Published: March 7, 2017
Genre: Cozy Mystery
Obtained via: Publisher
Reviewed by name and email address: Gina firstname.lastname@example.org
Winnie Johnson’s Emergency Dessert Squad business, while not
booming, is doing pretty darn well. Almost daily requests for emergency desserts to be delivered in her vintage ambulance are coming in. With the school year at the local college ending she’s asked to provide an inspirational dessert and at the same time, boyfriend and college professor Jay, asks for her help with a student who is about to fail. After a successful delivery of the Fade to Blackberry Crisp Winnie is devastated when the recipient turns up dead—apparently from being poisoned by the crisp! In a devastating turn of events, the townsfolk of Silver Lake begin to turn their backs on Winnie. After all, no one wants a poisoned pie. To make matters worse, her beau, Jay, seems to believe it was Winnie’s crisp that killed Melinda B. Tully. Now it’s up to her emergency dessert squad – Mr. Nelson, Bridget and Renee – to find the real killer.
I really like the concept of Laura Bradford’s Emergency Dessert Squad mysteries and wish we had something like that here. There are any number of times I’d love to send a special treat to someone who needs a boost to make their day better.
In book 1, ÉCLAIR AND PRESENT DANGER, Winnie had a solid “can do” attitude and she seemed to have lost some of that in book 2, THE SILENCE OF THE FLANS. It seemed like she spent most of her time worrying about why Jay wasn’t talking to her than trying to find the killer. It looked like this series would bypass the formulaic love triangle when Winnie settled on Jay, but with this turn of events it looks like it’s going to happen.
Cats can be persnickety and Lovey certain has her moments – her hissing at Winnie just for being in the room has some humorous moments. She certainly has some CATitude going when, despite not liking Winnie, Lovey insists on accompanying Winnie on her deliveries.
The focus on the romance—or lack thereof—with Jay—made me want to reach into the pages and tell Winnie to give it up. She’s only known him six weeks and while it’s great he puts his 16 year old daughter, Caroline, ahead of Winnie at almost every turn, it’s pretty clear they aren’t going to have a happily ever after. To make things worse, there is Greg, aka Master Sergeant Hottie, who wants nothing more than to date Winnie and while she’s friendly to him, and makes it clear she doesn’t feel anything or him, she doesn’t really give him a chance. That said, this is supposed to be a cozy mystery, not some angst-filled women’s fiction or a contemporary romance and I felt there should have been a little more detecting and a lot more focus on finding the killer. The ending wraps things up – we know the killer got Winnie in his/her sights, but not how the actual take-down happened. And then the whole storyline about Batkas taking over the town kind of disappeared with no resolution except a quick summation at the end.
The story behind why Melinda was killed is a good one with several threads tied to it. There were some good suspects in there too.
This is an objective review and not an endorsement of this book.
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