I normally stay away from the mysteries that have a kind of cutesy premise, you know what I mean, Seaside Knitters, Tea Shop, Chocoholic, Cookie Cutter Shop, or Wedding Cake Mysteries. But then, I’m always drawn to stories that take place in New Orleans, so when I saw that the author seemed to have some chops, and the book description sounded more like dinner than dessert, I figured I’d place my order. I’m glad that I did.
Ms. Clark has written a very mysterious mystery. What I mean is that there are a lot of potential murderers in the book, and you aren’t really sure who is the killer until the very end. Some of the possible killers are eliminated along the way, but unless you are a better detective than I am, you won’t have pegged the real killer until the reveal.
What I liked about this book was that Piper Donovan, the wedding cake decorator, wasn’t playing detective, she was right in the middle of things. The killings were taking place all around her, in the shops on historic Royal Street, where she was staying for a couple of weeks at a famous French Quarter bakery. She had some ideas about what might be going on, but wasn’t trying to solve the crimes before the police did. She was just there.
I enjoyed this book and give it 4 Stars out of 5 and a Thumbs Up. It was nice to read a lighter book. I’ve read an awful lot of very dark books. This one was like having a nice Quiche Lorraine for dinner, light but tasty.
I received this Digital Review Copy for free from edelweiss.com.
Release date: January 21, 2014
That Old Black Magic is New York Times bestselling author Mary Jane Clark’s savory and suspenseful confection filled with murder, mystery, history and voodoo, in which Piper Donovan must unmask a devious killer striking in New Orleans’s legendary French Quarter.
Aspiring actress and wedding-cake decorator Piper Donovan has barely arrived in New Orleans to perfect her pastry skills at the renowned French Quarter bakery, Boulangerie Bertrand, when a ghastly murder rocks the magical city. Intrigued by the case, Piper can’t help but look for the “Hoodoo Killer” among the faces around her. Could it be the handsome guide eager to give her special private tours? Or the inscrutable jazz musician who plays on historic Royal Street? What about the ratings-starved radio talk-show host? Or even the amiable owner of the local Gris-Gris Bar?
Though Piper has a full plate decorating cakes for upcoming wedding celebrations, she’s also landed an exciting but unnerving role in a movie being shot in the Big Easy. When the murderer strikes again, leaving macabre clues, she thinks she can unmask the killer. But Piper will have to conjure up some old black magic of her own if she hopes to live long enough to reveal the truth.
Series: Piper Donovan/Wedding Cake Mysteries (Book 4)
Hardcover: 368 pages
Publisher: William Morrow (January 21, 2014)
Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 6 x 1.5 inches
Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces
About the Author
Mary Jane Clark worked at CBS News for nearly three decades. Her twelve KEY News media thrillers were inspired by that experience. Envisioning the Piper Donovan/Wedding Cake mystery series, Mary Jane enrolled in cake-decorating classes and researched unique wedding locations. The daughter of an FBI agent and a mother who customized cakes for the neighborhood kids when she was growing up, Mary Jane has two grown children and splits her time between New Jersey and Florida. She is currently concocting her next novel.
The book description is from Amazon. That Old Black Magic (Piper Donovan – Wedding Cake Mysteries)