DONUTS, DECEPTION & DEATH
SERIES: Paradise Beach Cozy Mystery #1
GENRE: Cozy Mystery
RELEASE DATE: May 20, 2021
Daisy Elliot doesn’t expect to end up embroiled in a murder mystery. She’s the owner of a bed & breakfast just minutes from the beach, but her neighbor opened a new B&B and used Daisy’s business name as her own. Daisy believes kindness and talking can solve everything. She’s ready to brew up a cup of tea and sit down to discuss the problem…until her neighbor ends up murdered.
With the spotlight on Daisy, she needs to solve this crime, or she’ll end up behind bars. Pure grit and determination lead Daisy to focus on those closest to the victim. But when Daisy gets too close, the perpetrator lashes out, putting Daisy in harm’s way.
A web of half-truths and outright deceptions keep Daisy in the dark. Will she end up lost, or can she find the truth?
Donuts, Deception & Death is a quick, light read with an idyllic setting and a layered plot. In true cozy mystery fashion, the victim is completely unlikable (this one even more than most, in my opinion) and you’re not sad that she’s the one killed off. We can explore the deeper psychological issues around that reaction later lol. (I mean… come on. Running a B&B right next door to hers with basically the same name? Among other things). On the other hand, I instantly felt sympathy for Daisy, for having to deal with her awful neighbor who is stealing her business and damaging her reputation, and I liked her a lot as a protagonist. It doesn’t hurt that Daisy stands in stark contrast to Shania, likable in all the ways that Shania isn’t – and then some. I also enjoyed the addition of swoony detective Tanner Thomas, because when I have not enjoyed the introduction of a spark-filled romantic possibility?
There were a couple of things that took me out of the reading a bit, though. Mainly, it just needed a little tighter editing. Particularly at the beginning of the book, the narrative felt like it hopped around a bit without good transition or focus, but this improved as the story progressed. Additionally, some reactions seemed over the top or without solid reason, and (along those lines) the romantic connection between Tanner & Daisy felt too quick or too surface or something. I can’t quite put my finger on what didn’t ring true to me about their chemistry – and again, this gets better as the book goes on. In fact, there are a couple of lines that he says to her at the end that had me all a’swoon 🙂
Bottom Line: Donuts, Deception & Death brings a charming setting, interesting characters, and a plethora of suspects to the cozy mystery table. The plot will keep you guessing as the death count keeps rising, and you’ll be rooting for Daisy to solve the case (and to kiss Tanner haha). Yummy baked goods, two loyal cats, and Daisy’s siblings all add to the enjoyment factor in the story. If you’re looking for a cute, light read for your evening or weekend, make sure you check this one out!
(I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book which I received from the author. All views expressed are only my honest opinion.)
My Rating: 3.5 stars / enjoyed it!
Reviewer’s Note: Readers may want to be aware that there is some mild cursing scattered throughout the book, as well as a couple of profanities and (sometimes borderline-crude) discussion of adult situations.
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Also available to read for FREE with Kindle Unlimited
Eloise Brightly loves cozy mysteries. Crime fiction is her favorite. She enjoys figuring out whodunit while curled up before a roaring fire with a mug of hot cocoa. She lives on the eastern seaboard and combs the beaches while watching dolphins play, searching for inspiration for another mystery series.
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