Death of a Wedding Cake Baker By Lee Hollis: Review/Giveaway/Recipe

Jun 1, 2019 | 2019 Articles, Cynthia Chow, Food Fun, Mysteryrat's Maze

by Cynthia Chow
& Lee Hollis

What is better for June then a mystery set at a wedding! This week we have a review of Death of a Wedding Cake Baker by Lee Hollis, along with a couple of fun recipes perfect for any wedding from Lee. Details at the end of this post on how to enter to win a copy of Death of a Wedding Cake Baker, a link to purchase it from Amazon, and from an indie bookstore where a portion goes to help support KRL.

Death of a Wedding Cake Baker: A Hayley Powell Food and Cocktails Mystery by Lee Hollis
Review by Cynthia Chow

Hayley Powell may not know who first spoke the words of the sentimental toast she may be plagiarizing, but she truly believes in what she’s saying at the wedding shower of her BFF Liddy Crawford. No one really thought that Liddy would manage to get the much younger, boy-toy attorney Sonny Lipton to propose, and perhaps that explains why Liddy seems in such a rush to run down the aisle. Hayley has only a few weeks to fulfill her overwhelming duties as the Matron of Honor, so she should feel relieved that Liddy’s mother is determined to take over the event. As the one paying for the wedding, Celeste insists that it is her vision that is being fulfilled, and that includes hiring Liddy’s much-hated cousin Lisa Crawford to bake the wedding cake. After presenting several nut-laded samples to the nut-allergic Liddy and getting fired, Lisa ironically meets the fate of being found face down in the top-tier of the only cake Liddy actually desired.mystery

Liddy is determined that even a dead Lisa won’t ruin the wedding plans, so keeping the bride out of jail is added to Hayley’s Matron of Honor to-do list. Gossip has Liddy topping the list of suspects most likely to have wanted the baker dead, which means that when not trying on hideous dresses or attending an embarrassing stripper-filled bachelorette party, Hayley tracks down Lisa’s furious exes and cheated business partners. With bets being placed all around Bar Harbor on whether or not Liddy will ever manage to drag Sonny to the altar, Hayley seems to be the only one optimistic enough to believe in the possibility of true love. As cynicism and sarcasm flows throughout the town, Hayley’s delightful Island Food & Cocktails columns describe past wedding experiences as a guest and briefly happy participant. The chaos of failed plans and family battles at least bring people together, concluding with good food and a lot of booze.

The brother and sister writing team of Rick Copp and Holly Simason continue to deliver a surfeit of laughs and hilarious situations as Hayley gets herself in and out of trouble. Mona Barnes continues to be the grumpy third accomplice to Liddy and Hayley’s exploits, rolling her eyes at Liddy’s tenacity in mowing down everything in her path in order to get a ring on her finger. Hayley may seem a bit naïve at times, but her genuine love for her family is a refreshing counter to the event’s superficiality. Hayley’s brother-in-law Sergio does his best to uphold the law as the malapropism-prone police chief, while her brother serves up customized, potent drinks at his Drinks Like a Fish bar. Hayley has her own romantic path that is going unexpectedly well, and through her food and drink columns readers see her good humor and ability to stay relatively calm amidst the chaos. Recipes for party food and cocktails are of course included throughout the story, ensuring that readers will be satiated, and possibly inebriated, by the end of this thoroughly engaging and fun novel.

Cynthia Chow is the branch manager of Kaneohe Public Library on the island of Oahu. She balances a librarian lifestyle of cardigans and hair buns with a passion for motorcycle riding and regrettable tattoos (sorry, Mom).

Death of a wedding Cake Baker – Recipe & Cocktail
By Lee Hollis

This is only my opinion, but I believe there are three groups of people when it comes to weddings.

The first group are those people that love to receive the fancy wedding invitation in the mail which includes a dinner choice of chicken or fish and they get extra excited at the thought of getting all dressed up in their finest outfits to attend the special day.

The second group are the ones who cringe when the invitation arrives because they would rather jump off a bridge then spend a hot summer’s day dressed up in a suit, eating dry chicken at a sit-down dinner and then dancing the night away doing the bunny hop. When all they really want to do is be at home enjoying a cocktail and binge watching a favorite TV show.drinks

I am in the third group. I actually don’t mind going to weddings but I do love a casual wedding that is perhaps held outdoors, with canopy’s covering long tables, music playing, a great drink table, lots of delicious appetizers, buffet with local offerings and a few extra touches for me at least makes it a special day for all to enjoy.

But my favorite part of a wedding day at least after the ceremony is always enjoying a refreshing cocktail and enjoying a great appetizer, so I’m sharing a couple of my favorites. Give them a try this summer and it doesn’t even have to be a special occasion it can just be a nice summer afternoon when you feel like relaxing and treating yourself or your friends to something a little special.

Summer Spritzer

2 ounces Peach Vodka
1-ounce Pineapple Juice
1 Ounce Lime Juice
Sparkling Wine
In a cocktail shaker with ice add all your ingredients except your wine. Shake to chill and combine. Strain into a glass and top with sparkling wine and enjoy.

Carmel Apple Nachos
4 large green apples
½ package of Kraft caramels (unwrapped)
½ package white chocolate chips
½ cup mini chocolate chips
1 Heath candy bar, crushed
1 tablespoon water
1. Slice each of your apples into 8 slices and arrange the slices on a serving platter.
2. Place your caramels in a microwave safe bowl with the tablespoon of water and microwave for 30 seconds or until you can stir and drizzle Carmel over the apples.
3. Melt your while chocolate chips I n a separate microwave safe bowl and drizzle over apples.
4. Top your apples with the mini chocolate chips and crushed candy bar.
Serve and enjoy!

To enter to win a copy of Death of a Wedding Cake Baker, simply email KRL at krlcontests@gmail[dot]com by replacing the [dot] with a period, and with the subject line “baker,” or comment on this article. A winner will be chosen June 8, 2019. U.S. residents only. If entering via email please include your mailing address (so if you win we can get the book sent right out to you), and if via comment please include your email address. You can read our privacy statement here if you like.

Check out other mystery articles, reviews, book giveaways & mystery short stories in our mystery section. And join our mystery Facebook group to keep up with everything mystery we post, and have a chance at some extra giveaways. Be sure to check out our new mystery podcast too with mystery short stories, and first chapters read by local actors. A new episode went up this week.

Use this link to purchase the book & a portion goes to help support KRL & indie bookstore Mysterious Galaxy:

You can also use this link to purchase the book on Amazon. If you have ad blocker on you may not see the link:

Lee Hollis is the pen name for a brother and sister writing team who write the Hayley Powell Food and Cocktails Mysteries. You can learn more on their Facebook page.

Disclosure: This post contains links to an affiliate program, for which we receive a few cents if you make purchases using those links. KRL also receives free copies of most of the books that it reviews, that are provided in exchange for an honest review of the book.


  1. I just looked up this series and all it’s books and it looks like a fun series. Thanks for the contest. ckmbeg (at) gmail (dot) com

  2. thanks for the review. Recipes look good & the story sounds great!

  3. Can’t wait to read this one. Thanks for the chance to win.

  4. Thanks for the chance! JL_Minter(at)hotmail(dot)com

  5. Wonderful feature and giveaway. Thanks.

  6. I’ve read some others in this series and they’re great. This one looks like it too.

  7. I’ve read others in this series and they were great. This one looks like it too.

  8. Sounds like a great series – and very tasty recipes. Thanks for the contest.

  9. I love Lee Hollis’s books and this books sounds like another home run. Thank you for sharing it on your blog.

  10. I love this series.

  11. Sounds really interesting and fun to read. The recipes sound delicious.

  12. Sounds really interesting and fun to read. The recipes sound delicious. Thank you for the chance.

  13. Great series! Can’t wait to read “Death of A Wedding Cake Baker”,

  14. Would love to dive into a new series. Hoping to win.

  15. I would love to win and read your book!

  16. Book looks good! Thanks for the chance to win!

  17. This looks like a great series, thanks for the chance to win!

  18. Sounds like the beginning of another great cozy mystery. I love that recipes relating to the story line of your books are always included.

  19. Fun to see a brother and sister working
    together. Great series.
    thanks for the chance to win it.

  20. I would love to add this book to my growing collection of the author’s works. I hope I’m that lucky winner.

  21. The recipes look amazing. Will have to try them at my next summer party.

  22. The recipe sounds delicious. Here’s hoping I win it so I can read it soon.

  23. We have a winner!


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