Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Review ~ BANANA MUFFINS & MAYHEM by Janel Gradowski

Banana Muffins & Mayhem (Culinary Competition Mystery, #5)
by: Janel Gradowski
Series: Culinary Competition Mystery
Genre: Cozy Mystery
Release Date: June 14, 2016
Publisher: Gemma Halliday

Culinary competitor Amy Ridley is as excited as anyone in Kellerton, Michigan to have DIY Home Improvement star, Phoebe Plymouth, come to town for the first annual Cabin Fever Cure event. However the TV personality’s sour attitude quickly curdles people’s opinion of her. When she’s found dead, at the business owned by Amy’s husband, Alex, the heat is on to catch the killer before his professional reputation is ruined!

When Amy seeks help in preparing for a vegan baking recipe contest, she also finds assistance from an unlikely team of sleuths who want to help her catch the murderer. But things go from bad to worse when Alex and his business suddenly suffer a series of less-than-random attacks. Are the murder and attacks related? Amy vows to figure it out before her and her husband’s lives are ruined…or ended permanently!


Told in third person, but alternating between best friends Amy Ridley and Carla Shepler, Banana Muffins & Mayhem continues to follow their lives as they deal with life changes and solving murders.  This installment of the Culinary Competition Mystery series finds Carla questioning her decision to become a stay-at-home mom, feeling overwhelmed taking care of her four-month-old daughter and worrying about her detective husband. While the story finds Amy wondering if she wants to be a parent and whether or not society will think there’s something wrong with her if she chooses not to.

While going to visit her husband Alex at his company, Quantum Media, Amy discovers the body of home improvement tv show hostess Phoebe Plymouth outside of the business.  When a new and inexperienced detective zeroes in on Alex and his employees, Amy makes it her mission to find out who the true killer is.  But while Amy is investigating, her life as well as Alex’s is put in jeopardy.  

I found myself enjoying the storytelling and forgetting I wanted to solve the murder as much as Amy did.   I ultimately found myself completely blindsided by the murder and why they committed the crime.  

Banana Muffins & Mayhem is the fifth book in the Culinary Competition Mystery series.  Having read all the books in this series, I’ve enjoyed watching the characters lives progress and I can’t wait to see what else is in store for them.  It should be noted that this is a true stand alone read.

**Received a copy from the author in exchange for an honest unbiased opinion.**

Rating: 4

Purchase Banana Muffins & Mayhem from:

The Culinary Competition Mystery Series:
(Click on the book covers for more information or to purchase from Amazon.)

Pies & Peril ~ Review
Christmas Canapes & Sabotage ~ Review
Chicken Soup & Homicide ~ Review
Doughnuts & Deadly Schemes ~ Review
Fudge Brownies & Murder ~ Review

Janel Gradowski lives in a land that looks like a cold weather fashion accessory, the mitten-shaped state of Michigan. She is a wife and mom to two kids and one Golden Retriever. Her journey to becoming an author is littered with odd jobs like renting apartments to college students and programming commercials for an AM radio station. Somewhere along the way she also became a beadwork designer and teacher. She enjoys cooking recipes found in her formidable cookbook and culinary fiction collection. Searching for unique treasures at art fairs, flea markets and thrift stores is also a favorite pastime. Coffee is an essential part of her life. She writes the Culinary Competition Mystery Series, along with The Bartonville Series (women’s fiction) and the 6:1 Series (flash fiction). She has also had many short stories published in both online and print publications.

Places to find Janel Gradowski:



  1. What a great title and cover!

    1. It is. I love all the titles in Janel's series. The best part, there's a recipe. Or several.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...