The first book in the delicious new Emergency Dessert Squad Mystery series from national bestselling author Laura Bradford.
With her rent rising faster than her pie crust, bakery owner Winnie Johnson had hoped to be rescued by an inheritance from her wealthy friend and neighbor Gertrude Redenbacher. Instead all she inherits is the widow’s hostile hissing tabby, Lovey, and a vintage ambulance, restored by Gertrude’s late husband. As her dream crumbles, Winnie makes her final delivery—a peach pie to an elderly widower. But she finds Bart Wagner lying on his kitchen floor, smothered by a pillow.
To comfort her frightened and grieving neighbors, Winnie comes to the rescue with her baked goods—and an idea is born: dessert delivery via her ambulance and a new business called the Emergency Dessert Squad. When she’s not speeding to the scenes of dessert emergencies, Winnie is also racing to track down Bart’s killer—before she needs to call a real ambulance for the next victim…
Winnie Johnson herself stopped by Island Confidential to talk about her life and adventures, and to dish (ahem) on some of the other characters.
Q: Tell our readers a little bit about yourself–maybe something readers might not guess?
My name is Winnie Johnson. When you hear that name, you probably think I’m an elderly person, but I’m not. I’m actually 34. What’s interesting is that most of my friends—my true friends—are elderly. I enjoy their wisdom and their candor, though, between you and me, I wish they’d show a little less candor about my love life (or lack, thereof).
My biggest passion in life is baking. It’s all I’ve wanted to do since I was a little girl. I get a kick out of turning a person’s day around with something I’ve baked.
I’ll never forget the day I opened my bakery, Delectable Delights. It was a dream come true. People hired me to bake their children’s birthday cakes, their book club’s pastries, their office party’s treats, you name it.
But now, just a few years later, that dream has turned into a nightmare. Don’t get me wrong, I still love to bake. And I still love my bakery. But the landlord has raised my rent so high, I can’t stay open any longer.
I thought I had a shot when I got word I was named in Gertrude Redenbacher’s will, but, sadly, a vintage ambulance and a cat that hisses non-stop (at me) wasn’t exactly the bequest I needed.
But hey…I’ll figure it out. One way or the other.
Q: Who’s the character you get along with the best? Why?
Don’t tell Renee, my best friend and employee (or, rather, my soon to be let go employee), but I think I’m going to have to say Mr. Nelson for this one. Mr. Nelson is the elderly man who lives downstairs. He’s virtually deaf (though somehow he can always hear the sound of Renee’s stilettos on the front porch) and has a penchant for playing tricks on people (I can’t tell you how many times he’s gotten me with the old whoopee cushion gag), but he’s also the best listener I’ve ever known.
Q: Which other character do you have a conflict with? Why?
Right now, I’d have to say my biggest issue is with Nick Batkas, the man who is so hell bent on turning downtown Silver Lake into some sort of happening area, he’s pulled the proverbial rug right out from under my bakery.
Q: Just between you and me: What do you really think of your author?
Laura Bradford? She’s okay, actually. She lets me do my thing without getting in the way and she’s not amused by Renee’s repeated innuendos regarding my checkered pet-owning past.
It helps, of course, that she’s responsible for the demise of a few goldfish in her past, as well…
Q: What’s next for you?
I’m hoping to make my Emergency Dessert Squad the talk of not only Silver Lake, but the surrounding towns, as well. And I’m hoping this thing with Jay Morgan (the oh so cute business professor at Silver Lake College) is real. Mr. Nelson and Renee are sure it is. But Jay’s teenage daughter, Caroline, is determined it’s not…
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
As a child, Laura Bradford fell in love with writing over a stack of blank paper, a box of crayons, and a freshly sharpened number two pencil. From that moment forward, she never wanted to do or be anything else. Today, Laura is the national bestselling author of several mystery series, including the Emergency Dessert Squad Mysteries, the Amish Mysteries, the Jenkins & Burns Mysteries, and the upcoming Tobi Tobias Mystery Series. She is a former Agatha Award nominee, and the recipient of an RT Reviewer’s Choice Award in romance. A graduate of Xavier University in Cincinnati, Ohio, Laura enjoys making memories with her family, baking, and being an advocate for those living with Multiple Sclerosis.
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