January 3, 2011

Book Review: DEAD PAN by Gayle Trent

BOOK DESCRIPTION:  For the second time in as many months, Daphne Martin finds herself telling a police officer, “I just delivered the cake.” 

Several people became sick at Brea Ridge Pharmaceuticals’ annual holiday party for its employees, and one–Fred Duncan–died. Fred’s mother insists on Daphne’s help in learning why Fred died; and since none of the food has yet been exonorated, Daphne feels compelled to find out what made everyone so ill. She’s pretty sure it wasn’t her cake, but she can’t be certain until the police complete the lab results. Was this an accident? Or did someone set out to kill Fred?

Article first published as Book Review: Dead Pan by Gayle Trent on Blogcritics.

I am a fan of entertaining and intriguing mysteries and author Gayle Trent does not disappoint with Dead Pan, the second installment in her "cake decorating" series. 

Heroine Daphne Martin returns and is the cake decorator of the series title.  She is spunky, fearless and seemingly in the wrong place at the wrong time, leading her into part-time sleuthing duties after the unfortunate Fred Duncan dies after attending a party that featured one of Daphne's prized cakes.  A party in which a handful of people fall ill after feasting on Daphne's luscious dessert. 

I did not have the luxury of reading the first book in the series, Murder Takes the Cake, but I was easily acquainted with Daphne and her menagerie of family and friends in her town of Brea Ridge, including her disapproving sister Violet, neighbor Belinda and her award winning guinea pigs and Daphne's boyfriend Ben. 

Ms. Trent's writing style is light and breezy, the perfect description of Dead Pan.  It is far and away more entertaining than suspenseful and thrilling; do not expect Agatha Christie or the like.  I figured out "whodunnit" before the big reveal but it did not spoil my overall enjoyment of the book. 

The only downside to Dead Pan might be the excessive cake decorating details.  I found them interesting, if a bit repetitive by the end.  Other readers who care not about cake decorating might find the descriptions tedious.  The baker at heart will appreciate the recipes included in the book.

For diehard mystery fans, Dead Pan might fall short of expectations.  For cozy mystery lovers, Dead Pan should happily fit the bill. 

Dead Pan by Gayle Trent is available for purchase at major booksellers including Amazon.  I am an Amazon affiliate. If you make a purchase through my link, I will receive a small commission.

Review copy of this book provided by Library Thing in exchange for a fair and honest review. In no way did the provision of the book affect the outcome of my review.


Gayle said...

Thank you for the review, Lori! :)

bermudaonion said...

I keep seeing this series around the blogosphere. I do enjoy cozies and think this looks like a fun series.

Tales of Whimsy said...

O I need to read this! I liked the other one in this series :)