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The Fairy Tale Cupcake crew must discover the truth behind a death sprinkled with suspicion before Mel and Joe can say I do", in the thirteenth Cupcake Bakery Mystery from New York Times bestselling author Jenn McKinlay. Life is sweet and business is booming at the Fairy Tale Cupcakes bakery--and the fact that Mel and Joe are getting married is the icing on the cake. Their The Fairy Tale Cupcake crew must discover the truth behind a death sprinkled with suspicion before Mel and Joe can say I do", in the thirteenth Cupcake Bakery Mystery from New York Times bestselling author Jenn McKinlay. Life is sweet and business is booming at the Fairy Tale Cupcakes bakery--and the fact that Mel and Joe are getting married is the icing on the cake. Their reception will be held at the swanky resort where Oz works as the pastry chef. The wedding planning is all fun-fetti and games until Mel and Joe meet the head chef at the resort who has been making Oz's life miserable. When the eccentric chef insults Mel's bakery, Oz gets into a blowout argument with the culinary prima donna. Things turn extra sour when the chef is murdered, and Oz is the police's main suspect. As the countdown to the wedding day begins, Mel, Joe, and the rest of the Fairy Tale Cupcake crew must sift through clues to catch the real killer and clear Oz's name before their wedding plans are totally battered and baked.


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The Fairy Tale Cupcake crew must discover the truth behind a death sprinkled with suspicion before Mel and Joe can say I do", in the thirteenth Cupcake Bakery Mystery from New York Times bestselling author Jenn McKinlay. Life is sweet and business is booming at the Fairy Tale Cupcakes bakery--and the fact that Mel and Joe are getting married is the icing on the cake. Their The Fairy Tale Cupcake crew must discover the truth behind a death sprinkled with suspicion before Mel and Joe can say I do", in the thirteenth Cupcake Bakery Mystery from New York Times bestselling author Jenn McKinlay. Life is sweet and business is booming at the Fairy Tale Cupcakes bakery--and the fact that Mel and Joe are getting married is the icing on the cake. Their reception will be held at the swanky resort where Oz works as the pastry chef. The wedding planning is all fun-fetti and games until Mel and Joe meet the head chef at the resort who has been making Oz's life miserable. When the eccentric chef insults Mel's bakery, Oz gets into a blowout argument with the culinary prima donna. Things turn extra sour when the chef is murdered, and Oz is the police's main suspect. As the countdown to the wedding day begins, Mel, Joe, and the rest of the Fairy Tale Cupcake crew must sift through clues to catch the real killer and clear Oz's name before their wedding plans are totally battered and baked.

30 review for For Batter or Worse

  1. 4 out of 5

    Mark Baker

    Mel and Joe’s wedding day is fast approaching. For their reception, they’ve picked the resort where Oz has landed the job of head pastry chef. However, things are not going well for Oz there as the head chef is proving to be an egomaniac. One day, Mel and Angie witness a very public fight between Oz and the head chef. Then, a couple of days later, Mel and Joe find Oz bending over the dead body of the chef. Mel doesn’t need anything else on her to do list, but can she figure out who the killer is Mel and Joe’s wedding day is fast approaching. For their reception, they’ve picked the resort where Oz has landed the job of head pastry chef. However, things are not going well for Oz there as the head chef is proving to be an egomaniac. One day, Mel and Angie witness a very public fight between Oz and the head chef. Then, a couple of days later, Mel and Joe find Oz bending over the dead body of the chef. Mel doesn’t need anything else on her to do list, but can she figure out who the killer is before she walks down the aisle? If you were worried that Oz was leaving the series after the events of the previous book, this proves that he will still very much be part of the series. He gets some interesting character growth, in fact. The rest of the gang is all present, and I enjoyed laughing at their antics as they worked to solve the case. The mystery is filled with plenty of suspects and red herrings, and I only began to figure things out right before Mel put it all together. I loved the final chapter. If the book makes you hungry, you’ll be happy with the four recipes at the end. Once again, fans will devour this book and be ready for Mel’s next adventure. NOTE: I received an ARC of this book. Read my full review at Carstairs Considers.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Micky Cox

    Laughter and a few sniffles wrapped around a wedding, a impending birth, friendship, family and a murder! One of those doesn't fit with the rest, but in this book it fits perfectly!!! A well plotted mystery is just what the bride didn't order in the days leading up to her wedding, but it is exactly what she got and that is good for us as the readers! Great characters, wonderful and engaging plot that hits you right in the feels to activate both your funny bone and your heart! I absolutely can't Laughter and a few sniffles wrapped around a wedding, a impending birth, friendship, family and a murder! One of those doesn't fit with the rest, but in this book it fits perfectly!!! A well plotted mystery is just what the bride didn't order in the days leading up to her wedding, but it is exactly what she got and that is good for us as the readers! Great characters, wonderful and engaging plot that hits you right in the feels to activate both your funny bone and your heart! I absolutely can't wait to read what comes next for these characters, although I should say listen as the audiobook was the route that I chose and the narrator did an outstanding job of bringing the wonderful cast and story to life!

  3. 5 out of 5

    Annie

    I feel like it’s been a while since I’ve read a book in this series but maybe that’s because I’ve been missing it. So when FOR BATTER OR WORSE fell into my hands, I gobbled it up right away! If you’re new to the series, I would suggest starting from the beginning only because the romance and the friendship of the main characters in this series do develop over time. That being said, the actual mystery plots are standalone and are always solved at the end of the book. But if you’d like to see I feel like it’s been a while since I’ve read a book in this series but maybe that’s because I’ve been missing it. So when FOR BATTER OR WORSE fell into my hands, I gobbled it up right away! If you’re new to the series, I would suggest starting from the beginning only because the romance and the friendship of the main characters in this series do develop over time. That being said, the actual mystery plots are standalone and are always solved at the end of the book. But if you’d like to see the growth of the main characters, I would suggest starting with book one. I say this because the relationship between all the characters is actually one of my favorite things about this series. So in addition to the great mystery, I do think that this series has a lot to offer. It has comedy and romance, as well as the solid mystery. Typically speaking, the mysteries in this series are on the lighter side, but I don’t think that means it’s not as engaging. It just has a different tone than some other mysteries in the genre. I thoroughly enjoyed this book and can’t wait to read more from Jenn McKinlay! Read my alternate review on Fresh Fiction

  4. 5 out of 5

    Lisa Ks Book Reviews

    The Cupcake Bakery Mystery series is in the top 3 of my all-time favorite cozy mystery series, and just happen to be the first I ever read. I went through them like I had been starving for reading (and I was at that point in my life). And here we are at book 13! Some may say that a series that runs too long will get stale. Those people have never read the Cupcake Bakery Mysteries by Jenn McKinlay. The very opposite of stale, FOR BATTER OR WORSE, is fresh and fabulous, and the perfect addition to The Cupcake Bakery Mystery series is in the top 3 of my all-time favorite cozy mystery series, and just happen to be the first I ever read. I went through them like I had been starving for reading (and I was at that point in my life). And here we are at book 13! Some may say that a series that runs too long will get stale. Those people have never read the Cupcake Bakery Mysteries by Jenn McKinlay. The very opposite of stale, FOR BATTER OR WORSE, is fresh and fabulous, and the perfect addition to this series. Once I sank my teeth into the first page, I devoured the rest of the book in one setting, and was instantly hungry for the next installment. FOR BATTER OR WORSE is the book we’ve been waiting for. The marriage of Mel and Joe! Or is it? ;-) Things are never as easy as it seems for the Fairytale Cupcake crew. But they always manage to bounce back. The characters in this series just keep getting better and better. Author McKinlay is so great at letting the characters grow. We find out something new about one of them in each volume, and this one is no different. As for the mystery in, FOR BATTER OR WORSE, wow! I mean, I was all over the place trying to figure this one out. Everything that seemed crystal clear at one moment, became thick as frosting the next. With more twists and turns than the swirled icing on a cupcake, I kept running in circles with my guesses. Seriously, each time I had the villain guessed, I was proven so very wrong. Brava, Ms. McKinlay. Returning fans to this series are going to love, FOR BATTER OR WORSE. If you haven’t read the series, please, don’t wait any longer. You have no idea what you’ve been missing!

  5. 4 out of 5

    K.A. Davis

    FOR BATTER OR WORSE, the thirteenth book in the Cupcake Bakery Mystery series by Jenn McKinlay, is another scrumptious addition to a yummy series! For fans, this is a much-awaited book as it looks like Mel will finally make her way down the aisle to wed Joe. However, as you might suspect, there are all sorts of hurdles to overcome to get it done and no one creates those hurdles better than Ms. McKinlay. First and foremost, is the imminent birth of Mel’s best friend’s baby. The soon-to-be mother, FOR BATTER OR WORSE, the thirteenth book in the Cupcake Bakery Mystery series by Jenn McKinlay, is another scrumptious addition to a yummy series! For fans, this is a much-awaited book as it looks like Mel will finally make her way down the aisle to wed Joe. However, as you might suspect, there are all sorts of hurdles to overcome to get it done and no one creates those hurdles better than Ms. McKinlay. First and foremost, is the imminent birth of Mel’s best friend’s baby. The soon-to-be mother, Angie, is not only Mel’s future sister-in-law but is her matron-of-honor. Could the newest family member upstage the nuptials? Next, Oz (Mel’s pastry chef for the wedding feast), is accused of murdering the head chef at the swanky resort chosen for the wedding and reception. Oz, formerly Mel and Angie’s employee at their Fairy Tale Cupcake bakery, has struck out to make it on his own in the highly pressurized kitchen of the resort. The head chef is clearly a bully and there’s no surprise when tempers flare between the two men. Mel, knowing that Oz is innocent no matter the circumstantial evidence, is determined to clear his name in time for him to create his culinary magic and bake her nuptial cupcakes. As she investigates, there are plenty of people at the resort who had reasons to hate the head chef. There are clues to keep a sharp reader on their toes, but true to Ms. McKinley’s books, this is one to sit back and enjoy the ride. Filled with heartwarming friendships and close family ties, there’s humor to keep the mystery lighthearted and fun. It has been such a delight watching the characters grow and develop over the course of the series, and seeing their lives change as they would in the real world. While FOR BATTER OR WORSE can easily be read as a standalone, this is a great series to start at the beginning and binge the fun to catch up. Naturally owning a cupcake bakery and ordering cupcakes to serve at the wedding reception, there are so many mouthwatering flavors described throughout the book. Ms. McKinlay doesn’t disappoint as she comes through with several tantalizing cupcake recipes at the back of the book to tempt readers into baking. I was provided with an advance copy. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Christine

    Thirteen books in the making and we finally have Joe and Mel's wedding. Did I cry while reading this book? Yes, yes I did. I have so much love for this series and these characters. I will never get tired of this series. Mel's former employee, Oz, is accused of murdering the chef at his new employment. With their wedding approaching, Mel and Joe are determined to prove Oz's innocence. I loved all the Mel and OZ scenes. The DeLaura brothers are the best group of brothers ever. I need more in this Thirteen books in the making and we finally have Joe and Mel's wedding. Did I cry while reading this book? Yes, yes I did. I have so much love for this series and these characters. I will never get tired of this series. Mel's former employee, Oz, is accused of murdering the chef at his new employment. With their wedding approaching, Mel and Joe are determined to prove Oz's innocence. I loved all the Mel and OZ scenes. The DeLaura brothers are the best group of brothers ever. I need more in this series. I don't want it to end.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Heidi Prockish

    I really liked this one! It was fun to see more of Oz and how different Angie is while pregnant. && of course Mel and Joe ❤ While it would be okay to read as a stand alone, I recommend you read this series in order to really get the back story on the characters.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Kristina

    For Batter or Worse by Jenn McKinlay is the 13th A Cupcake Bakery Mystery. This is a sweet addition to a scrumptious series. It is finally time for Joe and Mel’s wedding (hooray), but a murder may put a crimp in the big day. I thought For Batter or Worse was well-written with developed characters and it moved along at quick pace. I love the snappy dialogue between the characters. I find the movie quotes (the game they play) delightful. I have enjoyed following Mel and Angie since the beginning o For Batter or Worse by Jenn McKinlay is the 13th A Cupcake Bakery Mystery. This is a sweet addition to a scrumptious series. It is finally time for Joe and Mel’s wedding (hooray), but a murder may put a crimp in the big day. I thought For Batter or Worse was well-written with developed characters and it moved along at quick pace. I love the snappy dialogue between the characters. I find the movie quotes (the game they play) delightful. I have enjoyed following Mel and Angie since the beginning of this scrummy series. There is a delightful cast of characters that includes Angie, Mel, Tate, Joe, Oz, and Marty. The DeLaura brothers are a hoot. I laughed often while reading about their antics. Marty is another humorous character. The detailed descriptions of the cupcakes will have you salivating and heading for the closest bakery. The mystery is well-plotted with several suspects, misdirection, and a tantalizing twist. I had fun solving this zestful whodunit. I like the romance between Uncle Stan and Mel’s mother, Joyce. I wonder if wedding bells are in their future. There are some special moments in this story. I just loved the ending. If you are new to the series, I would not recommend starting with For Batter or Worse. A Cupcake Bakery Mystery series is one I highly recommend reading in order. For Batter or Worse has lovable characters, laugh out-loud humor, scrumptious cupcakes, and an enticing mystery. This is one cozy mystery you do not want to miss. For Batter or Worse is a tasty tale with delectable delights, marriage arrangements, a pregnant partner, a frantic friend, bothersome and brilliant brothers, and an exultant ending.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Moondance

    "Wow, I just realized you're going to be a DeLaura and I'm not," Angie Harper said. Finally! We get to the wedding of Mel and Joe. Of course with Mel involved you know it will not go smoothly. Former Fairy Take Cupcake employee, Oz, is now the pastry chef at the resort where Mel and Joe will be married. An encounter with the head chef leaves Oz as the prime suspect when the chef if found murdered. I love so much about this series! The characters speak to me and I feel like I am a part of the famil "Wow, I just realized you're going to be a DeLaura and I'm not," Angie Harper said. Finally! We get to the wedding of Mel and Joe. Of course with Mel involved you know it will not go smoothly. Former Fairy Take Cupcake employee, Oz, is now the pastry chef at the resort where Mel and Joe will be married. An encounter with the head chef leaves Oz as the prime suspect when the chef if found murdered. I love so much about this series! The characters speak to me and I feel like I am a part of the family when I am with them. The bakery makes me swoon and I want to try every recipe in the book. Mel and Joe have waited years for this day and it should be perfect. I have always been an Oz fan and this book made me love him even more. A very pregnant Angie cracks me up. Who knew the firecracker of the bunch would become a mellow and Zen mom to be. The murder was well thought out and gave me plenty of red herrings to nibble along the way trying to find the killer. Sometimes the answer is right in front of you. I loved the ending of the book and shed a few tears as I read it. I can't wait to see where the next book will take us.

  10. 5 out of 5

    OpenBookSociety.com

    https://openbooksociety.com/article/f... For Batter or Worse Cupcake Bakery Mystery By Jenn McKinlay ISBN 9780593333372 jennmckinlay.com Brought to you by OBS Reviewer Jeanie Synopsis: The Fairy Tale Cupcake crew must discover the truth behind a death sprinkled with suspicion before Mel and Joe can say I do”, in the thirteenth Cupcake Bakery Mystery from New York Times bestselling author Jenn McKinlay. Life is sweet and business is booming at the Fairy Tale Cupcakes bakery–and the fact that Mel and Joe a https://openbooksociety.com/article/f... For Batter or Worse Cupcake Bakery Mystery By Jenn McKinlay ISBN 9780593333372 jennmckinlay.com Brought to you by OBS Reviewer Jeanie Synopsis: The Fairy Tale Cupcake crew must discover the truth behind a death sprinkled with suspicion before Mel and Joe can say I do”, in the thirteenth Cupcake Bakery Mystery from New York Times bestselling author Jenn McKinlay. Life is sweet and business is booming at the Fairy Tale Cupcakes bakery–and the fact that Mel and Joe are getting married is the icing on the cake. Their reception will be held at the swanky resort where Oz works as the pastry chef. The wedding planning is all fun-fetti and games until Mel and Joe meet the head chef at the resort who has been making Oz’s life miserable. When the eccentric chef insults Mel’s bakery, Oz gets into a blowout argument with the culinary prima donna. Things turn extra sour when the chef is murdered, and Oz is the police’s main suspect. As the countdown to the wedding day begins, Mel, Joe, and the rest of the Fairy Tale Cupcake crew must sift through clues to catch the real killer and clear Oz’s name before their wedding plans are totally battered and baked. (from Goodreads) Review: This is one of the most exciting novels in the series, and I enjoyed every minute of it! The characters are an eclectic mix of well-defined personalities. The mystery is plotted and executed flawlessly, as is the surrounding preparation for the day of Melanie’s – Mel’s major event as well as Angie and Tate’s upcoming special delivery. And the cupcakes from Fairy Tale cupcakes? They sound amazing! For those who love to bake, there are recipes for several of the featured cupcakes. Oz has grown and matured during the time he worked for Mel and Angie, partners at Fairy Tale Brownies along with Tate, Angie’s husband. Oz attended and graduated from culinary school and has his own baking kitchen now at Sun Dial Resort. He will be baking the cupcakes for Mel and Joe’s wedding reception, only a couple weeks away. Yes, Mel and county assistant DA Joe are getting married, a day she feared would never come. She had a crush on him for nearly 20 years before they began to date! Mel’s mom has called him “Dear Joe” ever since. Angie and Mel have their own milestone event – their first baby is due about four weeks after the wedding. Angie is confident they won’t need a backup matron of honor and best man. They just might need to rely on a backup baker, though, due to totally unanticipated events. Mel has made several trips to the resort to finalize things with the event coordinator and Oz. After hearing Miles, the executive chef, cause problems for Oz a few days earlier, Mel and Joe stopped in the bakery kitchen to see how he was doing. Mel was stunned to see Miles lying on the floor with blood around his head, and Oz leaning over him with blood on his hands. They believed what Oz told them, but there were a couple other people willing to see Oz wearing an orange jumpsuit, accused of the murder, one of them being the wife of the resort owner. Fortunately, Mel has much experience helping find killers over the past few years, and when it comes to her friends, she doesn’t give up. Author Jenn McKinlay presents an excellent cast of characters! I especially enjoy Mel, Angie, and Oz, all of whom have changed in so many ways since first being in the series. “The brothers”, comprised of six of Angie’s seven brothers and Mel’s almost brothers-in-laws, are quirky and unique. It is fun to see them in action to protect a friend and get to the truth. While this reader could almost picture the characters physically, their attitudes give the third, living dimension to their appearance. The mystery, as others in the series, has enough plot twists and turns that the reader begins to feel as if riding a tilt-a-whirl. The pace is perfect; as often feels in real life, time speeds up as the big event nears. The murder must be solved before the wedding day! I couldn’t guess who the bad guy was almost until the actual reveal. Honestly, I didn’t realize that professional kitchens were such hotbeds of creative, edgy chefs! Maybe it’s a good thing I can’t cook. . . The story ends very well, with even more surprises that make the wedding day incredibly memorable. I highly recommend this mystery, and the series!

  11. 4 out of 5

    The Cozy Review

    At the Fairy Tale Cupcakes bakery, Mel and Angie have a lot going on. Mel and Joe’s wedding is just around the corner, and Angie is due to give birth around the same time. And in the latest addition to the series, For Batter or Worse, things are getting to be crazier and crazier. When a chef at a high-end resort is killed, Oz is the prime suspect, and if readers know anything about this series, they know that Mel is not going to stand by and do nothing. Mel, Angie, and Oz are lovely characters. At the Fairy Tale Cupcakes bakery, Mel and Angie have a lot going on. Mel and Joe’s wedding is just around the corner, and Angie is due to give birth around the same time. And in the latest addition to the series, For Batter or Worse, things are getting to be crazier and crazier. When a chef at a high-end resort is killed, Oz is the prime suspect, and if readers know anything about this series, they know that Mel is not going to stand by and do nothing. Mel, Angie, and Oz are lovely characters. They have a way of making readers smile and worry at the same time. Uncle tan is a good cop, and he never lets you down. Other characters are charming, helpful, and loveable. The victim in this book is a heartless chef who thinks he is the end-all and be-all of the industry. The suspects, one of which is a killer, don’t agree with his characterization of his ego. The Fairy Tale Cupcakes bakery location doesn’t play a significant role in this new addition, but it is still a place readers will want to spend time visiting, and of course, eating the yummy creations. There is plenty of evidence to keep readers guessing; some misdirection and red herrings will help keep them turning the page. There is enough action to hold the attention, and the suspense of finding our who-dun-it, and whether or not Mel and Joe make it down the aisle at long last is thrilling. Unveiling the killer is done in a great scene and gives readers satisfaction. Oz is cleared, and everyone is happy. The ending was predictable, but that isn’t a bad thing. Even though The Fairy Tale Cupcakes bakery didn’t cater Mel’s wedding, Oz made the delicious creations stand out and put smiles of delight on everyone’s face. And, of course, Angie gives everyone another reason to celebrate. I am happy to recommend For Batter or Worse to readers looking for a delightfully interesting and fun read.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Lisa | Lady_Logomancer

    Lucky number 13 in the Cupcake Bakery Mysteries comes in as a real winner! I’ve read this entire series and I can’t tell you how nice it is to slip back in with the Fairytale Cupcake’s crew for another murder mystery. Mel and Joe are finally getting married. Oh, we’ve had some challenges getting these two to the altar, but hell of it isn’t happening this time! Well, you know, unless there’s maybe a murder or something. Of course there’s a murder! At the reception site, no less. When one of their Lucky number 13 in the Cupcake Bakery Mysteries comes in as a real winner! I’ve read this entire series and I can’t tell you how nice it is to slip back in with the Fairytale Cupcake’s crew for another murder mystery. Mel and Joe are finally getting married. Oh, we’ve had some challenges getting these two to the altar, but hell of it isn’t happening this time! Well, you know, unless there’s maybe a murder or something. Of course there’s a murder! At the reception site, no less. When one of their own is accused and there’s no way that our familiar foodie family will let that fly. I honestly think this is one of the best of the series, all of the characters are on point. The callbacks to past books in the series are flawless, the addition of plausible suspects is subtle and keeps you guessing. Only the odd “murder weapon” we find out about at the end is a little out there but it was still a good book. I didn’t have it picked right, and I love when I can’t figure out who dunnit before they tell you! McKinlay includes mouthwatering cupcake recipes as well as her very sharp writing skills to each of her mysteries. I highly recommend this series to anyone who loves cozies. They’re excellent! Thank you to @netgalley and @berkleypub for a review copy of this book. I am giving this review of my own accord.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Jennifer Brown

    I loved this one! It's finally time for Mel and dear Joe to get married! The cupcake tasting was so descriptive and yummy sounding. I wish I was there for that! I enjoyed seeing a different side of a few characters. We get more of Oz and learn some new stuff about him. Then Angie is extremely pregnant and has changed her views on life so not to pass on bad vibes to her little. The murder at Oz's new job had a ton of suspects. I actually thought the murderer was going to be someone else! I loved I loved this one! It's finally time for Mel and dear Joe to get married! The cupcake tasting was so descriptive and yummy sounding. I wish I was there for that! I enjoyed seeing a different side of a few characters. We get more of Oz and learn some new stuff about him. Then Angie is extremely pregnant and has changed her views on life so not to pass on bad vibes to her little. The murder at Oz's new job had a ton of suspects. I actually thought the murderer was going to be someone else! I loved how it all went down. Then the ending was sweet and teary-eyed!! I need the next book now please 😊😊

  14. 5 out of 5

    Melissa

    Loved the mystery of this one as well as catching up with characters that feel like friends. Great narration by one of my favorite narrators. Perfect Sunday read.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Jasi

    So many emotions! I just love this series and all the characters. This one brought the series full circle for me. 💗

  16. 5 out of 5

    meghann

    I love all the books in this series, but this was a really special one. So many amazing things happened for the characters I love, and I am so happy with where everyone was at by the end. Can't wait for the next one. I love all the books in this series, but this was a really special one. So many amazing things happened for the characters I love, and I am so happy with where everyone was at by the end. Can't wait for the next one.

  17. 4 out of 5

    QNPoohBear

    Mel and Joe are FINALLY getting married! Hopefully this time it will go off without murder getting in the way. Mel has asked Oz to make their wedding cupcakes and he has outdone himself. While visiting with Oz at the Sun Dial Resort, Mel gets the sense that all is not well when she spies the executive chef bullying the saucier. When Oz stands up for the young woman, Mel has a bad feeling that Oz will be the man's next target. Mel soon realizes her young protege is going places fast but she still Mel and Joe are FINALLY getting married! Hopefully this time it will go off without murder getting in the way. Mel has asked Oz to make their wedding cupcakes and he has outdone himself. While visiting with Oz at the Sun Dial Resort, Mel gets the sense that all is not well when she spies the executive chef bullying the saucier. When Oz stands up for the young woman, Mel has a bad feeling that Oz will be the man's next target. Mel soon realizes her young protege is going places fast but she still wants him back where he was happy and safe. That feeling only intensifies when she stumbles across Oz standing over the chef's dead body! Mel knows Oz could never murder anyone but it doesn't look good for Oz as suspects have alibis and an accusation is thrown at him. Secrets are revealed and Mel works overtime to save her friend all before the big day! Will she and Joe ever walk down the aisle and live happily ever after? This was the best of all the books so far with only one more to go. I laughed, I cried, I had all the feelz! There are a lot of plot twists that make the mystery extra special- some I saw coming and others I did not. While the arrogant chef murder plot has been done before, this one is unique because of the characters and the situation. I was not entirely surprised by the identity of the murder but the murder weapon was a new one. The story balances cozy details and mystery equally well. Longtime fans of the series will be happy to catch up with Mel and Angie as they are set to begin new chapters in their lives and see Oz hard at work becoming an adult. Mel is still a classic introvert, hating change and clinging to the safe, comfortable world she knows- at least until Oz is accused of murder anyway. She knows she shouldn't investigate because it's so close to her wedding and she has tons to do but Mel feels protective of Oz and will do anything to help clear his name. It's obvious he needs her because it looks like someone wants to frame him. Oz is an easy target. He's shy, kind, unknowingly charming and crazy talented. (Those cupcakes! OMG!) He's a sweet, uncomplicated guy. Oz is such a sweetheart. We know he didn't commit murder. Mel knows that and I think Uncle Stan knows that too but Uncle Stan has to follow the evidence. Oz is overwhelmed in the high pressure situation of a professional kitchen. He's in over his head exposed to all kinds of bad behavior, especially as he now works at a resort. As Mel notes, by the end of the novel Oz will emerge a grown-up. Angie is preparing to give birth and she doesn't want anything to upset her baby so she's become very zen. It's weird to see Angie not lose her temper and go ballistic but she gets back at the bullies who insult those she cares about in her own way. The DeLaura clan always has each other's backs. Joe is the best DeLaura of them all. He's sooo swoony! He supports Mel, is there for her and steps in to help Oz right away no questions asked even though he was there and saw Oz standing over the bloody body. Ray is the most stereotypical of all the brothers. I have never seen anyone of his generation that dresses like that with the chest hair popping out and gold chains. Only old men dress like that. The brothers add a lot of humor to the story. Marty has one key scene and plays a minor role in the story but does get involved in the investigation. As usual, he's crazy but he's certainly a loyal friend. Tate isn't really in the story much at all. Uncle Stan seems to be popping fewer antacids these days. He's really good at his job and even better at being a bonus dad to Mel. Detective Tara Martinez is still antagonistic towards Mel for some reason, even though she's dating Ray. However, she shows a surprising amount of empathy for one character, probably I suspect because she's been in the same situation. At the Sun Dial we meet a lot of new people, Oz's new colleagues and supervisors. Chef Miles is a nasty bully, a womanizer, an alcoholic and basically on his last chance to redeem himself. He is truly nasty and Mel suspects vindictive. If anyone in this novel deserved to die, it was Chef Miles. Who killed him is the question. Chief among my personal suspects is Sarah, the saucier. She has a very good reason and I wouldn't be surprised or blame her for killing Chef Miles. He was horrible to her. Accidents happen and she was clearly terrified. Mel wonders-and I suspect- there are other reasons Sarah would want Miles gone. She seems so nice though and my heart goes out to her. I would also suspect Ashley, the sous chef, depending on the murder weapon. If it was physical, she didn't do it because she wouldn't want to break a nail. If it was poison? Totally Ashley. She's egotistical and badly wants Miles's job and the fame and fortune of being a Foodie Channel star. Speaking of Foodie Channel, what about Simon, the visiting producer? Could he have had an altercation with Miles? Perhaps he wanted Miles out of the way so he could make Ashley or Oz his next great Foodie Channel star. He seems to really want Oz yet he believes Oz is a murderer. Perhaps Oz wasn't meant to be framed and Simon is just casting blame on Oz to take the blame off himself. Another likely suspect is Mr. Perry, the resort owner, but he needs Miles Gallway to get people into the restaurant. Perhaps he had enough of the chef's shenanigans and lashed out in the heat of the moment. His wife, Kasey, is a more likely suspect. It seems like she doesn't have a good relationship with her husband and I'm certain she is/was/has had an affair with Chef Miles. She probably killed him in revenge for dumping her- HER-Do you know who she is? Yeesh. If anyone has an ego to match Chef Miles's, it's Mrs. Perry. She's older middle aged trying to appear younger and not very subtle about it. She's rude to Oz, to Mel and to anyone who doesn't fawn all over her. Other new characters are Sam, Oz's assistant, who doesn't share Oz's gift. Sam seems young and unsure of himself. He's a nice kid, the type no one notices. Then there's the three people Angie and Mel interview to take Oz's place and help out while Mel is on her honeymoon and Angie on maternity leave. They're an eccentric lot. I liked the first one. She was fun and talented although not someone I'd want to hire. I felt sorry for the second - been there, done that and the third just annoyed the heck out of me. Like Mel, I'm an introvert and extreme extroverts are not my kind of people. Plus this one fangirls too much and that's not something you're supposed to do in a job interview. Show why you want the job, yes, but not be so overly emotional about it. Yeesh. I hope Fairy Tale Cupcakes can survive the changes. I'm sure they will. My only quibble with this novel is, (too long don't read unless you're nitpicking the wedding planning details) (view spoiler)[reading this on my best friend's anniversary, shows me that Mel and Joe's wedding isn't the usual Catholic wedding. If she only knows the priest from DeLaura family events and isn't Catholic, she would have had to spend the last year or two becoming Catholic : baptism, confirmation, pre-marriage classes-the whole nine yards, to be married in a Catholic ceremony. You can, however, have a Catholic officiant and another one (my parents got married in a Protestant chapel with her minister and my dad's relative, a priest), or someone else entirely in a non-Catholic Church sanctioned wedding or be married in an Episcopalian church instead. I have family members who chose all of the above options. (hide spoiler)] I can't wait for the next book yet I'm dreading it. I'm going to be heartbroken to say goodbye to these characters. I don't want to say goodbye!

  18. 5 out of 5

    Jeanie

    Life is topsy-turvy at Fairy Tale Cupcakes as time goes fast-forward, hurtling Mel and Joe to their wedding day, the arrival of Angie and Tate’s baby, and now (gulp) replacing their amazing baker, Oz. And what doozies the folks who answer the help wanted ad are! It is early spring, the perfect time for a wedding in Scottsdale, Arizona. Mel and her best friend, Angie, and her husband Tate, have been successfully in the cupcake business long enough to have franchise bakeries. Who would have though Life is topsy-turvy at Fairy Tale Cupcakes as time goes fast-forward, hurtling Mel and Joe to their wedding day, the arrival of Angie and Tate’s baby, and now (gulp) replacing their amazing baker, Oz. And what doozies the folks who answer the help wanted ad are! It is early spring, the perfect time for a wedding in Scottsdale, Arizona. Mel and her best friend, Angie, and her husband Tate, have been successfully in the cupcake business long enough to have franchise bakeries. Who would have thought cupcakes would be that big of a business? Mel is marrying the man she had a crush on since she was twelve, Angie’s brother Joe. It wasn’t until very recent years that they even went on a real date. Joe is a highly respected county assistant district attorney. Despite the many, many people they both know, their wedding will have a total of 50 guests, with a reception at Sun Dial Resort. Oz has been the chef in the baking kitchen at the resort for several months, and while he is sorely missed at Fairy Tale, having his own kitchen at a local resort is an amazing accomplishment. He will handle all the baking for the wedding, so Mel has been a regular visitor at the resort to follow up on all the details. Unfortunately, she was there one day when Miles, the executive chef over the three kitchens had a meltdown about something Oz had to handle when Miles was out pouting. Oz is usually the calmest person around and adept at calming others down. He tends to hold it together well, knowing that many professional chefs have the emotions of temperamental artists. Did his temper finally snap a few days later when Joe and Mel stopped to visit him? They stepped into his kitchen to find him standing, with blood on his hands, over the prone body of Miles, lying on the floor with blood around his head. There are times I wish I could drive across the Valley to find Mel, Angie, Oz, and Fairy Tale Cupcakes! Some of the flavors in the story called to me while I was reading! I’m not sure how Mel, Angie, and their staff were able to work around such wonderful confections and still fit into their clothes! This group of friends and family is amazing. While most of the characters have their own little quirks, some are just plain quirky and entertaining people who would be fun for even this introvert to visit on occasion. The mystery is complex, with a couple people who are all too happy to point the finger at Oz. He is one of the best people to work for at the resort, and it seemed like he was well-liked until. . . well, until he was found over the body. That includes the producer of a food network who wanted to get Oz his own show. For the short term, he is back at the cupcake shop until they find the real killer. I hope it is soon, so Mel won’t have to bake her own wedding treats! The end is full of surprises and is very satisfactory. I highly recommend this to fans of the series and author, those who appreciate well-written cozy mysteries full of humor and the power of love and friendship, cupcakes, and Arizona in the springtime. From a thankful heart: I received a complimentary copy of this novel, and this is my honest review.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Joan

    The big day is almost here . . . in a flurry of wedding plans, Melanie Cooper and Joe DeLaura are [finally!] about to become husband and wife. Mel’s working out the details for their reception, planned for the posh resort where Oz is the head pastry chef, and she stops by to see Oz. With hot tempers in the kitchen, there’s a very public . . . and nasty . . . argument with the resort’s detestable head chef, Miles Gallway, and it isn’t long before Oz discovers the chef’s body in the pastry kitchen The big day is almost here . . . in a flurry of wedding plans, Melanie Cooper and Joe DeLaura are [finally!] about to become husband and wife. Mel’s working out the details for their reception, planned for the posh resort where Oz is the head pastry chef, and she stops by to see Oz. With hot tempers in the kitchen, there’s a very public . . . and nasty . . . argument with the resort’s detestable head chef, Miles Gallway, and it isn’t long before Oz discovers the chef’s body in the pastry kitchen. Mel refuses to believe Oz had anything to do with the man’s death; she’s determined to prove his innocence, even while finishing all those last-minute wedding preparations. But will she find the culprit and clear Oz’s name before it’s time to walk down the aisle? Although “For Batter or Worse” is the thirteenth in the Cupcake Bakery Mystery series, there’s sufficient backstory for readers new to the series and the story works well as a stand-alone. In this outing, the Fairy Tale Cupcake crew springs into action as the delicious plot unfolds, throwing Mel and company into an unexpected investigation complicated by red herrings, plot twists, and surprises. With all the expected characters in place, a clever, well-considered mystery unfolds, keeping readers glued to the page. Strong, relatable, nuanced characters . . . all of whom have become friends to the regular readers of the series . . . prove their mettle, whether they’re standing up for a friend wrongly accused or waiting for a best friend’s baby to make an entrance. Monster egos in the Sun Dial Resort kitchen combine with moments of humor [and a few bumps along the way], to create a luscious whodunit that keeps readers guessing. There’s much for readers to appreciate here. This heartwarming tale of love, family, and cupcakes is sure to please all readers. [And, of course, there are delectable cupcake recipes included, along with a preview of the author’s upcoming “Wait for It.”] Highly recommended.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Kathleen

    For Batter or Worse Earns 5/5 Cupcake Designs...Engaging & Clever Fun! “For Batter or Worse” has got nothing on Hell’s Kitchen when the ego-inflated, abusive, credit-stealing head chef ends up murdered...watch out, Gordon Ramsey! But, this is a cozy mystery and Jenn McKinlay is the best at putting homicide in the background and focusing on a clever puzzle, rich characters, realistic predicaments, humor galore, a satisfying conclusion, and mouthwatering food talk and recipes! Mel’s wedding is arou For Batter or Worse Earns 5/5 Cupcake Designs...Engaging & Clever Fun! “For Batter or Worse” has got nothing on Hell’s Kitchen when the ego-inflated, abusive, credit-stealing head chef ends up murdered...watch out, Gordon Ramsey! But, this is a cozy mystery and Jenn McKinlay is the best at putting homicide in the background and focusing on a clever puzzle, rich characters, realistic predicaments, humor galore, a satisfying conclusion, and mouthwatering food talk and recipes! Mel’s wedding is around the corner and her best friend Angie is about to delivery her first child, but Mel’s a bit preoccupied with saving her friend Oz from a life in prison; besides, who will create the delectable cupcakes for her wedding? It goes without saying that if you’ve had major issues with someone and you’re found over their body, you should probably get a good lawyer...or a BFF whose proven herself as an successful amateur detective. Add a cooking channel appearance, culinary egos, An enjoyable thirteenth addition to McKinlay’s Cupcake Bakery Mystery, easy to read, well-written, and my favorite, bonus cupcake recipes for Chocolate Orange, Vanilla Sprinkle, Chocolate Lava, and Limoncello topped with flavorful buttercream frostings or ganache or lemon curd fillings...and a Chocolate Orange Truffle recipe! Don’t miss out! Disclosure: I received an ARC from the publisher Berkley Prime Crime thru NetGalley. My review is voluntary with honest insights and comments.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Toni

    4.5 stars This is the 13th book in the Cupcake Bakery Mystery series by Jenn McKinlay. Oz has been snagged to work at the Sundial restaurant and the main cook has a problem with Oz and his inventiveness. When Oz fills in for the eccentric chef Miles after a tantrum in the kitchen, the head cook gets angry. Then when they turn to Oz to do a cooking segment on a TV morning show when Miles is a no show, Miles is in a huff. Not long later, Mel finds Oz hovering over the dead body of Miles with blood o 4.5 stars This is the 13th book in the Cupcake Bakery Mystery series by Jenn McKinlay. Oz has been snagged to work at the Sundial restaurant and the main cook has a problem with Oz and his inventiveness. When Oz fills in for the eccentric chef Miles after a tantrum in the kitchen, the head cook gets angry. Then when they turn to Oz to do a cooking segment on a TV morning show when Miles is a no show, Miles is in a huff. Not long later, Mel finds Oz hovering over the dead body of Miles with blood on his hands. And it doesn’t look good for Oz. I really enjoyed the plot of this book. The whole story where it focused on Oz really spoke to me. I could see he was just trying to help and be a good employee even when the personalities of the other chef’s left not much to be desired about them. The story flow was good and I was hooked when Oz handed Mel those cupcakes for her wedding. They just sounded so delish. This is a fun series with a great community of recurring characters that just keep you coming back for more foodie fun. Highly recommended. If you love a good cozy mystery, definitely check this one out! I received this as an ARC (Advanced Reader Copy) in return for an honest review. I thank NetGalley, the publisher and the author for allowing me to read this title. Opinions are completely my own.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Laura

    For Batter or Worse is the 13th enter in Jenn McKinlay's oh so bingeable cozy Cupcake Bakery Mystery series. The cupcake crew has a lot on their plate - Angie and Tate have a baby on the way, Mel and Joe are just days away from getting married, and Oz is settling into his job as the pastry chef at an exclusive resort while planning the cupcakes for Mel and Joe's wedding reception. Mel, along with several others, witnesses Oz and the head chef have a very public argument which unsurprisingly makes For Batter or Worse is the 13th enter in Jenn McKinlay's oh so bingeable cozy Cupcake Bakery Mystery series. The cupcake crew has a lot on their plate - Angie and Tate have a baby on the way, Mel and Joe are just days away from getting married, and Oz is settling into his job as the pastry chef at an exclusive resort while planning the cupcakes for Mel and Joe's wedding reception. Mel, along with several others, witnesses Oz and the head chef have a very public argument which unsurprisingly makes Oz the prime suspect when the chef turns up murdered in the kitchen. Mel has to clear her protege, find the real killer, and find a replacement for Oz at her bakery all before her wedding that's just days away. As always, the relationships between the characters are the stars. Mel and Angie's friendship is enviable as it's grown over the series, expanding to include significant others, spouses and now an almost here baby. Definitely friendship goals Mel and Angie's extended family is large, boisterous, teasing, sometimes eccentric but you can always feel the love and care they feel for each other. No matter how serious the problem or dangerous an investigation gets, you know they're there for one another. I've loved watching those bonds develop over the 13 books in the series. Jenn McKinlay describes the cupcakes in such rich, enticing detail that I absolutely understand why friends and family members are constantly dropping by to mooch cupcakes. This series is the perfect fun, gentle read that always has a madcap moment or two as Mel investigates the murder. Perfect for fans of Joanne Fluke and Nancy Coco.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Samantha

    This one was so good! I didn’t really guess the end and it was really packed full. I can’t wait for the next one to come out next year!

  24. 5 out of 5

    Lisa

    I really like this series!! The adventures that Melanie, Angie, and the gang get into, and the brothers bring a sense of comic relief. This one was lucky 13 AND there was a wedding...Very awesome!!!

  25. 4 out of 5

    Anna

    This is my favorite book in the series so far (I say that with each one I read!)! These characters have grown so much and it’s wonderful to see them get their happily ever afters. However, I don’t want to see this series end anytime soon! I look forward to reading many more adventures of the Fairy Tale Cupcakes crew!

  26. 5 out of 5

    Kathy Kennerley

    I loved it! This author has written many of my favorite mystery series. The longer the series runs the better!

  27. 5 out of 5

    Stephanie

    Well, it only took 13 books, but our main character, Mel, is finally marrying the man of her dreams – Joe DeLaura. Of course, true love never runs smoothly for our cozy mystery sleuths and Mel is no exception. While Mel and Joe try to make it down the aisle, they have to deal with clearing Oz’s name and the antics of Joe’s many brothers, as well as keep an eye on a very pregnant Angie, Joe’s sister and Mel’s matron of honour. Whew! Talk about busy brides! At the end of the last book ***spoiler al Well, it only took 13 books, but our main character, Mel, is finally marrying the man of her dreams – Joe DeLaura. Of course, true love never runs smoothly for our cozy mystery sleuths and Mel is no exception. While Mel and Joe try to make it down the aisle, they have to deal with clearing Oz’s name and the antics of Joe’s many brothers, as well as keep an eye on a very pregnant Angie, Joe’s sister and Mel’s matron of honour. Whew! Talk about busy brides! At the end of the last book ***spoiler alert***, Mel’s talented employee Oz left Fairy Tale Cupcakes to grow his career. I had really loved seeing Oz develop as a character during the series so I was a bit worried that he would be gone for good but that definitely wasn’t the case. Oz takes a job at a swanky resort but he doesn’t get along with the head chef, who seems to be quite the bully. In fact, there many employees at the resort who didn’t get along with the head chef. So it’s no surprise when the head chef is the murder victim. To make things interesting, Oz is the main suspect. And while I was 99% sure Oz didn’t commit the crime (hey, you never know, right?) it was really fun to try and figure out who had actually killed the chef. Part of me was enjoying the story so much that I wasn’t trying to figure out whodunnit. The mystery moves along at a nice pace and there are quite a few twists and red herrings to keep you guessing until nearly the end. I don’t think I had guessed the killer correctly until near the very end. The Cupcake Bakery Mystery series is definitely one of those long-running series that never seems to get old. Part of the reason is the characters – they are so well written and their friendships keep me coming back for more. And while I love Mel and Joe together – they make a great couple – it’s Mel, Angie and Nate’s friendship that had me hooked from the start. The trio of besties are stronger than ever (especially now that they’re all about to become in-laws) and their movie-quote game is a favourite feature of the series for me. Even some of the other characters take part in the game. Without giving anything away – during a crucial scene, Joe says something and Marty identifies it as a quote from The Princess Bride – I howled with laughter. McKinlay has also managed to add a lot of recurring side characters that keep the series interesting, including Oz and Marty (their other employee) and the DeLaura brothers, who all have very distinct personalities of their own. Put together, this small cast of characters are charming and engaging. I also love that they have really grown and changed during the series – there is a reality to them that makes you want to see how they develop next. Of course, part of the appeal to me are the cupcakes (one of the things I love to bake the most) and again, the book doesn’t disappointed. Aside from the drool-worthy treats described in the book, there are a bunch of recipes included in the back that I’m definitely going to try myself. For Batter or Worse can be read as a standalone – there is enough background given that a new reader won’t be lost, but I highly recommend starting from the beginning of the series. Watching these characters grow up and become family, watching their friendships and relationships develop is a lot of fun and worth going back for. *** Thank you to Berkley Publishing Group, for providing me with an advanced e-copy of this book in exchange for an unbiased review.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Denise Zendel

    Scottsdale cupcake baker extraordinaire Melanie Cooper and her district attorney sweetheart are days away from their wedding when one of her former employees is found kneeling over the bloody body of a particularly unpleasant chef at the hotel where they work and where Mel & Joe’s wedding is to take place. Sure, just about everyone who knew the chef wanted him dead, and Oz did have a fight with him in front of witnesses, but Mel knows, just knows Oz couldn’t have done it. So in addition to havin Scottsdale cupcake baker extraordinaire Melanie Cooper and her district attorney sweetheart are days away from their wedding when one of her former employees is found kneeling over the bloody body of a particularly unpleasant chef at the hotel where they work and where Mel & Joe’s wedding is to take place. Sure, just about everyone who knew the chef wanted him dead, and Oz did have a fight with him in front of witnesses, but Mel knows, just knows Oz couldn’t have done it. So in addition to having to keep crazy family members in line, make the final selection of the wedding cupcakes, finish the party favors, and keep up with all those last minute wedding issues, Mel and her crew launch into their own investigation of who really did the chef in. I love this series (I started with book 1 in e-book format, liked it so much I bought it again in paperback, and have gotten each successive book in paperback as well). This book 13 lived up to my expectations. The descriptions of the cupcakes for the wedding made me crave baked goods, and there were plenty of twists, turns, and surprises in this long running series to keep me guessing. My favorite recurring characters were all there, and reading was like hanging out with old friends. And it was a joy to watch Mel and Joe actually make it to the altar. You could read this series out of order, as McKinlay provides enough detail to keep up with the backstory so the reader won’t feel lost. I personally have enjoyed reading them in order because I liked seeing the relationships between the characters develop. By now reading really does feel like spending time with “people” I love and don’t get to spend near enough time with. The author thoughtfully provides recipes at the end of the book for the cupcakes talked about in the book, which is handy for bakers like me. I’m always sad when the books end because I know it will be a while before I can spend time with Mel, her bff and sister-in-law Angie, their business partner Tate (by now married to Angie), and Joe. OK, it annoys me Mel’s mother insists on referring to him as “Dear Joe.” I kind of want to smack her for that. But overall, I have laughed, cried, and cheered my way through this series. It has held my interest all the way through. If you’re looking for an engaging, humorous, entertaining mystery series, give this a go.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Eileen

    A wonderful cozy mystery, For Batter or Worse by Jenn McKinlay, book thirteen in her Cupcake Bakery Mystery series, was a fun read as the Fairy Tale Cupcake crew once again find themselves involved with a murder, with one of them being the suspect. Business is booming and life is sweet at the Fairy Tale Cupcake bakery as Mel and Joe are finally getting married. They decided to have the reception at a fancy resort where Oz, Mel’s former employee, is now working as the pastry chef. Meeting with Oz A wonderful cozy mystery, For Batter or Worse by Jenn McKinlay, book thirteen in her Cupcake Bakery Mystery series, was a fun read as the Fairy Tale Cupcake crew once again find themselves involved with a murder, with one of them being the suspect. Business is booming and life is sweet at the Fairy Tale Cupcake bakery as Mel and Joe are finally getting married. They decided to have the reception at a fancy resort where Oz, Mel’s former employee, is now working as the pastry chef. Meeting with Oz to taste test the cupcakes for the reception, Mel and Joe meet the head chef at the resort; a man who’s life goal is make life miserable for those working for him, especially Oz. When this crazy chef insults Mel’s bakery and Oz’s training; Oz gets into a huge argument with this male diva. Unfortunately, witnessed my many. When the chef if found murdered and Oz is the police’s main suspect, Mel knows she will have to help, despite the wedding day fast approaching. The Fairy Tale Cupcake crew, including Mel and Joe, sifts through clues in order to find the real killer and clear Oz’s name before their wedding plans are ruined. I’ve read this series from the beginning, enjoying the growth of the characters and the bakery. This story and the entire mystery series had all the elements I enjoy, interesting lovable characters, an intriguing mystery, friendship, and romance. Ms. McKinlay did an excellent job keeping her readers on their toes as they read this story. She had me miss-guessing who the killer was, quite often. I highly recommend For Batter or Worse to other readers and will miss Mel, Joe, Angie, Tate, Oz, and Marty. I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Peggy R

    For Batter or Worse is the 13th book in the Cupcake Bakery Mystery series and my favorite in the series to date. The fact that we are thirteen books into the series and fans are still delighted with each new book is a testament to the talented Ms. McKinlay and the charming, enchanting world she has created with this series. These characters are some of my favorite cozy mystery characters. They are fun, engaging, and well written. As a reader, I have been privileged to watch them grow, develop, a For Batter or Worse is the 13th book in the Cupcake Bakery Mystery series and my favorite in the series to date. The fact that we are thirteen books into the series and fans are still delighted with each new book is a testament to the talented Ms. McKinlay and the charming, enchanting world she has created with this series. These characters are some of my favorite cozy mystery characters. They are fun, engaging, and well written. As a reader, I have been privileged to watch them grow, develop, and now they feel like old friends. This book had a nostalgic feel to it. Everyone's lives are moving in the right direction. Angie and Tate are on the precipice of becoming parents and Joe and Mel are finally (fingers crossed) getting married. Readers have been looking forward to this for several books and Ms. McKinlay did not disappoint. What still stands and shines through is the core friendship between Mel, Angie, and Tate but they have opened their circle to include a great cast of secondary characters. The author also delivers her trademark wit and humor which shines through. Of course, this is Mel, which means nothing is going to go smooth. This time around, Oz is the main suspect in the murder of a less than likable Chef at the resort where he works. I love that Oz was a part of this story as I was worried after the previous book. The pace is spot on and Mel once again works her magic to help Uncle Stan find the right killer and wrap everything up before she walks down the aisle. If you are new to this series, I would suggest that you start with the first book and work your way through the series, to watch the characters grow and develop. I will return to this series for as long as the author continues to write this series.

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