Cake and Punishment: A Southern Cake Baker Mystery by Maymee Bell

Title: Cake and Punishment

Author:  Maymee Bell

Publisher: Crooked Lane Books

Publication Date: May 8, 2018

Page Count: 257

My rating: 3 stars

About the book:

In the first of a delectable new Southern-set baking cozy series, Sophia Cummings, pastry chef extraordinaire, must craft the perfect cake for an old friend’s wedding while sifting through the suspects in a murder. 

Bucolic Rumford, Kentucky has glowing fields of bluegrass, a fine selection of bourbons, and now a professional pastry chef. Broken-hearted Sophia Cummings has come home from New York City. She’s not there a minute before she’s charmed into making her high school friend Charlotte’s wedding cake. The kitchen at the Rumford Country Club seems perfect until Chef Emile’s body is discovered, sprawled near the stove, a cast iron skillet on the floor close by.

With one look at the shiny, new frying pan, Sophia knows it’s not Emile’s. She offers her knowledge to Sheriff Carter and her talents to Evelyn, the manager, who needs an interim chef. The mood in the country club is grim: Emile’s peppery personality had burned members and staff alike. Sophia wonders which one of them burned him?

Perfect for fans of Joanne Fluke and JoAnna Carl, Cake and Punishment—with authentic Southern recipes!—will satisfy your sweet tooth.

my-review_43_orig - Edited

Cake and Punishment by Maymee Bell is the first book in the new cozy A Southern Cake Baker Mystery series. In this series Sophia Cummings has returned to her hometown of Bucolic Rumford, Kentucky from New York to nurse her broken heart with family and old friends.

No sooner that Sophia arrives home though she finds that her old high school friend, Charlotte, is getting married and is without a cake baker. Since Sophia is a pastry chef back in New York Charlotte does her best to convince her to take over the job for the wedding.

Just as soon as Sophia agrees to do the wedding and goes to check out the Rumford Country Club kitchen she however end up finding a bit more than pots and pans when she stumbles on the body of the chef. Since a kitchen is Sophia’s comfort zone she immediately jumps in to help point out clues at the scene when the law arrives.

Cake and Punishment by Maymee Bell was a solid opener for this new cozy series infused with southern charm. The author seemed to do a good job giving it that southern vibe along with plenty of talk of mouth watering treats to set the scene. What I found a bit lacking on my side though was any real unique quirkiness to the characters to truly make the book stand out a bit more to me. I’m always looking for that bit of spark to really wow me and with this one I didn’t quite find it yet although I did enjoy the mystery.

I received an advance copy from the publisher via NetGalley.

Find this book online: 

Goodreads  /   Amazon

About the author:

Maymee Bell is the pen name of USA Today Bestselling author Tonya Kappes. She lives in Kentucky with her family and her two schnauzers. She likes strong coffee, slow-country days, and fresh-baked cookies – but she like telling stores best of all. This is her first SOUTHERN BAKER MYSTERY.
For years, USA Today bestselling author Tonya Kappes has been publishing numerous mystery and romance titles with unprecedented success. She is famous not only for her hilarious plot lines and quirky characters, but her tremendous marketing efforts that have earned her thousands of followers and a devoted street team of fans.
Sign up for her newsletter on her website at .


Categories: Uncategorized

4 replies

    • I’ve only read one by Ellery so far and that was The Secret, Book and Scone Society. It’s tough to make time to go back and pick up previous series with so many new ones coming my way but she’s definitely one that if I ever get the chance I would try more of. I just prefer to start at the beginning for most series, romance is usually the only exception to that so those that have been out get pushed to the end of my very very long TBR. 😦


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