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The Fatal Funnel Cake: A Fresh-Baked Mystery…
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The Fatal Funnel Cake: A Fresh-Baked Mystery

by Livia J. Washburn

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It's time for the annual State Fair of Texas in Dallas. Retired schoolteacher Phyllis Newsom and her fellow friends and boarders, Sam Fletcher, Carolyn Wibarger, and Eve Turner all want to attend the festival. Because the festival is a drive from their home in Weatherford, Texas, Phyllis and her friends will be staying with Carolyn's cousin, Peggy, near Dallas. The fair holds plenty of cooking contests. Phyllis plans to enter her maple pecan funnel cake topped with maple syrup and pecans in the funnel cake contest. Carolyn wants to enter several cookie contests. Even Sam has decided to enter the Spam cooking contest.

Everyone is excited that one of their favorite cooking shows, "The Joye of Cooking" starring Joye Jameson will be broadcasting live from the state fair. When Phyllis is invited on air to prepare her funnel cake recipe with Joye, she is flattered. However, when Joye takes a bite of Phyllis's funnel cake, she drops to the floor in an apparent allergic reaction. An injection with an epipherine pen only seems to make Joye's reaction worse, and Joye dies in the middle of filming. It soon comes to light that the corn cooking oil used to cook Phyllis's funnel cakes was replaced by peanut oil, and Joye had a deadly allergy to peanuts.

The Dallas police promptly arrest Bailey Broderick, Joye's assistant and the show's assistant producer for the murder. After all, Bailey had ample opportunity to tamper with the ingredients and with Joye gone, Bailey would have been substituting starring in the cooking shows until a permanent replacement was chosen or the show was re-branded. However, Phyllis was standing near Bailey as Joye collapsed, and she witnessed Bailey's genuine sorrow and grief when Joye passed away. Phyllis does not believe Bailey had anything to do with the murder.

Even though the Dallas police warn Phyllis to stay out of the case, Bailey's attorney consults Phyllis, and she finds herself drawn in. Phyllis uncovers a web of affairs and past flings as well as knowledge of the fact that Joye was overbearing and hard to get along with with she didn't get her way. Gloria Kimball, the woman Joye replaced on the cooking show, likely had a grudge against Joye as well, and Joye was causing havoc with the syndicate executives, trying to negotiate a higher salary for herself in the next round of contract talks. Phyllis is on the hunt for a killer.

I have read the previous books in this series. This story is one of the better mysteries in the series. I liked the feel of the Texas State Fair as well as the descriptions of the food. However, the mystery was slow to get started, as Joye did not die until nearly the middle of the book. I kept waiting and waiting for the murder to occur. I did figure out the murderer in the end, but to be fair, there really weren't too many suspects to choose from. Foodies will enjoy trying out the tasty recipes at the end of the book. Overall, this is a good, solid cozy mystery. ( )
  cln1812 | Apr 2, 2017 |
Synopsis: It's state fair time and the entire gang goes to Dallas. Phyllis wins a cooking competition and ends up on a national cooking show just in time for the star to die from anaphylactic shock. When an young woman is blamed for the murder Phyllis and Sam step in to prove her innocent.
Review: This was fun to read and it was nice that it took place somewhere other than Weatherford. While there were plenty of red herrings, it was fairly evident that one character was most likely about 3/4 of the way through the book. ( )
  DrLed | Sep 15, 2015 |
Ha, I knew right away who the killer would be! A good read with just a few plot twists. Next please! ( )
  cougargirl1967 | Dec 28, 2014 |
There are three reasons why this entry in the Freshly Baked mystery series is special. Firstly, because even before the murder happened, it was deserving of 4 or 5 stars. Secondly, the heroine of the book was not in mortal and direct danger, like it happens so many times in cozy mysteries. Thirdly, after what seems to be a hundred books read, I finally guessed the murderer's identity successfully. It was just a hunch. I didn't catch on to the discrepancy in the testimony of the culprit. I don't have a head for that type of remembrance. I'm just glad that I read this book when I did and I'm also happy that the series will continue. Livia J. Washburn is an uncommon and gifted writer. I toast to her success. She deserves it. ( )
  Jiraiya | Jun 28, 2014 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0451416619, Paperback)

It’s time for the State Fair of Texas—and cooking contests galore! Fryers are heating up and stomachs are growling. But Phyllis Newsom had better watch out. Someone’s brought an appetite for murder....
 
Phyllis and her friends Carolyn and Sam are ready to whip up their best dishes and win some ribbons in Dallas. And they’re excited to learn that one of their favorite celebrity chefs—Joye Jameson of The Joye of Cooking—is broadcasting her TV show from the fair. When Phyllis’s funnel cake is picked as one of the best of that category, Joye invites her and the other finalists to prepare their delicious recipes live on the air.
 
But Phyllis’s moment in the spotlight is spoiled after Joye suffers a deadly allergic reaction from one bite of her funnel cake. Now she’s gone from top entry to top suspect. So in order to clear her name, Phyllis will have to turn up the heat on this investigation before the real killer slips through her fingers....  


INCLUDES RECIPES!

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:13:32 -0400)

"It's time for the State Fair of Texas--and cooking contests galore! Fryers are heating up and stomachs are growling. But Phyllis Newsom had better watch out. Someone's brought an appetite for murder.... Phyllis and her friends Carolyn and Sam are ready to whip up their best dishes and win some ribbons in Dallas. And they're excited to learn that one of their favorite celebrity chefs--Joye Jameson of The Joye of Cooking--is broadcasting her TV show from the fair. When Phyllis's funnel cake is picked as one of the best of that category, Joye invites her and the other finalists to prepare their delicious recipes live on the air. But Phyllis's moment in the spotlight is spoiled after Joye suffers a deadly allergic reaction from one bite of her funnel cake. Now she's gone from top entry to top suspect. So in order to clear her name, Phyllis will have to turn up the heat on this investigation before the real killer slips through her fingers.... INCLUDES RECIPES!"--… (more)

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