cover image Illegally Iced: 
A Donut Shop Mystery

Illegally Iced: A Donut Shop Mystery

Jessica Beck. St. Martin’s, $7.99 mass market (304p) ISBN 978-1-250-00107-8

Beck’s frothy ninth outing for April Springs, N.C., donut shop owner Suzanne Hart (after 2012’s Powdered Peril) wastes no time in whipping up a bloody mix of murder and sweets. Though Suzanne had been friends with local blacksmith James Settle, a trivial quarrel between the two shortly before he was fatally stabbed leaves her under suspicion. Suzanne, determined to prove that she’s innocent, enlists the help of her best friend, Grace Gauge, with support from Suzanne’s boyfriend, Jake Bishop, a state police investigator. Suzanne and Grace try to answer such questions as how the killer could strike undetected in broad daylight and whether the murder had anything to do with the large inheritance coming to James. Beck intersperses the pair’s crime-solving with delicious-sounding recipes, creating an entertaining mystery that should sate series fans and whet the appetite of newcomers. Agent: John Talbot, Talbot Fortune Agency. (Jan.)