Survival of the Fritters by Ginger Bolton
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
As we cozy lovers know, you need to follow a formula to kick off a new series. Take a spunky heroine (seems to usually be a woman, but sometimes a man). She has an odd job (shopkeeper, artisan, juggler). Place her in a small town locale full of quirky characters. A yet unestablished love interest, and usually a love triangle brewing on the horizon that may or may not get resolved sometime around book 3. A murder occurs (gasp!). And the heroine is going to stick her nose in it and solve it before the trained police force. Oh, and usually part of the love triangle is one of the cops, naturally. This formula stays pretty true most of the time.
Here we have small town Wisconsin. Emily owns a donut shop. She's a widow and she is oddly devoted to her cat and describing his every move. And I can see the author got feedback on it, because she is super careful to point out in great detail the care and safety of the cat at all times. You don't need to explain why it's ok for our chirpy heroine to leave the cat alone for a couple of hours with his litter box and cat jungle gym and toys and treats. Stick to the mystery, woman.
We have a dead body that Emily and her nosy friends discover. It's a friend, so I guess the setup is ok. Then some nonsense and some things that make zero, and I mean zero sense, the smatterings of attraction between two male characters, and the big reveal. Plus some recipes that I will never try but wish I would because hey, donuts are delicious.
It was pretty ok, all things considered, so I'll give it three stars and probably read the next one. Now I desperately want a donut.
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