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It is my pleasure to feature Beyond A Reasonable Donut today!
Beyond a Reasonable Donut (A Deputy Donut Mystery)
by Ginger Bolton
About Beyond a Reasonable Donut
Beyond a Reasonable Donut (A Deputy Donut Mystery)
5th in Series
Setting – Wisconsin
Publisher: Kensington (May 25, 2021)
Paperback: 256 pages
Digital ASIN: B08GY9Z1PD
Selling her corn fritters at a carnival, Deputy Donut Café owner Emily Westhill faces off against a murderer who doesn’t play fair . . .
Emily and her assistant, Nina, are looking forward to manning the Deputy Donut tent at the Faker’s Dozen Carnival in Fallingbrook, Wisconsin—a festival held on Friday the thirteenth to celebrate good and bad luck. But Emily has barely dropped the corn fritters in oil when bad luck boils up. First, their bucket of confectioner’s sugar disappears—and then while a mime creates a distraction, a magician robs their cash register.
After the carnival, their misfortune continues. Emily discovers that someone has broken into artist Nina’s loft and vandalized a large painting in progress with the bucket of stolen sugar, which is now on the head of the mime, who seems to have been suffocated. Emily would bet Nina was the intended victim, but the cops think Nina silenced the mime. Now Emily must catch the killer white-handed—before someone else kicks the bucket . . .
Marsha was not at her station. A windowless black van had appeared between the entryway and our donut car
I muttered to Nina, “Did that van escape from a morgue parking lot?”
She giggled. “Usually our first-responder friends attend events with their fire trucks, ambulances, and police cruisers, just to be ready. A van from the morgue is carrying preparedness a little far.”
I intoned in a sinister voice, “Maybe not on Friday the thirteenth.”
We walked around the back of the van. On the other side of our car, Marsha was beside a tiny pink car with MIME MOBILE written in purple on the door.
Marsha shook a finger. “You can’t leave your car here!”
She wasn’t talking to us. She was glowering at a tall, thin woman wearing a black beanie on her fluffy orange hair, a red-and-white-striped T-shirt, pink sandals, and baggy black shorts held up by chartreuse suspenders.
The thin woman turned toward us. She was made up like a sorrowful clown, her face powdery white with a dramatic, down-turned red mouth, a red dot on the tip of her nose, and thick black eyelashes painted on her cheeks and forehead. She wore white gloves with red fingernails inked on them. Without a word, she mimicked Marsha’s stance and finger-shaking.
I restrained a smile. People who had been heading toward the entryway had gathered around us. They laughed.
Marsha’s face reddened. “Don’t you shake your finger at me! Move that car.”
The mime sidled closer to Marsha, peered down at Marsha’s clipboard for a few seconds, and then pretended to hold a clipboard of her own. She ran her gloved finger down the top page of her invisible clipboard, jabbed her finger down on it, looked straight at Nina and me, and pointed two fingers at her eyes and then at us as if to warn she was watching us. Then she made a circle with both hands and planted the circle on her forehead, obviously imitating the donuts on our hats. Holding her stomach with both hands, she bent over and acted like she was laughing uproariously, without the roar.
Our hats were funny, but I didn’t think they were that funny.
Marsha clutched her clipboard close to her chest and ordered, “Now move that car!”
The mime made the exaggerated shrug of a person who could do nothing about a tragic situation, patted the car, and motioned with her hands as if outlining an even smaller car.
Marsha balled her free hand into a fist and put it on her hip. “I don’t care how small it is. It’s in the area designated for dignitaries.”
With great exaggeration, the mime cradled an invisible clipboard lovingly against her heart, plunked a fist on a hip, and then thrust her hands into her pockets, turned them inside out, and looked desolate.
The audience clapped. The mime pulled her beanie off and waded into the crowd. Her posture dejected, she held the beanie upside down and pointed into it. Her pockets were still inside out. People good-naturedly put coins and bills into the hat.
We arrive in Fallingbrook, Wisconsin just in time for the Faker’s Dozen Carnival. The folks from Deputy Donut are serving a variety of corn fritters hoping the event brings them nothing but good luck on this Friday the 13th but soon after their arrival, they notice their container of confectioner’s sugar has gone missing. After a quick delivery from the bakery, fritters are being fried, coated and eaten by many at the fair. The Deputy Donut tent is busy with a long line waiting to be served. Emily and Nina are thrilled that a mime and a magician are entertaining the crowd . . . that is until the magician takes advantage of the crowd and sticks his hand in the cash box grabbing several bills before he and the mime hotfoot it out of the park.
The bad luck continues after the park closes when Nina’s loft is broken into and a huge painting almost ready to be shipped for her upcoming show has been vandalized. On the plus side, the missing confectioner’s sugar has been found. Much of it on the painting and the rest over the mime’s head along with the bucket it came in. Sadly the mime dies after inhaling so much sugar and the police quickly decide Nina is the killer while Emily thinks that beyond a reasonable doubt, Nina was the intended victim. Now, she just has to prove it before the killer strikes again. For right now the safest place for Nina could be a jail cell.
Emily is a wonderful protagonist with a huge heart. She is trying to learn how to live her life after losing her police detective husband in the line of duty. His former partner has feelings for her and she seems to for him as well but she just isn’t ready to move in that direction yet. I really appreciate the author not rushing this relationship and allowing Emily to set her own pace. Ms. Bolton has also surrounded Emily with a great group of family and friends to support her in every way, even when she is tracking down a killer.
Readers are treated to a very complicated mystery with a plethora of suspects. Some I quickly discarded including one I truly shouldn’t have. There were so many twists and the motive was unclear throughout most of the book when finally a connection was found that finally stuck. I was totally caught up in the mystery with one theory after another but never got on the right path to solve the crime. I love when that happens. I love a sticky story that I can sink my teeth into and tests me. Beyond a Reasonable Donut sure did that in more ways than one.
One little nit-picky thing. I have lived in Wisconsin, where this book is set my entire life, and attended hundreds of fairs, festivals, and carnivals and have never seen or heard of cotton candy being called cotton “floss”. To me, cotton floss is the thread used in embroidery or cross-stitch. So I asked some friends and family if this was something I missed and they all agreed with me. So I went to Mr. Google/Wikipedia and found:
Cotton candy is made and sold globally—as candy floss in the UK, Ireland, Egypt, India, Sri Lanka, and South Africa, and as fairy floss in Australia and New Zealand.
Machine-spun cotton candy was invented in 1897 by dentist William Morrison and confectioner John C. Wharton, and first introduced to a wide audience at the 1904 World’s Fair as “Fairy Floss” with great success,
Joseph Lascaux, a dentist from New Orleans, Louisiana, invented a similar cotton candy machine in 1921. In fact, the Lascaux patent named the sweet confection “cotton candy” and the “fairy floss” name faded away. In the United States, National Cotton Candy Day is celebrated on December 7.
So I learned something new about this spun sugar treat. You will find it called cotton candy in the U.S. and served at festivals everywhere, but also at movie theatres and shops and stores too.
I totally enjoyed Beyond a Reasonable Donut. It was a fun read with characters I am invested in. I can’t wait to see what they get into next.
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About Ginger Bolton
Ginger Bolton writes the Deputy Donut mystery series—coffee, donuts, cops, danger, and one curious cat. The first four books in the series are SURVIVAL OF THE FRITTERS, GOODBYE CRULLER WORLD, JEALOUSY FILLED DONUTS, and the latest, BOSTON SCREAM MURDER. JEALOUSY FILLED DONUTS was chosen as the Woman’s World Best New Cozy Mystery of the week and was named as one of Dollycas’s Best Reads of 2019. BEYOND A REASONABLE DONUT will be on store shelves May 25, 2021. When Ginger isn’t writing or reading, she’s crocheting, knitting, sewing, or generally causing trouble. She’s also fond of donuts and coffee. As Janet Bolin, Ginger wrote the Threadville Mysteries—murder and mayhem in a village of crafty shops.
May 17 – I’m All About Books – SPOTLIGHT
May 17 – Novels Alive – GUEST POST
May 17 – FUONLYKNEW – SPOTLIGHT
May 18 – Ascroft, eh? – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
May 18 – Valerie’s Musings – REVIEW
May 18 – Moonlight Rendezvous – REVIEWS, EXCERPT
May 19 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – REVIEW, EXCERPT
May 19 – Diane Reviews Books – GUEST POST
May 19 – Lisa Ks Book Reviews – REVIEW, EXCERPT
May 20 – Reading Is My SuperPower – REVIEW
May 20 – Laura’s Interests – REVIEW
May 20 – Christy’s Cozy Corners – CHARACTER GUEST POST
May 21 – View from the Birdhouse – REVIEW
May 21 – My Reading Journeys – REVIEW
May 21 – Baroness’ Book Trove – REVIEW
May 22 – Socrates Book Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
May 22 – Books a Plenty Book Reviews – REVIEW, CHARACTER GUEST POST
May 23 – Celticlady’s Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
May 23 – Sapphyria’s Book Reviews – SPOTLIGHT, EXCERPT
May 24 – Brooke Blogs – SPOTLIGHT
May 24 – Literary Gold – CHARACTER GUEST POST
May 25 – Reading, Writing & Stitch-Metic – GUEST POST
May 25 – Maureen’s Musings – SPOTLIGHT
May 26 – Melina’s Book Blog – REVIEW
May 26 – BookishKelly2020 – SPOTLIGHT
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Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. Receiving a complimentary copy in no way reflected my review of this book. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”