The widow of a police officer serves up doughnuts and mayhem in rural Wisconsin.
Since the death of her husband, Alec, Emily Westhill has kept busy running Deputy Donut with her father-in-law, Tom Westhill. A former police chief himself, Tom is also a doughnut expert, and he and Emily cook up a truly dizzying array of confections, from lemon-glazed blueberry to maple-bacon. But when Georgia Treetor fails to show up at the shop with her regular group, six yarn fans who call themselves the Knitpickers, a worried Emily takes a break from baking. She treks out to Georgia’s house and discovers the worst. Someone has killed the frail older woman and left her body on the floor with a doll shoved in her mouth. Fellow Knitpicker Lois Unterlaw is so distraught that she begs Emily to find out who killed her lifelong friend. But Emily knows enough to leave the sleuthing to Detective Brent Fyne of the Fallingbrook police—at least, until Brent gets replaced as lead investigator by the obnoxious Yvonne Passenmath of the Wisconsin Division of Criminal Investigation. From there, Emily and Brent follow the familiar path of professional investigator and amateur sleuth who are kind of sweet on each other but kind of not, tracking down a killer whose motives are far from obvious.
Despite its cavalcade of variations on the good old-fashioned doughnut, Bolton’s series opener is pretty standard working-woman–cozy fare, with a pleasant enough heroine to make it worth the read.