Review: Doughnuts & Deadly Schemes by Janel Gradowski

Doughnut & Deadly Schemes by Janel Gradowski
Series: Culinary Competition (# 3)
Release Date: May 31, 2015
Publisher: Gemma Halliday Publishing
Pages: 211
Source: book provided by the author for review



From bestselling mystery author Janel Gradowski comes a deliciously deadly mystery…

Amy Ridley’s best friend, Carla, is getting married, and Amy is delighted to be recruited as the head wedding planner—even if Carla’s demands are less than conventional. Case in point: Carla insists on a tower of doughnuts in place of a wedding cake. But navigating the world of nuptials becomes the least of Amy’s problems when the owner of a menswear shop is found dead, and Carla’s fiancé is assigned to the case. With the honeymoon in jeopardy, Amy and Carla vow to help track down the killer…but they soon discover there are even more sinister happenings affecting the businesses in downtown Kellerton, Michigan. If Amy doesn’t figure out who is behind the deadly schemes, the nearly newlywed detective may just be solving another murder—hers!


Review:  Carla and Bruce are getting married… in THREE WEEKS!!! While super excited for her friend, the short span of time Carla has given her to plan a wedding has Amy freaking out big time. But, when the co-owner of a local men’s shop is found murdered, Bruce will have to investigate, meaning he can’t help with wedding plans. But, have no fear, Amy as decided to help investigate so Bruce can fully enjoy his wedding day and relax on his honeymoon.   But, planning a wedding AND solving a murder may be more than even Amy can pull off.  Will she be able to save the day for Bruce and Carla?

This third installment in the series has a slightly different tone than the previous two chapters.  There are no cooking competitions this time around, but Amy has her hands full with other things right now. The mystery has a slight cloak and dagger aspect to it with a computer hacker extorting money from local businesses.   With some new people in town, Amy has a whole new list of suspects to interview, but makes a couple of new friends along the way as well.

There are even a couple of creepy, suspenseful moments, where I actually caught myself tensing up, and some real action scenes were included which was also a little different, making this the best mystery in the series thus far.

The character developments are progressing as well, and I have to say, Carla is my kind of gal. I like her style and the doughnut cake is a really cool idea.

My personal rule of thumb when starting a series is to try and hang in there through the first three books. By that time can usually tell if a series is worth continuing on with or not. So I’m happy report I will be back for the fourth book in the series and I’m really looking forward to Amy’s next caper.