A Cozy Mystery set in Scottsdale Comes with Recipes.

Cozy Mystery book cover
Destination: Scottsdale, AZ

Book: Going, Going, Ganache by Jenn McKinlay

A cozy mystery with cupcake recipes included. Does this sound like your kind of book?  Because Jenn McKinlay is writing for a particular audience, and she knows what they like.  All of Jenn’s books feature female accidental detectives. They are fun, every day women who bumble into crime and use their wits to solve problems. You get the feeling you could be one of her heroines. Don’t worry if you don’t know what “ganache” is, but if you don’t dig romance and cupcakes, well…maybe you should move along the book aisle.

Chocolate CupcakeGoing, Going, Ganache is the latest in the Cupcake Bakery Mystery series that McKinlay writes from her home in Scottsdale.  When she gets tired of cupcakes, she switches over to working on one of her two or three other cozy mystery series.  And she has two young sons to keep up with. No slug-a-bed, that one!  Learn more about Jenn in the interview I did with her after I met her at the 2013 Tucson Festival of Books.

Strawberry Cupcake In this Cupcake Mystery, partners Angie and Mel are trying to get promotion in a magazine called Southwest Style, and after a photo shoot goes horribly wrong, they are asked by the owner of the magazine to hold a cupcake bootcamp for the employees of the magazine.  When one of these people winds up dead in the alley beside their bakery, they get involved in solving the mystery.  Meanwhile subplots abound, from life changes by their financial angel and silent partner Tate, to Mel’s love triangle, Angie’s ongoing romance drama, and various complex relationships among the employees of Southwest Style. 

Although Mel and Angie are partners, Angie is the dominant character in the book, and she is a likeable, interesting person.  Fortunately, her uncle is a Scottsdale police officer, because this is not the first murder case she has been involved in.

I had several personal reasons for liking the book, despite the fact I’m more of a hard-boiled mystery fan than a reader of cozy mystery.

  • Cupcake recipes (I don’t really have to explain that, do I?).  
  • Nostalgia, since I used to live in stylish Scottsdale and enjoyed their forays into “Old Town” and the touristy-center of town.
Old Town Scottsdale
Old Town Scottsdale. Photo by Dru Bloomfield

 And a look at the shiny new upscale condos along the canal where Tate, the silent partner in the cupcake business lives.

Scottsdale Canal Condo
Scottsdale Safari Drive Condos, Photo by Dru Bloomfield
  • Movie quotes! Mel, Angie and Tate, old buddies, regularly gather for popcorn at Tate’s expensive apartment to watch old movies and throughout the book, they toss quotes at each other, testing their ability to pick up on what movie it is. Since I write the Classic Connoisseur column at Reel Life With Jane, of course I loved that little trivia game.

And of course, if you are traveling to the Southwest, you may want to know more about Scottsdale, since it is a real hot spot for visitors. Gourmet food, blocks of art galleries, and a reputation for posh resorts.

McKinlay’s writing is bright and lively and although the plot is about as substantial as the whipped cream topping the pumpkin cupcakes, it provides a pleasant pastime, and is perfect for your summer reading list.

Spice cupcake
This isn’t the Pistachio with fig, but it could be.

And what cook, or sweet tooth, could ignore the mouth-watering descriptions of cupcakes? Personally, I will not rest until I have tried out the recipe for Pistachio Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Fig Frosting. (Excuse me while I clean the drool off the keyboard.)

Remember–because this is still June, you can start your summer reading by picking a free book off my list. And now, Going, Going, Ganache joins that list.

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About Vera Marie Badertscher

A freelance writer who loves to travel. When she is not traveling she is reading about travel. When she is not reading or traveling, she is sharing with the readers of A Traveler's Library, or recreating her family's past at Ancestors In Aprons . She has written for Reel Life With Jane, Life is a Trip and other websites. Also co-author of a biography, Quincy Tahoma, The Life and Legacy of a Navajo Artist. Contact Vera Marie by e-mail.

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