A sweet mystery

How to Eat a Cupcake by Meg Donahue blends mystery, romance, and a modern dilemma in an engaging tale set in romantic San Francisco.
Annie Quintana, an artistic bohemian Latina grew up in the Pacific Heights mansion of the St. Clair family. Her late mother was the housekeeper and best friend of the elegant Lolly St. Clair.
Anna and the coolly elegant Julia S. Clair grew up together, best friends and schoolmates until a teenaged disagreement tore them apart. Now the girls have both returned to San Francisco — Anna to mourn her dead mother, and Julia to plan her wedding.
Julia is at loose ends as she waits for her fiancé to arrive for her wedding. She is also depressed and hiding a dark secret. She takes an interest in Anna’s bakery. Anna reluctantly agrees to partner with Julia, who has become a business mogul to get her cupcake business off the ground.
Suddenly, the cupcake business is plagued with mysterious problems just as the bakery becomes a hit. Anna herself is plagued with self-doubt and still mourning her mother. She bakes to fill the void in life left by her mother’s death and the father she has never known. She is also looking for her mother‘s lost recipe book.
Both Julia and Anna are fighting against depression and secrets from the past as the struggle to make a new future.
The book is clever, the characters are engaging, and the tone is light. But the mystery lurks enticingly in the background prevents How to Eat a Cupcake from being just another romance or cozy mystery.
This thoroughly modern mystery will appeal to lovers of romance and cozy mystery tales.