Monday, December 5, 2016

"Self-Serve Murder" by D. E. Haggerty

Self-Serve Murder
(Death by Cupcake Book 3)
by D. E. Haggerty

Self-Serve Murder, the third book in D. E. Haggerty's 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. Also available: Never Trust a Skinny Cupcake Baker (read my blog post) and Bring Your Own Baker (read my blog post).

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).

Book 3 in the Death by Cupcake series. Can be read as a standalone.
Kristie is kind with a capital K, so it’s quite the surprise when she wakes up next to a dead man with no recollection of the previous night. Even worse? She’s naked. Kristie may be a sweetheart out to save the world, but sticking her nose into an investigation of rapes across campus makes her the target of a murderer. Before she knows it, Callie is smack dab in the middle of a murder investigation with her colleagues Callie and Anna. If that’s not enough to drive a sane person up the wall, a friend has decided he’s going to keep her safe whether she wants him to or not. And, oh yeah, he’s her man and that’s that.
Come join us at Callie’s Cakes, where murder investigations are on the menu. You are most welcome, but you may need to serve yourself as our barista Kristie is busy trying to save the world.
Warning: Although there are plenty of moments that will make you shake your head and laugh at the antics of the ladies of Callie’s Cakes, the subject matter – rape on college campuses – is very real and somewhat darker than your usual cozy mystery.

I assumed that as soon as we got back to my apartment, everyone would take off and I’d be left alone to contemplate what happened. Contemplate. I snort to myself. Freak out’s more like it. Unfortunately, when I open the door and turn around to thank everyone, the men push their way in before sauntering over to my sofa and collapsing on it. My sofa, heck my apartment, was not made to house the two oversized detectives.
I don’t shut the door but stand at the entrance with my mouth opening and closing in my best imitation of a fish. Think, think, think. Oh yeah, I have the perfect excuse for keeping them out. “Should you be in here? Doesn’t CSI or whatever it’s called in real life need to do their thing? Find clues or fingerprints or something?” There! That sounded reasonable. Not at all like I’m trying to kick everyone out.
Logan snorts. “You watch too much TV.”
Luckily, Ben takes pity on me and explains. “They’ve already come and gone. And even if they hadn’t, it wouldn’t matter.” The confusion must show on my face. The big detective smiles. “We were all here this morning.” Duh. I nod my head in understanding but don’t move away from the door.
Anna sits on Logan’s lap and I cringe as my sofa creaks. “You might as well shut the door and come in here.” Oh great, the troublemaker is on the case. Looks like I don’t have a choice. I shut the door and walk the short distance to my living room. I collapse in the chair across from my friends and close my eyes. Let the questions begin.
“So why were you in that bar anyway? You don’t drink. Or at least the few times we’ve gone out, we nearly had to force-feed you beer.” Callie’s voice sounds genuinely hurt.
I shrug and try to evade giving away the real reason for my visit to the bar. “Am I not allowed to go to a bar on a Friday night?”
“That’s not what I meant and you know it,” Callie immediately snaps. Darn it! I suck at the secret spy mission stuff.
“Sorry, I’m not feeling well.” There, that’s not a lie.
“We just need you to answer a few questions and then we’ll leave you alone,” Ben insists in a gentle but firm voice. Obviously, I’m not getting out of answering some questions and considering I woke up naked next to a dead man, I should probably be grateful I’m getting grilled by my friends instead of cuddling up to some jailbird named Bertha.
[Want more? Click below to read a longer excerpt.]

Praise for the Book
"I had no idea that a bakery was such a tough and cutthroat industry as everyone connected to this shop seems to be a magnet for murder and odd corpses. It appears that running a bakery is far more difficult than I ever imagined. Written from a first person POV, this cozy mystery was amusing, easy to follow, and pleasantly entertaining, as were all of Ms. Haggerty's previous works. I don't think I could ever tire of them." ~ DJ Sakata
"I loved the three women looking into the mystery and attempting to bring change and take action where the authorities are not. [...] The story pace is fast and the women put themselves into troublesome situations more darkly humorous than dangerous. Since the duo of friends have already solved murders before her, Kristie feels she can't let this one go. Definitely too close to home." ~ Laura Reading

My Review

By Lynda Dickson
This latest installment in the Death by Cupcake series stars Kristie, the barista at Callie's Cakes. Kristie wakes up naked in bed with a dead man and with no recollection of what happened the night before. With the help of her work colleagues Callie and Anna and their boyfriends Ben and Logan, Kristie tries to uncover the truth about what happened that night - before someone else gets hurt. With the addition of a new character, will Kristie finally land a man of her own?
Kristie the barista swears in cute coffee-flavored expletives (e.g., "for coffee's sake"). Also, in her honor, the chapter titles all relate to coffee and could be the slogans on your coffee cup (my favorite: "Procaffeinating: to delay or postpone actions; put off doing something until you've had your coffee."). Even though I guessed the perpetrator early on, the author threw in enough suspects and twists and turns to keep the story interesting. We also see a lot more of Callie and Anna interacting with their partners. While all of the male characters are a bit domineering and over-protective, they are also very loving and lovable. The book comes complete with a recipe for Grasshopper Cake, a mint-chocolate confection. Yum!
This one's a real winner. Are there any more books coming in this series? I sure hope so.

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. After surviving the army experience, I went back to school and got my law degree. I jumped ship and joined the hubby in the Netherlands before the graduation ceremony could even begin. 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.
But being a lawyer really wasn’t my thing, so I quit (again!) and went off to Germany to start a B&B. Turns out being a B&B owner wasn’t my thing either. I decided to follow the husband to Istanbul for a few years where I managed to churn out book after book. But ten years was too many to stay away from "home". I packed up again and moved to The Hague where I’m currently working on my next book. I hope I’ll always be working on my next book.