Death by Chocolate Chip Cupcake
by Graves, Sarah

"Jake and Ellie are taking a break from perfecting their chocolate pizza recipe to cater a housewarming party hosted by movie icon Ingrid Merryfield. Miss Merryfield is famous for her old-Hollywood glamour. Her new home, Cliff House, has a reputation too-for being haunted. But she isn't concerned, and some of her guests even try to summon a spirit during the party, using a Ouija board. What arrives instead is a freak autumn storm that downs an ancient tree, trapping everyone on the property and setting the stage for a killer's planned spree. Though Jake and Ellie don't intend to get stirred into the mix, there's no avoiding it-especially when they witness one of the guests being shoved over the very precipice that gave Cliff House its forbidding name. Jake and Ellie begin sifting through suspects and motives, a search that takes them from a long-lost family graveyard to a wise old herbalist's deceptively-sweet cottage and finally to Cliff House's overgrown gardens. Is there some ghostly presence involved-or a flesh-and-blood villain? And either way, can they ensure that they avoid meeting their very own, very permanent Hollywood ending?"-

Sarah Graves is the USA Today bestselling author of the Death by Chocolate Mysteries, the Home Repair is Homicide Mystery Series, and the Lizzie Snow suspense novels. Much like Jake Tiptree, the sleuth who stars in her cozy mysteries, she lives in a 200-year-old house in Eastport, Maine. When she's not cooking or baking something delectable (or writing about it) she tends a huge garden or shovels snow, depending upon the season. She can be found online at

Jake Tiptree and her friend Ellie White, proprietors of the Chocolate Moose, a chocolate-themed bakery located in the island village of Eastport, Maine, reluctantly agree to be the dessert caterers at aging film star Ingrid Merryfield's house party. They are not thrilled to be required to stay overnight at the dilapidated mansion, the site of previous murders by a madman, but the bakery needs a new furnace. They were right to be wary, as they are soon hearing strange noises, and the guests begin dying one by one. When a freak storm fells a tree, blocking the only entrance to the clifftop mansion and taking out phone service, Jake and Ellie must go to extraordinary means to rescue themselves and the rest of their staff-Jake's daughter-in-law and stepmother. Fast pacing and multiple plot twists move the over-the-top story along, and Graves makes good use of her coastal Maine setting. Believability suffers a bit, but fans of cooking mysteries will enjoy the baking frame, although it takes a back seat to the plot here. Copyright 2022 Booklist Reviews.

Some bakers' bid to earn extra cash turns deadly. Winter is no time to run a boutique chocolate shop in Eastport, Maine. As the summer visitors leave, the Chocolate Moose empties out. Jacobia Tiptree and Ellie White, partners and best friends, find themselves closing in the midafternoon after a day without a single customer. Ellie is especially bummed because she's developing a new recipe for chocolate pizza that she's sure would be a hot item if only someone would brave the cold and come try it. Then, a bolt from the blue: Retired screen actress Ingrid Merryfield drives up in her stretch limo. The Eastport native has bought majestic Cliff House and wants to pay Ellie and Jake handsomely to provide late-night desserts for her housewarming party. Cliff House's creepy reputation gives the pair pause, but the gig offers them their best chance to keep the Moose open. So Jake enlists her daughter-in-law, Mika, and her stepmother, Bella, for the overnight stint. Naturally, Jake's cream-filled cupcakes aren't even half gone when guests start dying. Actor Gilly Blaine disappears over a cliff. Film critic Audrey Dalton's body turns up in an empty room. And while Jake wonders who's next, an unexpected storm topples a tree in the driveway, trapping everyone inside. Jake and Ellie brave the deluge in a Chris-Craft moored by the dock, then return for the rest of the Moose crew. Hours and gallons of rain later, they finally discover who has it in for Ingrid and her guests. And Then There Were None, only wetter. Copyright Kirkus 2021 Kirkus/BPI Communications. All rights reserved.

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