Thursday, July 14, 2011

Tragic Toppings-Jessica Beck

Tragic Toppings
Jessica Beck
Minotaur, Sep 2011, $7.99
ISBN: 9780312541095

Suzanne Hart owns Donut Hearts in April Springs, North Carolina. She constantly experiments with innovative donuts that look and taste different than the standard fare. She is friendly with much of the townsfolk so becomes concerned when Emily Hargraves turns up missing especially when she learns she was the last known person to see her. Also gone is popular handyman Tim Leaner.

Emily is found hanging with Suzanne’s ex husband Max; but Tim is found hanging from a tree. Since Suzanne has solved homicides before (see Evil Éclairs), Emily hires her to investigate who killed her honorary Uncle Tim. She accepts the case because she cannot refuse Emily. Emily’s police officer boyfriend Jake, a former cop and her best friend all go in different directions questioning people, but it is Suzanne who almost dies when the killer observes her finding a critical identifying clue.

The latest Donuts Shop amateur sleuth is an entertaining whodunit as readers struggle to figure out who Tim’s killer is. There are more suspects than donut types sold in Suzanne’s shop so it is logical for the cops to draft her to help on their inquiry even if she is a civilian. Although a killer trying to fry the heroine is not new (see Sinister Sprinkles), fans will enjoy the quirky characters and yummy donut descriptions inside a fun mystery.

Harriet Klausner

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