Death by Donut is the fifth in Rebecca Douglass’s highly entertaining Pismawallops PTA cozy mystery series. I’m lucky enough to have a preview copy, since I was also a beta reader, but I read the finished article last weekend. I’m delighted to feature it today, the day before launch day and the start of Rebecca’s blog tour. Feel free to follow the tour and read the interviews, excerpts, and other reviews. There may even be a giveaway!
Death by Donut (Pismawallops PTA Mysteries #5)
by Rebecca M Douglass
Election day’s almost here, and the island’s new pool is on the line. JJ should be all in with the campaign, but when a prominent Island businessman drops dead at her feet in the Have-A-Bite Bakery, someone has a mystery to solve. JJ’s fiancé—police chief Ron Karlson—is out of town. Who else is there?
JJ is missing her sweetheart, tired of the winter rains, and distracted by everybody’s questions about when the wedding’s happening. Even more worrying, her foster-daughter’s father has failed to show up on schedule. No wonder JJ’s struggling to wrap this one up before someone else bites into the wrong donut. There’s no time to lose, because something truly essential is on the line: saving the bakery—and JJ’s favorite espresso brownies! [goodreads]
Sometimes Rebecca Douglass takes a while to build up to the discovery of the body in her cosy mystery books. This one pulls no punches: the victim dies in almost the first scene and poor JJ is the one trying to resuscitate him. The horror of that is well handled, along with several emotional and stressful events that take place.
In children’s books, the big issue is how to get the kids away from the parents to get on with some adventure. In this one, it’s how to get rid of the cops, so JJ can do the sleuthing. The author sends Chief Ron off the island to a conference, which gives the opportunity for investigation without getting the remaining police too upset, but leaves her all the stress of her boyfriend being out of town when she needs him. Yes, the tension between the two is ramping up nicely. JJ may have agreed to get engaged, but she’s really wobbly on the next step–getting married!
In fact, with all the pressure JJ is under, I wondered how she could possibly cope with it all without exploding? I havent even mentioned the campaign to get the pool for the school (PTA mysteries, after all) or the problem with her near-foster-child’s absent parent.
In fact there’s so much going on, that it’s amazing how strongly the story holds together. All credit to the author for a tight plot, beautiful descriptions of the settings, and plenty of intrigue.
It’s a beautifully crafted book, and a worthy successor to the previous books in the series. In fact I think it’s the best so far. It’s full of raw emotions and unreliable witnesses, all wrapped up in an island mentality where people look after their neighbours come what may. First class.Book Review | Death by Donut by Rebecca M. Douglass 'a tight plot, beautiful descriptions of the settings, and plenty of intrigue.' FIVE STARS @Douglass_RM #cozymystery #booklaunch Click To Tweet