owner Winnie Johnson has been worrying about how to save her
bake shop when the landlord is raising the rent sky-high,
so when a wealthy neighbor, Gertrude Redenbacher passes away,
and Winnie learns she's in the will, she hopes for an inheritance.
shocked and surprised to learn that what she inherited is
not money, but rather a vintage ambulance and a cat named
Lovey. Lovey, who seems to love everyone BUT Winnie!
over the loss of her business, Winnie carries out the wishes
of another late neighbor and delivers a weekly peach pie to
the widower, Bart Wagner, only to find him murdered in his
in a neighborhood full of elderly people is Winnie's choice.
She's always felt most comfortable amongst people a few decades
or so older than she is. She's come to accept that every now
and then someone dies. But murder! This is something else
indeed, and it doesn't seem as if the police are going to
be conducting a full out investigation for the murder of a
man who was in failing health anyway.
decides to convert the ambulance into a delivery vehicle and
deliver Emergency Desserts to people in need of a little something
sweet to cheer them up, calm their nerves, soften their anger,
or reward an accomplishment. As she races around small town
Silver Lake delivering desserts, she keeps her eyes peeled
and her ears open for clues as to who killed Burt. Will she
expose the killer before he (or she) strikes again?
and Present Danger has to be one of the most unusual and creatively
themed mysteries I've read in a long time. The cast of characters
is special, from the cat Lovey with her antics and mood swings,
to the elderly Mr. Nelson, who forgets to turn up his hearing
aids, to the neighbor, Bridget, with her gossip column, and
Winnie's best friend Renee, a single mom with a fixation of
finding Winnie a man. As for romance, there are a couple of
guys interested in Winnie, but only one who makes her heart
reading this book, and getting acquainted with a new small
town, and new characters conceived from the brain of one of
my favorite authors. I identified with Winnie in her comfort
around elderly people, as I too choose to spend a lot of time
with my elders every day. Yes, socially!
said, I think it's going to take a little fine tuning to make
this series as awesome as I know it can be. A few tweaks in
Winnie's mannerisms, perhaps get her more comfortable in her
own skin should do it. The book is funny and the mystery well
plotted. There are some twists and surprises, a few red herrings,
and the pace is just right. I highly recommend that you get
your copy as soon as possible so that you are in on the beginning
of a potentially yummy new series. Please pass the Emergency
Dessert Squad menu!
Notes: Laura Bradford also writes The Amish Mysteries,
and as Elizabeth Lynn Casey, The Southern Sewing Circle Mysteries.