Donut Series

Donut with a fork stuck in it, with the title in diner font#1 GLAZED MURDER – April 2010

Meet Suzanne Hart, owner and operator of Donut Hearts coffee shop in April Springs, North Carolina. After her divorce from Max, an out-of-work actor she’s dubbed “The Great Impersonator,” Suzanne decided to pursue her one true passion in life: donuts. So she cashed in her settlement and opened up shop in the heart of her beloved hometown.

But when a dead body is dumped on her doorstep like a sack of flour, Suzanne’s cozy little shop becomes an all-out crime scene. Now, everyone in town is dropping by for glazed donuts and gruesome details. The retired sheriff warns her to be careful—and they’re all suspects. Soon Suzanne—who finds snooping as irresistible as donuts—is poking holes in everyone’s alibis…


Platter of donuts with designs on them, one has a skull#2 FATALLY FROSTED – August 2010

A local busy body has dropped dead after eating one of Suzanne’s famous treats. A forensic team is soon swarming through the Donut Hearts kitchen, dusting for clues, sifting through sugar, and suspecting the worst of Suzanne. But with the help of police inspector Jake Bishop and her ex-husband Max, Suzanne hopes to clear her good name—before another bad donut is fatally frosted…


Donuts with police tape surrounding them#3 SINISTER SPRINKLES – December 2010

Just in time for the Winter Festival, a glistening layer of snow has covered the streets of April Springs, North Carolina. Of course, it reminds donut shop owner Suzanne Hart of sweet delicious frosting. But her visions of sugar plums plummet when her ex’s ex-girlfriend gets iced …

Suzanne could never understand why her ex-husband and actor Max cheated on her with Darlene Higgins. Why Darlene’s body was found wearing another woman’s clothes is an even bigger mystery. Now Max is suspected of murder—and Suzanne is sifting through her mixed-up love life looking for clues. If she can’t sprinkle evidence on her half-baked theories of whodunit, Max is as good as fried….


An eclair with a bite missing, with the creme forming into a skull#4 EVIL ECLAIRS – May 2011

Donut shop owner Suzanne Hart admits her sweet treats don’t exactly qualify as health food. But does she really deserve to be labeled a “killer” by local radio jockey Lester Moorefield? The annoying host is urging citizens to boycott Suzanne’s “deadly dough” factory—until he’s found dead himself, stuffed with one of Suzanne’s éclairs…

Everyone in April Springs knows about the feud between Lester and Suzanne, which makes her the number-one suspect. She tries to use the donut defense—donuts don’t kill people, people kill people—but that cream-filled éclair at the scene of the crime has the whole town filled with suspicion. If Suzanne can’t figure out who killed the radio star, she’ll soon be filling a prison cell instead of a pastry…


Plate of donuts with the one on front showing a frowny face with x-ed out eyes#5 TRAGIC TOPPINGS – September 2011

Donut shop owner Suzanne Hart sees customers come and go all day long. But when one of them up-and-disappears, the police start asking questions. It seems Suzanne is the last person to have seen Emily Hargraves, who runs the local newsstand. Suzanne has nothing to report about their encounter. But when Emily doesn’t turn up, no news is bad news…

Suzanne has to admit that Emily’s last request was a little odd—a blueberry donut made to order, with chocolate icing, sprinkles, stars, and a chewy sour gummy worm coiled on top. Odder still: Suzanne’s ex-husband Max also appears to be missing. But what really takes the cake? The corpse Suzanne finds hanging from a tree in the park. Who knew donut-making could turn out to be such dangerous business…


A donut with coffee, with the coffee steam forming a skull and crossbones#6 KILLER CRULLERS – January 2012

WELCOME BACK TO DONUT HEARTS—where the coffee is hot, the donuts are fresh, and the crullers are to die for…

As owner of April Springs’s one and only donut shop, Suzanne Hart is privy to the deliciously personal, downright eccentric tastes of her customers. One man is crazy for crullers—heavy on the icing. But when he doesn’t pick up his order, a tall dark stranger buys the whole box. Which he tosses, one drippy cruller at a time, at her friend Gabby’s storefront next door…

The man claims that stolen family valuables ended up in Gabby’s thrift shop. His wild, weird behavior has Suzanne wanting to call the cops. But when he turns up dead—outside of Donut Hearts, no less—the cops come calling for her and Gabby. Can Suzanne prove that their role in the cruller-vandal killing is a cruel, albeit sugar-coated, twist of fate?


Yellow cover with a glazed donut. The glaze on the donut is shaped like a skull and crossbones.#7 DROP DEAD CHOCOLATE – April 2012

The whole town of April Springs is stirring over the upcoming mayoral election. Suzanne Hart’s mother, for one, is dead-set on replacing the current mayor…and what better way for Momma to drum up support than by luring in voters with Suzanne’s drop-dead-delicious donuts? Just add chocolate, and they’re sure to kill the competition…

With Momma’s half-baked campaign heating up faster than a donut shop deep fryer, Suzanne wonders if they’ve bitten off more than they can chew. But when Momma’s opponent is brutally murdered, the odds of winning are suddenly, and suspiciously, in their favor. Sure, they’d been planning to beat the mayor—but with speeches and donuts, not a blunt instrument. If Suzanne hopes to reveal the killer’s recipe for revenge, she’ll have to uncover a plot that’s darker than any chocolate…


white powdered donuts#8 POWDERED PERIL – August 2012

It’s hard to keep a secret in April Springs—especially when it involves a no-good cheater like Peter Morgan. Donut shop owner Suzanne Hart has tried to be civil with the guy, since he’s dating her best friend Grace. But when Grace shows up at her doorstep—sobbing—Suzanne’s the first to admit she’s glad the relationship is over. She’s also the first to spot the footprints leading to Peter’s dead body…

Instead of the usual morning donuts, the police are busy rounding up suspects and sifting through clues: Why did Peter splash yellow paint on Suzanne’s shop window before he was murdered? How angry was Grace when she learned that her boyfriend was two-timing (or three- or four-timing)? Suzanne is willing to bet dollars to donuts that her friend is innocent. Now she has to prove it—before the real killer takes a powder…


#9 ILLEGALLY ICED – December 24, 2012

Donut shop owner Suzanne Hart knows how to treat her customers. But sometimes life can get a bit sticky. When a spat she has with a local blacksmith—one that could have been solved with a handshake and a mixed dozen—ends with his murder, Suzanne is caught dead in her tracks. Suddenly everyone in April Springs has their eyes on her. And they’re hungry with suspicion.

Left with little choice but to catch the killer herself, Suzanne starts lining up suspects. But her case is full of holes. How did the killer strike in the middle of the day without a single witness to the crime? Who knew that the humble blacksmith was actually an heir to a family fortune? The heat is on as Suzanne tries to solve the case and save her business. Can she have her cake-donut and eat it too?


DEADLY DONUTS#10 DEADLY DONUTS — June 24, 2013

When a mysterious stranger shows up at Donut Hearts threatening to reveal a deadly secret about Suzanne’s late father, she believes that he’s lying, but when he offers to show her proof that her dad wasn’t who she thought he was, Suzanne realizes that she has to listen. It’s just too bad that the stranger is murdered before he can share what he knows. Suzanne and her mother are the main suspects, but it turns out that there are plenty of other people who wouldn’t mind seeing the stranger dead!


Assault and Batter#11 ASSAULT AND BATTER — October 19, 2013

When Emily Hargraves tells Suzanne that she’s marrying Max, her ex-husband, Suzanne is happy enough for her, but when Jude Williams, one of Emily’s old flames, decides to light the ceremony up, someone decides to extinguish his flame before he can act. Was it Max, the groom-to-be; Peter, his best man; Lisa, the woman Jude had been dating; her jealous husband, Frank; or perhaps it was Reggie Nance, a man who had reasons of his own to want to see Jude dead? Suzanne and Grace must act quickly and solve the murder before someone else ends up missing the reception, permanently.


Sweet Suspects #12 SWEET SUSPECTS — December 9, 2013

Suzanne and Grace must track down a killer when one of their old classmates is murdered at their high school reunion.  There are plenty of suspects gathered back together in April Springs for the big event, and more than one  former student’s secrets thought long buried in the past may end up coming back to haunt them all.


Deep Fried Homicide#13 DEEP FRIED HOMICIDE — March 6, 2014

When Suzanne’s boyfriend, Jake, is shot in the line of duty, he comes to April Springs to recuperate. The only problem is the that the man Jake was trying to capture has a partner, a very bad man now intent on seeking revenge. Add another villain returning from Suzanne’s own past into the mix, and the donut shop owner’s normally tranquil world is suddenly turned upside down.


#14 CUSTARD CRIME — April 28, 2014

When the chief of police’s ex-wife is found dead, some folks think it was an accident, but Suzanne Hart’s boyfriend, State Police Inspector Jake Bishop, knows better. When he’s asked to investigate the crime, Suzanne is thrilled that he’s going to be nearby, but she’s also worried that the investigation might interfere with their relationship. Little does she know that it’s about to do much more than that as she and Grace work behind the scenes searching for the killer themselves.


#15 LEMON LARCENY — July 17, 2014

When her Aunt Jean dies suddenly, Suzanne and her mother investigate what at first looks like an accident, but quickly proves to be murder. They never expected to get help from the recently deceased beyond the grave, though. The ladies soon learn that Jean suspected she was a target in someone’s sights, so she has left them clues and hints behind about who might have wanted to see her dead!



#16 BAD BITES — September 8, 2014

When Chief Martin’s brother, Chester, is murdered on the day he is supposed to retire, Suzanne’s boyfriend, state police inspector Jake Bishop, steps in to take over the case. That doesn’t keep Suzanne and Grace from digging into the murder as well, though, and when the three detectives and all of their suspects convene at a lodge in the mountains, just about anything could happen!



#17 OLD FASHIONED CROOKS — November 6, 2014

When donut shop assistant Emma’s bad boyfriend is found dead in the middle of a freshly lit bonfire during the Spirit Night celebration, Suzanne and Grace must dig into the case, with Jake adding his own special skills to the investigation. The team soon gets into trouble when the search turns even more sinister, and the abilities of all three sleuths are required if they are going to have any chance of solving the murder and clearing Emma’s name.



#18 DANGEROUS DOUGH — January 31, 2015

Suzanne and Jake are finally married, but the honeymoon is over too soon when they find her mother waiting for them at the airport. Someone has murdered the new police chief in their absence, and the list of suspects comprise some of the folks closest to them, including Suzanne’s stepfather, her assistant at the donut shop, and several folks in the town Chief Tyler just left. As their investigation develops, suspicion falls on people from both sides of the law, and the newlyweds must learn to balance their new marriage with their drive to find the killers!



#19 TROUBLED TREATS — March 30, 2015

There’s been a murder at the old wagon factory, a building recently purchased and now being renovated by Suzanne’s mother. What’s more, Jake and Suzanne were on the premises when the crime occurred. They soon get dragged into the investigation and begin uncovering a bevy of clues as to why this homicide took place. Did the killing happen for personal reasons, or was it instigated by someone’s lust for the rumor of hidden gold?


Donut_20_sugar_coated_sins-kindle#20 SUGAR COATED SINS — June 25, 2015

When a time capsule is accidentally unearthed on the town square, a murder confession is discovered, leading Suzanne, Grace, and Jake on a hunt through time for a killer who clearly isn’t finished yet.


Donut_20_sugar_coated_sins-kindle#21 CRIMINAL CRUMBS — September 17, 2015

When Suzanne accepts Grace’s invitation to a luxurious corporate weekend retreat, she believes she’s in for some first class pampering, but when one of the participants dies soon after they arrive, she’s thrown back into the world of detecting, whether she likes it or not.  To make matters worse, they are soon cut off from the rest of the world, and the group finds itself trapped on a mountaintop with a cold blooded killer.


Donut_22_vanilla_vices-kindle#22 VANILLA VICES — December 4, 2015

When Crazy Dan the junk man, is found murdered in his shop, Aunt Teeks, at first no one has any idea who might want to see the old man dead, but as Suzanne and Grace begin to dig into his life, they discover that there was much more to the man than they first thought, including several motives for murder.


#23 RASPBERRY REVENGE — January 5, 2016

When Mayor George Morris’s chief rival, Harley Boggess, is found murdered while sitting behind the mayor’s desk in city hall, it looks as though George may have dispatched his competition permanently. When the mayor goes missing immediately afterwards, things appear to be even worse, and it’s up to Suzanne, her mother, and Grace to work together to uncover who really killed the councilman before the mayor’s future—and his freedom—are extinguished forever.


#24 FUGITIVE FILLING — February 23, 2016

When the new attorney in April Springs is found dead soon after a public spat with Jake, Suzanne and her husband must team up to solve the woman’s murder before they are both set up to take the fall for a crime neither one committed. Added to the intrigue in her life is news from Suzanne’s mother that very well may change the donut maker’s life forever.


#25 DEVIL’S FOOD DEFENSE — MAY 3, 2016

When kindly old Gray Vincent is stabbed after Movie Night in the Park, everyone is puzzled as to why anyone would want to kill him, but when Gray’s past sins are revealed, it’s just amazing to the folks in April Springs that the man was able to keep his secrets so long, and so well. Or did he? Was Gray struck down because of his past, or because of something that happened more recently? With Jake away on family business, Suzanne and Grace are determined to find out as they dig into the past and try to discover who killed him, and why.


#26 PUMPKIN PLEAS — SEPTEMBER 27, 2016

When newspaper owner Ray Blake goes missing, it’s just the start of troubles for some of the people closest to donutmaker Suzanne Hart. Soon after, old flame Tom Thorndike is found dead at the bottom of a nearby waterfall. Was it foul play, or simply a daredevil stunt gone wrong? Little does Suzanne know that her past is about to play a major role in her present, as well as her potentially perilous future.


#27 FLOURED FELONIES — NOVEMBER 11, 2016

When an ice storm hits April Springs, it freezes more than the trees and power-lines as one of the town’s residents perishes outside. But soon Suzanne and Grace learn that it wasn’t the cold that killed Santa-suit wearing Greg Whitmore, but a bullet instead. The women must do their best to figure out who killed the banker before someone else gets frozen out, permanently.


#28 MIXED MALICE — DECEMBER 20, 2016

During the remodeling of Donut Hearts after a big ice storm damaged the place, contractor Snappy Mack is found murdered inside the shop, and Suzanne and Jake must find the killer before he strikes again. As they search through the remnants of the contractor’s life, they soon realize that too many folks had a reason to want to see Snappy dead, and sorting it all out is going to be no easy task.


#29 TASTY TRIALS — FEBRUARY 24, 2017

When Suzanne and Jake win a weekend getaway to a luxury resort island in the mountains, they think they’re in for the time of their lives. Little do they know that they’ve actually been brought there to help uncover who tried to kill their host. As the married team dig deeper into the case, they are soon isolated on the island with not only more potential victims, but the would-be killer as well.


#30 BAKED BOOKS — APRIL 1, 2017

There’s a new bookstore opening up across the street from Suzanne’s donut shop, and when a group of mystery writers descends on April Springs for a panel on murder and mayhem in the book world, is it any wonder that homicide is soon on the menu at Donut Hearts?


#31 CRANBERRY CRIMES — MAY 12, 2017

When Suzanne Hart is commissioned at the last minute to make donuts for a long-time customer’s birthday party, she happily complies, but when the guest of honor dies before the party can even begin, Suzanne taps Grace, Jake, and even Phillip to help her solve Jasper Finney’s homicide before the killer gets away with murder.