Mel, Angie, and Tate have been a trio of buddies since childhood and now run a cupcake shop together in Buttercream Bump Off by Jenn McKinlay. One day Mel gets a call from her mother, Joyce, excited about having her first date since Mel’s father died ten years earlier, with a man named Baxter Malloy, whom Mel’s customer calls an investment genius. Joyce gets Mel to help her go shopping for the perfect dress, a dress that she will soon come to hate.
The night of the date, Mel gets a phone call from her mother that Malloy has died during the date, causing Mel and her friends to rush to her aid. Upon arriving at Malloy’s house, the trio find Joyce sitting next to the hot tubo wrapped in a blanket and are a bit horrified to learn that she is dressed in only her bra and panties. She explains that she is undressed to go into the hot tub with her date, whom she found floating in the tub upon coming out of the cabana. And the man has been strangled with one of Joyce’s stockings too. Joyce determines never to wear that new dress again, getting Mel to burn it, which looks really suspicious to the law.
It doesn’t take long before the news comes out that Malloy was not the financial genius everyone thought, but really was the head of a major ponzi scheme that bilked many of their life savings and even one couple of billions of dollars. This increases the pool of potential suspects exponentially.
The next day, a man walks into Fairy Tale Cupcakes and demands to meet Mel, angry because he has mistaken her for her mother and he thinks she might be responsible for the death of Malloy, who happens to be his father. Upon getting things straightened out about their identities, Angie recognizes the son as Roach from their favorite band, and before anyone knows it, she has a date with Roach and three tickets to the next concert, something that makes Tate furious when he learns about this date. Since Mel is aware that Angie has been in love with Tate since they were 12, she finds Tate’s increasing disturbance over Angie’s date to be suggestive.
The book continues with all sorts of wild activities and investigations. Furious over Angie’s dating “a potential murderer,” Tate enlists six of her seven brothers to follow her around everywhere to protect Angie, which they do at the expense of getting covered with paint balls and having their tires run over nails. The group also participates in their own surveillance, for which they enlist the help of Marty, the senior man who has recently taken up near-residence in their bakery, getting him all fancied up to go on a date with the money-grubbing woman who was chasing after Malloy.
I really enjoyed this book, which was a whole lot of fun, with delightful scenes throughout. The very round characters entertained and gave me a lot of pleasure in listening to their activities in this creative book.
Susan Boyce brings this book to life in her narration of the audio edition. She brings plenty of energy to the book, giving this enjoyable book an even greater sense of pleasure than I might have gotten from reading the book on my own. Boyce is fast becoming one of my favorite narrators.
Buttercream Bump Off is a delightful book full of fun energy and a creative mystery. I liked this book better than the previous, Sprinkle with Murder. I give the book five stars!
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