Do you sometimes read a mystery book and find yourself just lost in the book so much that the characters, the setting and the overall tone of the book is so enjoyable that you are not even trying to solve the mystery? This just happened to me when I read The Survival of the Fritters, the first book in Ginger Bolton’s Deputy Donut Mystery Series which is the next book in my quest to cover some of the most popular and recommended mystery series. When I got near to finishing this book, I suddenly realized that the mystery was being revealed, and I had not even really tried to solve it myself!
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying there is anything wrong with the mystery in this book — far from it! Maybe it was just the mood I was in, but I was enjoying the writing and being in the small northern Wisconsin town of Fallingbrook so much, the ending just kind of crept up on me.
The story opens in the Deputy Donut donut shop. Emily Westhill, our sleuth, and her father-in-law, Tom Westhill (who was the ex-chief of police of the town) run the Deputy Donut shop. Emily is actually the widow of Tom’s son Alec, who was a police detective in the town until he was shot and killed on duty. Emily and Alec were only married four years before he was killed, and Emily is still in her twenties.
The little donut shop is frequented by many of the town’s people including quite a few members of the police force. Also often there are the Knitpickers, a group who, not surprisingly, are knitters. On this particular day, however, one of the regular Knitpickers, Georgia, was not there. By the end of the day, the Knitpickers had returned to the Deputy Donut shop in order to get Emily to go with them over to Georgia’s house to see what was wrong with her. Being a Cozy Mystery, of course, before long a body was discovered and Emily begins her side job of sleuthing!
The town has a lot of charm. Reading about Emily and her friends reminded me about why I enjoy Cozies so much. Emily has a wonderful little house. And she has a cat with the same name as her shop — Deputy Donut, which she shortens to “Dep” most of the time. Living right behind her in an identical house is Lois who has a long connection to Georgia. So Lois helps Emily with her snooping about. The town has a number of characters who could be involved with the murder(s), so if you are needing to practice your sleuthing skills, the clues and the suspects abound in this book.
But, as I said earlier, I was just along for the ride in this one — for once I left the solving of the mystery to the book’s sleuth! How about you, does this ever happen to you? (I don’t solve most of the mysteries in the books I read, but I sure do enjoy trying!)
By the way, the author has another very popular series that she wrote as Janet Bolin, the Threadville Mystery Series.
P.S. As always, if you are interested in reading some of the other entries about highly recommended Cozy Mystery series, you can find them at the Most Recommended Cozy Mystery Series page on the site.