I’ve just finished reading the first book in the Emergency Dessert Squad Mystery Series, Éclair and Present Danger, by Laura Bradford (aka Elizabeth Lynn Casey). This is the next book of the Most Popular and Recommended Series list that I have been compiling.
Laura Bradford is a new-to-me author, but she has been writing Cozies as Elizabeth Lynn Casey since 2009. She has five series listed on the site, and after having read Éclair and Present Danger, I believe that I must make time to try her other series!
Winnie Johnson is having a very bad day as the book begins. She discovers that her neighbor who recently died left her a cat (who doesn’t like Winnie) and an old ambulance. Winnie was hoping that she was being left some money or at least something of great value since this is also the last day her dream bakery is open. She is being forced to close because of an increase on the rent which she cannot pay and still keep the bakery a going concern. Her bad day gets worse by far when she discovers another elderly neighbor dead — murdered.
Of course, being a Cozy series, Winnie takes it upon herself to find the killer of her neighbor. And, it turns out that there are a number of people with ample motive to want him dead. Winnie, her friend Renee and her other elderly neighbors Bridget O’Keefe and Parker Nelson (Mr. Nelson lives in the other apartment in her house) all lend a hand (to varying degrees) in the sleuthing to find the killer.
And, Winnie has the brilliant idea to turn her old ambulance into a mobile delivery van for her new idea >> the “Emergency Dessert Squad” bakery business. With Renee as her helper, Winnie uses her own home to bake the goodies with each having emergency-related names. And, then she delivers them using the ambulance. The names of the baked goods are along the lines of “You Are One Smart Cookie, Cookie”, and “Don’t-Be-Blue Berry Pie”. The business quickly becomes a great success with Bridget’s help >> Bridget writes a column in the local paper.
There are several potential romantic interests in the book for Winnie. Her friends are quite keen to see her find someone and settle down. Winnie is not so much in a hurry, but in the first book she does find someone who she likes a lot.
I enjoyed Éclair and Present Danger, and I am quite tempted to read the first book in Laura Bradford’s Amish Mystery Series soon (if I can find the time to squeeze in even more reading time!
PS: There are a bunch of recipes included at the end of the book!