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Tragic Toppings (Donut Shop Mystery #5)

really liked it 4.0  ·  Rating details ·  1,261 Ratings  ·  67 Reviews
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 Em
ebook, 320 pages
Published August 30th 2011 by Minotaur Books
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In Jessica Beck's Tragic Toppings, the 5th installment in the Donut Shop culinary cozy series, she delighted us with an intriguing cozy with delicious donut recipes to enjoy at home. For Suzanne Hart, she received a lot of customers come and go at her shop. But when their handyman winds up missing and turns up dead, it baffled Suzanne's mind on who wanted him dead. Besides trying to convince her mother to go out with the police chief on their dates, she's busy running her store and waiting for h ...more
Jo Anne B
Light, fun, fast read! Love Suzanne. There wasn't as much Grace and barely any George in this one because he was off trying to help Jake solve the case. I did like how Jake was helping Suzanne for once in solving the case. Jessica Beck needs to write these faster because this is the fifth book in the series and I already read the seventh that means only one more new one for me to read. I can't be without these books. They are always good go to ones that I can count on in a pinch. A pleasure to r ...more
Sep 07, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: cozy-mystery
This is the 5th book in the Doughnut Shop cozy mystery series. Suzanne has a couple of mysterious disappearances to deal with, with one turning out to be benign (a romantic rendezvous) while the other has more deadly consequences. Suzanne must try to help figure out why a body of their friend was found hanging from a tree. Was it a new business competitor, a jealous girlfriend, or someone from his past. To make matters worse, her recipe book disappears, leaving her to have to recreate some of he ...more
Apr 20, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I can see how some of the readers of the Donut Shop mysteries have gotten tired of the stories. BUT, I love it, love learning about Suzanne's and Jake's relationship, about Dorothy and Chief's growing and frustratingly slow relationship...and I like how Suzanne noses around in people's business. She's funny. Anyway, this was a great and quick read. I literally woke up in the middle of the night and would pick the book up and read myself back to sleep.
Amanda McGill
Jan 09, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2017
I'm liking this series! Thankfully there are a lot more books in this series!

There are 2 people missing from April Springs, Tim the handyman and Emily who runs the local newsstands. One has shown up safe and sound, while the other is found dead hanging from a tree in the local park.

The summary on the back of the novel and the summary on Goodreads doesn't have much to do with the main plot of the story. Maybe it was from an earlier version?

I enjoyed the mystery and the characters are fun in this
Lorraine Shaw
Jan 22, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Enjoyed this book.
Apr 23, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Synopsis (from

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,
Maureen ~Bitch Can Write A Book
I've had this book since Borders closed. Since I am on a cozy kick, I dug it out. I love reading a series that no matter how long in between books...when you pick it up it's like visiting an old friend.

I enjoyed catching up with Suzanne, her momma, her best friend Grace and all the rest of the people that hang out in Suzanne's donut shop.

Suzanne finds herself in a bit of a twist thinking one person is missing, Emily. When her BFF and herself find another person hanging from the Patriot Tree by
This is more like a 2.5 star rating than a 3. Perhaps the donut shop is becoming too sweet for my taste when it comes to fluffy relationship stuff.

This starts with the disappearance of two characters. One is found alive and the other, dead. Then it goes into a murder mystery that could have been so many things if Beck stopped harping on the relationships for the Hart women and made more of an effort on the mystety. Too much just didn't need to be there or was rather long and drawn out. I was ski
Nov 30, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Suzanne Hart owns a donut shop. She works hard. Her assistant Emma works as hard. She has a friend named Grace. In this volume of donut shop mysteries, Grace and Suzanne have to investigate two missing people. One Emily who runs a convenience store and Tim the handyman in town. George a retired policeman agreedto take tim while the girls looked for the missing Emily. When they found Emily she was with a boyfriend and alive. The two walked home and saw a hanging - turned out to be Tim. Tgey uncov ...more
Ann Boytim
Apr 08, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Always happy to read about Suzanne's donut shop as it has some u-yummy donut recipes included A friend is missing and then the town is in an uproar but the gal is found with Suzanne's ex. Susanne and her friend find a body hanging in a tree this is a guy who has been romancing three women at the same time,Suzanne decides to investigate and she is getting in trouble but luckily her boyfriend Jake a State investigator is helping her, Suzanne has to try and find the murderer but someone is trynig t ...more
Mar 01, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Tragic Toppings is the 5th book in Jessica Beck’s A Donut Shop Mystery series. I have been reading this mystery series for a while and I am really enjoying it. I like the main character Suzanne Hart and her friends and the recurring characters, George, Emma, Jake and Grace. Each of the characters is well drawn and fully fleshed out. More importantly, each has a purpose in Suzanne’s life and in the plot. There are also interesting side plots going on in this book including, Suzanne’s mother datin ...more
Sep 30, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2012
Once again, another cute mystery.
I've been reading these back to back because I recently discovered this series. I know. I don't know where I've been either.
As I read them one after the other, I'm finding that the mystery is taking a back seat to what's going on with the characters.
The police chief is starting to get nicer. Emma's dating another guy and still doesn't seem closer to going away to college. I sometimes forget Jake is blonde. Etc.
Seriously, Jake doesn't sound like the name for a bl
Nov 29, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
First, Emily disappears, leaving her precious toys alone in the shop, unlocked, after being seen at the Donut Hearts. Suzanne, goes searching for Emily and finds her with Suzanne's ex-husband. While she is searching for Emily, she hears that Tim has disappeared, too. Later that night, while walking home from supper with her friend, Grace, they find Tim hanging from the Patriot's Tree in the park across from her home. This starts her and her friends (George, Grace) and her boyfriend looking for t ...more
Jul 23, 2014 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
It's these type of books that most reviewers skip writing a review for. There is nothing insightful really to be gleaned from such an offering. I'm a bit mystified about the high ratings on this site, and I feel I'm missing something, or that it's plainly an undeserved score. I think not including Grace and replacing her with the vanilla Jake was a mistake. George was practically useless. They tried to make him useful but he contributed next to nothing. I hope the next book will be more like th ...more
Suzanne Hart is startled to learn two different people are missing from her small home town. Her friend, retired policeman George, tells her that he thinks one is fine, but the other is in deep trouble. By a coincidence, Suzanne finds one of them is, indeed, fine; the other one is dead when Suzanne and friend Grace discovers a body. Intent on taking care of her donut shop, Suzanne is willing to leave the detection to others--until someone steals her cherished recipe book.
Sep 25, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is the 5th book in the series about donut shop owner Suzanne Hart from April Springs, N. C.
She and her friend Grace discover a body hanging from a tree in the park, and feel obligated to investigate the murder. Along the way, her recipe book is stolen. Her boyfriend Jake helps out and so does her friend George. The murderer is discovered in a dangerous time for Suzanne. All ends well so that book #6 can be written. It's not rocket science, but it's entertaining.
Jeannie and Louis Rigod
Donut shop owner, Suzanne enlists her best friends, Grace, and George to help her solve a murder mystery of their mutual friend, Tim. To Suzanne's surprise and delight, Jake, Suzanne's boyfriend joins in.

Meanwhile, Suzanne's Mother is dating the Police Chief, not that Suzanne gets any helpful insider news.

Tim was quite the ladies man and this makes the search for his killer even harder.

Good Recipes and friendly sleuths make this book a easy and enjoyable read.
This is the fifth book of the Donut Shop Mysteries. It is equally as suspenseful and entertaining as the other books of this series. In addition to mystery/suspense, you get a bit of romance throughout the book as you experience Suzanne's growing relationship with her boyfriend, Jake. Similar to the other books of this series, Tragic Topping also has recipes included for donuts or deserts mentioned/made by Suzanne Hart (the main character)in her donut shop. Very cute and creative idea!
Jeanne Stephens
Jul 08, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is the fifth book in the Jessica Beck Donut Shop Mystery Series. Suzanne investigates a murder for her friend, Emily. Her uncle Tim is found dead hanging from a tree in the city park.

In the midst of getting up early in the wee hours of the morning to make donuts for her shop, Suzanne investigates the murder until it is solved.

You will enjoy this edition to the Donut Shop Mystery Series. Warning: You may crave donuts reading all the delicious sounding recipes.
Suzanne Hart is an awesome sleuth, she always finds the truth and she seems to be able to get herself out of almost any trouble she finds herself in.

She and Jake were made for each other, they are a great couple and I cannot wait to read about Suzanne's next adventure and find out how their relationship progresses.
Jan 01, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Fun, light reading, perfect for the days when I was home sick. There were some inconsistencies in this book (Jake is daring and can get out of line at work, then he's a "play by the rules" guy a few chapters later), but I didn't even care. These books are fun, I love all the donut talk, and I love the little world of April Springs that the author has created. Keep them coming!
I felt this one of the better installments in the Suzanne Hart series.. I like the fact they are giving her Mom a bit more story.. without taking away from Suzanne..I enjoyed the choice of suspects this time around especially the fact that Suzanne was NOT included which most often time she is..and was happy to see Jake and Suzanne hmmm spending time together ;)
Oct 03, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-2011
This is a series that has definitely gotten better as it has gone along. I didn't care for the first one much at all and wouldn't have read any more, but someone gave me the 2nd one. I read it and it was better so have continued on with the series. This one was actually quite good and very recommendable!
Nancy H
In this episode of the Donut Shop Mystery series, Suzanne and her friend Grace discover a body hanging from a tree in the park near Suzanne's house. The two friends decide to look into the case because the body was that of a handyman friend who was loved by the whole town.

The only thing about these books in this series is that they make me want to eat doughnuts!
Nov 23, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Nice light, undemanding mystery story. As cute as the cover suggests.
I haven't read the others in the series, but it stands alone fine, I had no trouble following it.
Would be interested in reading the others.
Still enjoying this series, though it gets 3 stars for making my life hell when i want a donut a 11 pm and have to get in my truck drive to tims and get one... I think i should maybe start reading this series in order a bit. Some times its a little confusing. But thats on me. Overall great story!
Suzanne needs to grow up. Get her own home, maybe then her boyfriend would stay the night with her. I am getting annoyed with the goody two shoes attitude she has. This book she really hit me as better than everyone. Also her butting into her momma's dating situation is annoying too.
Suzanne, Grace and George investigate the death of a beloved local handyman. His secrets surprise them all. Jake is around a bit more this go around and the police chief finally goes on a date with Suzanne's mom. Quick easy cozy. 3.5 stars
Apr 29, 2012 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I really wanted to like this but I just couldn't. The dialogue was horrible. And the worst part - there was a giant flashing neon light saying "Oh, here's the answer to the mystery" in one of the scenes that the heroine totally missed.
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Jessica Beck is a pseudonym used by
Tim Myers.
Jessica Beck is the penname of an author who has been nominated for the Agatha Award and named an Independent Mystery Booksellers Association national bestseller nearly a dozen times.

Jessica Beck loves donuts, and has the figure to prove it. It's amazing what people can convince themselves is all in the name of research! For each recipe featured in the
More about Jessica Beck

Other books in the series

Donut Shop Mystery (1 - 10 of 36 books)
  • Glazed Murder (Donut Shop Mystery, #1)
  • Fatally Frosted (Donut Shop Mystery, #2)
  • Sinister Sprinkles (Donut Shop Mystery, #3)
  • Evil Eclairs (Donut Shop Mystery, #4)
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  • Drop Dead Chocolate (Donut Shop Mystery, #7)
  • Powdered Peril (Donut Shop Mystery, #8)
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  • Deadly Donuts (Donut Shop Mystery, #10)
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