BEYOND A REASONABLE DONUT is the fifth book in the Deputy Donut Mysteries by Ginger Bolton. This series just gets better and better with each new addition! With strong characters, led by protagonist Emily Westhill, the reader is enticed into getting to know them better while the well-developed plot kept me turning pages to find out what happens next. With a fun-filled Friday the thirteenth Faker’s Dozen Carnival as the backdrop, Emily’s Deputy Donut Café is well suited to the theme as they serve up piping hot corny fritters. The author does an admirable job of capturing the essence of a small-town carnival from the food, the music, the rides, and the entertainment. Of course, carnivals have a sullied reputation for attracting grifters and the wrong sorts of people, and Ms. Bolton uses that aspect to set up the murder. A missing bucket of sugar, a sticky-fingered magician, a mime, and a rodeo performer add to the twists and turns of the plot.
When the mime attacked and left for dead in Nina’s (Emily’s employee/friend) home, Nina is the number one suspect and is thrown into jail. Knowing her friend wouldn’t have committed the crime, Emily begins asking questions. First and foremost is what was the relationship between the mime and Nina? They share a very strong resemblance. Trying to piece together if Nina could have been the intended target and delving into the past Nina had tried so hard to hide, Emily’s investigation is more complicated than traversing a house of mirrors. Ms. Bolton provides plenty of misdirection and suspects to keep the reader guessing. With a darling puppy and Emily’s protective cat, Deputy Donut, involved in the exciting reveal, this cozy mystery ticks all the boxes for a tilt-a-whirling ride!
With lots of fair food mentioned throughout the book and of course delectable donuts served at Emily’s Deputy Donut Café, the reader’s appetite will be whetted. The author includes a couple of recipes at the back of the book for the home cook to try. I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to try the “Corny Fritters” since they can be served savory, spicy, or sweet depending on individual tastes. It’s also fairly simple since you can bypass the effort of using fresh corn (unless you want to) and instead use either canned or frozen corn. With just a few other pantry and dairy staples, these mix up quickly and it didn’t take long for little hands to pluck these tasty snacks off the cooling rack for nibbling pleasure.
Selling her corn fritters at a carnival, Deputy Donut Café owner Emily Westhill faces off against a murderer who doesn’t play fair . . .
Emily and her assistant, Nina, are looking forward to manning the Deputy Donut tent at the Faker’s Dozen Carnival in Fallingbrook, Wisconsin—a festival held on Friday the thirteenth to celebrate good and bad luck. But Emily has barely dropped the corn fritters in oil when bad luck boils up. First, their bucket of confectioner’s sugar disappears—and then while a mime creates a distraction, a magician robs their cash register.
After the carnival, their misfortune continues. Emily discovers that someone has broken into artist Nina’s loft and vandalized a large painting in progress with the bucket of stolen sugar, which is now on the head of the mime, who seems to have been suffocated. Emily would bet Nina was the intended victim, but the cops think Nina silenced the mime. Now Emily must catch the killer white-handed—before someone else kicks the bucket . . .
A special thanks to Ginger Bolton for providing one lucky winner with a print copy of BEYOND A REASONABLE DONUT! Giveaway is limited to U.S. residents. Contest ends Sunday, May 30, 2021 at 11:59 pm PST. Please use the Rafflecopter box located below to enter. The winner will be announced on this page and on Cinnamon & Sugar’s Facebook page, as well as notified by email (so check your spam folder!)
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 eggs, beaten
- 3 tablespoons milk
- 1/2 cup corn kernels - fresh, frozen, or canned. If using frozen, thaw first, then drain and pat dry on paper towels. If using canned, drain and pat dry with paper towels.
- 1 teaspoon (or to taste) sweet smoked paprika for regular corny fritters or
- 1 teaspoon (or to taste) whole black peppercorns for pepper-corny fritters or
- 1/4 teaspoon (or to taste) powdered ancho or other hot ground chiles for turbo-charged spicy corny fritters
- Vegetable oil with a smoke point of 400 degrees (F) or higher (or follow your deep fryer's instruction manual)
- Granulated sugar or
- Confectioners' sugar
Sift the flour with the baking power and salt.
Stir in eggs, milk, corn kernels, and your choice of seasoning, until blended.
When oil reaches 370 degrees (F), drop batter by spoonfuls into the oil without crowding them. Fry until both sides are golden, approximately 1 minute per side, turning once.
Lift basket to drain, then drain fritters on paper towels.
While still warm, roll in sugar (if desired) and serve with guacamole and/or sour cream.
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I was provided an advance copy. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
Not so much local ones, but the state fair is something to see here!
That sounds like fun!
In my neck of the woods, church “picnics” (which are sponsored by individual churches and are exactly like carnivals) are very popular, as well as city and county sponsored festivals. I will sometimes visit those, but my favorite “fairs” to visit are craft fairs!
Oooh, craft fairs can be tempting. Tooooo tempting.
We don’t have any carnivals but we have local fairs which we attend.
Those are fun!
Thank you, Kim. Your photos are amazing!
I have in the past and the food is the best part in my opinion. Now I have difficulty walking so it depends on how I’m doing at the time, but still love to go when I can.
Thanks for the yummy recipe!
Love Ginger Bolton’s book and can’t wait for the opportunity to read “BEYOND A REASONABLE DONUT”. Great cover! I swear I can hear the sounds and smell the wonderful aromas of a carnival just by looking at the cover.
Thank you, Kay. The arts and crafts displays at state and county fairs amaze me. And those aromas…and indulging in the foods “just this once.”
We don’t have any carnivals but there are a good deal of fairs that I go to.
They can be amazing!
I love Carnivals but Covid tool all of the fun stuff away!
They’ll be back.
No, not usually. Our girls are older.
I used to attend carnivals. Any place offering funnel cakes and Scrambler rides is good by me.
It’s fun when they’re little!
Not usually carnivals. But I LOVE craft fairs! That recipe for corny fritters looks delicious! And the book sounds like a great read! LOVE the cover! The kitty’s little tuft of orange fur is so cute!
Love carnivals and yes I visit them.
Thank you! Kensington, the publisher, creates wonderful covers.
Oops. The reply about covers was meant for Dawn P. You must have lots of fun at those carnivals, Sheryl.
I haven’t been to a carnival, but love going to the State Fair of Texas to try all the wonderful food offerings ~
Fairs and carnivals come up with some interesting concoctions. I tried a deep-fried Mars bar. For research, of course. It was kind of big. . . .
I have attended several carnivals but its been awhile. I really enjoyed the rides, games, and fair food.
And the shows!
We don’t have carnivals that come to town but sometimes schools or churches have one. I haven’t been to one for years though.
This is a wonderful series. Thanks for the chance to win this book.
Thank you, Carol.
It’s been awhile since I’ve been to a fair. I do remember all the delicious scents and didn’t know what to eat first! I remember the candied apples not now I prefer apple slices with caramel dip.
Taking that first bite of the candy apple can be messy! The slices and caramel dip more, um, dignified.
Always a measure to see a new book out by Ginger/Janet.
And new books by Grace Topping!
We usually do if the weather isn’t too hot we like to walk thru the farm animals and see the concerts!
It helps a lot if the weather cooperates!
My daughter and granddaughter went to the south Florida fair last week.
“When the mime attacked and left for dead in Nina’s (Emily’s employee/friend) home, Nina is the number one suspect and is thrown into jail.” I think something is missing in this sentence. When the mime is attacked?
I think of fairs as being late summer, early fall, but in Florida . . .
Usually it’s in January, I think. They did a mini version to celebrate things opening up around here.
Unfortunately we don’t get carnivals coming here but the little towns all have their own festivals every summer.
Love this series!
Thank you, Alicia.
Sometimes but not usually.
They can take more time than expected!
We have a town carnival every year. It’s a great time to see old friends. Also I love our Indiana State Fair. It’s wonderful!! I’m excited about going to it this year!
not carnivals so much but local county fairs and the state fair.
as long as there’s food . . .
We don’t have many carnivals around here. We mostly have festivals and I do go to the festivals once in awhile.
We don’t have carnivals here.
I used to go to carnivals years ago, but I haven’t been to one in a long time. It was so much fun. Thank you for the recipe, and this chance to win!
I used to attend when I was younger, but not so much now.
In the past I have been to a carnival a time or two.
No carnivals but we have been to the fair a couple of times.
We used to go to the carnivals. After the kids were all grown up, we don’t go anymore.
When I was a teenager I used to live to go to them with my friends. I remember one year my girlfriend finally convinced me to go on this ride called the “Gravitron” the one where the floor drops under you and it spins and you stick to the wall.. I was so proud to go on it. We left and ate dinner then went to pick up my now husband from work. I told him about it but he didn’t believe I really went on it. So we said let’s go again. I’m gonna say that was the worst 4 minutes of my life. (at the time) As soon as the ride started to spin Stacey and I discovered when we went on it the first time we had empty bellies… Now we had food in them. Every spin was like torture. Luckily none of us got sick but it was pretty close. I never went on it again. (I am not a big ride person anyway so that just made me not want to ride things again lol)
When I was young, I attended every carnival that came to town. Now that I am an old lady, I no longer do.
I love going to local fairs & carnivals
I haven’t been to a carnival in years.
Oh yes, I enjoy them!
I did when my son was young but not so much now. Thanks for the chance.
I don’t know about any carnivals or fairs here in Myrtle Beach South Carolina because I only lived here for a year but I do love them .
We have a couple of festivals that I like to attend. The Cajun Catfish Festival and the Montgomery County Fair.
The cat on the cover looks just like my Skittle.
I love to visit carnivals when they çom e to town. Thanks for your great generosity.
I love to visit carnivals when they come to town. Thanks for your generosity.
I used to when I was a kid. These days it more about county fairs. They are so much fun.
I haven’t been to a fair or carnival in awhile but did growing up and then raising my boys and even going with grand kids. I am ready for some fair food!
Many, many years ago – when I was younger!
No carnivals here in Wisconsin. The county fair in July I went to it. Lots of fairs around Wisconsin. Thank you for the chance ? the recipe sounds delicious. I’d love to win your book it sounds interesting and fun to read.
yes i do love them
Great review. Sadly we don’t go any more the gangs go to them now and then fights starts so all the fun gets ruin.
I haven’t been to a carnival in many years. My husband doesn’t like any of the rides.
There aren’t very many carnivals but our local churches have annual festivals that come close. And I love the State and County fairs.