by Kathleen Costa
& Kim Davis
This week we have a review of the latest Cupcake Catering Mystery by Kim Davis, and Kim has shared with us a fun cookie recipe. Details at the end of this post on how to enter to win a copy of the book and a link to purchase it from Amazon.
Framed and Frosted: Cupcake Catering Mystery by Kim Davis
Review by Kathleen Costa
Emory Martinez is passionate about creating unique cupcake flavors, and after garnering “you’re so talented” praise and winning first-place honors in county fair competitions for her sweet treats, she bravely thought it time to leave her “9 to 5” job and go professional. Her own shop may not be practical, but her “only by a few minutes,” “almost identical” older sister Carrie Berger runs a party planning and catering business offering Emory regular gigs to highlight her specialty cupcakes. The business, however, was in jeopardy after Carrie’s premature delivery of her son required she’d take time off. This led to some clients making other arrangements for their catering needs, but Emory, along with young culinary student Salvador Cruz, stepped up to manage the remaining contracts and help rebuild the business’s client list. But even now, it’s necessary for Carrie to take on any client, even the demanding ones, to improve her business’s bottom line. What could possibly go wrong?
Framed and Frosted Earns 5/5 Martini Cupcakes…Engaging Cozy-zilla!
There are bridezillas, mother-in-lawzillas, even groomzillas, but client-zillas? Mr. and Mrs. Jorgensen are a wealthy local couple whose Fourth of July event could bring Carrie and Emory great PR. But, the party has been trouble from the start. Mrs. J. wanted an upscale themed diner party closely patterned after the Dîner en Blanc originating in 1980s Paris, but issues with serving a menu of entirely white foods along with last-minute demands and Mr. J’s extremely curt manner and verbal attack at Sal’s presence has made this an event from hell. But, the Jorgensen’s contacts could result in lucrative business opportunities, so grin and bear it? That is extremely difficult to accomplish when Mr. J. is drinking to excess, complains about the food, and manhandles Emory during the amuse-bouche course. Worse yet is Mr. J. accusing Sal of the murder of his son and smashing a cupcake into Sal’s face. So, when Mr. J. keels over dead after eating one of Emory’s cupcakes, is it no wonder Sal is arrested and the detective in charge is suspicious of Emory?
Sweet Treat! Kim Davis has baked it, frosted it, and put a cherry on top of this third book in her Cupcake Catering Mystery series. She opens the drama with some intense interactions from thoughtless demands to drunken tirades, from Salvador being verbally abused to Emory being physically accosted, and requiring a confidentiality waiver and throwing money at them as a threat to keep them quiet is the typical response of the entitled, and intriguing to know what they’re hiding. However, Mr. Jorgensen as the victim seems the perfect karmic intervention. The investigation is imperative since Salvador is obviously being “framed,” and Tillie Skyler, sassy senior, friend, and sort-of-grandmother to Emory, is raring to get involved, even Em’s mother is out of character eagerly offering some solid background. But, as complex and engaging the drama is with its revelations, threats, and surprises related to embezzlement and the death of the Jorgensen’s son along with security tape evidence making difficult a private Skyler family matter, it is the characters, their connections, and what they share that is the most entertaining. I greatly enjoy the dynamic between Emory and her family and friends (good and bad), efforts to find the half-sister she only recently learned existed, additional romantic hints, Salvador’s background, and the issues with her employer, the cops, and her nieces and nephew. All fascinating, compelling, and creative…don’t miss out!
Bonus! Recipes? Of course, Kim Davis has mouthwatering descriptions throughout, but she also includes easy-to-follow recipes often with a “Note” or “Tip” to support success. In this book, you have everything you need to host your own “Dîner en Blanc” with Carrie’s and Emory’s menu: hors d’oeuvres Herbed Artichoke White Bean Dip, amuse-bouche Mini Phyllo Cups with Whipped Goats Cheese and Cranberry Stars, soup course White Gazpacho, salad course Jicama, Apple and Berry Salad with Citrus-Ginger Dressing, fish course Swordfish with Lemon Caper Wine Sauce and Cherry Tomatoes, Orzo Salad with Roasted Red Peppers, Feta Cheese, and Kalamata Olives, and cupcakes galore for the dessert course Lemon Drop Martini Cupcakes (Lemon Drop Martini Cocktails included), Champagne Cupcakes with Champagne Buttercream, and Pink Lemonade Cupcakes.
Be a Big Kim Davis Fan!
A favorite book reviewer and blogger at Cinnamon, Sugar and a Little Bit of Murder, Kim Davis, aka K.A. Davis, is also a writer. In 2017, she wrote the thriller A Game of Deceit (reviewed HERE) to rave reviews, and in 2020, she introduced the now popular cozy mystery three-book Cupcake Catering Mystery series.
Sprinkles of Fun Cookies
by Kim Davis
1 box white cake mix (15.25 oz.)
1/3 cup unsalted butter, melted and slightly cooled
1/4 cup sour cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract or your favorite flavoring
1/3 cup multicolored sprinkles (or your favorite seasonal sprinkles)
1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
2 tablespoons vegetable shortening (optional, but this helps develop a crust on frosting)
1/4 teaspoon salt
3 cups confectioners’ sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 – 3 tablespoons half and half or milk
1/4 cup sprinkles, multicolored or your favorite seasonal sprinkles
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees (F). Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.
2. Add cake mix, egg, butter, sour cream, and vanilla to a bowl and mix until completely combined.
3. Gently stir in the sprinkles, just until combined.
4. Scoop cookie dough into tablespoon-sized portions and roll into a ball. Place on prepared baking sheets and lightly flatten the dough balls with either your hands or a spatula.
5. Bake, one pan at a time, for 9 – 11 minutes. The tops of the cookies should start to crack a bit but the centers should remain soft.
6. Cool cookies on the baking sheet for 5 minutes then remove to a wire cooling rack. Cool completely before frosting.
1. In the bowl of a standing mixer, whip the butter, vegetable shortening (if using) and salt until creamy, about 2 minutes on medium speed.
2. Reduce the speed of the mixer to low and slowly add in approximately half of the confectioners’ sugar and beat until incorporated.
3. Add the vanilla extract and 2 tablespoons half and half (or milk) and beat until smooth.
4. Beat in the remaining confectioners’ sugar.
5. Increase the mixer speed to medium-high and beat for 2 minutes. If frosting is too stiff, slowly add additional half and half until desired consistency is reached.
6. Frost the completely cooled cookies and garnish with sprinkles. Allow the frosting to set before storing in an airtight container.
1. Substitute the white cake mix with any other flavor of cake mix. Omit adding sprinkles to the batter.
2. * Feel free to use your favorite pre-made canned frosting.
To enter to win a print or ebook copy of Framed and Frosted (winner’s choice), simply email KRL at krlcontests@gmail[dot]com by replacing the [dot] with a period, with the subject line “frosted,” or comment on this article. A winner will be chosen July 17, 2021. Only US entries and you must be at least 18 to enter. If you are entering via email please include you mailing address in case you win, it will be deleted after the contest. You can read our privacy statement here if you like. BE SURE TO STATE WHETHER YOU WANT PRINT OR EBOOK.
The first in this series, Sprinkles of Suspicion, was recently featured on Mysteryrat’s Maze Podcast. You can find the link here, or listen on the player below:
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. Also listen to our new mystery podcast where mystery short stories and first chapters are read by actors! They are also available on Apple Podcasts, Google Play, and Spotify. A new episode goes up next week!
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Disclosure: This post contains links to an affiliate program, for which we receive a few cents if you make purchases. 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.