the seed of inspiration

You might be wondering where my fascination with comfort mysteries comes from. Some of my friends might say, “You seem more like the adventure story type.” I think that the seed was planted in my youth and what I discovered on a dusty old library shelf in the quaint little town of Chesterfield.

In a hole in the ground there lived a hobbit. Not a nasty, dirty, wet hole with the ends of worms and an oozy smell, nor yet a dry, bare, sandy hole with nothing in it to sit down or to eat: it was a hobbit-hole, and that means comfort. from Chapter 1 of The Hobbit by JRR Tolkien

I guess you could say it was kind of a prelude for what is to come. I never envisioned becoming a first class pastry chef when I grew up. I always figured astronaut but I’ve discovered that working around baking flour and spices has it’s own element of danger.


“Illegally Iced” by Jessica Beck (Donut Shop Mystery #8)

Illegally Iced is an uppercut in the world of cozy mystery books. Jessica Beck comes out swinging with a grisly murder committed in broad daylight in a public park of all places. Who would be so brazen as to commit an act of cold blooded murder in a park?
Not nearly as brazen as the character who sets out to unravel the mystery. Donut shop owner Suzanne Hart finds herself up to her neck in deception as she puts her investigative skills to the ultimate test in order to solve the murder of the late Mr. James Settles.
The body is barely in the ground before the vultures start circling the town and Suzanne finds out that there was a lot more to Mr. James Settles than an honest blacksmith. A family feud, a love tryst and a missing inheritance are just a few of the possible motives Suzanne must investigate.
Will she find the killer in time to stop a second murder.
Illegally Iced is not just a book, it’s an experience. Chock full of bite sized chunks of wisdom and humor I give Illegally Iced four and a half chin ups!

who’s watching who

“A reality TV show where people who watch reality TV shows are watched themselves,” said Brooke.
“That’s an interesting concept,” I replied.
“It’s been in the works for quite some time,” she admitted.
“You’re full of secrets,” I responded.
“You never know who could be watching,” she replied.
“Who’s watching who?” I asked.
“You have quite an appetite Doug,” she said after I had put away my 3rd dessert. “But you’re waist line hasn’t grown since you were in high school.”
“I’m actually a fictional character,” I replied.
“You are just the figment of someone’s imagination?” she asked. “I never would’ve imagined. You seem real to me.”
“Thanks Brooke, that really means a lot to me,” I said. “Some people don’t take it so well when they find out I’m a fictional character.”
“We will have to break it to them gently Doug. We don’t want to tarnish your reputation. So you really don’t eat like that in real life?”
“I don’t wish to say,” I replied. “Some people might hold it against me.”
“It’s just dessert,” she responded with a snicker.
“Did I say it was anything other than dessert,” I winked.

incendiary devices

“These wings are great!” said Darryl.
“Extra spicy,” I agreed.
“So tell me what you uncovered in your search,” he asked.
“For one thing the vandals appear to be very sophisticated,” I said.
“Tell me something I don’t know,” he said. “Pesky little buggers hit me seven times in one month!”
“They used a very complex incendiary device called a bomb calorimeter,” I said grabbing the Tabasco sauce.
“A bomb what?” he exclaimed.
“Bomb calorimeter,” I repeated.
“I don’t know what that is,” said Darryl, “But is sure sounds pretty awesome!”
“It’s too complicated to explain,” I told Darryl, “But suffice to say I haven’t seen work like this since Israel.”
“Are you saying these are middle eastern terrorists?” he asked.
“We won’t know for sure, but I’m beginning to suspect,” I acknowledged.
“Why do you think they would target my hydraulic dump trailers?” he asked.
“They must be pretty sick individuals,” was all I could come up with.
“Are you guys ready for some more wings,” asked our waiter.
“What kind of pies do you have?” I asked.

sweet science

Darryl Davis it turned out was a professional boxer in his former days. In the context of our discussion I asked him what made him decide to retire from the ring.
He rolled up his sleeve and showed me his left arm. A faded scar ran the entire length from his wrist to just past his elbow. “Doctors removed about two inches from my left forearm, Doug.”
“Did you ever fight again?” I asked.
“I got back in the ring to defend my belt but everytime I’d throw a left I’d hit nothing but air,” he said with a grimace.
“I wish I could help you there Darryl, but I may have some good news about your vandalism problem,” I said.
“Brooke told me you had a plan,” he replied.
“I’m calling it Operation Reach Advantage,” I said.
“Why don’t we discuss it over a box of wings?” he replied.
“Extra spicy,” I added.

side order

“I’m really impressed with your portfolio, Doug,” said Brooke. “I’ve interviewed candidates for the position but you’re resume outshines them all.”
“How many journalists do you know that have a background in biochemical research?” I said modestly.
“I am going to recommend you to my firm but I will take some time to bump it up the chain of command,” she said. “Until then, I have some side work if you’re interested.”
“What’s the assignment,” I said.
“I have a client here in town,” she said handing me a business card. “He’s been having trouble with vandals spray painting graffiti on his property.”
“He’s contacted the authorities?” I asked.
“Yes. He filed a report with the police. So far they haven’t turned up anything,” she said.
“I’ll give him a call,” I said, looking at the card I was holding. DARRYL DAVIS’S HYDRAULIC DUMP TRAILER REPAIR.
“Thank’s Doug, I really appreciate your help,” she said.
Just then our waiter walked up. “Who ordered the raspberry smoothie?”