New Year’s Eve is knocking on the door in Hillside, Texas and Heather Shepherd, owner of Donut Delights, is finally taking a week off leaving her bakery in the ample hands of her assistants. But Heather really can’t stay away from the donut shop and finds herself there anyway chatting with her customers all of whom are sampling Heather’s newest donut creation, Lavender Grape Dust.

It’s at the bakery where she learns that an elderly man was killed at Hillside Manor, the town’s retirement home. But the victim wasn’t just any man it was famous actor Thaddeus Turlington a big movie star from the 50’s and a friend of Elvis Presley. He was 86 years old when he was murdered, suffocated by a pillow, in his room in the middle of the night. The bedroom door was locked from the inside and there weren’t any surveillance cameras. But the bedroom window didn’t close properly so that must have been how the killer got into the room. But who would want to murder an elderly former movie heart throb? As Heather investigates as a consultant for the Hillside Police Department, she learns that there are quite a few people who did not like the man.

Vera Bain is a person who might have murdered him. She’s the aide that cleans the rooms in the actor’s hallway at the retirement home. She also spent the most time with him. But Vera was out sick with the flu the day the murdered happened.

Thaddeus has has two children, twins, Kevin and Janie, who are also famous actors on their own. But no one remembers seeing them in his room during the time when their father was killed. Yet they both had a reason to murder him and it had to do with Thaddeus’ will and which child he left the bulk of his inheritance to.

Herman Schulz, Thaddeus’ lawyer, might also be a suspect. Janie wanted him to help her change her father’s will prior to her father’s death. Was she offering him something in exchange?

Meanwhile no one really liked Thaddeus. He was known as an old codger with the others living at Hillside Manor and his two children didn’t like him much either.

This is a tricky case for Heather to solve but the Hillside community knows that if anyone can find the murderer it will be Heather with the help of her delicious donuts and of course her assistant Amy Givens.

“Lavender Grape Dust Murder” is the 32nd book in author Susan Gillard’s wildly popular donut hole mystery cozy series.

The usual characters are around cheering Heather on including husband, Ryan; her best customer, Eva Schneider; daughter Lilly; dog Dave and cat Cupcake. And what really kind of excites me is a new character Ms. Gillard has introduced. I can’t wait to see what kind of adventures he and Heather get involved with in future installments.

Every book in the donut hole mystery cozy series is an enjoyable read. There’s no violence, sex or anything like that. Just some good wholesome fun. Fans of this long running series will have a blast reading about the death of Thaddeus Turlington and watching how Heather solves the crime. New readers will have a good time with the series too. Give any of these 32 books a try. Guaranteed when you finish one you’ll want to have another just like eating one of Heather’s luscious donuts.

To see other reviews of Susan’s books see Susan’s section on my blog.

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

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