Thursday, July 26, 2018

Goodbye Cruller World (A Deputy Donut Shop Mystery #2)

Author:  Ginger Bolton
Genre:  Mystery

Trade Paperback; Digital Book
ISBN #:  9781496711892
Kensington Publishing
256 Pages
$15.95; $9.95 Amazon
August 28, 2018

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Named after her beloved Tabby, Deputy Donut, Emily Westhill's donut shop in small-town Fallingbrook, Wisconsin, is doing so well, she's expanding into catering weddings.  But a killer is about to crash the reception...

Normally, Emily's eyes tend to glaze over when prospective brides go on about their wedding plans.  But when the owner of the clothing shop, Dressed to Kill, asks Emily to design a donut wall for her reception, she's immediately sweet on the idea.  With the help of her father-in-law and business partner - the former police chief of Fallingbrook - she hangs the treats from dowels on the wall so guests can help themselves.

But that night, when the groom ends up on the floor with signs of poisoning, Emily suspects someone has tampered with her treats.  When the groom dies, there's no way to sugarcoat it: she's got a murder on her hands.  Despite a list of suspects as long as the guest list, Emily vows to find out who created the killer confection to save her shop's reputation and keep the bride out of handcuffs.  She'll have to move fast...before the poisoner takes a powder.


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When Emily Westhill and her partner and father-in-law Tom are asked to do a 'donut wall' for a wedding couple, they agree.  Emily decides to visit Jennifer, her next-door business neighbor and the prospective bride, to pick up some clothing she ordered and unfortunately comes across what appears to be an argument and passes an angry woman leaving the shop.  She learns from a tearful Jenn that the woman is her sister Suzanne and is against the wedding and wants her to cancel.

While Emily and Tom are setting up the wall they view another argument - this time, she figures out, between the groom and Jenn and what she sees makes her realize that maybe Suzanne was right, since Roger seems to be a particularly nasty person.  But it's not until later in the evening when Emily can join the party and leave her duties aside.  When she returns to her wall she notices that someone has dipped a cruller in what appears to be powdered sugar, and she didn't sugar any of them.  Then she sees Roger on the floor and calls her friend Scott, who is fire chief.

After calling Brent Fyne, homicide detective and partner of her late husband, she's told to get everyone out of the building, which she does.  When it's discovered that Roger's been poisoned in a room full of people, the investigation begins - along with investigator Yvonne Passenmath who hates Emily for her own reasons.  But finding a killer might be harder than it seems...

I will say that I liked this book better than the first; some of the characters have a little more depth to them, and that's always a good thing.  But to be honest, there are still some things that I didn't like.  One, is Brent going to be removed from leading investigations in every book because of his ties to Emily?  So far, there have been two books and in both he's been shunted aside for Yvonne.

Which brings us to Yvonne:  A completely unlikable character with no redeeming qualities, including the ability to put together a homicide case, which makes me wonder if she was 'sleeping with the boss' to get her shield.  She couldn't make it under Tom's former administration, so there must be a reason...(let's face it, in two cases so far she got both wrong so shouldn't even be a detective)...

Also, Tom and Emily had no reason to want Roger dead - they didn't even know the man before the day of the wedding - so without a motive they should have been removed immediately, yet Yvonne hates Emily and keeps 'trying' to pin a murder on her.  Another reason why she shouldn't be on the case.  She can't keep her personal feelings out of it - which seem to be limited to anger since that's all the reader ever sees.


Below is a hidden spoiler that partially deals with the ending, so please, please do not read if you have not read the book!  It is nothing derogatory, but mentions a couple of things that bothers me.



I do like the fact that Emily doesn't put herself into bad situations (at least willingly) nor question people by getting 'right up in their face.'  At least she tries to sound subtle, and, if need be, leans on her friends Misty and Samantha for backup.  That's a big plus.  The romance angle has stalled a little - it's been a year, so I would have liked to have seen it progress a little further than it has, but it's no big deal because the mystery was first and foremost.

I also liked the fact we learned a little bit more about the characters - Tom's wife Cindy is a teacher; more about Emily's relationship to her own parents; and that Brent loves Dep (which makes him a great guy in my book).  These are the kind of details I like to read about.

The mystery was done well, and there were plenty of red herrings red herrings strewn about, giving us a lot to sift through and eliminate suspects on our own; and the clues to the killer were right in front of us and even more so as we progressed throughout the book.  Everything was tied up nicely (even if the killer was a psycho) and I liked that the ending gave us a bit of a clue toward the next in the series, which I will read.  Very nice indeed.  Recommended.

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