Cozy Mystery 1st in Series
Kensington (January 30, 2018)
Paperback: 256 pages
E-Book ASIN: B071HKMK38
Book descriptionEmily Westhill runs the best donut shop in Fallingbrook, Wisconsin, alongside her retired police chief father-in-law and her tabby Deputy Donut. But after murder claims a favorite customer, Emily can’t rely on a sidekick to solve the crime—or stay alive.
If Emily has learned anything from her past as a 911 operator, it’s to stay calm during stressful situations. But that’s a tall order when one of her regulars, Georgia Treetor, goes missing. Georgia never skips morning cappuccinos with her knitting circle. Her pals fear the worst—especially Lois, a close friend who recently moved to town. As evening creeps in, Emily and the ladies search for Georgia at home. And they find her—murdered among a scattering of stale donuts . . .
Disturbingly, Georgia’s demise coincides with the five-year anniversary of her son’s murder, a case Emily’s late detective husband failed to solve before his own sudden death. With Lois hiding secrets and an innocent man’s life at stake, Emily’s forced to revisit painful memories on her quest for answers. Though someone’s alibi is full of holes, only a sprinkling of clues have been left behind. And if Emily can’t trace them back to a killer in time, her donut shop will end up permanently closed for business . . .
Meet the author - Ginger BoltonGinger Bolton writes the Deputy Donut mystery series--cops, crime, coffee, donuts and one curious cat. When Ginger isn't writing or reading, she's crocheting, knitting, sewing, walking her two rescue dogs and generally causing trouble. She’s also fond of donuts, coffee, and cafes were folks gather to enjoy those tasty treats and one another’s company.
Author Links Webpage: http://gingerbolton.com/
Ginger has joined Killer Characters! http://www.killercharacters.com
WISCONSIN WINTER WONDERLAND
by Emily Westhill from SURVIVAL OF THE FRITTERS by Ginger Bolton
In northern Wisconsin, we’re used to snow. We cope. So, when Tom, my business partner at Deputy Donut, called at five in the morning and told me not to rush to work through the foot or more of snow that had fallen during the night, I said I wouldn’t.
But I knew I would.
For one thing, I lived much closer to our coffee and donut shop than Tom did. I knew he would be there, if not as early as usual, in time to serve fresh donuts and coffee to our patrons. Tom used to be Fallingbrook’s police chief. He could drive through conditions that might cause other hardy northerners to roll over in bed and pull the covers over their heads.
For another thing, many of the customers at Deputy Donut were first responders. A little snow didn’t keep them from work, or from their breaks. They might be able to make coffee at emergency medical services headquarters, the police station, and the fire station, but as they often told Tom and me, their coffee didn’t compare to ours.
I lifted the drape and peered out through my living room window. It was still dark. Giant snowflakes swirled down underneath the nearest street light. In the driveway, my car resembled a slightly misshapen marshmallow.
I let the drape go and looked down at my tortoiseshell tabby, Dep, short for Deputy Donut. Tom and I had named our donut shop after her. “You’re not going to want to walk to work today. How about if you stay warm and snug here at home? You’ll have food, water, toys, a litter box and lots of comfy places to sleep.”
“Meow.” She trotted to the front door and stood with her nose almost glued to it.
“I’m not driving until the roads are plowed,” I informed her. “Besides, you hate being put in your carrier and riding in the car.”
She pawed at the door.
“You can’t walk in that stuff.” Actually, I wasn’t sure I could, either. I went to the kitchen and filled her food and water bowls.
Dep stayed by the front door. “Okay,” I finally said. “Let’s try that sling pouch I made for you that day it was raining really hard.” That day, Dep had ridden in luxury in the pouch and had watched the passing world through my clear plastic poncho. She had seemed perfectly happy. She was very fond of being held close and cuddled.
I put on my cross-country ski boots and then dug out the sling pouch and put it on. Dep let me tuck her inside it. She was even purring. I managed to zip an extra-roomy jacket over the bulging pouch, just high enough for Dep to peek over the partially closed zipper and see where we were going. Imagining tangling my ski poles in the trailing corners of the poncho, I left the poncho inside.
In winter, I kept my skis and poles on the front porch. I carried them to my front walk. As the first snowflakes brushed past her ears, Dep scrunched down into my jacket. I pulled the zipper up so she could shelter completely inside my jacket, snapped on my skis, and mushed out to the street through snow that was too deep for easy skiing.
Sometime during the night, snowmobiles had traveled along the road. In their tracks, I picked up the pace. Dep was a warm and quiet bundle on my chest. No one else was out, and I kept up a nice rhythm all the way to Deputy Donut.
Tom’s SUV was already in the lot behind our shop. I left the skis and poles on the back porch and took Dep into the shop’s office, where she had food, water, toys, a litter box, and comfy places to sleep—just like at home. But in the office at work, she also had her own playground. Tom and I had built multi-level catwalks, complete with tunnels, up near the ceiling. She scrambled up one of her carpeted columns to her playground. I took of my boots, put on my sneakers, and shut Dep into the office.
Tom was in the kitchen, making batter and dough and heating the oil in the deep-fryers.
We opened on time.
My best friends, Misty and Samantha, came in moments later. Misty was a police officer and Samantha was an Emergency Medical Technician. They’d both been working all night, clearing fender-benders and shuttling injured people to the hospital. They looked exhausted.
I brought them hot coffee, a full-bodied medium roast from Columbia, and warm, raised donuts. They thanked Tom and me for opening on a snowy morning. “We really needed this,” they said.
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