Battered To Death by Gayle Trent (Daphne Martin Mystery #4)

Battered To Death by Gayle TrentAvailable: Now Amazon/B&N

Type: Mystery

Publisher: Pocket Books

My Copy: Sent

Reviewer: Pam

A RECIPE FOR MURDER Life is sweet for Daphne Martin right now, from her flourishing cake-decorating business to a rekindled romance with her high school boyfriend, Ben. All that’s about to change, courtesy of famously foul-mouthed celebrity chef Jordan Richards. The TV star has come to Brea Ridge, Virginia, for the town’s lavish cake competition, but he won’t be leaving under his own steam. After his first master class, Jordan is found bludgeoned with a cake stand and drowned in some very bitter batter.

Plenty of townsfolk think the curmudgeonly confectioner had it coming, but the half-baked evidence points to Daphne as a prime suspect. With Ben mulling a new job offer—in Kentucky—Daphne is faced with a multilayered dilemma. She needs to somehow keep her boyfriend, win the cake competition, and sift out the real culprit . . . before the killer serves up another victim.

This is a cute mystery, with interesting and fun characters. This is the first book from this author I have read and even though I have not read the other books in the series I had no problem enjoying this story. I like the author’s voice and look forward to more books from her.

Daphne has a good life, working at a job she loves decorating cakes and having fun with her boyfriend Ben, a former high school sweetheart. She is excited about taking a decoration class from the famous TV Chef, Jordan Richards. An arrogant man with wicked talents in cake decorating.

Unfortunately things start to fall apart just when she least expects it. Ben is interested in changing jobs, moving to Kentucky to head up a magazine with a college sweetheart. He is torn about what to do and Daphne is devastated. Then she becomes a suspect when the TV Chef she was so excited to take a class from is murdered and her cake stand seems to be the murder weapon.

The First Annual Brea Ridge Taste Bud Temptation Cake and Confectionary Arts Exhibit and Competition is in town and Daphne has a couple of items entered, but has a hard time getting excited with a murder in town, Her sister Violet comes to town with Leslie, her niece, who also has entries and talks her into continuing with the competition.

As the competition continues on and the investigation goes into high gear about the murder, Daphne starts to look at others in her class and wonders who would want to kill Chef Richards, unfortunately the closer they get to finding out the murderer, the danger increases for all those involved.

Battered to Death is a wonderful mystery that keeps you guessing until the end, I changed my mind several times about who I thought did the dirty deed and then was surprised at the end. I really like Daphne she is a strong, down-to-earth woman who enjoys life. I also liked Ben, although I was a little angry with him as I was not sure if he was just testing Daphne or really wanted to make a career change. I was glad to see he redeemed himself in the end. Her friend Myra is a kick and I enjoyed her immensely as she helped solve the murder with a bit of humor.

This is a murder mystery for those that like their murder on the light side with humor and interesting characters. The romance is also light as we watch Ben and Daphne struggle to see if they are ready to move their relationship to the next level. All in all a fun book that adds to the series.

I give Battered to Death by Gayle Trent 3.75 stars!

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