This past spring when I saw a several other book review bloggers showcase RAISIN THE DEAD, the second book in the Bread and Batter mystery series by Karoline Barrett, I immediately wanted to take a closer look. As soon as I read the description of the book I knew I wanted to read it since it combines some of my favorite things: a bakery, a library, and a murder mystery!
Molly Tyler owns Bread and Batter with her best friend, Olivia, in Destiny, New York. Things are going well with both her bakery and her relationship with Detective Sean Corsino…until her mother, Anne, turns into a murder suspect. Anne is the director of the Destiny-Oleander County Public Library and is pushing hard for an expansion. She finally received a huge financial commitment from Philip Baldelli to support the expansion but then he backs out. Anne is overheard arguing with Philip and then finally threatening him if he doesn’t follow through. Not long after, Philip is found dead by none other than visiting celebrity perfume owner, Serafina Alessi.
When Sean keeps officially questioning her mother as the evidence mounts against Anne, Molly decides she must take matters in her own hands and find the real culprit. Can she find out what Serafina is really in town for and if it’s connected to the murder? Can Philip’s grieving fiancee shed light on the case or will Molly and her book club strike out, leaving Anne to take the blame?
While I have not read the first book in this series yet, I found RAISIN THE DEAD a delightful read and easy to jump in and get to know the characters. I enjoyed that the book was character driven and gave greater details and insight into Molly and her blossoming relationship with Detective Sean Corsino. Molly also has a close relationship with her mother. When Anne is being questioned by Sean, Molly has conflicted emotions but ultimately knows her mother deserves her loyalty over her feelings for Sean. Molly is also surrounded by a group of fun loving, supportive friends and I adored the clever name of their book club, ‘The Destiny Divas’. The author also comes up with other creative names for shops, such as Barking Mad Books and the Bread and Batter Bakery which makes me want to visit the quaint town of Destiny! The mystery had some twists and turns that kept me guessing and turning pages, while the subplots and conclusion were wrapped up nicely.
Having the mystery center around a bakery calls for lots of yummy treats mentioned in the book! While the author does not have recipes included with the book, Karoline was kind enough to share her own recipe for Lemon Cupcakes with Blackberry Buttercream. A beautiful and tasty summery concoction! Every summer I drive up to Oregon to visit my sister and pick wild blackberries. We then turn those juicy blackberries into delicious jars of fresh, homemade jam to share with family and friends throughout the year. I used some of my jam for this recipe (although store bought will be good too) and let me tell you, this Blackberry Buttercream is some of the best frosting I’ve had! Plus its beautiful jewel tone compliments the delectable lemon cupcakes. Thank you, Karoline, for providing such a yummy recipe!
A very special thank you to Karoline Barrett for providing an e-book copy of RAISIN THE DEAD for one winner. Please use the Rafflecopter box located below the recipe to enter. Contest ends Thursday, August 25, 2016 at 11:59 pm PST. Winners will be announced on this page and on Cinnamon & Sugar’s Facebook page, as well as notified by email (so check your spam folder!)
Lemon Cupcakes with Blackberry Buttercream
1 cup white sugar
1/2 cup butter, salted
1-1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1-3/4 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 cup low-fat milk
1 lemon, juice and zest
1 cup butter, softened
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon salt
4 cups confectioners’ sugar
1/2 cup seedless blackberry jam
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
Line muffin cups with paper liners.
Cream sugar and 1/2 cup butter in the bowl of a stand mixer until fluffy. Beat in eggs, one at a time, and mix 1-1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract into mixture with the second egg.
Beat in flour and baking powder until thoroughly combined; beat in milk, lemon juice, and lemon zest to make a smooth batter.
Spoon the batter into the prepared muffin cups, 3/4 full.
Bake in the preheated oven until cupcake edges are slightly golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the center of a cupcake comes out clean, 20 to 25 minutes. Cool cupcakes completely.
Beat 1 cup butter with 1 teaspoon vanilla extract and salt until smooth and creamy.
Beat in confectioners’ sugar, 1 cup at a time, to make a creamy frosting.
Beat in blackberry jam.
Spread frosting on cooled cupcakes.
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I love love lemon curd and cupcakes
Thanks for the chance! I love lemon anything and these cupcakes sound delicious! I will definitely be making these! The book sounds great!
This series is wonderful. i really enjoyed Bun for Your Life, and am looking forward to reading Raisin the Dead. These cupcakes sound delicious — blackberry buttercream = YUM!
Those cupcakes look phenomenal, and I love the addition of the berries in the frosting. What a great idea that is. I’m also eager to read this book!
The cupcakes look great! Thanks for the chance.
What a nice combination.
I imagine the blackberry could be turned into blueberry or strawberry, or peach or…
They all work nicely with lemon.
The cupcakes looks so pretty!!!! Thank you for the chance!
I think I need some of these cupcakes! LOL
I am sleepy. It’s time for a nap.
This sounds like a cute series and I have to say that the icing on the cupcakes looks amazing! I bet they are some tasty cupcakes ( I just made an orange cake yesterday and I bet I could substitute the ingredients for lemons) – will definitely be giving this recipe a try! Thanks for the giveaway – Karoline is a new to me cozy author
Those cupcakes look wonderful and I love the idea of adding berries in the frosting.
Those cupcakes look amazing!
Those cupcakes look amazing! If only some one would deliver?!?!
I’m excited to try making that buttercream frosting. It looks delicious and I think I have all the ingredients. Thanks for sharing.
Would really like to read the book, “Raisin the Dead”, sounds like a great read. The lemon cupcakes and that frosting look really delicious.
This recipe sounds so good
I’m not a fan of lemon cakes and cupcakes. But I thinking will love Raisin the Dead. Thank you for a chance to win.
These cupcakes sound awesome!
I gave up all sugar 3 years ago and miss cupcakes so this would be wonderful
The recipe sounds great and so does the book. Thanks for a chance to win a copy.
New to me series and another wonderful recipe. Thanks!
My two favorite flavors for cupcakes! I love this book theme. Thank you for hosting a great giveaway.
Those cupcakes look delicious and the book sounds great! eileen (at) eads (dot) pro
I love anything lemon. Sounds awesome!
Just the sound of the combination of blackberry and lemon has my mouth watering…over my lame bowl of late night popcorn. Totally unsatisfying now. Lol! I loved the first in this series and am looking forward to reading the second!
I love lemons and blackberries so I have got to make those cupcakes!
I love cozy mysteries and cupcakes. Good luck to everyone!!!
Love cozy mysteries, and this looks like a good one. Those cupcakes look amazing. Haven’t eaten anything yet today; I was tempted to lick my computer screen. Thanks for the giveaway.
Love lemon curd and mysteries!
Mine sure won’t look as pretty as these, but I just must make them anyway. Do I dare just to make the frosting and eat that–mmmm? :). Probably need the cupcake to keep me balanced.
Thanks for the contest. The e-book looks great and I love them…