Monday Book Review: Cappuccinos, Cupcakes and a Corpse

I’m running these thematically now. I’m not sure how many, I think 4-5 per genre consecutively. (Side mystery, how does it take 45-odd minutes to dig out a splinter the size of an ant’s foot?)

So. Cappuccinos, Cupcakes and a CorpseI like cupcakes, I like cappuccino. Done.

My summary: Thirty-something woman moves to a small town after a bereavement, begins running a cafe and murder investigation on the side. (Spoilers to come)

Plot: Swift enough. It’s all wrapped up within a few days, I felt like. The mystery’s investigation is interspersed with long hours at the cafe, making specially-designed cappuccino and concocting cupcakes. Other stuff happens in-between, mundane details really.

As to the murderer, I was disappointed. I like to make my guesses early on and I did – I was wrong, because the person was such a backgrounder. They weren’t a main, they weren’t a supporting cast. I felt like it was a case of “Remember this person who you never met until now?” and no, I didn’t remember. I wanted it to be one of the two others I suspected. I wish I’d been stumped, but I had a little trouble getting into the story. (I actually put this down a few weeks ago and then started it again this past weekend)

Characters: I’m honestly having a bit of trouble with the characters. I read this over the weekend and some of them stuck with me, but the main kind of didn’t. There were a couple of backgrounders who sort of faded into the wallpaper, and got a new coat of paint near the end, but along the way they sort of became blurred. The mains – well, I felt we didn’t get to know them as well as we could have, and the narrator tends to be a tiny bit too descriptive. Character development felt a bit thin on the ice, but one person did have a decent plot twist to his character. Pity it wasn’t the narrator’s twist to have.

Cover and title: Cover is appealingly simple. One pretty, pretty cupcake and one lovely cappuccino. Title is sweetly alliterative and rolls off the tongue easily enough – once you’ve said it a time or two.

Still not using the Netflix scale, but I could imagine the places well enough. I had a bit more trouble with picturing the characters but it’s not too much of a hindrance.

Overall, 2.3 stars. Again character development would’ve earned another half. I would’ve liked the whodunnit to be perpetrated by someone we know and saw throughout. Maybe also make the narrator be painted with suspicion, or something. I think the background somewhat drove the present, which I can’t fault as it does give some depth to the narrator’s motivations, and be a little less descriptive of each coffee art.

Lastly, the ending was strange: basically, it kicked off the next in the series with a tiny little mystery. It felt incongruous – to go from solving a murder, to this ending.

Food comparison: Plain tuna sandwich. If you enjoy it as is, you’ll like it. If you require a bit more interest then you’ll want something else added on.

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