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Murder Takes the Cake (Daphne Martin Series #1)
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Murder Takes the Cake (Daphne Martin Series #1)

4.2 21
by Gayle Trent

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A routine cake delivery becomes a culinary nightmare when a small-town baker discovers her first client’s dead body in this irresistible new mystery series.

It’ll take more than a little sugar to convince folks Daphne Martin’s freshly baked spice cake was not to blame for the mysterious death of town gossip Yodel Watson. Getting her new cake


A routine cake delivery becomes a culinary nightmare when a small-town baker discovers her first client’s dead body in this irresistible new mystery series.

It’ll take more than a little sugar to convince folks Daphne Martin’s freshly baked spice cake was not to blame for the mysterious death of town gossip Yodel Watson. Getting her new cake decorating business, Daphne’s Delectable Cakes, off the ground is hard enough now that Daphne’s moved back to her southern Virginia hometown, but orders have been even slower since she found Yodel’s body. She soon realizes, however, that just about everybody in town had a reason to poison the cantankerous busybody, from the philandering pet shop owner, to Yodel’s church potluck nemesis, to the Save-A-Buck’s cranky produce manager-turned-bagger. Now, to help prove she’s no confectionary killer, Daphne recruits her old flame, Ben Jacobs, editor of the local newspaper, and quickly stirs up a long-hidden family scandal that just might hold the secret ingredient she needs to solve the case. All she’s got to do is roll up her sleeves and get her hands a little dirty before the real culprit decides that taking sweet revenge on Daphne will be icing on the cake.

Product Details

Gallery Books
Publication date:
Daphne Martin Series , #1
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
5.30(w) x 8.20(h) x 0.80(d)

Meet the Author

Gayle Trent lives in Southwest Virginia with her husband and two beautiful children, a boy and a girl. She's a full-time writer/editor/mom/wife and chief cook and bottle washer, and she love every minute of it. Okay, not the bottle washing so much, but the rest of it is great.

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Murder Takes the Cake 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 21 reviews.
kherbrand More than 1 year ago
This was a fun cozy mystery to read. It is the typical small town where everybody knows everybody else's business - or at least they think they do. And the more you learn, the more secrets are uncovered. Daphne is a fun character and has a good sense of humor. She tends to plunge into situations without thinking too much about the repercussions - which is, of course, what is necessary in a cozy mystery! Otherwise how would the crime ever be solved? :) This is a revised edition as the original book came out a couple of years ago. I am glad that it did as I would not have been introduced to this author. There is a second book out in the series, Dead Pan, which I have added to my TBR list. The book also contains lots of cake decorating tips which has given me the urge to want to decorate a cake! She includes the recipes in the back of the book for the cakes in the story as well - YUM!
bookofsecrets More than 1 year ago
Rating: 3.75 out of 5 Murder Takes the Cake is the first book in Gayle Trent's Daphne Martin Cake Mystery series. Daphne has recently returned to her childhood home in a small Virginia town. She's recently divorced from an abusive husband who is serving prison time for trying to shoot her. Her fresh start in life is opening her own cake decorating business, Daphne's Delectable Cakes. Unfortunately for Daphne, she discovers one of her first clients dead when she delivers her cake order. The deceased happens to be a spiteful busybody who kept a journal full of the town's secrets. When it's revealed that the victim was poisoned, fingers point to Daphne and her cakes. Soon she's forced to solve the mystery in order to save herself and her business. I've decided that cozy mystery is my new genre for 2011, and Murder Takes the Cake is the first one that I've read (unless you count the Sookie Stackhouse books). Because I'm new to cozies, I can't compare this book to others. But, I can say that I really enjoyed it! The mystery itself was a fairly simple one, so in my opinion the book's strength came from the intersting characters and their interwoven relationships. The author did a great job making the small town characters' quirky personalities pop off the page. I loved Daphne, and I could really connect with her. There was just the barest hint of romance between Daphne and her long lost boyfriend Ben who helps her solve the mystery. The only thing that slowed the story down somewhat was the detailed descriptions of Daphne's cake decorating. Some of it I enjoyed learning about, but it did take up a big chunk of the story. Murder Takes the Cake is a quick and entertaining read fans of cozy mysteries and even chick lit would enjoy. This book was first published in 2008. The copy I reviewed is the March 2011 trade paperback edition. Up next in the Daphne Martin Cake Mystery series: Killer Sweet Tooth.
PassionPB More than 1 year ago
I found this book such an easy read - I could not put it down. The characters are realistic and seem like friends. The story is believable and keeps your attention. I loved this book and want to read all of her books in this series.
wendyld More than 1 year ago
One of the sweetest, pun intended, cozy mysteries I’ve ever read. Trent’s protagonist, Daphne is very likable. She’s got tenacity in spite of her insecurities and her passion for baking and decorating cakes is infectious. I’m not normally a big sweet eater, but there were several times during the course of the mystery as she wove in seamlessly her specific baking techniques that I found my mouth watering in anticipation of tasting one of her scrumptious cakes. And yet, she kept me riveted to the story of the mystery at the same time. I was hooked from the very beginning when Daphne, after several attempts to please a fussy client, delivers her best cake yet and is told to “come in” by the customer’s parrot, only to find her customer, Yodel Watson, dead on her couch. Daphne immediately becomes a suspect and in order to clear herself and save her new baking business she enlists an old flame and editor of the local newspaper, Ben, to help her find the real murderer. Not an easy task since Yodel, the town gossip kept a journal with enough secrets to make enemies of all in her small community. Trent does a super job of giving us realistic suspects with enough red herrings to keep us guessing until the very end of this unusual who-done-it!
Dawn--MysLovCorner More than 1 year ago
Daphne Martin has returned to her Virginia hometown and is working at establishing her new business as a freelance cake decorator. When Brea Ridge dies, suspicion turns to the cake Daphne delivered. No one listens to the fact that she found the body while delivering the cake. Daphne sets out to clear her good name and find the murderer.

Who knew a small town could have so many people who wanted Yodel dead, including Daphne's family? Can she find the murderer and make a go of her business?

I really enjoyed this book. I devoured it in a little over a day. It is such a fun, fast cozy read. The author has done a great job of setting it in a small town in Virginia with plenty of suspects and intrigue.

Daphne is a great character with plenty of depth and smarts to be an amateur sleuth. I really enjoyed her.

I highly recommend this book and can't wait to read the next one!
JAD1 More than 1 year ago
the book is easy to read ,the characters are believable.enjoyed this book a lot, the heroine ismodern, funny, and very nosey.I intend to read the whole series.
ABrantley More than 1 year ago
Love, love, love Gayle Trent's work. I started out reading book four of the series so it was nice to come back and read book one. Murder Takes the Cake is not only an awesome mystery, but it has characters that you can't help but love. I also love how there are so many little mini mysteries that come together in the end. Trent is such a talented author, but I love the fact that she really knows what she's talking about. When she writes about cake baking and decorating, you can tell she's a master baker as well as an awesome author.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This has real potential' but needs more intrigue, to pull the reader in a d want more
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momgee More than 1 year ago
In this delightful new series by Gayle Trent, we are introduced to Daphne Martin, now returned to her Virginia hometown and trying to establish her new business as a free lance cake decorator. When Daphne is delivering a spice cake to one of her more difficult customers, Yodel Watson, she finds her reclining on the sofa in her bathrobe. Except for one thing, she is not just resting, she is dead! As Daphne explains to the police over and over after Yodel¿s death is declared suspicious, I was just delivering a cake. Honest!

Yodel¿s daughter, Annabelle calls Daphne from Florida and asks her to retrieve her mother¿s diary and tells Daphne exactly where to find it. Of course, Daphne can¿t help but peek into the diary and is appalled when she finds some volatile secrets concerning her own family and many others in the town. It seems there are a lot of people who would be happy to see the end of Yodel. The suspense is heightened when Daphne finds a warning painted on her walkway, MIND YOUR OWN BUSINESS. But of course, she just can¿t do that! The fun begins as Daphne tries to find the real murderer and the truth about her own family.

Trent has written an absolutely captivating cozy, complete with all the traditional elements of the genre. There is the requisite disliked victim, the nosy neighbor, the town blabbermouth and a host of possible suspects in a cast of colorful characters. Motives abound and there are enough red herrings and real clues to keep the reader guessing until the very end. Throw in a town full of petty feuds, the local beauty shop¿s hot bed of gossip, a little budding romance between characters and you have the recipe for a delicious mystery.

I hadn¿t even read past page 7 and I had absolutely laughed out loud numerous times. The dialogue in this book is filled with snappy wit that will regale the reader time and time again. The Characters are so well drawn, the reader will feel as if they are real. The plot is well constructed and well paced with just the right amount of subplot to keep up the interest. If you are a fan of the cozy mystery, this is one you will definitely want to read. If you are like Diane Mott Davidson or Joanna Fluke, you will be enthralled as Ms. Trent gives a lot of cake decorating details and the book contains some mouthwatering recipes. Highly recommended.
Twink More than 1 year ago
Murder Takes the Cake is a brand new series from Gayle Trent, just released by Bell Bridge Books.

Middle aged Daphne Martin moves back home to small town Virgina to start over after her marriage ends. She settles in and opens 'Daphne's Delectable Cakes.' She is delivering her third attempt- a spice cake with cream cheese icing - to Yodel Watson. Her previous two cakes have been rejected by hard to please Yodel. However, Yodel won't be rejecting this cake - she's dead. Is it murder or natural causes?

Yodel was the town gossip and kept track of everything in a diary. Yodel's out of town daughter asks Daphne to pick up the diary from her mother's house for her.

'Mother kept a diary - a virtual tell-all of the happenings in the community. If someone killed her , the reason why is in that book".

This stretches believability a little bit. If that's the case, why not give the book to the police?

In any case, Daphne does pick up the book and begins to read it. She discovers much more than she had bargained for. Her family is mentioned in the book, along with half the town. It looks like a lot of people had motives to kill Yodel - including her own family. And half the town thinks it was Daphne's spice cake that killed Yodel! So Daphne sets out to clear her name.

The folksy names, dialogues, settings and characters all promise a good cozy (culinary) mystery. This was an easy, entertaining read. It reminded me a bit of a comfortable, enjoyable game of Clue. A second in this series - "Dead Pan" is already in the works.

There are lots of cake decorating ideas throughout the story and some recipes are included. Daphne has her own cake decorating web page as well!

Murder Takes the Cake was a semi-finalist in Amazon.com's Breakthrough Novel Award Contest
sandiek More than 1 year ago
Emotionally exhausted after her escape from an abusive marriage, Daphne Martin moves back to her hometown and opens a cake-baking and decorating business. Things are starting to look up and she is getting orders when bad luck strikes. Daphne has landed an order from the town gossip, Yodel Watson. If she can impress her, the word-of-mouth will insure lots of business coming her way. But when she goes to Yodel's house to deliver the cake, she finds her dead body. Worse, the police believe Yodel was murdered. Much worse, Yodel was poisoned. Reaction is immediate. Orders drop off. The local grocery has to remove Daphne's business card in order to sell her cakes. As Daphne runs errands around town, she picks up gossip, about her and her cakes, and about her family. Desperate not to fail, Daphne decides she must take an active hand in solving the murder. To do so, she has to face the possibility that her family's deepest darkest secrets will be revealed. Can Daphne solve the mystery of Yodel's death? Gayle Trent has created a likeable main character and a cozy murder story that isn't too precious, as some cozies can be. The setting and family relationships are believable and realistic, and the plot unfolds satisfactorily, keeping the reader's interest. This book is recommended for mystery lovers who are looking for a new series to get involved with.
harstan More than 1 year ago
In Brea Ridge, Virginia is the owner of Daphne's Delectable Cakes that she makes out of her home. Daphne Martin delivers her pastry to her grouchy demanding customer Yodel Watson but she finds the woman lying dead on her sofa.

Soon afterward, Yodel¿s daughter Annabelle calls Daphne asking for a favor. She wants the cake baker to find her mother¿s diary and hold it for her until she arrives. She finds the diary that contains plenty of gossip about everyone in the small town including Daphne¿s mother and sister. Daphne realizes that almost every resident had a reason to want Yodel dead and the diary burned if they knew it existed. Unable to resist investigating the claims re her family, Daphne finds herself in trouble with her kin and in danger from a killer who thinks her inquiry is focused on the homicide.

This is an entertaining amateur sleuth culinary cozy starring an obstinate baker who needs to know the truth about her mom, her sister, others and the murder. The breezy story line is fun to follow although fans will pick out the killer early on. Even with several cooking sleuths like Diane Mott Davidson ¿Goldy¿, Daphne is a solid lead character as she follows the murder recipe one step at a time to the delight of sub-genre readers.

Harriet Klausner