Read Five-Alarm Fudge Online

Authors: Christine DeSmet

Five-Alarm Fudge

BOOK: Five-Alarm Fudge


Hot Fudge Frame-Up

“An action-filled tale with a very likable main character as the core ingredient. Not to mention some amazingly delicious recipes that will have all readers running to their kitchens. . . . Readers will ‘eat’ this particular tale up while also drooling over the fudge recipes in the back. The same can be said for DeSmet’s mysteries that can be said for actual fudge: There is no way you can consume just one.”

Suspense Magazine

“I love culinary mysteries and this book seems to have everything. A deliciously lighthearted mystery, a love triangle with hot guys, and of course, yummy fudge . . .
Hot Fudge Frame-Up
is a delightfully decadent addition to the series and I’m looking forward to reading more about Ava and her adventures in Door County, Wisconsin, in the near future.”


“With captivating characters and a suspenseful mystery,
Hot Fudge Frame-Up
was a thoroughly enjoyable read. I can’t wait to see what Christine DeSmet has in store for us next. In the meantime, with the mouthwatering recipes at the back of
Hot Fudge Frame-Up
, I will be eagerly heading into the kitchen with this book in hand to try them out.”

—Cozy Mystery Book Reviews

“Lucky Harbor, a fudge brown American water spaniel, plays a rather large and important role for a dog. And rightly so. Great reading for beach time.”


“Tasty recipes are included in the sweet-themed mystery. The fun only escalates with the high jinks of the Oosterlings and their friends as they meddle in one another’s lives as only loved ones can.”

—Kings River Life Magazine

First-Degree Fudge

“Will tingle your sweet tooth at the first mention of Cinderella Pink Fudge, even if this pastel treat may be a murder weapon.”

The Washington Post

“An action-filled story with a likable heroine and a fun setting. And, oh, that fudge! I’m swooning. I hope Ava Oosterling and her family and friends take me back to Door County, Wisconsin, for another nibble soon.”

—JoAnna Carl, national bestselling author of the Chocoholic Mysteries

“Christine DeSmet has whipped up a melt-in-your-mouth gem of a tale. One is definitely not going to be enough!”

—Hannah Reed, national bestselling author of

“The first in a new series set in the ‘Cape Cod of the Midwest,’
First-Degree Fudge
is a lighthearted confection that cozy mystery readers will devour.”

—Lucy Burdette, author of
Death with All the Trimmings

“As palatable as a fresh pan of Belgian fudge, this debut will delight candy aficionados and mystery lovers with its fast pace, quirky cast, and twist after twist. A must read!”

—Liz Mugavero, author of
A Biscuit, a Casket

“Will have readers drooling with its descriptions of heroine Ava Oosterling’s confections. Set in a small Wisconsin town on Lake Michigan, readers will enjoy the down-home atmosphere and quirky characters.”

—Debbie’s Book Bag

“Interesting characters enhance this mystery . . . plenty of romantic tension. The mystery evolves nicely with a few good twists and turns that lead to a surprising villain.”

RT Book Reviews
(4 stars)


The Fudge Shop Mysteries

First-Degree Fudge

Hot Fudge Frame-Up


Published by the Penguin Group

Penguin Group (USA) LLC, 375 Hudson Street,

New York, New York 10014

USA | Canada | UK | Ireland | Australia | New Zealand | India | South Africa | China

A Penguin Random House Company

First published by Obsidian, an imprint of New American Library,

a division of Penguin Group (USA) LLC

Copyright © Christine DeSmet, 2015

Excerpt from
First-Degree Fudge
© Christine DeSmet, 2013

Penguin supports copyright. Copyright fuels creativity, encourages diverse voices, promotes free speech, and creates a vibrant culture. Thank you for buying an authorized edition of this book and for complying with copyright laws by not reproducing, scanning, or distributing any part of it in any form without permission. You are supporting writers and allowing Penguin to continue to publish books for every reader.

OBSIDIAN and logo are trademarks of Penguin Group (USA) LLC.

ISBN 978-1-101-59452-0


This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents either are the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously, and any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, business establishments, events, or locales is entirely coincidental.

    The recipes contained in this book are to be followed exactly as written. The publisher is not responsible for your specific health or allergy needs that may require medical supervision. The publisher is not responsible for any adverse reactions to the recipes contained in this book.




Title page

Copyright page


Chapter 1

Chapter 2

Chapter 3

Chapter 4

Chapter 5

Chapter 6

Chapter 7

Chapter 8

Chapter 9

Chapter 10

Chapter 11

Chapter 12

Chapter 13

Chapter 14

Chapter 15

Chapter 16

Chapter 17

Chapter 18

Chapter 19

Chapter 20

Chapter 21

Chapter 22

Chapter 23

Chapter 24

Chapter 25

Chapter 26

Chapter 27

Chapter 28

Chapter 29

Chapter 30

Chapter 31

Chapter 32

Chapter 33

Chapter 34




Author’s Note

Excerpt from

To those who volunteer in small communities such as Namur, Wisconsin, where history is preserved, neighbors are cherished, and everybody attends the fall harvest festival.

Chapter 1

he royals were coming in two weeks to our tourist haven of Door County, Wisconsin—a thumb of land jutting into Lake Michigan called the “Cape Cod of the Midwest.”

The momentous event had put a panic in me, Ava Oosterling. It was why I was in an unused, stuffy church attic and heading to the basement with my two best friends, Pauline Mertens and Laura Rousseau. We were looking for a divinity fudge recipe.

Divinity fudge is a white meringue-style confection and an American invention, though this type of fluffy nougat candy can be traced to ancient Turkish Europe and back thousands of years BC, when Egyptians combined marshmallow root with honey. Local lore said that a Catholic nun may have served school children divinity fudge. She allegedly left the handwritten recipe inside the church that Pauline, Laura, and I were cleaning.

Finding and making this divine recipe would help improve my reputation. Immensely. Since returning to Fishers’ Harbor last spring, I had unintentionally combined my Belgian fudge making with helping our local sheriff solve two murders. I was determined to stay out of trouble and focus on fudge.

Nature was cooperating. Three hours ago I had been in my fudge shop, and everybody had been talking about how we’d be at our colorful best for Prince Arnaud Van Damme from Belgium and his mother, Princess Amandine. Today
was the second Saturday in September. Door County’s famous maple trees overhanging ribbons of two-lane country roads bore leaves tipped in scarlet. The leaf-peeper tourists clogged our streets and roadside markets on weekends to snap up pumpkins, apples, grapes, and everything made from our county’s famous cherries.

I’d increased fudge production at Oosterlings’ Live Bait, Bobbers & Belgian Fudge & Beer. I’d also opened a small roadside market in the southern half of the county near my parents’ farm with the hope of catching more tourists coming to see the prince. My six copper kettles were constantly filled with fresh cream from my parents’ Holsteins, the world’s best chocolate from Belgium, and sugar. Favorite flavors flying off my shelves included maple, butterscotch, double-Belgian chocolate with walnuts, and pumpkin. But I couldn’t wait to serve the prince and princess my Fairy Tale line of fudges—cherry-vanilla Cinderella Pink Fudge and Rapunzel Raspberry Rapture Fudge.

This brouhaha over a prince could be blamed on my grandpa. Finding a divinity fudge recipe from the 1800s for the prince was Grandpa Gil’s idea. So was asking the royals to travel here to tour our famous Saint Mary of the Snows Church in Namur, Wisconsin. The tour would occur during our fall harvest festival, called a kermis. Last summer, Pauline’s boyfriend, John Schultz, had found an antique cup during a Lake Michigan diving expedition. The initials on the cup were AVD, which Grandpa thought might belong to Grandma Sophie’s ancestor Amandine Van Damme. Grandpa searched Sophie’s ancestry and found, lo and behold, that a few of her shirttail relatives were part of the current noble class in Namur, Belgium!

Our Namur—pronounced
—was a wide spot in the road, a collection of a half dozen buildings amid farm fields about forty miles south of my fudge shop. It was within a stone’s throw of my parents’ farm near Namur’s neighboring village of Brussels. Some of our towns were named for places in Belgium because the southern half of Door County was settled by Belgian immigrants in the 1850s, including my ancestors.

We were all shocked that Grandpa had called up the
royals on his cell phone as if they were mere contacts. He’d reached some assistant, of course, but it had turned out Prince Arnaud was eager to bring more tourists to
city of Namur. The prince had accepted Grandpa’s proposal to visit, to our shock. But the prince saw this as a tourism mission, which could benefit both Namurs.

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