Review of Batter Off Dead

Batter Off Dead
A Southern Cake Baker Mystery, Book #2
Maymee Bell
5 Stars


For fans of Joanne Fluke and Leslie Meier comes the second in Maymee Bell’s delectable Southern Cake Baker mysteries.

Vanquishing the villain who vitiated a village vintner vexes vaunted pastry chef Sophia Cummings in this sweetly sinister second Southern Cake Baker mystery.

Sophia Cummings may be unlucky in love, but she knows that the way to a man’s heart is through his sweet tooth. This evening, she plans to use that knowledge—and her skills as a New York City-trained pastry chef—to open the hearts and wallets of Rumford, Kentucky’s richest men. Sophia, proprietress of For Goodness Cakes, has been commissioned to cater the Heart of the Town Library charity fundraiser at Grape Valley Winery. She’s spent all her dough to make this a successful event, raise her profile, and win more plum catering jobs.

At first, the going is as smooth as an elegant chocolate ganache. After nibbling Sophia’s tasty treats, Ray Peel, the winery’s landlord, announces he will pay off Rumford’s library loan. But the evening soon turns decidedly frosty when Ray is murdered—before he can make good on his promise, and before he can pay Sophia for her catering services.

For Goodness Cakes will collapse if Sophia can’t collect what she’s owed. So Sophia once again puts on her sleuthing apron to figure out who iced Ray. A glass of your favorite red or white is the perfect accompaniment to Maymee Bell’s scrumptious Batter Off Dead―with authentic Southern recipes! (Goodreads)


The writing style flows smoothly and it defines the characters very clearly by their actions and words. The author’s descriptive writing drew me into the story and carried me along until the end of the book. Rumford, Kentucky, came to life in my mind and it is a place i want to visit.

The characters are well rounded and well developed. Sophia is a hard working loyal friend and she loves her business, For Goodness Cakes. When her business is threatened she will do whatever it takes to save it, including finding a murderer.

The mystery was well plotted and moves along at a nice pace. There are plenty of suspects to consider and clues to sift through, with a few red herrings to thrown in, making it a difficult mystery to solve.

I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys a well crafted cozy mystery. With plenty of humor, great characters and a homey setting, this book is a winner.

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