Finally, Christmas has arrived at Hillside, Texas and donut baker, Heather Shepherd is busy baking donuts at her donut shop, Donut Delights. She’s also getting presents and preparing for the big day’s festivities for her family and many friends. Life might be hectic but Heather is happy.

As Heather was serving her best and favorite customer, Eva Schneider, she noticed that Eva seemed concerned over something she was reading in the newspaper. There was yet another murder in their town. A Hillside entrepreneur, Victor Hardbody, was murdered in his home with his whole family right  there. Having another murder in town was bad enough but Heather’s husband, Detective Ryan Shepherd, didn’t tell her about it. Heather works for the Hillside Police Department as a private investigator and she wanted to know why Ryan kept her in the dark.

Ryan explained that even though he wanted her help he also wanted to give Heather a little extra time for other things she had to do for Christmas. Even though his heart was in the right place Heather still insisted that she and her best friend and assistant, Amy Givens, look into Victor’s death.

Victor was strangled with the holiday lights. The thing that might give the murderer away was that Victor was burned around the neck by them and the killer might have burns on their hands too.

The main suspects are of course the immediate family. Victor’s wife, Jennifer “Softie” Hardbody, and sons Kenny and Junior Hardbody. Even though they all had an alibi of sorts they all also has some kind of burns on them.

Upon investigating some more it was discovered that Victor was killed in the basement and the area was made to look as if someone broke into it but there was no evidence of an intruder.

A few other interesting things were discovered like Softie Hardbody hired a private investigator because she believed that Victor was cheating on her. Victor was also having some financial problems and owed a lot of money on his business.

And making matters even worse is that the FBI is now on the case with agent Orchard, who does not want the Hillside Police Department, and especially Heather, interfering.

Victor’s wife thought he was cheating on her, his sons hated him, and the FBI is involved. This is not going to be an easy case for Heather to solve.

“Christmas Donut Murder” by author Susan Gillard is the 31st book in the  donut hole cozy mystery series. It’s yet another short fun novel to spend an evening reading. I have to say that Ms. Gillard’s characters have some funny names – Softie Hardbody. Well, I think it’s funny.

If you’ve been reading this series this the most recent installment and it’s as yummy as all the others. It’s always fun to see how Heather solves the many murders that happen in Hillside, Texas.

To see my other reviews of Susan Gillard’s books go to Susan’s page on my blog.

“I voluntarily reviewed an Advance Reader Copy of this book.”


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