Tuesday, May 3, 2011

The Diva Takes The Cake

The Diva Takes The Cake
Author: Krista Davis
Berkley, 2009
320 pages

The hoopla surrounding the recent royal wedding in the UK had me in the mood for a wedding-themed story. So I picked up this second-in-a-series cozy mystery featuring domestic diva Sophie and her snooty rival, Natasha. Natasha in now living with Mars (Sophie's ex) in a house just down the street from Sophie's beautiful nineteenth-century home in Old Town Alexandria, Virginia. Sophie's unlucky-in-love sister, Hannah, is about to marry for the third time -- this time to the shady-seeming Craig. Sophie has been against this marriage from the beginning, but is doing everything she can to support her sister - including hosting family and members of the wedding party in her home. As people start to gather, some uninvited guests show up. One of them is a woman who claims to be Craig's ex-wife. When she turns up murdered, clues point to either Hannah or Craig as the murderer.

Sophie knows her sister isn't a murderer, so despite warnings from her police buddy Wolf, she takes it upon herself to not only prove Hannah's innocence, but to prove Craig's guilt.. The wedding is off, then it's on again . . . . or is it? In the meantime, Natasha wants to help with Hannah's wedding. The two domestic divas are opposite in every way, so hilarity ensues as they try to outdo each other (or, I should say as Natasha desperately tries to outdo Sophie).

Witty, with plenty of mouth-watering recipes in the back, The Diva Takes The Cake is a quick, fun read if you're in the mood for a cozy mystery . . . and if you can keep up with all the characters. Davis has created a great lineup of family, friends, and neighbors. Let's admit it: we all know someone like Natasha, whose insecurity is masked by a strange combination of vanity and innocence: one moment you want to slap her, the next you feel sorry for her. The slimy mortician, Humphrey, has a couple of fabulous moments in this one. I don't know why I like him, but I do. I also like the mysterious Mordecai and his little Pomeranian dog, and neighbor Nina. As is the case with many of the series books I read, I'll keep reading this one just because I want to know what happens to the characters! (And, oh yeah, the food!)

Previously reviewed books in this series:
The Diva Runs Out of Thyme (June 2010)