Monday, April 11, 2016

"Never Trust a Skinny Cupcake Baker" by D. E. Haggerty

Never Trust a Skinny Cupcake Baker
(Death by Cupcake Book 1)
by D. E. Haggerty

Never Trust a Skinny Cupcake Baker, the first book in D. E. Haggerty's new Death by Cupcake series, has just been released. The author stops by today to share an excerpt from the book. You can also read my review.
More books by this author: Murder, Mystery & Dating Mayhem (read my blog post), Jack Gets His Man (read my blog post), and Love in the Time of Murder (read my blog post).

A mystery with a heap of laughs, a generous portion of romance, and just a smidgeon of suspense.
Callie’s life is rather awesome. She owns a successful bakery and teaches German literature at the local university. There’s just one tiny problem. She has no self-confidence when it comes to her body. And then there’s the little matter of her being accused of murdering her pole dancing instructor. There’s no way Callie’s going to risk losing her teaching position and thus she embarks, with her best baker bud Anna, on a journey to discover the real killer. Between stripper auditions and a detective who insists Callie is the woman of his dreams, it’s a roller coaster adventure. Cupcakes not included.

Anna starts to fiddle with the lock, but it’s pretty clear she has no idea what she’s doing. My heart nearly jumps out of my chest when I hear the door behind me open. “What are you doing?”
I turn to stare at the man yelling at us and nearly fall down the stairs in surprise. He’s tall, way taller than Ben, although the kitten heels he’s wearing probably add several inches to his already impressive height. He’s wearing a pink flowered silk robe and his hair is in a hair net. Is that mascara he’s wearing?
I start to apologize for bothering him and take the first step down the stairs, but Anna interrupts my escape attempt.
“Oh thank goodness, you’re home.” She smiles up at him and flutters her lashes. “We’re in a bit of a jam.”
The neighbor crosses his arms over his chest causing the robe to drape open. His chest is completely hairless. I look down to see he’s wearing woman’s underwear. And not just some simple underwear from the local department store. This is the good silk and lace stuff. That can’t be cheap.
“Richard Wagner reportedly liked to wear women’s underwear made of silk and satin.” I can’t seem to help myself from blurting out random facts when I’m nervous.
He ignores me and demands, “What’s going on?” in a voice that makes it clear that although he may enjoy wearing woman’s clothing, he’s definitely a man who won’t be putting up with silly females.
“We’re at our wit’s end,” Anna says as she saunters up to him. Never one to acknowledge another’s personal space, she’s nearly rubbing up against him. With their difference in height, Anna’s chest is nearly aligned with the neighbor’s manly parts. I start to worry about the effect, if any, having Anna’s female attributes in such close quarters will have on the man’s underwear. “We’re trying to notify all of Dolly’s friends about the funeral, but those stupid police took her phone. We have no idea how to find her friends now.”
The man leans away from Anna and relaxes a tiny bit. “You’re friends of Dolly? I haven’t seen you around here before.”
“We know her from work,” I pipe up.
He raises an eyebrow at me and then proceeds to very obviously check out my assets. A smile lights up his face. “Yeah, I can see you working at Club Bristol.” He looks down at Anna and smirks. “But this little pink-haired one isn’t exactly the type.”
I nearly swallow my tongue and manage to stop myself from asking what Club Bristol is. He needs to think we work there as he obviously doesn’t know about Dolly’s job as a pole dancing instructor. Anna is much quicker on the uptake than me. “I work behind the scenes,” she says. “You know costume design and that sort of thing.” Does she actually know what Club Bristol is? Or is she guessing?
The neighbor nods as if it makes sense. I can only hope it does. “Sorry, I can’t help you. I don’t have a key to Dolly’s place.” He scoots back into his apartment. “I need to get some sleep. I had a late shift last night.” I wonder what kind of work he does. “Good luck.” And with that, he shuts his door, and I hear the lock click as well.

Praise for the Book
"Never Trust a Skinny Cupcake Baker, is D. E. Haggerty's first novel in the Death by Cupcake series. As an opener, it's wonderful. I loved Callie, and her everyday, every woman issues. Her 'Detective Hottie' sounds hot as well. [...] I'm very hopeful we learn a great deal more about him in future stories from this series. I know I'll be looking for them!" ~ Christine Lee on Goodreads

My Review

By Lynda Dickson
While Callie runs Callie's Cakes with her baker and best friend Anna, she's actually a professor of German Literature at the nearby university. Her boyfriend just broke up with her because she is slightly overweight, but Ben (aka Detective Hottie) has been waiting in the wings and trying to ask her out for the last year. In an attempt to improve Callie's self-esteem, Anna enrolls them both into a pole dancing class. But when their pole dancing instructor is murdered, Callie becomes the prime suspect. Ben says, "Leave the police work to the police." Well, we all know that's not going to happen! Especially when the University threatens to fire her unless she can prove her innocence before the start of the semester - problem is, that's only two weeks away! At least Callie gets to put her pole dancing lessons to good use during the investigation!
This is a delightful romp featuring a bunch of likable characters. Callie is adorable, and has a habit of spouting useless trivia when she's nervous. I especially love Ben - he's so sweet (excuse the pun)! I did guess the identity of the murderer early on and, while the investigation does take a few interesting turns, Callie solves the mystery a little too easily. However, I look forward to her further investigations and to getting to know these characters a bit more. There are cute sayings at the beginning of each chapter, usually about cupcakes. My favorite: "A balanced diet is a cupcake in each hand." There's even a Triple Choc Chunk Muffin recipe at the end!
A great start to a new series.

About the Author
I grew up reading everything I could get my hands on from my mom's Harlequin romances to Nancy Drew to Little Women. When I wasn't flipping pages in a library book, I was penning horrendous poems, writing songs no one should ever sing, or drafting stories which have thankfully been destroyed.
College and a stint in the U.S. Army came along, robbing me of free time to write and read, although I did manage every once in a while to sneak a book into my rucksack between rolled up socks, MRIs, t-shirts, and cold weather gear. A few years into my legal career, I was exhausted, fed up, and just plain done. I quit my job and sat down to write a manuscript, which I promptly hid in the attic after returning to the law.
Another job change, this time from lawyer to B&B owner and I was again fed up and ready to scream "I quit", which is incredibly difficult when you own the business. Thus, I shut the B&B during the week and in the off-season and started writing. Several books later I find myself in Istanbul writing full-time.

Everyone can download a FREE copy of Unforeseen Consequences by D. E. Haggerty (also on B&N, Kobo, and Smashwords).