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Arsenic and Old Cake

(A Piece of Cake Mystery #3)

3.67  ·  Rating details ·  507 ratings  ·  68 reviews
Blind man’s bluff

With business going stale at Zydeco Cakes, Rita Lucero has plenty to worry about. But when the blind trumpet player Old Dog Leg Magee asks for a favor, she can’t say no. His brother Monroe disappeared forty years ago, and now someone has shown up claiming to be him. Old Dog Leg needs Rita to be his eyes—and see if it’s really his brother.

Mass Market Paperback, 304 pages
Published November 6th 2012 by Berkley
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Average rating 3.67  · 
Rating details
 ·  507 ratings  ·  68 reviews

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Feb 19, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: challenge
Another great entry in the series, although I may be a bit impartial since it mixes the events of 40 years ago with a current day murder and I'm always a sucker for that. I really like Rita, even if she is involved in the dreaded romantic triangle, she's such a real character. Can't wait to see what happens next with the Zydeco gang.
Janet Robel
Sep 05, 2019 rated it liked it
A cute, nicely crafted cozy mystery. The characters really make this story though. Gotta love Rita!
Oct 29, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: read-2012
The bad economy is hurting business at Zydeco Cakes. Rita is trying to come up with ideas to keep her business afloat and her employees working full time. Her attention is drawn away when a friend, Old Dog Leg Magee, a blind trumpet player, asks her to be his eyes and help him solve a mystery. She can't say no. She has juggled a variety of issues before, she can do this.

Old Dog Leg has received a letter from someone claiming to be his long lost brother and needs Rita to find out if t
❂ Jennifer
Mar 29, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: cozy-mystery
The best of the series so far. Previous books have left me feeling flat, but this one held my attention once I got past the ludicrousness of the initial setup: Old Dog Leg thinks his missing-for-40-years brother is back in town but doesn't know if it's really him. The only solution: Rita MUST go undercover as a newlywed at a honeymoon b&b to find out. Really? Flimsy. Even for a cozy.

BUT once you get past that the story behind the residents of the b&b is interesting, the mystery tied
Dec 29, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: mystery, chick-books, 2012
A nice book about a widowed woman who owns a bakery in New Orleans. She and her bartender boyfriend whose not really her boyfriend but could be but...well it's more complicated than it should be. A little romantic tension between her the bartender and a cop. Anyway the two of them pose as newly weds at a B&B on the west-bank. They are trying to help out their blind musician friend determine if his long lost brother has truly returned to New Orleans. Author almost gets NOLA right. Aside from ...more
Very good; ready for the next one!
Avid Series Reader
Arsenic and Old Cake by Jacklyn Brady is the 3rd book of the Piece of Cake cozy mystery series set in contemporary New Orleans. Rita Lucero owns Zydeco Cakes, a high-end bakery. She's constantly short on time, failing to meet all her commitments; the only facet of her personality to which I can relate. The bakery is in trouble financially, short on orders; one employee wants her to cut staff, another wants her to change their target clientele. Rita's mother-in-law, co-owner of the business, does ...more
May 20, 2018 rated it really liked it
This is my favorite of the series thus far, because it is not the typical mystery for me. So many times I read a cozy and think that I've read it all before (and not because I'm rereading the book). But this one was an original concept as far as the crime and motive. And I like that. I enjoy the characters, and Rita is becoming more endearing with each book. I'm looking forward to the next book in the series.
Jean Hall
May 26, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I have read several books in this series and enjoyed each one.
Sep 12, 2017 rated it liked it
Ruth Ellen
Mar 25, 2017 rated it really liked it
Rita is worried about Zydeco as business is way down. A friend asks for help and she is talked into spying on the friend's brother. See how this all turns out.
Molly Cline
Apr 04, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2015, series-3
I have never read anything written by Ms Brady this series was recommended to me by the GoodReads website so I checked it out. I loved it! From the first few pages I was hooked. She didn't take her time and drag things out. She started with the reader caught your attention and didn't let go until the last page and even then you hope the next book is just as good as the first! This book also takes place within one week so you don't have to sit and wonder how much time has passed for the character ...more
Apr 17, 2014 rated it it was ok
Rita Lucero is really starting to realize how stressful it is to be responsible and co-own your own business. Zydeco Cakes is in need of more orders, the staff is not getting along, some are harboring secrets and none of them can agree on a solution to their economical problems. To top it off, Gabriel brings Old Dog Leg Magee in who has a serious favor to ask the two of them. His brother, Monroe, has just returned to town after being gone for the past forty years. Old Dog a Leg isn't sure if it' ...more
Mar 19, 2012 rated it really liked it
Oh Rita, Rita, Rita!!! She is back again with her scrumptious cake baking and mystery solving skills! This time she takes the role of Mrs. Broussard... to help Old Dog Leg solve a forty year old mystery! This time her shenanigans take place at "The Love Nest" a local Bed and Breakfast where she takes on the role of playing blushing bride to one sexy Cajun bartender Gabriel Broussard. While trying to unearth the old mystery that surrounds the Love Nest she also gets to know of some of its more ec ...more
Oct 15, 2012 rated it really liked it
Arsenic And Old Cake is the third book in A Piece Of Cake Mystery series by Jacklyn Brady.

With the economy being in turmoil, Zydeco Cakes is experiencing a downturn in sales for its high end cakes. Rita Lucero and her office manager, Edie, are going over the financials trying to decide on a course of action to keep the bakery afloat when a couple of friends stop by. Gabriel is bartender at the Dizzy Duke and Old Dog Leg is a member of the band that plays there. Old Dog Leg is blind and has just
Jun 05, 2013 rated it it was ok
#3 in the A Piece of Cake mystery series. I am not usually a follower of cozy mystery series and have, for the most part, avoided series seemingly dedicated to highly specific venues, such as The White House Gardener Mysteries or The Cupcake Bakery Mysteries. This series was recommended by my wife and I have persevered through #3 because I am a completist. #1, A Sheetcake Named Desire (2011), set the premise of a top end cake bakery in New Orleans and had interesting characters and bakery trivia ...more
Dec 31, 2016 rated it liked it
"Try to be reasonable, Rita."

Rita Lucero is half owner of Zydeco Cakes in New Orleans. She acquired the bakery after the death of her husband that she was divorcing. His untimely death left the bakery to Rita and her mother-in-law, Miss Frankie Renier. Zydeco has always been known for their high end one of a kind cakes. The bakery is in trouble financially due to the economy. However, this is not the main source of the story.

Talented musician, Old Dog Leg and local bartender, Gabr
Sep 05, 2014 rated it did not like it
I didn't like the premise of the book. I thought it was stupid to go check for Monroe's identity they way Rita and Gabriel had. And despite people giving her good reasons to not put her nose where it doesn't belong, when she even admits to herself that she really shouldn't be doing it, Rita goes about pissing everyone off like it's her God damn right. I don't like the fact that this mystery had nothing to do with the bakery which, speaking of, is pretty much at a stalemate atm since no action is ...more
Jan 06, 2013 rated it liked it
I received this third installment of Brady's New Orleans Zydeco Cakes series for Christmas. I hadn't read the first two in the series, but it made no difference. I was introduced to all the continuing characters. The cake shop is in financial trouble what with the downturn in the economy and Rita Lucero, pastry chef, and part time sleuth, is busy trying to juggle keeping her staff and bills paid, and her ex-mother-in-law happy (Rita inherited the pastry shop from her almost ex-husband--the divor ...more
May 27, 2013 rated it liked it
This is the third book in the A Piece of Cake Mystery series. I have to say it was not my favorite. I really enjoyed the first two and while the character Rita Lucero remains true to form, I found that some of the plot elements seemed forced. Rita goes “undercover” with Gabriel to do a little investigatory favor for a friend. During the course of the investigation a murder occurs and things take off from there. We meet another whole cast of characters, residents of a B & B that Rita and Gabr ...more
Jul 02, 2014 rated it really liked it
Rita has her hands full in the latest installment of the "Piece of Cake" mysteries. The slumping economy means slumping sales -- and income for exclusive specialty bakery, Zydeco. With the income downturn, she has tough decisions to make, but she neither wants to lose employees or risk losing the high end clients for which Zydeco is known. To make matters worse, her friend Old Dog Leg Magee needs a favor of her and spicy Cajun bartender Gabriel Broussard -- one that will put them in close proxim ...more
Jeannie and Louis Rigod
Nov 27, 2012 rated it really liked it
Rita Lucero, co-owner of Zydeco Cakes in New Orleans, LA, finds herself with serious business concerns. The poor and slow economy has hit the exclusive cake shop and the bottom line is something must change and quickly. While pondering business models, Rita's friend, Old Dog Leg Magee comes to ask a favor.

The favor is Rita joining up with handsome Gabriel Broussard to find out if a man saying he is Old Dog's brother, Monroe is really who he says he is. The idea is to pose as a honeym
Linda C
May 21, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: food, mystery
Widowed bakery owner Rita Lucero is asked by her friend Old Dog Leg to help him determine whether the man who contacted him is really his brother or a con man. His brother has been missing for 40 years and in the meantime Old Dog Leg has gone blind from glaucoma, so he's not sure he can determine the truth by voice only. Monroe has a birthmark that will determine his identity. He is staying at the Love Nest B & B and Rita is asked to pose with sometime boyfriend Gabriel as newly weds and spe ...more
Dec 07, 2016 rated it liked it
I liked the book but I didn't enjoy it as much as the prior two in the series. There was too much of a disconnect between the plot (murder) setting and the Zydeco bakery. With Zydeco facing financial crisis, it seemed far-fetched for Rita to run off to the other side of town and "play honeymooners" to help a friend find out whether the man staying at the hotel was really his long-lost brother. The relationship between Rita and her mother-in-law seems more based on fantasy since the reader is rem ...more
Dharia Scarab
Oct 27, 2014 rated it really liked it
Since I don't normally write reviews unless I have something specific to say, here's the break down of how I rate my books...

1 star... This book was bad, so bad I may have given up and skipped to the end. I will avoid this author like the plague in the future.

2 stars... This book was not very good, and I won't be reading any more from the author.

3 stars... This book was ok, but I won't go out of my way to read more, But if I find another book by the author for
Dec 09, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: cozy-mystery
Arsenic and Old Cake is set in New Orleans. At Pastry Chef Rita Lucero's shop, business is a little slow. While trying to figure out how to keep her staff employed, Rita does some snooping on the side for a friend. Blind jazz musician Dog Leg Magee has received a letter from his long lost brother, Munro, who wants to meet up with him. Dog Leg is concerned it's a hoax and because he can't see, he sends Rita and her Cajun crush, bartender Gabriel Broussard, to stay at the bed and breakfast where h ...more
Oct 16, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: mystery
(view spoiler)

I continue to enjoy
Feb 04, 2013 rated it liked it
This is the third book in the series. Rita owns an exclusive cake shop in New Orleans. When her friend who is old and blind asks her to check out if a man who is claiming to be his long-lost brother really is, she agrees to his plan of going undercover with her bartender friend Gabriel as her "husband" to a weird honeymoon B & B where he is staying. The inn has an annex of old people, who were all friends and all live there together. One of them is poisoned and the long-lost brother disappea ...more
Christine Jensen
Mar 02, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 4-star-reads
Another great book in this New Orleans based cozy series. I love a who dunnit that keeps me wondering straight through to the reveal, and this book did a good job keeping the perpetrator a secret through to the last few pages. The running background story is getting more interesting as well, with Rita's love life in the air ( who does she like more, the bartender or the cop? They are both hot, but so different) Add to that some drama at the bakery and you have a fun story to carry from one book ...more
Linda Lonetto
Dec 28, 2012 rated it it was amazing
this is the 3rd installment from author,Jacklyn Brady. i really liked the setting(new orleans)the premise and the cast of chrecters she has imagined into this world. this one brings us to the "poore"area of n.o. and a bunch of septanarians. Gabriel,the bartender at the Dizzy Duke,is central in this story of murder and old secrets. I liked the plot twists and new charecters but sometimes Rita,the heroine of these stories is not as likable as other times. Seems like a love triangle is forming with ...more
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A pseudonym used by Sherry Lewis.

Other books in the series

A Piece of Cake Mystery (6 books)
  • A Sheetcake Named Desire (A Piece of Cake Mystery, #1)
  • Cake on a Hot Tin Roof (A Piece of Cake Mystery #2)
  • The Cakes of Wrath (Piece of Cake Mystery, #4)
  • Rebel Without a Cake (A Piece of Cake Mystery, #5)
  • The Cakes of Monte Cristo (Piece of Cake Mystery, #6)