COFFEE, DONUTS, COPS, DANGER,
ONE CURIOUS CAT...
Deputy Donut Mystery #8 is in the works!
In stores April 25, 2023
Weeks before summer begins, Deputy Donut Café owner Emily Westhill has it all—a tabby cat by her side, cinnamon twists powdered to perfection, and a murderer on her case . . .
An ordinary late-spring afternoon for Deputy Donut Cafe owner Emily Westhill becomes one that will remain baked into her memory from the moment a customer gives Emily’s cat a toy donut and then flees Deputy Donut, dropping an earring in her panic. Concerned about the customer, Emily attempts to return the earring . . . only this time the customer doesn’t have a pulse. Things get more complicated when an ambitious police detective finds the earring and an unsealed envelope addressed to Emily at the murder scene. The envelope contains a cryptic letter and a fading photograph of a woman standing in front of Emily’s house.
Why did the customer grab her cinnamon twists and flee Deputy Donut? With the detective eying Emily as a prime suspect, Emily is determined to find out. But once a donut-shaped murder weapon is discovered in her own backyard, Emily has no time to lose as she pulls apart the connection between the victim and the strange history of her property—while stopping the real culprit from ensuring her fate is done and sugar-dusted . . .
Well-defined characters match the sufficiently complex plot. ~ Publishers' Weeky
’Tis the season for the delectable desserts Emily Westhill and her cuddly cat serve up at Deputy Donut—but someone naughty on Santa’s list has come to town . . .
It’s Christmastime again in Fallingbrook, Wisconsin. Emily has truly decked the halls of her donut shop and decorated her donuts with festive designs from green and red frosting to snowflake sprinkles. For the annual Ice and Lights Festival, she’s commissioned a sculpture with three ice-carved donut shapes to form a holey snowman, Frosty the Donut. She has one Christmas wish this year—to spend some time under the mistletoe with a certain detective.
But the holidays just aren’t the same without an unexpected disaster or two. A tour bus on its way to the festival has crashed and a snowstorm has left all the shaken passengers stranded and shivering. Emily and her friends open their homes to shelter the traveling families, while the bus driver is admitted to the hospital for his injuries. But the following morning, Emily discovers his body—buried beneath Frosty the Donut.
The bus passengers show little sympathy for the man who dashed through the snow so badly, some claiming he was under the influence while behind the wheel. Emily also discovers that the driver had a history with folks in Fallingbrook. With multiple motives for murder piling up, it will take a Christmas miracle for Emily to solve this crime .
The Week's Best New Cozy Mystery, Woman's World, June 7, 2021
Plenty of twists and intriguing characters add up to an enjoyable donut-centric mystery. -- Kirkus Reviews
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 . . .
FreshFiction Fresh Pick November 1, 2021
Halloween in the small town of Fallingbrook, Wisconsin, is the perfect season for Deputy Donut owner Emily Westhill to unmask a killer.
October 31st is just around the corner and Emily Westhill’s Boston cream donuts, carved with a scream, have made an indelible impression on local eccentric Rich Royalson. So much so that he’s ordered three dozen, with twice the fudge icing, for his 70th birthday—a special event in more ways than one. It’s to be held on fog-shrouded Lake Fleekom where, twenty years ago, his wife mysteriously drowned.
But the next day, when Emily arrives with her Boston cream donuts, she stumbles upon Rich’s corpse. The poor guy wanted a unique birthday bash—just not to the side of his skull. With a guest list of possible perpetrators left at the scene, Emily soon discovers that the Royalson closet is rattling with skeletons. As the fog thickens, motives mount, and the tricks outnumber the treats, Emily fears that Rich may not be the last one in Fallingbrook to go out screaming.
One of Dollycas's Best Reads of 2019, December 26, 2019
The Week's Best New Cozy Mystery, WOMAN'S WORLD, September 9, 2019
“Charming . . . Yummy donut recipes round out a whodunit (or is it a whodonut?) sure to please cozy fans.”
When a firecracker becomes a murder weapon, Emily Westhill pursues a killer with a short fuse …
It is a truth universally acknowledged—cops and donuts go together. Exhibit A: Deputy Donut Café, owned and operated by detective's widow Emily Westhill and her father-in-law, the retired police chief of Fallingbrook, Wisconsin. Named after Emily's adored and adorable tabby, the donut shop is a favorite among cops, firemen, and EMTs, as well as tourists and townspeople. So when Fallingbrook needs donuts for their Fourth of July picnic, Emily's shop gets deputized.
But a twisted killer has found another use for Emily's treats. At the picnic, a firecracker is hidden in a stack of raspberry-filled donuts and aimed at the unwitting queen of the festivities. When it explodes, she is killed. Having her jelly donuts involved puts Emily in a sticky situation, and when a shady shutterbug tries to frame her with incriminating photos, she finds herself in quite a jam. To preserve her freedom and her shop's reputation, Emily needs to solve this case—before the fuse-lighting felon goes off again …
Listen to the beginning of Chapter 7 of the audio book, read by Emily Durante.
Named after her beloved tabby, Deputy Donut, Emily Westhill's donut shop in small-town Fallingbrook, Wisconsin, is doing so well, she's expanding into catering weddings. But a killer is about to crash the reception . . .
Normally, Emily's eyes tend to glaze over when prospective brides go on about their wedding plans. But when the owner of the clothing shop, Dressed to Kill, asks Emily to design a donut wall for her reception, she’s immediately sweet on the idea. With the help of her father-in-law and business partner—the former police chief of Fallingbrook—she hangs the treats from dowels on the wall so guests can help themselves.
But that night, when the groom ends up on the floor with signs of poisoning, Emily suspects someone has tampered with her treats. When the groom dies, there's no way to sugarcoat it: she’s got a murder on her hands. Despite a list of suspects as long as the guest list, Emily vows to find out who created the killer confection to save her shop’s reputation and keep the bride out of handcuffs. She’ll have to move fast . . . before the poisoner takes a powder.
Emily 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 . . .
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