A California Magazine with Local Focus and Global Appeal:
Community - Entertainment - Human Interest

Weekly issues every Saturday morning and other special articles throughout the week — there's something for everyone. Check out our sister site KRL News & Reviews for even more articles every week.

Previous post:

Next post:

The Candy Cane Cupcake Killer By Livia J. Washburn: Review/Giveaway

IN THE December 5 ISSUE

FROM THE 2015 Articles,
andFood Fun,
andMysteryrat's Maze,
andSandra Murphy

by Sandra Murphy

Details at the end of this post on how to win a copy of The Candy Cane Cupcake Killer, along with a link to the book.

Phyllis, Sam, Carolyn, and Eva, retired schoolteachers, share Phyllis’ house. It works for them since they have each other’s company and share expenses. It works really well for Sam since Phyllis and Carolyn are great cooks—plus there’s a yard for his Dalmation, Buck. And he and Phyllis are an “item,” as the saying goes.

They’re headed for the annual Christmas parade. Every year someone new plays Santa and arrives in style. This year it’s a councilman arriving in a horse-drawn carriage. Barney, the carriage driver, is an old friend of Sam’s, so of course they have to stop and visit a minute before the parade starts.

Phyllis makes a new cupcake recipe and Barney weasels one from her just before the parade starts. As she and Sam walk to their viewing spot, there’s a commotion behind them. Barney has collapsed, and the horses are in a panic. If someone can’t stop them, people are going to get trampled. book

Thinking quickly, Sam comes up with a plan and saves the day. Unfortunately, he can’t save Barney. The logical conclusion would be that he ate one of Phyllis’ cupcakes and then died—but they’d all eaten them with no ill effects. The EMTs find Barney was shot, which lets Phyllis’ cupcakes off the hook.

Sam knew Barney’s daughter, Allyson, and now son-in-law, Nate, from his days as a coach at school. Although Nate and Barney argued, he’s sure that it wouldn’t lead to murder. Still, whoever did it had to be a great marksman, since the shot came from a distance.

Phyllis wonders if the shot was meant for Barney or the councilman. The more they look into it, the more the councilman seems a more likely target. He’s had an affair, his wife has filed for divorce, he’s driven his company into near bankruptcy so his partners are suing him, and his girlfriend is threatening to sue for sexual harassment. Working with Nate’s attorney, they start to unravel the clues, all the while being stalked by a television crew, hungry for a sensational story.

Phyllis is able to figure out the missing link to solve the mystery. It’s a nice change to read about active older adults who can solve a crime without putting themselves in danger, rather than the thirty-somethings who run headlong into hazardous situations. The cast of characters is a good one and my only complaint is that Buck the Dalmation didn’t appear often enough in this storyline!

This is Book Ten in the series. You won’t want to miss one of them. Phyllis and Carolyn are generous enough to share their recipes. Look for candy-cane cupcakes, peppermint-buttercream frosting, macarons, baklava macarons, crustless spinach and bacon quiche, tomato and mozzarella salad, sausage egg muffins, red potato salad, potato soup, ham and cheese sliders with a Dijon sauce, baked meatballs, and chicken and spinach salad.

To enter to win a copy of The Candy Can Cupcake Killer, simply email KRL at krlcontests@gmail[dot]com by replacing the [dot] with a period, and with the subject line “cupcake,” or comment on this article. A winner will be chosen December 12, 2015. U.S. residents only. If entering via email please include your mailing address, and if via comment please include your email address.

Check out other mystery articles, reviews, book giveaways & short stories in our mystery section.

You can use this link to order this book:

Sandra Murphy lives in the shadow of the arch, in the land of blues, booze and shoes—St Louis, Missouri. While writing magazine articles to support her mystery book habit, she secretly polishes two mystery books of her own, hoping, someday, they will see the light of Barnes and Noble. You can also find several of Sandra’s short stories on UnTreed Reads including her newest, “Arthur”, included in the anthology titled, Flash and Bang, available now.

{ 26 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Laura F.
Twitter: @fryebbe
December 5, 2015 at 8:27am

Looks like another great installment in this series.


2 Christina Pollet December 5, 2015 at 11:27am

Sounds great!


3 Kathleen Costa December 5, 2015 at 5:31pm

I love this genre…can’t pass up a great giveaway!


4 Jeanetta S. December 6, 2015 at 2:53am

This cozy sounds like a delightful read. Thank you for the giveaway.


5 Jill December 6, 2015 at 4:19am

The combination of a Christmas theme and recipes makes me want to read this one.


6 Valerie Hoynacki December 6, 2015 at 7:48am

Livia’s books are always enjoyable.


7 Annette Naish December 6, 2015 at 9:21am

What a terrific review, and I thank you for letting me know about this book.


8 Barbara December 6, 2015 at 10:43am

Looks good. I want to read it.


9 Jeanie
Twitter: @JeanieDannheim
December 6, 2015 at 1:29pm

This sounds so good! Thank you for the opportunity to win! It sounds suspenseful and sweet, the right combination!


10 Candy Kennedy December 6, 2015 at 2:31pm

Looks like a book I wold enjoy.


11 sara hyman December 6, 2015 at 7:33pm

series I haven’t started yet. Want to read to it


12 Mary Marcincin December 7, 2015 at 9:54am

Looks like a great read. Thanks for the chance to win.


13 Amanda Redman December 7, 2015 at 11:30am

I love a good murder/baking/food mystery! Always looking for a great new series.


14 Kathy Kirkland December 7, 2015 at 12:22pm

Sounds like an awesome chance to try a new to me series!!!


15 Doward Wilson December 7, 2015 at 4:19pm

Thanks for the chance to win. I have just recently started reading this series.


16 Kiki December 7, 2015 at 6:01pm

Looks like another great cozy mystery.


17 Wanda Downs December 7, 2015 at 10:25pm

Thanks for the contest would love to win


18 Patricia December 8, 2015 at 6:27am

Would love to win!


19 Patricia December 8, 2015 at 6:30am

patucker54 (at aol dot com)


20 Dianne Casey December 8, 2015 at 9:40am

Would really enjoy reading this book. Have enjoyed several of her other books. This is a good time of the year for a Christmas read.
A recent post from Dianne Casey: Christmas Mysteries From PenguinMy Profile


21 holdenj
Twitter: @.
December 9, 2015 at 6:59am

What a dizzying array of delicious recipes! Thanks for the chance to win!


22 Jennifer W December 9, 2015 at 10:48am

One of my favorite book series. I would love to win. Thank you for the opportunity to do so.


23 Kathleen Costa December 9, 2015 at 4:03pm

I love candy canes! Add murder…wow! Thanks.


24 Jill Broussard December 10, 2015 at 7:40am

Haven’t read this series yet, but it looks good! Thankyou for the opportunity! Jill; minishoes@msn.com


25 Margaret Rushton
Twitter: @cupcake5858
December 11, 2015 at 4:58am

Great author. I read her series and hope to win to find out what happens in the next book. Thanks for the chance to win.


26 Lorie
Twitter: @mysteryrat
December 14, 2015 at 10:13am

We have a winner!


Leave a Comment

Twitter ID
(ID only; No links or "@" symbols)

CommentLuv badge

Previous post:

Next post:

  • Arts & Entertainment

  • Books & Tales

  • Community

  • Education

  • Food Fun

  • Helping Hands

  • Hometown History

  • Pets

  • Teens

  • Terrific Tales