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Sinister Sprinkles (Donut Shop Mysteries) [Englisch] [Taschenbuch]

Jessica Beck
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Praise for Glazed Murder

“Jessica Beck’s Glazed Murder is a delight. Suzanne Hart is a lovable amateur sleuth who has a hilariously protective mother and great donut recipes! Readers will have a blast with this book.” —Diane Mott Davidson, New York Times bestselling author of Fatally Flaky

“If you like donuts—and who doesn’t?—you’ll love this mystery. It’s like a trip to your favorite coffee shop, but without the calories!” —Leslie Meier, author of the Lucy Stone mysteries New Year’s Eve Murder and Wedding Day Murder

“This delicious series will give readers some serious cravings…A light, fun read filled with entertaining characters who have the potential to transcend the cozy mystery formula in future volumes.”—Publishers Weekly

“A tribute to comfort food and to the comfort of small town life. With great donut

recipes!”—Joanna Carl, author of The Chocolate Cupid Killings

“The perfect comfort read: a delicious murder, a likeable heroine, quirky Southern characters—and donut recipes!” —Rhys Bowen, Agatha and Anthony award–winning author of the Molly Murphy and Royal Spyness mysteries

“Jessica Beck’s debut mystery, Glazed Murder, is a yummy new treat in the culinary mystery genre. Skillfully weaving donut recipes throughout a well-plotted story, the author proves that life after divorce can be sweet; all you need are good friends, your own business, and comfort food. Delicious!”—Tamar Myers, author of Death of a Rug Lord and The Cane Mutiny


WELCOME BACK TO DONUT HEARTS—where the coffee is hot, the donuts are fresh, and the weather outside is frightful…

Just in time for the Winter Festival, a glistening layer of snow has covered the streets of April Springs, North Carolina. Of course, it reminds donut shop owner Suzanne Hart of sweet delicious frosting. But her visions of sugar plums plummet when her ex’s ex-girlfriend gets iced …

“If you like donuts—and who doesn’t?—you’ll love this mystery series.”—Leslie Meier Suzanne could never understand why her ex-husband and actor Max cheated on her with Darlene Higgins. Why Darlene’s body was found wearing another woman’s clothes is an even bigger mystery. Now Max is suspected of murder—and Suzanne is sifting through her mixed-up love life looking for clues. If she can’t sprinkle evidence on her half-baked theories of whodunit, Max is as good as fried….  

“This delicious series will give readers some serious cravings.”—publishers weekly


Über den Autor und weitere Mitwirkende

Jessica Beck loves donuts, and has the figure to prove it. It's amazing what someone can convince themselves is all in the name of research! For each recipe featured in the donut mysteries, a dozen more are tried and tested. Jessica Beck is the penname of an author who has been nominated for the Agatha Award and named an Independent Mystery Booksellers Association national bestseller nearly a dozen times. When not concocting delicious treats, Beck enjoys the rare snowfalls near her home in the foothills of North Carolina.

Leseprobe. Abdruck erfolgt mit freundlicher Genehmigung der Rechteinhaber. Alle Rechte vorbehalten.

I heard the first scream just as I gave a warm apple-spice donut and change to Phyllis Higgins from the booth outside my shop, Donut Hearts, during the nineteenth annual April Springs Winter Carnival. There had been whoops of great merriment long before then coming from the crowd of folks out enjoying the displays and vendors’ offerings, but there was a quality to this particular shriek that chilled me to my toes, despite my wearing two layers of thick woolen socks and my most sensible shoes. I wondered for a second if it had been some kind of aberration, but then there was another scream, and yet another.
When I heard someone in front of the courthouse shout, “Muriel Stevens has been murdered,” I knew the Winter Carnival—and Muriel—had come to a sudden and abrupt end.
*   *   *
Christmas is my favorite time of year. I love the way my neighbors decorate their homes with icicles of light and erect trees overloaded with ornaments and tinsel inside. It’s no accident that my attitude is reflected in the selection of donuts at my shop, offering treats adorned with red and green icing and glistening sprinkles that overload the display cases in honor of the holidays.
Our Winter Carnival—balanced precariously around Thanksgiving, Hanukkah, and Christmas—offers the residents of my small town in the North Carolina foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains the opportunity, even the excuse, to go outside and enjoy the brisk weather. During most years of the festival, we hadn’t experienced our first snow of the season yet, but at the moment, the streets of our quaint little town were covered in a glistening layer of white. It was like everything was topped with icy frosting, a place nearly everybody in the world would visit if they could.
But now all that was ruined.
*   *   *
Phyllis dropped her donut in the snow when she heard Muriel’s name.
“Suzanne, could it be true?” she asked me.
“I was standing right here beside you when we heard the first scream,” I said. “Let me get you another donut, and then we’ll go see what’s going on.”
“Don’t bother,” she said. “I couldn’t bear to eat it now. Poor Muriel.” I knew Phyllis was shaken. She’d never passed up the chance at a donut in her life.
As she waddled away toward the courthouse, I turned around and rushed into Donut Hearts. It was handy having my booth right in front of my business, and I’d asked my friend and the carnival coordinator, Trish Granger—owner of the Boxcar grill just across the street from my donut shop—for the favor, which she’d gladly granted me. There had been some grumbling from a few of the other vendors when they learned of my coup, so to be fair, Trish decided to scrap the previous year’s plan and start completely over. Business owners in April Springs got their first choice of spots, and vendors from out of town had to make do with what was left. It made sense, especially for me. If I was going to supply my customers with fresh, hot donuts, I needed to be as close to the source as I could manage. I had my assistant, Emma Blake, inside, ready to add hot glaze to some of the extra donuts we’d made that morning as we needed fresh supplies. I would have loved to make the donuts themselves as they were needed, but the process didn’t lend itself to sudden orders, and the warm glaze still managed to give the donuts an air of instant creation.
“What’s going on?” Emma asked as she peered outside at the people hurrying by the shop window. Barely out of her teens, Emma had a petite figure I envied and flaming red hair.
We watched what was going on from where we stood inside the shop. My donut shop was housed in an old railroad depot, and it afforded plenty of views of the abandoned tracks beside us as well as Springs Drive through the front windows, the main road in our little town.
“I need you to watch the booth,” I said. “Somebody just screamed that Muriel Stevens is dead, and I need to check it out.”
Emma reached for the telephone. “Should I call 911?”
“No, from the sound of it, it came from in front of City Hall. I’m sure Chief Martin is already there.”
Emma frowned at me as she asked, “Suzanne, you’re not investigating another murder, are you?”
I shook my head. “No way. I’ve had my fill of that. I just want to go check on poor Muriel.”
“Fine, but come back as soon as you hear anything. Promise?”
“I’ll get back as fast as I can,” I said as I left the shop.
The snow was falling again, picking up its intensity, and I wondered if that would affect the crime scene. I’d been thrown into an investigation or two in the past, and I’d been forced to learn a little about police techniques, if for no other reason than to keep myself out of jail as I dug around the edges of cases that impacted my life.
Muriel’s murder wasn’t going to be one of them, though. She was a regular customer of mine, but nearly every other business owner in April Springs could make that claim as well. Muriel Stevens was the grandmother figure everyone loved, and I couldn’t imagine what would drive anyone to kill her.
As I started toward the courthouse, I felt a hand grab my shoulder from behind, and I wondered for a split second if I was next on the killer’s list.
Then I heard Gabby Williams speak, and almost found myself wishing it was the murderer instead. At least then I could be openly hostile, something that I could never afford to do with Gabby. She was the town wag, spreading stories and rumors at a speed that put satellite relays to shame, and worse yet, her used clothing shop was right next to mine. Getting on her bad side was a form of character suicide, and I always tried to tread on her good side, though at times it was a tough line to toe.
“Suzanne, where are you going in such a hurry?”
I tried to brush her hand loose, but she had the grip of a longshoreman, despite her prim and petite appearance. It would be easy to underestimate the woman, but I’d made that mistake before, and wasn’t about to make it again.
“It’s Muriel Stevens,” I said.
Gabby’s face went ashen. “What about her?”
“I heard someone say she was dead. Murdered,” I added softly.
Gabby frowned. “Why are we standing here, then? Let’s go.”
Her grip barely eased as we hurried up the sidewalk toward the courthouse. There was a crowd gathered around the town clock mounted on an ancient cast-iron pole, but it was clear no one was all that interested in the time. As Gabby and I fought our way through the mass of people to get a better look, her grip on my shoulder finally eased, and I broke away from her before she could reattach it.
I saw George Morris, a loyal customer and retired cop who helped me with inquiries from time to time, so I pushed through the crowd toward him.
“What’s going on?” I asked as I finally reached him.
“Hey, Suzanne,” George said. “At this point it’s still too hard to tell, but someone shouted that Muriel Stevens had been murdered, so of course everybody in town rushed right over here. I tried to help with crowd control, but the chief sent me over here.” He looked miffed by the thought of his dismissal, and I didn’t blame him. “I thought I might be of some use is all.”
“It’s tough being a retired cop, isn’t it?” I said as I patted his shoulder.
“I admit it, ‘Serve and Protect’ kind of gets in...
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