Emily Westhill runs the best donut shop in Fallingbrook, Wisconsin, alongside her retired police chief father-in-law and her tabby Deputy Donut. But after murder claims a favorite customer, Emily can’t rely on a sidekick to solve the crime—or stay alive.
If Emily has learned anything from her past as a 911 operator, it’s to stay calm during stressful situations. But that’s a tall order when one of her regulars, Georgia Treetor, goes missing. Georgia never skips morning cappuccinos with her knitting circle. Her pals fear the worst—especially Lois, a close friend who recently moved to town. As evening creeps in, Emily and the ladies search for Georgia at home. And they find her—murdered among a scattering of stale donuts . . .
Disturbingly, Georgia’s demise coincides with the five-year anniversary of her son’s murder, a case Emily’s late detective husband failed to solve before his own sudden death. With Lois hiding secrets and an innocent man’s life at stake, Emily’s forced to revisit painful memories on her quest for answers. Though someone’s alibi is full of holes, only a sprinkling of clues have been left behind. And if Emily can’t trace them back to a killer in time, her donut shop will end up permanently closed for business . . .
Survival of the Fritters is the first installment of a new cozy series by Ginger Bolton. Emily co-owns Deputy Donuts (named after Deputy Donut, her cat), and when one of her regulars is murdered, Emily decides to find out why. This is a good start to a new series, with enough introduction and backstory to make you want to know more about the characters, and a great plot to boot. I’ll definitely be watching for book number two.
We’re fortunate to have a guest post from Ginger Bolton today. Please join me in welcoming her – and be sure to leave your comments for her below!
FOR THE LOVE OF COFFEE AND DONUTS
In SURVIVAL OF THE FRITTERS, Emily Westhill and her father-in-law Tom brew delicious coffees for the people who come to Deputy Donut to enjoy coffee, donuts, and gossip. Emily and Tom love coffee and donuts.
I’m sure I loved donuts from that very first taste of sweet, deep-fried goodness.
Coffee, however, was another matter. The smell of the ground coffee in the freshly opened can made us kids want to try coffee. We weren’t allowed to drink the grown-up beverage. Veiled threats regarding the stunting of growth were uttered.
Finally, when I was in high school, I was deemed old enough (or tall enough) to try coffee. Or maybe my begging wore down my mother’s resistance. In those days, if we had company, my folks hauled out the gleaming electric percolator. For everyday, though, they brewed coffee in a banged-up aluminum percolator on the stovetop. They were careful not to waste the ground coffee they bought in huge cans, so they didn’t use much, and then they perked it until the liquid bubbling into the glass knob on the lid of the coffeepot was the correct shade of lackluster, almost transparent brown.
On the day that my mother capitulated and let me try coffee, the brew had been in that coffeepot on the unlit stove for a long time. In an attempt to make my first taste of coffee appealing (or something) my mother doctored it with about a half cup of milk and several spoonfuls of sugar—we both knew that I liked sugar.
The end result was tepid, sweet milk with an acrid tinge.
I didn’t try coffee again for a long time . . .
Finally, I did. My parents, aunts, and uncles perked their coffee in strengths varying from paler than the palest teas to transparent, medium brown. I drank it at family gatherings mostly to show I was grown up. I added milk, but never sugar, never again.
In college, I made do with sticking an immersion heater in a mug of water, boiling the water, removing the immersion heater, and plopping a teaspoon of instant coffee and some whitener into the hot water.
Even the thought of the fuel that kept me awake nights then could keep me awake nights now.
And then I had my first cup of drip coffee. That was it. I bought a cone-shaped filter holder. I still used canned ground coffee. Pouring the right amount of water into the pot at the right speed was, well a challenge. It didn’t overflow very many times, but still . . .
Eventually, I treated myself to an electric drip coffee maker and a coffee grinder, and now I mostly brew strong coffee, which I usually drink black. It’s close to swoon-worthy.
Here’s what you need to brew tasty coffee:
- Freshly roasted coffee beans—try different roasts from different countries to choose your favorites. (Maybe start with a medium roast Columbian, which is what Emily and Tom serve in Deputy Donut every day, along with the day’s specialty coffee.)
- A burr grinder set to medium. Blade grinders chop the beans into assorted sizes, making it difficult to control the strength of the brew.
- An electric drip coffee maker with a cone-shaped filter (to me, the flat-bottomed filters don’t allow the fullest flavor to develop, but tastes differ.)
Follow the manufacturer’s instructions and experiment with the size you grind the beans and the amounts of coffee and water until you develop a brew that’s right for you.
Do you remember your first donut? Your first taste of coffee? Was it love at first bite, or . . . ? ? ? What are your favorite tips for making coffee? And if you’ve made mistakes with your coffee-brewing, please tell me. You’ll make me feel better about my own disasters.
About the Author
Ginger Bolton writes the Deputy Donut mystery series–cops, crime, coffee, donuts and one curious cat. When Ginger isn’t writing or reading, she’s crocheting, knitting, sewing, walking her two rescue dogs and generally causing trouble. She’s also fond of donuts, coffee, and cafes were folks gather to enjoy those tasty treats and one another’s company.
Ginger has joined Killer Characters! http://www.killercharacters.com
Be sure to enter the Rafflecopter giveaway for your chance to win an awesome Deputy Donut prize pack, including a hand-crocheted skull scarf, a $25 Amazon gift card, and more!
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