Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Book Review: Eclair and Present Danger by Laura Bradford (Emergency Dessert Squad #1)

Stars: 4 out of 5
Pros: Wonderful characters, brilliant idea
Cons: Mystery gets sidetracked by subplots at times
The Bottom Line:
Dessert meets murder
New series with great premise
Character to match

The Only Danger Would Be Skipping This Debut

Some ideas are so outstanding, it’s hard to believe that no one has done them before.  One of those is the basis of Laura Bradford’s new series, the Emergency Dessert Squad.  Heck, I’m surprised no one has done this in real life.  The series begins with Eclair and Present Danger, and it is off to a good start.

Winnie Johnson is having a bad day.  It’s the day she is having to close her bakery due to a huge rent hike.  Her only hope is an inheritance from a friend, but all she gets are the friend’s cat and the antique ambulance that the friend’s husband had restored.  Even the cat can’t make things better since it seems to love everyone but Winnie, who it constantly hisses at.  Of course, her day isn’t as bad as that of her neighbor Bart Wagner.  When she goes across the street to deliver a peach pie to him, she finds him dead on the kitchen floor.

Bart was eighty-six years old and has just lost his beloved wife; however, it is very clear he was murdered.  The pillow over his face makes that obvious.  But Winnie can’t help but wonder, just who would kill an old man like that?

Are you wondering about just how the emergency dessert squad fits into all this?  As Winnie is talking to her neighbors, she gets the idea to reopen her bakery as a mobile operation, using her new ambulance to take care of emergencies that could be improved with some desserts.  The creativity shown in the dessert names and delivery and the use of the ambulance is outstanding and tons of fun.  Seriously, I could see this catching on in real life if someone tried it.  It’s that great an idea.

Unfortunately, I did find that getting the new business up and running did detract from the mystery at times.  Further complicating things is Winnie’s romantic life.  That’s not to say that the mystery isn’t good.  There are several viable suspects before Winnie follows the clues to the logical killer.  It’s just that the pacing could have been better.

And these new characters are outstanding.  Winnie lives in a neighborhood with several elderly people, and a couple of them are her close friends.   This twist sets up some great relationships, and the characters are already strong.  I can’t wait to spend more time with them.  I can already see how some relationships could grow in future books, and I am looking forward to seeing if I’m right.  Winnie can be a bit rash at times, but hopefully that is something she will grow out of as the books progress.

If your mouth is drooling from all the talk of delicious desserts, you’ll be glad to know there are three recipes in the back of the book.  No, we don’t get one for eclairs, but do have recipes for You’re a Peach Pie, Worry No s’More Bars, and You Are One Smart Cookie.  See what I mean about the fun and creativity that went into this idea?

As soon as I get the call that the next in this series is out, I will be racing to read it.  Meanwhile, you need to rush out to pick up Eclair and Present Danger.  This is a debut you will be thankful you got the call to read.

NOTE: I received a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.


Thanks to the publisher, I have one copy of this book to give away.  Because it is a physical book, the contest is limited to residence of the US.

Just leave me a comment with your e-mail address so I can get in touch with you if you win.  I will pick the winner next Tuesday, June 14th, so please leave your comment before 12:01AM Pacific Time on 6/14.  You will have until midnight on 6/19 to get back to me, or I will choose a new winner on 6/20.


  1. This new cozy series sounds yummy! Thanks for the chance to win. poohwine1217@gmail.com

  2. Love the series title of Emergency Dessert Squad.

  3. I want the dessert squad IRL...LOL Thanks for the review, and the giveaway chance.

  4. Thanks for the opportunity!!! nelson_ee@yahoo.com - Erin

  5. NEED to read! Thank you for the chance. lady (dot) janel@ Hotmail (dot) com

  6. NEED to read! Thank you for the chance. lady (dot) janel@ Hotmail (dot) com

  7. Enjoyed the review, as always! Thanks for the chance to win this new series. A unique theme & background do make a change for this mystery read. doward1952@yahoo.com

  8. Emergency! I need a lemon meringue pie! Yes...that works!

  9. I would pay serious money to have someone deliver a peach pie right now! I guess getting the recipe will just have to do! This sounds like a fun read and definitely a series I'd enjoy - katherine.e.pitts(at)gmail(dot)com

  10. Thank you so much!! rockergoddess2002@yahoo.com

  11. So looking forward to this new release! Laura's books are always winners in my book! And you're right, those dessert titles are very clever too! Thanks!

  12. Thank you for your review today Mark...very well written! I so want to read this! Thank you for a chance to win.

  13. What a lovely idea for a series! TdeV AT bstw DOT com.

  14. This comment has been removed by the author.

  15. I am really looking forward to trying this series as I really enjoy Laura's Amish series. stclairck@gmail.com

  16. I can't wait to see Laura Bradford at The Poisoned Pen. Thanks for offering the giveaway, lilflynracer at msn.com

  17. I can't wait to see Laura Bradford at The Poisoned Pen. Thanks for offering the giveaway, lilflynracer at msn.com

  18. Great review! Sounds like this will be a terrific series.

  19. This sounds like a great new series. It's on my TBR & I can't wait to read it.

    brookeb811 at gmail.com

  20. I dated a guy with a former hearse. He was a drummer and used it to haul their equipment to events. This reminds me of that. Maybe we would still be dating if he filled it with desserts!
    karen94066 at aol.com

  21. Thanks for the review! I would love to win!

    ElaineE246 at msn dot com

  22. Eclair & present Danger looks like a great read. Has a unique premise. I would be most interested in seeing how the story is developed and winnie solves this case. Sooner rather than later. Della at deepotter@peoplepc.com

  23. Sounds like a fun read. Like seeing new series coming in while so many are departing. sjones1592@aol.com


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