Member Reviews

When a guy comes to town threatening to open a rival bakery but instead ends up dead, Maddy once again finds herself at the center of an investigation. Maddy and her friends have to find out who did it before someone they care about is implicated.
I enjoyed the continuation of the overarching mystery from the first book, but this one definitely leaves me with more questions. It's a quick read and maintains the lighthearted tone with just enough idea of danger to keep it interesting. Looking forward to the next one!

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Murder is a Piece of Cake is book 2 in the Baker Street Mystery series. A cozy mystery set in New Bison, Michigan.

Our main character and amateur sleuther, Madison Montgomery, has taken over her great-aunt Octavia's bakery, Baby Cakes. Baby Cakes is recovering from a fire and so close to being rebuilt and reopening. But finding CJ Davenport dead in her bakery is not going to help get the bakery open, especially with herself and her best friend and town Sheriff, April, as the main suspects.

I absolutely loved this cozy mystery. The cast of characters have formed this found family, and I enjoyed the interactions between them as they team up together to try and figure out the murderer.

The victim was such a dastardly character, and there were quite a few people who could want to see him harmed. This meant their wasn't really any obvious suspect. Although, there was a character I was very suspicious of.

Murder is a Piece of Cake was different from other cozy mystery series I've read, it left some things open-ended, so I am assuming the story will carry over to the next in the series. I hadn't read the first in the series, so you can read as a stand-alone. But, I'll go back and read book 1.

Madison Montgomery is a real social media guru, capturing and posting about her life throughout the book. So, I thought it was really cool when the authour actually referenced a real-life IG account, Pie Lady Books, I love that account.

I listened to this one on audio. The narrator, Jasmin Walker, did a phenomenal job.

Overall, this was just an excellent cozy mystery, the setting, the mystery, the characters, and of course, the furry companions.

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Maddy Montgomery continues coming into her own as a baker and an investigator in the second book in this entertaining series. Maddy has to deal with not one but two murders and also has to avoid being arrested for murder. The supporting cast is back, including Baby of course. I look forward to the next book.

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Thank you NetGalley for the opportunity to read this second book in the Baker Street murder mystery series by Valerie Burns. I am already looking forward to the third book in the series which comes out this summer! This was a super fun, easy/cozy murder mystery and it definitely helped to carry some ideas from book one that I thought had been left unanswered. There are still more questions and theories I have circling these characters which make it easy to want to continue on with the series.

To keep a younger reader engaged the way Maddy uses her social media accounts as an influencer with hashtags is really fun and a unique style to the writing of this book that I haven't read yet by another author. Solid 4 star read for me and the definition of "cozy mystery".

Read this if you like dogs as side-kick characters; if you like baked goods (I personally LOVE all the sweet treats!); if you like the found family trope and if you enjoyed the Stephanie Plum series by Janet Evanovich you will most certainly enjoy these too!

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Thank you Kensington Cozies for a copy of Murder is a Piece of Cake!

"Can young entrepreneur and social media influencer Maddy Montgomery run a bakery, care for a gigantic English mastiff, and cultivate a picture-perfect relationship—all while exposing a murderer?"

Murder is a Piece of Cake (Baker Street Series) is for anyone looking for…
• Cozy mysteries with big personalities
• An adorable, giant dog
• Budding, wholesome romance
• A bakery setting

I read the Baker Street Series earlier this year and what a fun way to start 2024! Maddy is such an endearing character and her big personality makes readers want to root for her. The mystery in the book wasn't simple and there's enough complications in the story to keep readers on hook and left guessing. Overall, the Baker Street Series is easy and enjoyable and left me wanting to try some of Baby Cakes Bakery's cakes and croissants!

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Thank you to the publisher and Netgalley for this ARC. I was super excited to read the follow-up to the first book. I was happy to see the character development and the climatic ending. This was a nice cozy mystery. I hope there will be more books to come!

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Valerie Burns showcases her storytelling finesse in "Murder is a Piece of Cake," the second installment in the Baker Street Mystery series. Madison Montgomery, a social media expert turned bakery owner, faces the challenge of a rival bakery and a murder that turns her once #thriving life into a battle for survival. Burns navigates the cozy mystery genre adeptly, offering familiar elements—amateur sleuths, an unsympathetic victim, and a fast-paced narrative that caters to fans of Joanne Fluke and Laura Childs.

Set against the backdrop of New Bison's Spring Festival, Maddy's quest to uphold her late great-aunt Octavia's legacy adds a layer of pressure. The arrival of CJ Davenport, a shrewd investor with a dubious reputation, sets the stage for a gripping plot twist when he ends up dead with a knife from Baby Cakes, Maddy's bakery, in his back.
Supported by the crafty Baker Street Irregulars and her charming veterinarian boyfriend, Maddy embarks on a journey to unveil the truth behind the murder. Burns skillfully weaves likable characters, witty banter, and a dash of romance, elevating the story beyond typical cozy mystery fare. The plot's quick pace and engaging narrative align seamlessly with the genre's expectations, making it a delightful read for mystery enthusiasts.

Among the strengths of "Murder is a Piece of Cake" is its ability to hold its own against other cozy mysteries. The characters' charm and the clever incorporation of a mastiff named Baby contribute to the overall appeal. In the realm of cozy murder mysteries, this book stands out with a solid 4/5 stars, offering an enjoyable and well-crafted addition to the genre.

The book is worth the price just to get the recipes. Great-Aunt Octavia’s Chocolate Soul Cake and Maddy’s Peanut Butter Dream Cake are going straight into my recipe box!

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I tried! I tried to branch out of my romance era, but this one was a rough one to get into. I think the biggest piece of it is that this was a continuation of book 1 and that’s important to know before getting into it. A majority of the framework has been laid down, but this is a secondary murder in the series and it was hard to follow. I do think the main character is what we’d classify as Gen Z with all. the. hashtags. But it just wasn’t executed with all the greatness that it could have been - the plot was meh, the solving of the crime was also meh, and nothing really intrigued me. Overall, wouldn’t recommend to my reader friends, but it wasn’t awful! Thanks for the opportunity to read!

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Murder is a Piece of Cake is the second installment of the Baker Street Mystery series that contained delicious baked goods, strategic red herrings and an MC that while initially was a self-absorbed and materialistic daddy’s girl, who you can see is transforming into a kind hearted, and thoughtful person. Don’t get me wrong, she still inhabits her old tendencies but I’m enjoying her character arc! Her inherited huge English mastiff was super adorable and I love the connecting part he plays in tandem with an underlying sub mystery tied from the first book in the series. I also enjoyed the bit of romance in the story that also provided a nice sweetness to a dire situation of someone being murdered.

Overall, the mystery had me guessing the entire time and there is a feeling there is more to the underlying mystery that has a reader wanting to read the next book.

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Murder is a Piece of Cake is part two of the Baker Street Mysteries, and it was just as cute as the first one. After Maddy helps solves the first murder, she thinks things will get better, until another murder happens, and this time, Its a rival baker that she was seen having an argument with the day before. Armed with her late great aunt's crew, the team is determined to make sure the right person is charged for the crime.

I am truly enjoying this series, from the support characters and the dog (and I'm not really a dog person, but I like the one in this series. ) I enjoyed the flow of the story as well as how the characters grew in the story. I hope this continues on as a series and I hope we get more books. I am really enjoying it.

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Murder is a Piece of Cake, the second book in Valerie Burns’s Baker Street mysteries, is another gem in this terrific series. It has all of the charm of the first book, and then some.

Maddy Montgomery is hard at work, prepping Baby Cakes Bakery for the upcoming contest at New Bison’s Spring Festival. As luck would have it, a new bakery opening across the street is poised to offer some stiff competition. However, when the would-be competitor, CJ Davenport, is discovered murdered with one of Maddy’s knives, suspicion falls on Maddy, and she must work together with Sheriff April – who has a few secrets of her own -- to solve the crime.

This story is intriguing on so many levels. The mystery, itself, is quite entertaining, with suspects and motives galore and a good many complications along the way. Maddy is fresh and fabulous once again, and I really like how the use of social media is played out. We learn ever more about April in this book as well as Leroy. Maddy’s relationship with local veterinarian Michael Portman takes a step forward. Her big Mastiff, Baby, is heartwarmingly adorable.

If you like cozy mysteries with intriguingly complex plots, a savvy sleuth, charming characters, and dogs with big personalities, this series is for you. Murder is a Piece of Cake lives up to the promise of the first book. I can’t wait to see what’s next.

Note: I received an ARC of Murder is a Piece of Cake from NetGalley and Kensington Books. The above is my honest review.

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An entertaining bakery mystery with humor and romance thrown in. I love this series.
Many thanks to Kensington and to Netgalley for providing me with a galley in exchange for my honest opinion.

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This was great! I always enjoy a good cozy mystery and this series is exactly what you need for a good palette cleanser. I enjoyed that you did not have to read the first book to understand what is going on. The plot was easy to follow and not so predictable. The characters are lovable and hilarious.

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In the second installment of Burns' Baker Street Mystery series, we see Maddy thriving in her aunt's bakery and with her dog, despite her reluctance to stick around at first. At least, that is, until CJ Davenport arrives in town determined to make trouble. He makes an enemy out of everyone before he winds up dead. But even with a town full of ticked off people, Maddy and her friends are at the top of the suspect list. Determined to clear their names and get to the bottom of the strange occurrences, they begin investigating.

I love, love, love VM Burns' other cozy mystery series. But, sadly, I am struggling to get into this one. Even with the growth and redemption arc she's been given, Maddy is just not a heroine you want to root for. She talks a big game about being smarter than she looks and then tells the police extremely incriminating information against the advice of her attorney??? Make it make sense?? I want to like her, but she just makes it so difficult.

In this book, in particular, I was also thrown off but what seemed like a number of loose ends that were left unresolved. Perhaps they were supposed to be red herrings, but it instead left me feeling uneasy about everyone in town and assuming that it was a set-up for a subsequent book. I would have rather had the issues tied up.

Thanks to Kensington for my ARC! All thoughts and opinions are my own.

4 stars - 7/10

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This series is a little different from the others of its ilk that I have read. The central protagonist is not someone who changes during the first book. Inherently, Maddy has stayed the same. She works a little more than she has before, but her thinking patterns remain the same.
I liked the second book in the series, but it almost feels like a continuation of the previous tale (which it sort of is).
Maddy inherited her great-aunt's bakery, and after a murder and investigation in the previous installment, she is not all set to reopen with some new bells and whistles.
Maddy is in a new relationship, feeling good about the effort she is putting into life when a new competitor springs up out of nowhere. This competitor ruffles multiple feathers and is found dead soon after. There are several townspeople who are within finger-pointing range, and this does not sit well with our protagonist. In the midst of trying to cheer up her huge dog, Maddy decides to investigate and ends up figuring things out just a little later than she should have.
It was a quick read, and the people are all eclectic and add to the ambience of organized chaos. I am not sure I will be continuing with the series, but with Maddy's absentee father threatening to make an appearance the next time around, it is a tempting prospect.
I would recommend this to the more ardent fans of these kinds of cozy mysteries with tasty food included.
I received an ARC thanks to NetGalley and the publishers, but the review is entirely based on my own reading experience.

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Murder Is A Piece Of Cake
A Baker Street Mystery, Book #2
Valerie Burns
5 Stars


Perfect for readers craving the cozies of Joanne Fluke and Ellery Adams, the acclaimed Agatha award-nominated author returns to her charming small-town culinary cozy series featuring a social media expert turned bakery owner and sleuth.

“Snappy dialogue, a well-drawn supporting cast and an irresistible canine companion all add delicious flavor. Gulp this book down or savor it, but consuming it will guarantee a sustained sugar high.” —New York Times Book Review on Two Parts Sugar, One Part Murder

With small town New Bison’s Spring Festival just around the corner, the pressure is on Maddy to continue her late great-aunt Octavia’s legacy. That means scoring the top prize and transforming Baby Cakes into Southwest Michigan’s must-visit bakery, even though her inexperience in the kitchen brings nightmares of humiliating tagged photos and scathing reviews.

There’s another reason for lost beauty sleep. A second bakery is opening in town under the ownership of CJ Davenport, a shrewd investor with a reputation for sabotaging anyone who gets in his way. And savvy, flashy Maddy tops his list. It’s a sticky spot to be in—more so when Davenport turns up dead with a Baby Cakes’s knife stuck in his back.

Maddy’s whole life just went from #thriving to barely surviving. Now, supported by the crafty Baker Street Irregulars and her new boyfriend, she must find the courage to face off against a killer who could very well get her name trending for the first and last time . . .

Praise for Two Parts Sugar, One Part Murder

“Snappy dialogue, a well-drawn supporting cast and an irresistible canine companion all add delicious flavor. Gulp this book down or savor it, but consuming it will guarantee a sustained sugar high.” —New York Times Book Review


The characters are well developed and well rounded. Maddy is preparing for the Spring Festival. But when she finds out a new business is opening up to compete against Baby Cake bakery, she is not happy. And when the investor is found dead with a Baby Cake’s knife stuck in his back, Maddy has to find the culprit before she is blamed.

The author is very talented in her descriptive writing and it pulled me into the story from the very beginning. The writing style flows smoothly and it defines the characters very clearly by their actions and words. The mystery was well plotted and not easily solved. You will need to put on your thinking caps to solve this one.

I would highly recommend this book to anyone who enjoys a well crafted cozy mystery. This is a great series and I cannot wait to read the next book.

I voluntarily reviewed an ARC of this book provided by the publisher, Kensington Books, and NetGalley, which I greatly appreciate.

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Murder is a Piece of Cake is a terrific follow-up to Two Parts Sugar, One Part Murder. A multi-layered mystery, with captivating characters set in the unique small town of New Bison, Michigan. A great big dose of humor and just the right amount of romance add to this very entertaining read.

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Thank you to Kensington for a free copy of this book in exchange for a review.

This may be my new favorite cozy mystery series. The vibes are perfect, but NOT boring.

🍰baking vibes
🍰small town
🍰 English Mastiff
🍰murder mystery

If there will be fall and Christmas books, I will die happy.

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I loved this book. While I haven't read the first in the series, like all good cozies, I was never left in the dark. The style of this book was engaging and well written. This was a lovely, entertaining, twisty cozy mystery and I look forward to reading the others in this series.

This was a NetGalley review.

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I have read other books and series by Valerie Burns under VM Burns, so was anticipating another great story. There was a fire in the bakery in the first book (I plan to listen to it next to find out what happened) so they are baking in Maddy's kitchen and selling from the garage on her property that had been fitted as a roadside stand. I found that interesting as they explained the rules in Michigan about selling from your homes. Maddy is a great protagonist. Her army brat days often come into play when figuring things out which I loved. She is an instagram influencer who still does a lot of posting, but that is not her job anymore. She has a boyfriend, Michael, who is the veterinarian and is just at the beginning of their relationship. The Baker Street Irregulars are a group of friends that were brought together my Aunt Octavia before her death and are really good at solving mysteries. They are also a wonderful group of characters, some smart, some quirky, some fun, some old, some young, so it is quite an eclectic group with different sources and abilities. Of course the best character in the story is Baby, Maddy's huge mastiff who will protect her and her friends from just about anyone. There are a lot of suspects in this book, and Maddy knows something sneaky is going on, but she isn't sure what. With lots of clues, red herrings, suspects and twists, this was an interesting mystery and I was in the dark until the end. I am looking forward to seeing what is next for Maddy and all her friends, and of course, Baby.

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