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Murder Among Friends

Great Moments in "Staking the Cake"

Staking the Cake logo

Thanks to our good British friend, Zoe Sharp, a Murder Among Friends (MAF) tradition began with her first visit to our fair library: Staking the Cake! When authors come to visit, we like to do special things, and one of them is to get a custom cake made (at our fine local Jewel) that has a design that includes the author and their book's cover. 

Zoe's Staked Cake  When Zoe came to visit, she was kind enough to demonstrate some self-defense moves, so we arranged to have a (plastic!!) military knife for our “perp” to use against Zoe. Zoe in turn, used the knife to pretend-cut the cake we made for her! So many people got a kick out of this, that we started offering the photo opportunity to “stake the cake” to all subsequent authors who’ve spent time here with the group.

Our eager Cake Stakers have grown over time, so here's a table to link directly to a specific author's Staking experience!

Cakes and Knives grpahic
Tasha Alexander & Andrew Grant
Susan M. Boyer
Joelle Charbonneau
Jamie Freveletti
Robert Goldsborough
Bryan Gruley
Julie Hyzy
Lori Rader-Day
Hank Phillippi Ryan - 2012
Hank Phillippi Ryan -  2014
Hank Phillippi Ryan - 2017
Hank Phillippi Ryan - 2019
Victoria Thompson
Who will be next logo

The following pictures document their efforts…


Our next cake challenger was Bryan Gruley. After posing nicely with his cake,

Bryan Gruley poses with his cake


he let loose his inner cake stabber!

Bryan Stakes His Cake!


Julie Hyzy shows us how a White House Chef might Stake the Cake.

July Hyzy staking cake Top of Table link


Joelle Charbonneau didn’t skate around the stake – but plunged it straight into the cake.

Joelle Charbonneau stakes her cake!


Jamie Freveletti doesn’t just know aikido – she stakes cakes very efficiently as well.

Jamie Freveletti stakes the cake Top of Table link


Hank Phillippi Ryan showed us a “veddy proper” way to Stake One’s Cake.

Hank Phillippi Ryan properly stakes cake


Lori Rader-Day takes 2016's first stab at Staking the Cake!

Lori Rader-Day Stakes Her Cake! Top of Table link


Hank teaches her cake the meaning of fear...

Hank Teaches Her Cake the Meaning of Fear... photo

Tasha Alexander & Andrew Grant Join Forces as Our First Couple to "Stake the Cake"!

Tasha Alexander & Andrew Grant Join Forces to Stake the Cake

Everyone enjoyed that so much, but as Andrew pointed out - they hadn't actually driven the point (of the knife) home, so each of them took a shot at it.

Tasha's Cake Stab 

Tasha used a stealth approach favored by Cake Assassins the world over, stabbing the hapless cake & exiting the scene before we could get photographic proof;

Andrew Stabs the Cake  Top of Table link

Andrew, on the other hand, favored a decisive -- not to say gleeful -- stab that may indicate some experience "delivering messages" for Cake Kingpins...


Robert Goldsborough was on hand at our Sept. 22nd meeting to help us explore the world of Nero Wolfe and Archie Goodwin, as well as learn more about their (other!) author, mystery legend, Rex Stout. We felt it was only fitting that as Bob also writes further adventures for Wolfe and Archie, that we invite him to Stake the Cake that pictured both authors with the Fer-de-Lance cover.

So here's the cake design...

Rex Stout and Bob Goldsborough Cake  and here's Bob's jubilant attack on it!

Bob Goldsborough Stake the Cake!Top of Table link

And here's our wonderful Hank in 2017, completing the Stake-the-Cake Trifecta! And celebrating not only her visit with us, but her 34th (!!!!) Emmy!

Hank with her 2017 Cake photos courtesy of John Bychowski


Susan M. Boyer offered a blithesome take on the "Steel Magnolia" in staking her cake. P.I Liz Talbot would have been proud of her!

Susan Boyer Stakes Her Cake Top of Table link

Victoria Thompson provided another historic moment -- which was highly appropriate considering the historic content of her Suffrage-based story!

Victoria Thompson City of Lies Cake  and here's   Close Up of Thompson Cake    a close-up on her design, which included the yellow roses supporting suffrage, and the one red rose (stake target!) that opposed suffrage. The silver gates border is made up of the silver pin design that those who survived the horrors of the workhouse and forced feeding sessions were given by the National Women's Party in 1917.

Vicki Staking the Cake!   Kudos to Vicki for a job well-done!  The Cake -- Staked!



June 2019 saw the return of Hank Phillippi Ryan to Lisle Library and our Murder Among Friends (MAF) group.

Trust Me Cake for Hank Phillippi Ryan

We were delighted to see that Hank has lost none of her flair for making a Staking of the Cake memorable -- which she did by severing the "Fake" from the "News" at the corner of her cake!
Hank Dividing Fake from News on the cake!    Hank Smiling after Staking  She also got a kick out of seeing that all three of her other Staking efforts were part of this cake's design!

Close-up on Hank's "Trust Me" Cake


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