her life.
Her getting involved in solving the murder is done well. She is a suspect since she had something to gain with Philippe's death and she needs to prove that she is innocent. She's good at asking questions and getting involved in a non-irritating way.
I like Rita a lot and I want to see her succeed.
I look forward to reading the rest of this series. It will be on the 'must get' list as soon as each book comes out.
Visit Jacklyn Brady: http://www.jacklynbrady.com/ or http://www.facebook.com/pages/Jacklyn-Brady/180151502006968?sk=wall
Five sparkly New Orleans and cake (what's not to love) diamonds...