The Fabulous Cakes of Zinnia Jakes 1: The Crumbling Castle
New Frontier, 2020
88pp., pbk., RRP $A14.99
Zoe Jones has a hidden talent and a secret identity. Daughter of one of the most famous pastry chefs in the world, sadly dead now, and a secret globe-trotting international food critic, at the age on nine, she has inherited her mother’s interests and talents, and when she is not at school she creates masterpieces that are highly sought after, aided and abetted by her guardian Aunty Jam.
In this, the first in the series, she gets a new pastry order for a special medieval crumbling cake, but she has no idea where to start! It needs to be ready in less than a day for the school fair and the clock is ticking. Will she deliver it on time and remain the undercover secret pastry chef everyone talks about?
Given the shortage of eggs, flour and other baking ingredients on the supermarket shelves at the moment, it can be assumed that there might be many budding pastry chefs like Zinnia Jakes emerging from kitchens and so this is a timely release that should have widespread appeal to young, newly independent readers. While different to the Sage Cookson series, it nevertheless caters to a similar audience of younger readers with an interest in food, and while they wait for the second episode, The Tumbling Tortoises, due in October 2020, they could indulge themselves with that collection.