Saturday, November 12, 2022

Mary Jane Clark - Author and Book Review

Image: wedding cake

Recently I was searching my local library shelves for books by Mary Higgins Clark. When I returned home, I discovered that one of the books I selected was actually by an author named Mary JANE Clark.  Thus, I accidentally discovered a really good story and have since gone on to read more books by this author.

Today I finished reading “That Old Black Magic” by Mary Jane Clark and was reading the Acknowledgments page at the back of the book (I read EVERYTHING; always reluctant to put down a good book when the story ends – LOL).  Of the people Mary Jane Clark thanked was her thespian daughter who provided the voice and acting realism of the main character, Piper Donovan, who is an actress and baker in the story. 

Mary Jane's daughter's name is Elizabeth Higgins Clark. NOW, I'm really curious because of the similarity to MARY Higgins Clark. So, of course I googled it.  It was so interesting to learn that Mary Jane Clark, an author in her own right, is the daughter-in-law of Mary Higgins Clark and Elizabeth is her granddaughter! 

This review is about Mary Jane Clark and the series of books I have been enjoying.

The Piper Donovan Wedding Cake Mystery Series

Wedding Cake image

To date, the Piper Donovan series consists of four novels:

  • To Have and to Kill (New York City and New Jersey locales)
  • The Look of Love (Los Angeles locale)
  • Footprints in the Sand (Florida locale)
  • That Old Black Magic (New Orleans locale)

The Main Character

Piper Donovan is a struggling actress who has had just a few small roles. Between times of auditions and acting in small parts, she supplements her income by working in her mother's New Jersey bakery “The Icing on the Cupcake”. Having learned a great deal about cake baking and decorating, Piper has begun to design and create very impressive special wedding cakes which become the theme of each book as Piper goes to plan and create a wedding cake for someone's wedding.

Story Themes

image of a wedding cake at a reception
During each story of the wedding cakes, somehow Piper becomes involved in a murder mystery and often gets herself in a lot of trouble ~ and even danger ~ when trying to solve the mystery. Her parents worry about her, especially her dad who is a retired policeman. Her boyfriend, Jack, an FBI agent, also worries and definitely frowns upon Piper's rash behavior that puts her in danger. 


The stories are lighthearted (with just a touch of danger), and very enjoyable. They fall into the Cozy Mystery genre. The descriptions of the various wedding cakes in each story are delightful and will make you wish you could sample them. Piper Donovan is a very likable character and the books are quick and easy to read.

Click here to find all the books in Piper Donavan/ Wedding Cake Series

*Mary Jane Clark, book and author review written by 

~Wednesday Elf

*Image Sources: Wedding cake photos are from Pixabay & GetStencil.

Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article. “As an Amazon Associate, Ebay (EPN) and/or Esty (Awin) Affiliate, I (we) earn from qualifying purchases.”


  1. Wow, what a coincidence you discovered when you googled Mary Jane Clark! This book, series of books, sounds very intriguing. I love how each of her wedding cake stories are tied to a murder mystery; that's a pretty unique way to approach a story. Thanks for another excellent book recommendation.

    1. Thanks, Barbara. It was fun learning about a different author related to one I've enjoyed reading for many years. It's fascinating that the author puts her main character in different locales for each mystery even as they begin in the New York City/New Jersey base of operations. Thanks for visiting my author/book review.

  2. A cozy mystery is just what I need for this cold day! A cake baker is right up my alley too. This sounds like a series I would really enjoy! Oh, and I did get tickled over the cake baker/decorators name being "Piper". As a cake decorator, she would definitely be a piper :)

    1. I knew you would enjoy reading about a character who is an expert 'cake baker/decorator', Mouse. The author should feature your fantastic creations in a future story. Interesting that you picked up on Piper's name. It does definitely go along with a cake baker/decorator for sure. :)

  3. This delightful (dare I say delicious?) cozy mystery series sounds right up my alley, Elf! I love that the talented baker and cake decorator is named Piper, too. How wonderful to discover this series by accident, and in the process discover a new favorite author who is the daughter-in-law of one of your all-time favorites, Mary Higgins Clark! Thanks for the excellent and interesting review and recommendation.

    1. Thank you, Margaret. I certainly did enjoy these stories and hope Ms. Clark will write more Piper Donavon stories. She's a delightful character.

  4. Sometimes a cozy mystery book is just what the doctor ordered. This series sounds like a lot of fun with that added dimension of danger. What could I possibly not like about that? Putting these on my reading list for when I need that light hearted story that keeps me captivated! Thanks for this list of new books and a new author.

    1. I think you will enjoy the Wedding Cake mysteries as much as I did, Olivia. Thanks for your visit.

  5. This sounds like an amazing mystery series and one that I think would fit Hallmark movies and Mysteries. Thanks Pat for the recommendation.

    1. I agree, Sam. This series of books would translate nicely into Hallmark movies & Mysteries.

  6. Love the idea of a book from the Cozy Mystery genre, I think I would enjoy that ! This sounds a great mystery series and how wonderful you discovered it by accident. Amazing what your googling turned up too ! Thankyou for a great review and recommendation.

    1. Thank you for visiting. Hope you enjoy this series of Cozy Mysteries as much as I did, Raintree Annie.


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