Posted in Cozy, mystery, soap opera on November 23, 2010

Author Mary Jane Clark is probably best known for her suspense series featuring Eliza Blake, co-anchor for KEY news.  She has branched out and created a pseudo cozy series called the Wedding Cake Mysteries.  It might be more of a cozy than I think, but compared to others it didn’t see as “light” as other cozy series…doesn’t mean it is a bad book, just on a different level which is to be expected based on the other series that MJC writes.


To Have and To Kill features Piper Donovan, a struggling actress with no immediate prospects and a recently broken engagement. Reluctantly, she moves back in with her parents to take stock of her life. Piper steps tentatively into the family bakery business, and finds herself agreeing to create the wedding cake for the acclaimed star of a daytime television drama. But soon deadly things start happening around the bride-to-be and it seems that somebody is ruthlessly determined to stop the wedding.

With the help of her former neighbor, Jack, a handsome FBI agent with a soft spot for the gorgeous cake-maker, Piper moves closer to the truth. As she narrows in on a suspect, Piper realizes that it’s hotter in the kitchen than she may be able to handle…


I have read most of MJC’s other books in the Key Series and have really enjoyed the books so I was interested to see what her foray into the cozy realm would produce.  While I mentioned a few minor things before, I thought this book was a great start.  The characters were real and dealt with many life issues (money, love, desperation, etc).  The story line was intriguing and truly kept me guessing as to who the killer was in the book.  I kept going back and forth between a few characters only to be proven wrong in the end.  That is the sign of a good book when I can’t figure out whodoneit!  I’ll also be curious to see what path Piper chooses in her life…if she continues acting (or at least auditioning) or focuses a little more on her mom’s bakery.

This is definitely a series to watch, I think it could rival some of the other cozy series in the market.

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Posted in Cozy, Eileen Davidson, mystery, soap opera on July 12, 2009

Author: Eileen Davidson

Published by Obsidian, a division of Penguin Group

From the back of the book:
Alexis Peterson’s days are flled with scheming, backstabbing, adultery and murder. She is a soap opera star after all. But a new role has her feeling like she’s in the horror business.

Tabloids and fans are stunned when Alexis Peterson leaves her popular show for another soap, but she’s too busy preparing to be a presenter at the Daytime Emmy Awards to even notice. When her copresenter loses his life before presenting a winner, Alex realizes she has another murder mystery on her hands.

Working behind the scenes to find out how her costar could have met such an end, Alex invites handsome Detective Frank Jakes – a man she can’t stop imagining having a real love scene with – back into her life. But first Alex must focus on finding the killer before she sees another one of Hollywood’s brightest stars burn out.

My thoughts:
They always say you should write about what you know and Eileen Davidson has done just that. As an actress who has had roles on The Young and the Restless and Days of our Lives, she definitely has an in to the soap opera world and is able to use that knowledge to her benefit. She even mentions some well known soap actresses in the book although she has changed the names of the various shows but the titles aren’t too far off!

This is the second in a series and while this book could stand on its own, it would be best to read “Death in Daytime” before this one because there are many references to the murder that occurred in that book. I did feel a little lost at times not having read “Death in Daytime” but not too much! Plus the storyline between Alex and Jakes started in the first book and continues to develop in this installment.

Alex is like many of the main characters in other cozies, she gets involved in helping to solve a murder even though she has another career field. But somehow she manages to stumble across the murderer but not without putting herself in danger.

With all that said, I really enjoyed this book. While I don’t watch soaps anymore, I used to watch Days of our Lives and remember Eileen Davidson on the show. Reading this book was like going back to those days and a behind the scenes look at what goes on the set of a soap. The book is fast paced and has short chapters (some are only 4 pages!) which made it quick reading for me but would easily give me a place to stop. There is a nice cliff hanger at the end that leads you wondering what will happen in the next book (no title or date as of yet).

If you like cozies, check out this book. I’ll even make it easy for you, the publisher has given me 2 copies to give away. So leave a comment with contact info and I will draw two names on Monday, July 20th.