Title: Murder with a Cherry on Top
Author: Cynthia Baxter
Publication Date: March 27, 2018
Page Count: 257
My rating: 5 stars
About the book:
Kate McKay had doubts about swapping her high-powered life in Manhattan for Wolfert’s Roost, the quaint Hudson Valley village where she grew up. But when she moves back to care for her ailing grandmother, Kate decides to start fresh and indulge her dream of running an ice cream shop. All goes smoothly—until she’s reunited with old acquaintances nuttier than a vat of rocky road . . .
Kate should be thrilled about opening Lickety Splits Ice Cream Shoppe in the heart of town. Instead her spirits melt like soft serve in the summer when she learns that her childhood frenemy, Ashley Winthrop, has started selling frozen treats in the bakery across the street. Turns out, Ashley hasn’t sweetened since high school. And, once again, she’s game for some very unfriendly competition . . .
But before Ashley can kill Kate’s new business, someone kills Ashley—stabbing her to death inside the bakery. Worse, the murder occurs right after the two rivals drew crowds with a heated argument, leaving half of Wolfert’s Roost speculating that Kate was finally pushed over the edge . . .
With rumors swirling and her reputation in serious trouble, Kate is determined to get the real scoop on the crime—even if it means joining forces with a former flame. As she pieces together clues to a chilling scandal, Kate soon realizes that she’ll need way more than a sprinkle of wit if she wants to expose the killer and live to see another sundae . . .
Includes mouthwatering ice cream recipes from the Lickety Splits Ice Cream Shoppe!
Murder with a Cherry on Top by Cynthia Baxter is the first book in the cozy A Lickety Splits Mystery series. Kate McKay had left her hometown after high school and gone onto college and then a career in Manhattan but when she gets news that her grandmother needs someone to come care for her Kate quickly returns to Wolfert’s Roost giving up her career.
Growing up Kate has fond memories of her family and their love for ice cream from birthdays to times of sorrow the frozen treat was always right there. So now that Kate needs a new path to follow in her life she decides an ice cream shop is just what her small town needs and all the creative ideas she’s had can finally be brought to life.
Opening up her shop in a prime space in Wolfert’s Roost Kate unfortunately finds that the bakery across the street belongs to none other than her old school rival Ashley Winthrop. Ashley always had a habit of wanting to one up Kate and it seems times haven’t changed when she posts a sign in the bakery that she now plans one selling ice cream too. Of course this leads to a very public argument between Kate and Ashley but Kate never expected her next visitor to be the police informing her of Ashley’s murder and the fact that Kate is now a suspect.
Murder with a Cherry on Top was an enjoyable cozy mystery right from the very start. Kate had an endearing quality to me when it was told she immediately volunteered to care for her grandmother. Putting family first certainly won me over but the delicious treats described in the new shop was also right up there at the top of my likes too.
Then we move onto the murder in the small town and it really was a fun one to follow. There were plenty of people on Kate’s list of possibilities but it was also a nice surprise to find the creative motive I wasn’t expecting at all. And there is also a potential to have a nice romance for the character with an old flame being in the picture. I’ll definitely be looking forward to more from this fun series in the future.
I received an advance copy from the publisher via NetGalley.
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About the author:
Cynthia Baxter is the author of three mystery series. In addition to her current series, the Lickety Splits Ice Cream Shoppe mysteries, she wrote the Reigning Cats & Dogs mystery series, featuring Long Island veterinarian Jessica Popper, and the Murder Packs a Suitcase mysteries, which feature travel writer Mallory Marlowe.
Cynthia dreamed of being a writer ever since she was six years old and discovered that she loved books and reading more than anything else.
She grew up on Long Island, New York, graduated from Bryn Mawr College, got an MBA from the Sloan School at MIT, and spent three and a half years working for large corporations—and hating every minute. She was therefore thrilled when she got her first book published at age 27 and decided to try writing full-time.
Cynthia has also written more than forty novels under the name Cynthia Blair. And books and reading are still her favorite things in the world.