Éclair and Present Danger
Emergency Dessert Squad Mystery #1
By Laura Bradford
Author’s website: http://www.laurabradford.com/
Brought to you by OBS reviewer Kayt
The first book in the delicious new Emergency Dessert Squad Mystery series from national bestselling author Laura Bradford.
With her rent rising faster than her pie crust, bakery owner Winnie Johnson had hoped to be rescued by an inheritance from her wealthy friend and neighbor Gertrude Redenbacher. Instead all she inherits is the widow’s hostile hissing tabby, Lovey, and a vintage ambulance, restored by Gertrude’s late husband. As her dream crumbles, Winnie makes her final delivery—a peach pie to an elderly widower. But she finds Bart Wagner lying on his kitchen floor, smothered by a pillow.
To comfort her frightened and grieving neighbors, Winnie comes to the rescue with her baked goods—and an idea is born: dessert delivery via her ambulance and a new business called the Emergency Dessert Squad. When she’s not speeding to the scenes of dessert emergencies, Winnie is also racing to track down Bart’s killer—before she needs to call a real ambulance for the next victim…
Eclair and Present Danger is the first book in a wonderful new series by author Laura Bradford. It has everything anyone could ever want in a cozy and more. A fun and fabulous story, a well written mystery, realistic and relatable characters, intrigue, and food. One thing that author Bradford does so well, is draw the reader in, open up the soul of the book and sprinkle with humor and take them on a masterful journey. Protagonist Winnie Johnson is a bakery owner that is being ejected from her building. Rent is too high and there is no way to get the money. When her dear and wealthy senior friend Gertrude Redenbacher passes away, Winnie is getting an inheritance. Maybe now she will be able to save her bakery. She never would have thought that her dear friend would leave her two of her beloved items. First her cat, Lovey who definitely does not care for Winnie. The other item has more potential for her, a vintage ambulance that her friend’s husband worked to restore. Maybe Winnie and her coworker and friend Renee could use the ambulance to make “emergency” deliveries. Who couldn’t use a wonderful sweet treat delivered.
Before her business is gone, Winnie has one more pie to bake. She promised widower Bart Wagner’s wife she would supply him with peach pies. When she goes to deliver the pie, she finds Bart dead, smothered by a pillow. She goes into action delivering baked goodies to her frightened neighbors. Winnie lives in an area populated mostly by seniors. While talking with her two closest neighbors, Bridget O’Keefe and downstairs neighbor Parker Nelson, they decide something must be done to find who did this horrible deed. At the same time, she and Renee come up with great ideas to use in the new emergency dessert delivery service. Luckily Master Sergeant Hottie – Greg helps her get the vintage ambulance in order. While making progress with the new business, the gang try to find answers to the murder.
The cast of characters and setting of this wonderful book kept me entertained. The mystery itself had me guessing all the way till the reveal. As Winnie tries to get justice for their friend, she increases her new business. Several suspects and motives are woven into a wonderful mystery that truly kept me hungering for more. I personally love that a lot of the characters are seniors and that the main character Winnie Johnson enjoys spending her time with them. Senior characters seem to bring so much more than younger ones these days. (just for the record I am not a senior). I love cozies, but with the way people are these days, seniors and the type of relationship Winnie has with them, seems more to true form.
Éclair and Present Danger is a truly tasteful read. The writing style of Laura Bradford is as always amazing. She writes with such soul and heart and every word is just a joy to read. As a voracious reader of cozy mysteries, her writing tops the list of the best. This is no different. This first in a new series leaves room for the characters to grow and develop while already amazing. You really cannot ask for a better and well written cozy. I recommend any cozy reader jump on this one at the start and enjoy the depth of feeling and fun that radiates from this fabulous story. This wonderful whodunit is a must read that will not allow you to put it down. I wish I could give it more than 5 stars, it surely deserves it. I cannot wait for the next in this series and the next and the next and so on.