Another week has begun in Hillside, Texas and you know what that means. Yes, another murder for donut baker/police consultant Heather Shepherd to investigate.

Heather and her best friend, Amy Givens, visit Col Owens at his tea shop to check up on the joint venture between Donut Delights and Owen Tea Shop. Owen’s neighbor, Freddy Mars, comes in for some tea. He wasn’t looking too good to Heather and after sipping some of the drink Freddy falls to the ground. Oh, no, did the tea have some hidden poison in it?

The man is still alive when the ambulance gets him to the hospital but within a day or so he dies. The doctors explain that Freddy was hit on his head but not the day he collapsed in the tea shop. Freddy had a  Subdural Hematoma and it was was a slow bleed which is why he was walking around with it for a day or so without any ill effects.

Heather and her police detective husband, Ryan Shepherd, started investigating the incident right away but when Freddy died they knew it was urgent to find out who killed him and and why.

Of course there are many suspects and Col Owen from the tea shop is one of them. Heather and Ryan found out that Freddy had an argument with Col a day or so earlier. But Freddy had arguments with quite a few people recently. Another person he fought with was Hilda Groates, a member of the board of Hillside Children’s Shelter where Freddy worked as a volunteer. For some reason the two didn’t get along and Hilda didn’t want Freddy working there any more.

Heather also discovered that Freddy had a very loud argument with his sister, Gertrude Mars.

Julian Dunkle, another neighbor of Freddy’s, told Heather about all the verbal arguments  he overheard but Julian also had a broken arm in a sling. Heather wondered if Julian could have hit Freddy on the head during an argument that they might have had.

Too many suspects and too many arguments are just making matters more complex for Heather but she knows with lots of determination she can solve the mystery of Freddy’s death.

“Passion Fruit Punch Murder” by Susan Gillard is the 34th installment of her Donut Hole Cozy Mystery Series. Yet again Ms. Gillard brings an almost kind of pleasantness to murder, if that’s even possible. Heather and her friend Amy are a good baking and investigating team who work well together with donuts and with murder alike. All the inhabitants of Hillside, Texas are friendly in a donut-loving kind of way. Heather’s personal life is close to perfection with husband Ryan, daughter Lilly, Dave their dog, and Cupcake the cat. How can anyone hate a cat named Cupcake no matter how ornery the cat is?

This 34th story in the series is as enjoyable as the previous ones and I always look forward to reading about Heather and her escapades. If you never tried reading a cozy mystery this series is perfect to start your cozy-loving adventures with.

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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