Book Review: Saint Vandal’s Day by D.E. Haggerty

Table of Contents

“St. Valentine’s Day is THE perfect day for a wedding. Unless a vandal is trying to ruin your life that is.” -Saint Vandal’s Day by @DEHaggerty

About The Book

About The Book:

Callie is finally getting her dream wedding. On St. Valentine’s Day no less. Only a vandal is determined to destroy her bakery before the wedding can occur. Anna, self-proclaimed best cupcake baker this side of the Mississippi, is not letting anything happen to the cupcake bakery. No way. Barista extraordinaire Kristie jumps at the chance to help as well. Together the three women launch a mission to find the jerk who thinks it’s okay to attack the bakery.

Will the gals of Callie’s Cakes find the vandal and save the cupcake bakery before Callie’s dream wedding is ruined?

Cupcakes not included, although recipes for all the delicious cupcakes Anna bakes are.
(Bonus Recipe included below. Thanks Dena)

Purchase Link: Amazon

Chocolate Sweetheart Cupcakes


Chocolate Cupcakes: 

  • 1 stick or 113 grams butter, softened
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • ⅓ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • ½ tsp. baking powder
  • ¼ tsp. baking soda
  • ⅛ tsp. salt
  • 1 large egg
  • ½ cup milk
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 ¼ cup all-purpose flour


  • 6 tablespoons heavy cream
  • 4 oz. (113 grams) bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped


  • 1 ½ oz. (45 grams) white chocolate


Make the chocolate cupcakes

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit ( or 175 degrees Celsius) and line 1 cupcake pan with cupcake liners.
  2. Beat butter, sugar, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a large bowl with mixer on low speed until well blended. Add egg and beat 2 minutes or until fluffy. Beat in milk and vanilla (batter may look curdled), then flour until just blended.
  3. Pour batter into liners, filling about 2/3 full.
  4. Bake 20 to 25 minutes until a wooden pick inserted in centers of cupcakes comes out clean. 
  5. Cool in pan on a wire rack 5 minutes before removing from pan to rack.

Make the ganache

  1. Gently heat the heavy cream over medium heat, then pour over finely chopped chocolate. 
  2. Let sit for 1 minute. Stir until melted and smooth. 
  3. Evenly spoon ganache on top of cupcakes. 
  4. Let sit for 30 minutes.

For the lettering

  1. Melt the white chocolate. 
  2. Transfer to a piping bag fitted with a 1.5 tip.
  3. Decorate cupcakes as desired.  

My Thoughts

Callie is getting married in two weeks. In addition to the thousand small details that make up the perfect Valentine’s Day wedding, someone is going out of their way to ruin the bakery. It started with a bad Yelp review and morphed into graffiti and now even her wedding is in jeopardy. There is no shortage of suspects. Is it a disgruntled student? Maybe a customer who feels overlooked? Someone they haven’t thought of yet?

It is a serious situation, but of course, I laughed my fool head off. Anna is a lit firecracker in the best of times, but she takes the bad reviews of her heavenly cupcakes badly. Callie is a nervous wreck in the best of times, but her business is imploding, her wedding is in danger, and with Anna taking her bride’s maid duty of diet cop very seriously, Callie’s favorite coping mechanism (any Anna cupcake near at hand) is off-limits. Kristie, as always is the perfect foil for her friends. She eggs them on and pleads for caution with equal facility. Oh yeah, fun is in full effect.

Old friends have let us into their lives one more time, and I am just happy to be included. Complicated stakeouts, unusual interrogations, and descriptions of cupcakes that should carry glycemic warnings. Oh yeah, it’s a good time all around.

Rumor has it that there may be a couple more books in the series. If I promise to be very very good…??????

So why should you read this book? Because it is a fun mystery with a lovable cast of characters that complement each other and make for an enjoyable story. It could be enjoyed as a stand-alone if that is really where you want to start, pertinent details are provided, but it is definitely a fan service story for Callie. I recommend starting at the beginning.

Rating: 5 out of 5.

About The Author

About The Author:

D.E. Haggerty is actually just plain old Dena, but she thinks using initials makes her sound sophisticated and maybe even grown up. She was born and raised in the U.S. but considers herself a Dutchie and not only because it sounds way cooler. After a stint in the U.S. Army, she escaped the US to join her husband in Holland. She fled Holland over ten years ago when she couldn’t stand the idea of being a lawyer for one single second more. Turns out Bed & Breakfast owner in Germany didn’t do it for her either. When the hubby got a job in Istanbul, she jumped ship and decided to give this whole writer thing a go. She’s now back in Holland, which she considers home. Sorry, Mom.

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