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Bakeries and Buffoonery (Magical Mystery Book Club, #4) by Elizabeth Pantley 

With its fun storyline and engaging group of recurring characters, it’s time for book club! 

A new week had come, and it was time for the next Magical Mystery Book Club meeting at the Snapdragon Inn. This week was slotted for the next book journey-adventure-pilgrimage, as the club members had eventually dubbed it—time to slip into the pages of a new book. 

Since their last adventure, Professor Atticus Papadopoulos had spent considerable time in the mysterious library below the Snapdragon Inn, researching the origins of the book club. He had discovered a way for Mollie, the young saloon girl-ghost they’d helped in book three, to cross out of her book and join them at their Colorado home base. 

As the club adjourned to the library today, Mollie and long-time member Frank, the talking Siamese cat, requested to join in selecting and presenting a cozy mystery for consideration for their book journey-adventure-pilgrimage, too. With Forrest’s assistance, Frank nominates The Great Cake Rivalry, a cozy mystery featuring a large, elaborately-decorated cake on its cover, which the club members unanimously choose. Reading the extensive Prologue, the group learns the story’s killer is narrating this particular book, and whoever it is, has plans to strike again soon! 

Bakeries and Buffoonery is the fourth book in author Elizabeth Pantley’s delightful Magical Mystery Book Club series. The book club characters from the previous story return in this one, and it was like visiting with old friends. Each outing further develops the growing relationships among the group while continuing with its ensemble-style story delivery. It is another fun adventure for the book club members and greatly adds to our understanding of the club itself. 

With Atticus joining the group and delving into the book club’s past, readers are treated to some of his findings during the day’s first club meeting. His presentation on his discoveries serves as an excellent explanation of how the library and club work. Paige also reminisces about her great-grandmother, GeeGee, finding her “forever book” and leaving the club to live out her life in another place and time. Her thoughts were bittersweet, and I knew we were preparing for another club member to do the same. 

In this book, the group is looking to prevent a murder rather than finding a body and investigating. To stop the killer, they must dive into the town of Frosting’s past and its wildly successful obsession, a highly competitive annual cake-baking competition. If you’re a fan of cake-baking television shows, this book is for you! The group researches, develops potential suspects, and even enlists the cooperation of the local investigator (who isn’t what he seems) to eventually get their answers. 

It was fun to learn that in her life outside of book club, my favorite character, motorcycle-riding Vee, works in a bakery. If you’ve read any of the previous books in the series, you’re aware of how big a part food plays in the club’s activities, making this quite a revelation. So, when our literary travelers touch down in the small town of Frosting on the eve of their big cake competition kickoff, she steps up to lead the group’s culinary efforts. Under these circumstances, Vee really shines. Zell and Frank, although still their wise-cracking selves, mellow out in this latest adventure, allowing for a more balanced focus on all the characters. 

The Great Cake Rivalry proves to be another paranormal cozy mystery adventure for the book club but with a fun twist. While this allows the book’s characters to see and accept Frank as a talking cat, the club members are surprised that not all of Frosting’s residents can see or hear Mollie, the young ghost. I won’t reveal the reason behind this twist but suffice it to say, the book they’ve chosen introduces a cool change to the range of paranormal beings they’ve encountered thus far. 

With its fun storyline and engaging group of recurring characters, I recommend BAKERIES AND BUFFOONERY to cozy mystery readers who enjoy a touch of the paranormal in their stories and to fans of the previous books in the series. 

I voluntarily reviewed this after receiving an Advanced Review Copy from the author through Great Escapes Virtual Book Tours. 


See my review for Shifting and Shenanigans, Book One in the series, here!

See my review for Vampires and Villains, Book Two in the series, here!

See my review for Cowboys and Chaos, Book Three in the series, here!

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