Sunday, December 20, 2009

Review -- DEAD PAN

Dead Pan
Daphne Martin Cake Decorating Series - Book 2
By Gayle Trent
Publisher: Bell Bridge Books
Release Date: Nov. 1, 2009

In Murder Takes the Cake, the first book in this series, Daphne Martin moved back home following the end of her abusive marriage and opened a cake decorating business, looking forward to a quiet, uneventful life. That all changed when she was accused of poisoning the town gossip but Daphne turned amateur sleuth and, with the help of a police detective, discovered the real killer and cleared her name. In her new book, Dead Pan, Daphne's ready to put her amateur detective career behind her and return to the kitchen but her creator, Ms. Trent, has other plans.

When the majority of the guests at the Brea Ridge Pharmaceutical Christmas party become violently ill with symptoms resembling food poisoning and poor Fred Duncan ends up in a coma, the police come knocking at Daphne's door. She's positive that the cake she made for the party isn't the reason behind the mysterious illness but the town's still talking about her role in that mess with the murder of the town gossip and the police are keeping their options open. She's promised her sister that she won't place herself in the path of danger again by investigating another murder but when poor Fred dies and his mother begs Daphne to find his killer...well, what's a girl to do?  With the assistance of Fred's young cousin and Daphne's "sort of" boyfriend, reporter and newspaper editor, Ben Jacobs, the search is on to find Fred's killer.   

Trent has penned a light, fun, cozy story with a likeable heroine, quirky secondary characters, a second chance at love, a devious villain and a realistic mystery with enough twists and turns to keep the reader guessing. Mix in some of Daphne's recipes (especially the cake balls) and you have a delicious story that has me wanting more. Luckily for me, the next book in the series, Killer Sweet Tooth, is scheduled to be published in 2010.



  1. This sounds like a light, funny read, something very appropriate for the Christmas time. I'm a sucker for small-town-stories - Talk of the Town by Karen Hawkins, for example, was one of my favourite reads this year - and wish there were more.

    Ahem, just one thing I didn't quite get (embarrassing, I know): Is the hero the police detective?

  2. Hi Lisa!

    I loved Talk of the Town! I'm so glad Karen will be writing more books in that series.

    Good catch, Lisa! The "sort of" hero of Dead Pan is Ben Jacobs, the editor/reporter of the local paper. He's known Daphne since they were kids and they're now dating. There's the potential for a possible hea down the road.

  3. Great review, PJ! Another book to be added to the TBR pile. The title of this book and the next are clever. I've been reading historicals for the last several years, so thanks to TRD for broadening my horizons. :)

  4. Hi Deb! Always happy to broaden someone's reading horizons. ;-)

    I have a review of a contemporary Christmas story (with a giveaway) going up later this morning so check back for further "broadening." *grin*

  5. Thanks PJ for the review. You really made me want to read thos one ! Yet another book to order... ;-)

  6. Sounds like a fun book, PJ! I'm another big fan of Karen Hawkins' TALK OF THE TOWN. I'm so glad she'll be writing more in books in that series!

  7. This one sounds good as I love small-town romances, too! Thanks, PJ!

  8. I like cozy mysteries and this sounds fun too! I can add this to my wish list in case any of my family haven't finished shopping yet!

  9. Another great book. And I just love cake balls :-)