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DECK THE DONUTS
by Ginger Bolton
Kensington, October 2021
292 pages
$15.95
ISBN: 1496725603


Buy in the UK | Buy in Canada

It's winter In Fallingbrook, Wisconsin; the town is decorated to the nines and this is the week of the annual Ice and Lights Festival. Emily's bakery, Deputy Donuts, has an entry in the festival. His name is Frosty the Donut and he, of course, has a hole in him. The festival was organized by a pair of high school sweethearts, Whitney and Leo Valcriffe.

Since it is winter, there must be a snowstorm somewhere around the Festival. There is. One of the foreseeable consequences of a snowstorm is an accident. There are several, and the worst is that of a tour bus from Green Bay. The driver is Travis Tarriston is the driver, and he is inebriated; the police take him to the hospital for observation. The tour guide, his girlfriend Paige, insists he wasn't drinking. Paige ends up staying with Emily as all the others on the bus are taken in by local families. The next morning, Emily finds Travis underneath Frosty the Donut, frozen to death. Did someone push the ice sculpture over on Travis, or was he unconscious when Frosty was pushed over? Come to find out, Travis is from the next town over, and doesn't have many friends in Fallingbrook. The more Detective Brent Fyne looks into things, the more enemies (or potential suspects) he finds. Emily is determined to help investigate it WAS her sculpture that helped kill Travis and she wants no stains on the reputation of Deputy Donuts.

This is the sixth in the Deputy Donuts series. Ms. Bolton has grown as a writer since the first book, SURVIVAL OF THE FRITTERS. The characters are not static; they grow and change as people should. It is a pleasure to watch Emily deal with her growing attraction to Brent, for one thing. Other characters also make romantic progress, always a joy for readers of cozies. A small town in Wisconsin has a lot of potential in terms of setting and Bolton has made good use of those opportunities. The murderer can be identified by a truly perspicacious reader, although it probably won't be easy. All in all, a welcome addition to the Deputy Donut series.

P.J. Coldren: I have been reading and reviewing mystery fiction for over a quarter of a century and read broadly within just about all genres and sub-genres. I live in Northern lower Michigan with my spousal unit, one large cat, and 2 fairly small dogs.

Reviewed by P.J. Coldren, October 2021

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