There's a new cozy mystery series in town, an event that always makes A Reader's Respite smile. Cozy mysteries always seem to be the perfect read in these dreary winter months. Stuck in bed with the flu? A cozy mystery fits the bill nicely....short reads, nothing too deep or philosophical to tax a Sudafed-laden brain.
The new Daphne Martin Mystery series by author Gayle Trent is a particular treat (pun intended) for those readers who also love to bake. Wholesome (nary a bedroom scene to be found) and light-hearted, these short mysteries eschew deep character analysis, instead focusing on a protagonist we can relate.
Daphne Martin, a newly divorced cake decorator who has moved back to her home town of Brea Ridge, Virginia to start life over close to her family, stumbling inadvertently into local mysteries and baking up a storm amid a cast of fun, eccentric secondary characters.
The mysteries aren't too convoluted, but neither are they simplistic. Daphne's baking techniques are detailed throughout which, if you enjoy cake baking and decorating, is a fun little addition. If baking cakes isn't your cup of tea, beware that these details might prove a tad distracting to the story. As a bonus, the recipes Daphne uses throughout each story are served up at the end of the book - a delightful addition!
A Reader's Respite wishes we were this talented....alas, not likely to happen
There's really no need to read these in order (and given A Reader's Respite's infamous Series OCD, that's an astounding statement, but it's true, we assure you). The author does a fine job in the second novel, Dead Pan, of bringing the reader up-to-date without making you feel like you are missing something very important, which is no mean feat in the world of serial novels.
So if you are looking for a cozy mystery that doesn't take literature too seriously, keep an eye out for Gayle Trent. Her books are a small pleasure, perfect to read in between your Hemingway and Dickens.
FTC, USDA, DoD, TSA, Whatever Disclosure:
The first book in Gayle Trent's Daphne Martin Cake Decorating Series, Murder Takes the Cake, zapped it's way to our Amazonian Devil Device (ie, Kindle) via a mess of convoluted radio waves. Call it technological trickery if you will. It didn't cost us a red cent because Amazon was offering the download for free that day. We weren't cheap, just lucky.
The second book of the series, Dead Pan, winged it's way to our doorstep in the form of a bound galley for review from the author. This didn't cost us a red cent, either. Get over it.
Murder Takes the Cake was published in Fall 2008, so it is readily available in paperback. Strangely, a couple of weeks ago, Amazon was also offering the book via Kindle for a free download, but now it seems to have disappeared from Amazon's Kindle Store entirely. *Sigh* Another Amazonian mystery (maybe Gayle Trent should tackle that mystery for her next book).
Dead Pan was released this past October in paperback and is also currently available for Kindle download.
If anyone's interested in a galley of the Dead Pan, the second book in the series, leave a comment here. We'll draw a random winner on January 30th and mail you our review copy!