Wisecracking Kate Sullivan and her teenage son, Max, are visiting the Minnesota State Fair together when they stumble upon a dead body. Emboldened by her previous misadventure investigating a murder at Great Lakes Lodges, Kate once again turns amateur sleuth, getting on the nerves of the usually unflappable Detective Skip Peterson.
Of Murder and Minidonuts was originally written for a theme anthology from the editors of Resort to Murder, which had included my story Out of the Jacuzzi, Into the Sauna. This new anthology was to feature stories set at the State Fair as well as various fair-themed clues. I immediately knew I would have Kate Sullivan return for another comedic murder mystery. Unfortunately, the editors had to make the heartbreaking decision to cancel the anthology; the theme and clues had resulted in a lot of similarities between the stories, much more so than the resort theme of the prior anthology. While they enjoyed the stories individually, they felt that there wasnt enough variety to make a satisfying anthology. It was disappointing, but I understood; sometimes in publishing you have to make those kinds of difficult calls. The excerpt below is from the second scene.
Of Murder and Minidonuts
Whats going on? Max said. The screaming faded away, but there were a number of people converging toward the space between the horse barn and a smaller building on its west side. Somethings gathering a crowd. Kate led the way, passing by the main entrance of the horse barn and shouldering her way along the congested sidewalk around the corner. A few people ran back and forth between the buildings with panicked looks on their faces, and a tighter knot of fairgoers had gathered by a few trees next to the barn. Many were on their cell phones. The sound of sirens rose above the jabbering crowd. Looks like gawking, said Max. I dont like gawking. Its not gawking, its observing. Taking an interest in the world around you. She forced her way forward until she got a peek at the center of attention. On the ground near the barn, in the shadow of the trees, was sprawled the body of a dark-haired man. Blood stained his Western-style clothes. . . .
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