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Authors: Krista Davis

Diva Wraps It Up, The

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PRAISE FOR THE AGATHA AWARD–NOMINATED DOMESTIC DIVA MYSTERIES

The Diva Frosts a Cupcake

“Reader alert: Tasty descriptions may spark intense cupcake cravings.”


The Washington Post

“Davis . . . again combines food and felonies in this tasty whodunit, which keeps the reader fascinated until the killer is iced.”


Richmond Times-Dispatch

“[Davis] manages to mix together a hodgepodge of ingredients to come up with a treat for readers. 
The Diva Frosts a Cupcake 
will leave readers anxiously awaiting the next sample in the series.”


Lesa’s Book Critiques

“Sure to delight cozy mystery lovers and cat and dog enthusiasts alike . . . I love Sophie, she is such a great character.”


Debbie’s Book Bag

The Diva Digs up the Dirt

“Perfectly enjoyable.”


RT Book Reviews

“A satisfying, complex story . . . [An] enjoyable mystery . . . Poignant, but also funny at times.”


Vibrant Nation


The Diva Digs up the Dirt
definitely hit the spot . . . [A] fun mystery and a great way to spend a few hours by the pool or at the beach.”


Booking Mama

The Diva Haunts the House

“The quirky characters are well developed, the story line is as crisp as a fall apple, and the twists and turns are as tight as a corkscrew.”

—AnnArbor.com

“Davis finely blends mystery and comedy, keeping
The Diva Haunts the House
entertaining and alluring.”

—SeattlePI.com

The Diva Cooks a Goose

“For fans of Donna Andrews and Diane Mott Davidson . . . [A] real winner.”


The Season

“Sophie keeps a cool head . . . ensuring a Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night.”


The Mystery Reader

“A great whodunit.”


Once Upon a Romance

“This is not your run-of-the-mill cozy; the characters are real to life, interesting, and keep you wondering what will happen next. Krista Davis writes one enjoyable read.”


The Romance Readers Connection

The Diva Paints the Town

“[Davis] handles this tricky tale with aplomb and fills it with a cast of eccentrics . . . And the three animals are endlessly amusing.”


Richmond Times-Dispatch

“Davis plates up another delectable whodunit, complete with recipes. Indeed, her novels are every bit as good as Diane Mott Davidson’s Goldy Schulz mysteries.”


Shine

“Davis’s latest is an enjoyable mystery that includes decorating tips, a few pets, an unusual bequest, and recipes . . . Once again, Krista Davis brings us interesting, fun characters.”


Lesa’s Book Critiques

“Ms. Davis immerses the reader into the world of interior design.”


TwoLips Reviews

The Diva Takes the Cake


The Diva Takes the Cake
does just that—takes the cake.”


The Romance Readers Connection

“[A] fun little bonbon of a book.”

—ReviewingTheEvidence.com

“Sure to thrill cozy fans.”


Fresh Fiction

“Davis has devised a delightful romp, with engaging characters and a nicely crafted setting in which to place them.”


Shine

The Diva Runs Out of Thyme

“[A] tricky whodunit laced with delectable food . . . [A] fine mystery that’s stuffed with suspects—and a reminder that nobody’s Thanksgiving is perfect.”


Richmond Times-Dispatch

“A mouthwatering mix of murder, mirth, and mayhem, nicely spiced by new author Krista Davis.”

—Mary Jane Maffini, author of
The Busy Woman’s Guide to Murder

“This cozy mystery delivers . . . a keep-you-guessing plot filled with suspicious-acting characters, and twists and turns around every corner. Davis’s smart writing style and engaging characters are sure to garner fans.”

—AuthorsDen.com

“Filled with humor, delicious recipes, and holiday decorating tips . . . [A] must-read to prepare for the holiday season!”


The Romance Readers Connection

“[A] fun romp into the world of food, murder, and mayhem.”


Armchair Interviews


The Diva Runs Out of Thyme
is as much comedy as mystery . . . [A] really good book . . . [A] series worth watching.”


Mysterious Reviews

“An entertaining mystery novel with charming characters. The plot of the mystery is well drawn out . . . Davis is an excellent mystery author.”

—MyShelf.com

“The beginning of a good culinary cozy series with some interesting and different characters.”

—Gumshoe Review

Berkley Prime Crime titles by Krista Davis

Domestic Diva Mysteries

THE DIVA RUNS OUT OF THYME

THE DIVA TAKES THE CAKE

THE DIVA PAINTS THE TOWN

THE DIVA COOKS A GOOSE

THE DIVA HAUNTS THE HOUSE

THE DIVA DIGS UP THE DIRT

THE DIVA FROSTS A CUPCAKE

THE DIVA WRAPS IT UP

Paws & Claws Mysteries

MURDER, SHE BARKED

THE BERKLEY PUBLISHING GROUP

Published by the Penguin Group

Penguin Group (USA) LLC

375 Hudson Street, New York, New York 10014

USA • Canada • UK • Ireland • Australia • New Zealand • India • South Africa • China

penguin.com

A Penguin Random House Company

THE DIVA WRAPS IT UP

A Berkley Prime Crime Book / published by arrangement with the author

Copyright © 2014 by Cristina Ryplansky.

Excerpt from
The Ghost and Mrs. Mewer
by Krista Davis copyright © 2014 by Cristina Ryplansky. Penguin supports copyright. Copyright fuels creativity, encourages diverse voices, promotes free speech, and creates a vibrant culture. Thank you for buying an authorized edition of this book and for complying with copyright laws by not reproducing, scanning, or distributing any part of it in any form without permission. You are supporting writers and allowing Penguin to continue to publish books for every reader.

Berkley Prime Crime Books are published by The Berkley Publishing Group.

BERKLEY
®
PRIME CRIME and the PRIME CRIME logo are trademarks of Penguin Group (USA) LLC.

For information, address: The Berkley Publishing Group,

a division of Penguin Group (USA) LLC,

375 Hudson Street, New York, New York 10014.

eBook ISBN: 978-0-698-14318-0

PUBLISHING HISTORY

Berkley Prime Crime mass-market edition / June 2014

Cover illustration by Teresa Fasolino.

Cover design by Diane Kolsky.

This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents either are the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously, and any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, business establishments, events, or locales is entirely coincidental.

PUBLISHER’S NOTE: The recipes contained in this book are to be followed exactly as written. The publisher is not responsible for your specific health or allergy needs that may require medical supervision. The publisher is not responsible for any adverse reactions to the recipes contained in this book.

Version_1

Contents

PRAISE FOR THE DOMESTIC DIVA MYSTERIES

ALSO BY KRISTA DAVIS

COPYRIGHT

DEDICATION

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS

MARS’S LIST

BABINEAUX FAMILY LETTER

TITLE PAGE

CHAPTER ONE

CHAPTER TWO

CHAPTER THREE

CHAPTER FOUR

CHAPTER FIVE

CHAPTER SIX

CHAPTER SEVEN

CHAPTER EIGHT

CHAPTER NINE

CHAPTER TEN

CHAPTER ELEVEN

CHAPTER TWELVE

CHAPTER THIRTEEN

CHAPTER FOURTEEN

CHAPTER FIFTEEN

CHAPTER SIXTEEN

CHAPTER SEVENTEEN

CHAPTER EIGHTEEN

CHAPTER NINETEEN

CHAPTER TWENTY

CHAPTER TWENTY-ONE

CHAPTER TWENTY-TWO

CHAPTER TWENTY-THREE

CHAPTER TWENTY-FOUR

CHAPTER TWENTY-FIVE

CHAPTER TWENTY-SIX

CHAPTER TWENTY-SEVEN

CHAPTER TWENTY-EIGHT

CHAPTER TWENTY-NINE

CHAPTER THIRTY

CHAPTER THIRTY-ONE

CHAPTER THIRTY-TWO

CHAPTER THIRTY-THREE

CHAPTER THIRTY-FOUR

CHAPTER THIRTY-FIVE

CHAPTER THIRTY-SIX

RECIPES

SPECIAL EXCERPT FROM
THE GHOST AND MRS. MEWER

To my readers, with love and appreciation.

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS

Over a year ago, I put out a call for recipes from readers. I asked for their favorite family Christmas cookie recipes. So many people responded! They shared a little bit about themselves and their cookies. They offered an amazing variety of cookies, many handed down for generations. I am delighted to share their recipes at the end of this book. Very special thanks to all my cookie recipe contributors: Ellen Marie Knehans, Nancy Foust, Kathy Kaminski, Michelle Melvin, Jeanne Schutts, Margaret F. Johnson, Jessica Faust, James Ashcroft, Elaine Faber, Roberta Daniels, and Kitty Free.

I am always so grateful when experts take the time to enthusiastically share their specialized knowledge with me. Seth Guggenheim, assistant ethics counsel for the Virginia State Bar, was kind enough to set me straight about Alex German’s ethical responsibilities. I hope I got it right and that Alex makes Seth proud. Thanks also to Lucy Zahrey, aka the Poison Lady, who is helpful, gracious, and fun. Any mistakes are, of course, my own.

The title for this book posed some challenges. Thanks to readers Lori Meadows-Clark and Wendy Robbins, who suggested the title
The Diva Wraps It Up
without having read the book. How very appropriate it is! And for those who may wonder, the title does not mean the end of the series. Rest assured that another Domestic Diva Mystery is in the works.

Thanks also to my many friends who patiently answer questions and offer suggestions, Leslie Budewitz, Perry Garson, Betsy Strickland, Janet Bolin, Janet Cantrell, Laurie Cass, Daryl Wood Gerber, and Marilyn Levinson. Very special thanks to my friend, Peg Cochran who gave me some clever ideas for Gwen’s Christmas letter and to Teresa Fasolino for painting another beautiful cover. As always, I owe deep gratitude to those who provide so much support and friendship, my mom Marianne, Susan Smith Erba, and Amy Wheeler.

I would be lost without my wonderful editor, Sandra Harding, and my incredible agent, Jessica Faust. They’re always there with the unvarnished truth, delightful humor, and, when warranted, cupcakes and champagne!

Thank you all!

MARS’S LIST

Mars Winston and Natasha

Bernie Frei

Nina Reid Norwood

Gwen and Baxter Babineaux

Bethany, Bradley, and Katrina Babineaux

Patty Babineaux (Baxter’s ex-wife)

Elvin Babineaux (Baxter’s brother)

Sugar (Elvin’s girlfriend)

Liza and Luis Simon

Twiggy and Jonah Lawrence

Claudine Lawrence (Jonah’s mom)

Horace and Edith Scroggins

Phyllis Tate (Horace’s secretary)

Jill Kinghorn (owner of Fleur de Lis)

Mabel Akins (Horace and Edith’s housekeeper)

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