Doughnuts & Deadly Schemes (Culinary Competition Mystery, #3)
by: Janel Gradowski
Series: Culinary Competition Mystery
Genre: Cozy Mystery
Release Date: May 31, 2015
Amy Ridley’s best friend, Carla, is getting married, and Amy is delighted to be recruited as the head wedding planner—even if Carla's demands are less than conventional. Case in point: Carla insists on a tower of doughnuts in place of a wedding cake. But navigating the world of nuptials becomes the least of Amy's problems when the owner of a menswear shop is found dead, and Carla's fiancée is assigned to the case. With the honeymoon in jeopardy, Amy and Carla vow to help track down the killer...but they soon discover there are even more sinister happenings affecting the businesses in downtown Kellerton, Michigan. If Amy doesn't figure out who is behind the deadly schemes, the nearly newlywed detective may just be solving another murder—hers!
Doughnuts & Deadly Schemes is the third full length novel in Janel Gradowski’s Culinary Competition Mystery series. I loved that Janel has managed to make this book a standalone read by giving readers enough information to understand the characters and their dynamics without spilling secrets from previous books.
Amy Ridley is a list maker and planner. Since her primary job is entering into cooking competitions, she has to be. Amy is thrilled her best friend Carla puts her in charge of planning her wedding. Problem...Carla wants to marry Detective Bruce Shepler in less than a month. Hello, Amy’s stress level is about about to go through the roof. Amy and Carla both know the timeframe is tight but Amy is sure they can pull it off. Except, what Carla envisions for her wedding is way different from what Amy thinks a wedding should be. To complicate things more, while looking for a suit for Bruce, they discover a dead body and Bruce is made lead detective on the case.
It seems Bruce has learned a thing or two from the past and is starting to learn that it’s better to ask Amy to help with an investigation instead of telling her to stay out of it. And that is exactly what he does this time. Time is of the essence and Bruce needs all the help he can get to solve this case before his wedding and honeymoon. In addition to the murder of a local business owner throwing downtown Kellerton, Michigan into a frenzy, several business are being targeted with demands for money. Are the cases somehow connected? Now, determined to make sure her best friend has a perfect wedding and wonderful honeymoon, Amy does what she does best, nose around searching for clues and creating delicious recipes.
After I got over being annoyed with Amy for gently or not so gently suggesting over and over again that Carla do the wedding her way, Doughnuts & Deadly Schemes was an enjoyable read. The story is told in third person from the point of view of both Carla and Amy. At times, this can get a little confusing if you aren’t paying close attention. I will admit my spidey senses went off when the murderer appeared on the page but in classic Janel form, she had me second guessing myself until the end. I loved the big reveal and the way Amy ultimately handled the situation. I am so looking forward to more books in this series.
**Received a copy from the author in exchange for an honest unbiased opinion.**
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