Winner Cake All By Denise Swanson: Review/Giveaway/Thanksgiving Recipe

Nov 21, 2020 | 2020 Articles, Food Fun, Mysteryrat's Maze, Sandra Murphy

by Sandra Murphy
& Denise Swanson

This week we have a review of another food mystery for your Thanksgiving reading, along with a Thanksgiving recipe from Denise Swanson. Details at the end of this post on how to enter to win a copy of the book, and links to purchase it.

Winner Cake All: A Chef-to-Go Mystery By Denise Swanson
By Sandra Murphy

Dani Sloan’s business, Chef to Go, is a lunch carry out for college students. She also caters and prepares chef-worthy meals in client’s homes. She has three students living in the mansion with her. The rent they pay plus the hours they work helps keep the business in the black.

Yvette is engaged to Franklin Whittaker, one of the mega-rich. Yvette always knows just what she wants—the best—and cost is no object. After all, Franklin is paying for it. Things are running smoothly until Dani’s out to dinner with boyfriend Spencer. Yvette drops by their table to say hello—not to Dani but Spencer—who is Yvette’s ex-husband. It was a total surprise to Dani, and an unwelcome one.

The couple will announce their engagement with a party in a fancy tent with an open bar, pianist, and Dani’s catering. Unfortunately, the only thing they can’t control is the weather. A huge thunderstorm rolls through, pelting hail and high winds. The tent collapses and chaos follows as people are trapped beneath the canvas. The only fatality is Yvette and it’s soon apparent it was murder making. Spencer is one of the suspects. Yvette was not well-liked, so the list of suspects is long. As a friend of the detective in charge, Dani appoints herself his investigator and proceeds to help clear Spencer’s name.

This is book three in the series. Dani is a perfectionist in her personal life as well as at work. It’s a bit stressful for her to live with three college age girls who have chaotic love lives. Add in work and a murder, her calendar is full.

There are mentions of the Scumble River series and crossover of a character, Frannie, a reporter. Frannie is all about the story to the extent, it’s her only focus which makes her character abrasive and unlikable as she doesn’t consider anyone’s feelings while asking blunt questions.

Sadly, there are no recipes included although some of the dishes are explained in enough detail, experienced cooks will be able to duplicate them.

Sandra Murphy lives in the shadow of the Arch in St. Louis Missouri. A Murder of Crows, edited by Sandra Murphy (a popular title so you need her name to search), has twenty-one cozy stories. Each features the collective name of an animal and a crime. The animals range from tarantulas, koalas, wolves, bears, jellyfish, toads, cats, dogs, alpaca, goats, penguins and more. No animals were harmed. The people weren’t so lucky. Available at the usual outlets, print or ebook.

Pumpkin Cake from Denise Swanson
Ingredients for cake
1 (15 ounce) can canned pumpkin puree
2 cups white sugar
1 cup vegetable oil
4 eggs
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt

In a bowl, beat pumpkin, 2 cups white sugar, and oil. Add eggs, and mix well.
In another bowl, combine flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt. Add these dry ingredients to the pumpkin mixture, and beat until well blended. Pour batter into a greased 15 x 10 inch baking pan.
Bake at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) for 25 to 30 minutes, or until cake tests done. Cool.

Ingredients for frosting
3 ounce cream cheese
1/4 cup Crisco
1 stick butter
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 pound confectioners’ sugar
1 teaspoon milk

In a mixing bowl, beat the cream cheese, butter, Crisco, and vanilla until smooth. Gradually add confectioners’ sugar, and mix well. Add milk until frosting reaches desired spreading consistency. Frost cake.

To enter to win a copy of Winner Cake All, simply email KRL at krlcontests@gmail[dot]com by replacing the [dot] with a period, and with the subject line “winner,” or comment on this article. A winner will be chosen November 28, 2020. U.S. residents only, and you must be 18 or older 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 AWARE THAT IT WILL TAKE MUCH LONGER THAN USUAL FOR WINNERS TO GET THEIR BOOKS DUE TO THE CURRENT CRISIS.

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!

You can use this link to purchase this book from indie bookstore Mysterious Galaxy, and KRL gets a portion of the sale:

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

New York Times Bestseller author Denise Swanson was a practicing psychologist for twenty-two years. She writes the Scumble River, Devereaux’s Dime Store, Chief-to-Go, and Forever Charmed mysteries, was well as two contemporary romance connected series. Her books all feature small-town heroines with lots of heart. For more information, please check her website or find Denise on Facebook at!/DeniseSwansonAuthor or follow her on Twitter at DeniseSwansonAu.

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.


  1. Sounds different. Count me in!

  2. Sounds like a great book.

  3. Sounds delicious! Thanks for the chance. JL_Minter(at)hotmail(dot)com

  4. Love the cover. Would really like to read.

  5. Sounds good and the cake looks delicious!!! Thank you for the giveaway!!!

  6. The book and recipe both sounds good! tWarner419(at)aol(dot)com

  7. Winner Cake All sounds like a fun and entertaining mystery. The Pumpkin Cake recipe looks both simple and delicious!

  8. This sounds like a fun read. Please???

  9. We have a winner!


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