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Dead Pan (Daphne Martin Mystery #2)

3.52  ·  Rating Details  ·  357 Ratings  ·  53 Reviews
For the second time in as many months, Daphne Martin finds herself telling a police officer, “I just delivered the cake.”

Several people became sick at Brea Ridge Pharmaceuticals’ annual holiday party for its employees, and one–Fred Duncan–died. Fred’s mother insists on Daphne’s help in learning why Fred died; and since none of the food has yet been exonorated, Daphne feels
Paperback, 196 pages
Published November 1st 2009 by Bell Bridge Books (first published 2009)
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Community Reviews

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Originally posted at Bunny's Review

First let me state I love the title “Dead Pan” it conveys a message that a pan is not just a pan. I don’t feel it was the best title for the book but it does work. However, the story between the pages is something that will leave readers with a satisfying mystery to help solve.

Daphne is up in cakes and murder again. After delivering a cake to an annual holiday party she soon learns that almost everyone is sick and that one person has died. Daphne becomes a susp
Sep 15, 2011 Andrea rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Feb 08, 2010 Donna rated it it was ok
This was a VERY light and forgettable read on a trip. But the whole book was worth it for the following quote:

"The proprietor was sitting in a rocking chair by the window with a space heater at her side and a long green. . .something. . .she was crocheting. For some reason, the heavy woman with her squinting black eyes and her gray hair pulled into a bun reminded me of Madame Defarge. That was ridiculous, of course; Madame Defarge was a knitter, not a crocheter."
This is the second book in the Daphne Martin mystery series which offer a fun blend of mystery and cake decorating. I'd probably prefer giving it 2 1/2 stars because while I do like the idea it barely seemed to get going before it wrapped up. Very little suspense, sweet but simply too short.
Helen Thompson
Aug 26, 2011 Helen Thompson rated it did not like it
Enjoyed the first book, but this second one was a big disappointment. It begins well, but suddenly wraps up. We know who the murderer was, but not how or why she committed the murders.
This was a fun mystery. A quick read and the second book in the Daphne Martin mystery. You also get a couple of free recipes in the back.
Kathleen Kelly
Dec 03, 2009 Kathleen Kelly rated it really liked it
Shelves: finished
Dead Pan by Gayle Trent is a 'cozy mystery' about a woman, Daphne Martin, the amateur sleuth, who had solved the murder of Yodel Watson, a mean gossip, a few months before. She is asked to look into the death of Fred Duncan by his cousin Fran and her mother. As she tries to find out what happened to Fred she finds out more than she really wanted to know and the truth will put her in danger.

The story has a fun group of characters, Daphne's sister Violet, wants Daphne to test drive a video guitar
Feb 20, 2011 Bookmom rated it liked it
The second book in the Daphne Martin Cake Decorating Mysteries puts Daphne into the uncomfortable situation of investigating the death of an acquaintance. She'd been at the hospital visiting when Fred passed away and his mother begs Daphne for help since she has experience at this type of thing. Of course her own family would prefer that she stayed out of it. More than this initial mystery is solved in this story.

A large part of the story is built around Daphne's business of making and decoratin
Jan 07, 2011 Lori rated it liked it
Shelves: mystery
I am a fan of entertaining and intriguing mysteries and author Gayle Trent does not disappoint with Dead Pan, the second installment in her "cake decorating" series.

Heroine Daphne Martin returns and is the cake decorator of the series title. She is spunky, fearless and seemingly in the wrong place at the wrong time, leading her into part-time sleuthing duties after the unfortunate Fred Duncan dies after attending a party that featured one of Daphne's prized cakes. A party in which a handful of
Marybeth Mank
Aug 14, 2012 Marybeth Mank rated it really liked it
I acquired this book as a free Kindle download several months ago. I finally opened this past weekend. The first few pages filled me with doubt, proving once again that you should never judge a book by its cover (or its first few pages!). Once I got into the storyline and the characters, I couldn't put my tablet down...LOL!

The plot was well developed with all sorts of twists and tuns as well as red herrings, and the final outcome was not at all expected. I liked the cultural icon touches (i.e. h
Diane ~Firefly~
Daphne confuses me. She acts likes she is 20 sometimes (calling guys HAGs - Hot Available Guy) but I'm pretty sure she is supposed to be 30s or early 40s. And then she admits what she is doing is stupid and doesn't have a very good reason for doing it.

But otherwise I liked the book. The rest of the time Daphne is fairly normal. I love Belinda and her prize winning guinea pigs. Ben could actually use more face time, but at least he isn't upset at her for snooping.

(view spoiler)
Mary  (Biblophile)
Just couldn't get into this book. Too much of nothing. Excruciating details that never ended and didn't add to the story....such as it was.
Sep 30, 2011 Gretchen rated it liked it
This is the second of a series about a woman who bakes and decorates cakes out of her home for a living. This one is about a party at a pharmeceudical company during which everyone got sick with a bacteria and the doctors at the lab gave them a new miracle drug that cured them quickly except for one person who died. Daphne looks into the death of Fred, the bagger at her grocery store. She also investigates an accident he was in the year before which gave him brain damage.
I like the characters
Apr 03, 2014 Mary-kaye rated it really liked it
I'm actually enjoying reading this series. I like how baking and murder are mixed together.
I like this series with some reservations. I appreciate that the small Southern town isn't cloying, that the characters aren't too ideal, and that the mysteries aren't too easy to solve. I like the baking scenes. This one was a bit uneven: more time could have been spent developing the main mystery. I would have dropped the Rock Band subplot (is that what that game is called?) and used those scenes to develop the suspects. I'll probably read the next because the series is pleasant. I'll wait for ...more
Annie Fyfe
Dec 31, 2015 Annie Fyfe rated it really liked it
Dead Pan was a fun quick read with a little holiday flavor mixed in. I enjoyed the writing and the characters, especially the main girl. I hadn't read the previous book in the series but I had no trouble figuring out who was who and keeping up with the storyline. I do think there was a little too much time before the plot started unfolding and I wanted some things to happen a little quicker between the characters. But overall a very fun light book that I would recommend to anyone who is in the m ...more
This is the second in Gayle Trent's cozy mystery can see my review to the first book, Murder Takes the Cake, for a more in depth review of the series.

The second book shows, in my opinion, much improvement with this author, as if she is starting to come into her own here. The characters are becoming very endearing and their individual personalities are really starting to shine through.

These books are great for a short read in between your Proust and Faulkner!
Georgiann Hennelly
Mar 13, 2015 Georgiann Hennelly rated it it was amazing
Daphne Martin is a cake decorator she once again finds herself in the middle of a murder mystery. When half the town gets sick following a cake event she gets questioned by the police because she had baked and dropped off a cake. For Fred Duncan a potential bout of food posioning turns fatal. And now his Mom wants Daphne to find out what really caused his death. So it's up to Daphne to sort through all the likely suspects to figure out who killed Fred?
Jan 15, 2013 Cory rated it it was ok
Reading this second book in a series reminded me what I didn't like about the first book--namely, the incessant detail about things that I don't particularly care about. I get it . . . you're a cake decorator! I don't need a lesson in making frosting roses every time you make them! Also, there were enough typos and misused words in this volume to make me think "Wait! Was this self-published??!" I don't think I'll read the next one.
Jan 09, 2011 Angie added it
Shelves: read-but-unowned
As another reviewer said, I also received this as an advanced reader's copy, but unexpectedly received it as a .pdf. I don't remember that being mentioned as the format, b/c I would have never requested it. It's likely I'll never get around to reading this as I don't have a handheld reader and have no interest in reading it off my computer when I'm away from work. Incredibly frustrating and disappointing!
Jun 21, 2013 Barbara rated it liked it
I finished this book a couple of days ago. It left such an impression with me that I had trouble remembering "who dunnit". I enjoy cake decorating and thought I'd like a mystery that involved that profession. I felt the story was weak and ended way too quickly. I felt some of the characters could have been developed more and the action given more depth. It is a quick, fun read. I guess I was hoping for more.
Jan 19, 2010 Carol rated it liked it
Second in the series. Daphne is a cake decorator/baker, but she can't stop getting involved in "questionable murder" investigations. There seems to be a run of dead bodies around the small town she has recently move to. (her home town)It is a fun read, as opposed to an intense murder mystery. I enjoy the first one in the series as well as this one. If you want a fun, fast read, this is the series.
mary Challis
This was a pretty good read. I like this series it is easy reading and fast paced.
Craig Reges
Jan 22, 2016 Craig Reges rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Baked goods and murder

I've read two books by this author on this character and they are pretty good. I enjoyed the way that the "detective's" true profession was worked into the story and how she broke the cases. It's an enjoyable storyline and idea and I recommend it.
Feb 06, 2015 Babs rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Anyone who likes mysteries
I enjoyed this 2nd book just as much as the first. It was nice to see more of Daphne and Ben and a few new characters at that. Daphne tires not to get involved in the recent case of a death of a friend, but she can't help herself. The recipes are worth the read as well for some yummy sweets.
Feb 04, 2014 Amanda rated it it was ok
Of the 3 I've read I definitely liked this one the least - glad it was short!
Nancy H
Sep 07, 2011 Nancy H rated it really liked it
I liked this book mostly for the characters. I thought the plot of "Murder Takes the Cake" was better, but I will definitely read more by this author....although reading these books makes me want to eat cake.....or cupcakes....or cookies....
Maureen Mullis
May 13, 2011 Maureen Mullis rated it really liked it
Such a fun book. I love Trent's writing style and this was a great mystery. I was glad to see the characters from the first book back. Daphne is fun, the cake decorating part of the book is fun too. I'm looking forward to the next book!
Jan 18, 2013 Lillie rated it liked it
This is a cozy mystery with no graphic sex or violence or bad language. I appreciate that, and the mystery was good. People who are interested in cake decorating will probably really enjoy this series.
Oct 31, 2012 Marsha rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mysteries
UNSATIFYING! There was a lot of potential, but most was un-realized.
Questions that were specifically pointed out were subsequently totally ignored and unanswered. Very disappointing!
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aka Holly Jordan, Amanda Lee.

Gayle is a Southwest Virginia based author who is working on the Daphne Martin Cake Decorating Mystery series. The first book in the series, MURDER TAKES THE CAKE tells the story of Daphne Martin, a forty-year-old divorcee who returns to her fictional hometown of Brea Ridge, Virginia to start her life over. She has left behind an ex-husband who is in prison for an atte
More about Gayle Trent...

Other Books in the Series

Daphne Martin Mystery (5 books)
  • Murder Takes the Cake (Daphne Martin, #1)
  • Killer Sweet Tooth: A Daphne Martin Cake Mystery
  • Battered to Death
  • Killer Wedding Cake (Daphne Martin Cake Mystery)

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