Banana Devil Cake
By Susan A King
What it’s about?
With the murder of last year’s fête judge now but a hazy memory, the village of Elmesbury has retired to its former tranquil existence. That is, until a mysterious newcomer sets in motion a series of events that will see members of the W.I. crossing wooden spoons at dawn.
In the midst of preparing for her long-awaited engagement party, redoubtable village busybody Beattie Bramshaw not only finds herself embroiled in a one-woman campaign to save the elm tree from which the village gets its name, but having to contend with an outbreak of unrest within her beloved W.I. group. Rivalry to win favour with the judge of this year’s fête has fuelled dissent within
the ranks and, when two members are found dead in mysterious circumstances, suspicions run rife.
Confident the devil is not only in the cake but in the detail, Beattie determines to uncover the clues
that will ultimately lead to the killer’s conviction. But can she solve the mystery before another member of the W.I. is picked off?
Banana Devil Cake is a comedy crime caper in the spirit of Agatha Raisin and one that is guaranteed to lift your spirits. Prepare yourself for a tale of tea, cake and riotous goings-on from the author of Marrow Jam.
What I think:
As President of my fabulous WI, I love WI cosy mystery.
While my WI is newer and less traditional, I have visited lots of older, village WIs and recognise the comradery and competitiveness that are the basis for this fun mystery.
Beattie is a great character. She knows everyone and is involved woth everything that goes on in the village. Along with best friend Phyllis, there is not much that happens in Elmesbury that she does not have an opinion on.
Celebrity newcomer to the village, TV psychic Leo Levine causes quite a stor when he arrives in the village searching for life out of the spotlight. When the ladies of the village find out about his childhood favourite banana devil cake he is soon inundated with baked goods. All of which sound hideous.
When two WI members are found dead, Levine’s behaviour definitely looks suspicious. Beattie sets out to investigate with her Agatha Christie inspired notebook.
There is lots of humour in this book: Passive aggressive characters that barely hide their rudeness, a vicar who gives an hilarious sermon and even some slapstick.
This book is filled with memorable characters and fun scenes. I love the village fête and competitive baking. And the campaign to save the village tree was great fun – I fully empathise with Beattie’s concern that she will run out of Jelly Babies during her protest!
Banana Devil Cake is the second book the series and follows on from the first. But can definitely be read as a standalone as there is enough to fill the read in on Beattie’s previous adventure.
This was the prefect read for a rainy Bank Holiday Monday!
If you want to find out what happens in the not-so-sleepy village of Elmesbury then use the links below:
About the author:
Susan A. King lives with her husband in a quiet suburb in Hampshire. Between them they have four grown-up sons.
The inspiration for her Beattie Bramshaw novels comes from her long experience and observation of
competitors at the local Romsey Show, where she regularly aspires to win Best in Show with her floral arrangements.
Thank you to Rachel at Rachel’s Random Resources for inviting me to be a part of this fab blog tour. I’ll definitely be recommending to my fellow WI ladies.