Jessica Beck. Sinister Sprinkles. New York: St. Martin’s, 2010.

It’s early December, time for the April Springs Winter Carnival.  Mother Nature has cooperated this year by providing an early snow.  The carnival is on track to be a big success–until a woman is murdered right in front of city hall.  The victim is Darlene Higgins, a local hairdresser and the woman who broke up Suzanne Hart’s marriage.  Suzanne is immediately considered a suspect, but her alibi is rock solid–half the town saw her tending the booth she set up outside of her donut shop.  With Suzanne in the clear, police suspicions turn to Suzanne’s ex-husband, Max, who has disappeared.  Suzanne’s feelings about Max are complex, but she has enough residual affection for him that she doesn’t want him railroaded for Darlene’s murder.

It turns out that Max is not the only local who is missing.  With help from her friend Grace, and George, a retired policeman, Suzanne searches for Max and the missing woman, while simultaneously investigating Darlene’s relationships.  A series of snow storms slow down their progress.  During the storms Grace stays with Suzanne, and some of the nicest scenes in the novel  are the dinners that Grace shares with Suzanne and her mom.  (As with the other novels in this series, Suzanne’s relationships get equal time with the mystery.)  Although Sinister Sprinkles deals with such troubling topics such as financial abuse of the elderly, blackmail, and internet scams, the tone is always light, and the book is an enjoyable read.

This is the third novel in the Donut Shop Mystery series.

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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