The Avid Reader
, January 31, 2018
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Survival of the Fritters by Ginger Bolton is the first book in A Deputy Donut Mystery series. Emily Westhill co-owns Deputy Donut with Tom Westhill (her father-in-law) in Fallingbrook, Wisconsin. Emily has been a widow for three years and gave up her job as a 911 operator after the death of her husband. Emily greets the Knitpickers (a group of women who meet at Deputy Donut) and their newest recruit Lois Underlaw. They are missing Georgia Treetor who runs the local doll hospital. At the end of the day when no one has heard from Georgia, the Knitpickers along with Emily head to Georgia’s home to check on her. They find the kitchen is a disarray and Georgia dead. It turns out that Georgia was killed on the five-year anniversary of her son’s murder. It is the one case Emily’s husband, Alec was unable to solve. Are the cases linked? When Lois’ nephew, Randy becomes a prime suspect, Emily starts nosing around for clues. Thanks to Emily leaving her fingerprints all over the crime scene, Detective Brent Fyne (Alec’s old partner) is taken off the case. Yvonne Passenmath from Wisconsin Division of Criminal Investigation is brought in to handle the case. This does not bode well for Emily since Yvonne dislikes her. Emily soon uncovers a connection between the deaths. Follow Emily as she follows the clues to uncover a killer in Survival of the Fritters.
Survival of the Fritters is nicely written, the characters are developed (with room for growth in future books) and there is a clever, adorable cat. The author took the time to set the stage for the book which I appreciate. I found that the pace varied throughout the book (sometimes steady and other times it was slower). I did find there was repetition especially regarding the handsomeness of some of the men (especially Detective Brent Fyne). The stage is set for a possible romance between Emily and Brent in the future if Emily is willing to move on after the death of her husband. You could feel the chemistry between Emily and Brent (it was palpable). Another example of reiteration is Emily would uncover details of the mystery. She would then discuss them with Lois and then repeat the details to Brent. These sections felt like filler and were unnecessary. These discussions went along with the speculation over who could have committed the crime. I would have liked more investigation and action (instead of the case being rehashed multiple times). The mystery was interesting (nicely developed) and there were some good clues. I believe many readers will be surprised by the identity of the killer (avid mystery readers should have it solved out before the solution is revealed). I was not a fan of DCI Yvonne Passenmath. There seems to be a trend to have unlikeable cops in cozy mysteries and I hope it ends soon. Yvonne resents Emily for taking Alec away from her (there was nothing between them) and dislikes Tom for not promoting her when he was chief of police (she was lacking in skills and everyone is amazed that DCI hired her). There are some delectable donut descriptions in the book and recipes are included at the end. I am giving Survival of the Fritters 3 stars. The next book in A Deputy Donut Mystery series is Goodbye Cruller World.