This mystery story blends a delicious amount of tasty temptation with a lovely flavor of life in New Orleans. There are quite a few secondary characters who have interconnections and even though this story can be read as a stand-alone, I suspect that it would help if one was familiar with prior events. There are quick recaps sprinkled throughout the story, but sometimes it seems like there are actions that seem a little odd within the context of this story that would be clearer if one is familiar with the series. There were some elements that were irksome to me, particularly the erratic behavior of the newest employee who swings between self-effacement and blatant disregard of Rita’s wishes, as well as Rita’s initial cavalier dismissal of the dangers inherent in carrying around a very valuable piece of jewelry which may or not be cursed, and the final resolution felt a bit forced to me. Despite all of my reservations, however, I was fascinated by multiple facets of the story, including the creative cakes being created and the atmosphere of a city that is almost a character in itself. I think this is a fun quick read that will appeal to cozy mystery fans who like a bit of a paranormal twist in their tales.
“The Cakes of Monte Cristo” by Jacklyn Brady is a cozy mystery that is part of the ‘Piece of Cake’ mystery series that stars Rita, the owner of the Zydeco Cakes bakery in iconic New Orleans. A new employee’s accidental discovery of a stunning necklace causes a resurgence in stories about curses as well as a fanning of an ancient feud plus a distressing string of violent encounters that escalate. Added to the stress of catering one of the premiere events of the season, it is possible that the business (and its owner) may not survive long enough to solve the mystery of the necklace.
In the fresh new Piece of Cake Mystery from the national bestselling author of Rebel Without a Cake, a pastry chef becomes embroiled in a suspicious death as a mysterious curse casts a pall over an annual New Orleans ball.
Rita Lucero, co-owner of New Orleans’s Zydeco Cakes, is thrilled to be catering an annual ball held at the Monte Cristo Hotel. Designing the high-end desserts is her priority—until she stumbles upon a mystery long-buried at her shop. It’s an ornate ruby necklace, hidden underneath her staircase and rumored to be cursed.
After the gem’s appraiser suddenly drops dead and Rita herself is targeted by a menacing stranger, she’s no longer laughing at local superstition. Now with five cakes on order and an investigation into the necklace’s past revealing layers of unsettling clues, Rita has reason to keep looking over her shoulder while she’s frosting. Because any way you slice it, the next victim of the legendary curse could be her.