Jessica Beck. Fatally Frosted. New York: St. Martin’s Paperbacks, 2010.

Things have settled down for Suzanne Hart.  State police investigator Jake Bishop, who readers met in the first book in this series, is now Suzanne’s boyfriend, and business at the donut shop has picked up.  Business is so good that Suzanne has received some hostile comments from the chief wedding cake creator in town; it seems some couples prefer trays of small baked goods to a traditional wedding cake.  But Suzanne has made friends too, and one of those friends, Marge Rankin, asks Suzanne to cook in her kitchen as part of the town’s Kitchen Extraordinaire Home Tour. Suzanne will make beignets–a new offering at her shop–and Marge will get to show off her newly renovated kitchen.

Suzanne is worried about using baking powder rather than yeast in the beignets and how the portable fryer will perform, but these turn out to be the least of her problems.  As the first group of visitors arrive, Peg Materson, tour organizer and town busybody, is found dead in Marge’s backyard–holding a lemon-filled donut from Suzanne’s shop. Just like that, the tour is canceled and Suzanne’s business is shutdown while police search the premises for the poison that killed Peg Masterson.  George Morris, an ex-cop who is one of Suzanne’s best customers, volunteers to do his own investigating.  Peg was a force to be reckoned with, but she was not well liked, except by a niece who she raised.  Friends, especially the other shop owners in downtown April Springs, rally to Suzanne’s side, and one of the pleasures of this novel is the way the author brings the town to life with a cast of interesting, likable characters.

Like the first book in this series, Glazed Murder, Fatally Frosted includes recipes and a charming map of the April Springs.

This is the second Donut Shop Mystery.

Check this title’s availability in the UNC-Chapel Hill Library catalog.

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Filed under 2010, 2010-2019, Beck, Jessica, Mountains, Mystery, Novels in Series, Novels Set in Fictional Places

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