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Welcome to Table Rock, Arizona, the place where folks who aren’t too keen on the ‘mainstream’ move to. Maggie Miller has come here to forget about her dead husband. OK, so he isn’t really dead. That’s just what she tells everybody. Recently divorced, Maggie flees Phoenix and the sight of her husband and his new wife and moves to Table Rock to be closer to her own family. She’s also planning on opening her own beignet and coffee business, Maggie’s Beignet Café.

But that dead guy in her storeroom might just put a kink in her plans. Unless she can figure out who killed him, and why, she might never open for business . . .



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This fun, farcical first in a new cozy series from Ripley (Gunfight in Gatlinburg) introduces 39-year-old Maggie Miller, who has moved from Phoenix to Table Rock, Ariz., where her mother, sister, and two nephews already live. When people ask her whether she’s married, recently divorced Maggie says her husband is dead because “he was dead to me.” Maggie is preparing to open Maggie’s Beignet Café, but inside a packing box, she finds the body of her landlord, Rick Wilbur. When Det. Mark Highsmith, who has “yummy brown eyes, sort of the color of brown M&Ms,” learns that the murder weapon was a rolling pin, he takes Maggie in for questioning. Meanwhile, obstacles keep getting in the way of her grand opening—the police investigation, a bounced check, a fire, and a visit from her ex-husband. Recipes and tips add seasoning to Ripley’s appealing mix of quirky characters and slapstick humor.” - PUBLISHERS WEEKLY


“Ripley is the well-reviewed author of eight other mysteries. Humor is a significant aspect of his appeal, and, in Maggie, he has created a quirky, vulnerable protagonist with a wicked wit. Those who like their mysteries relatively nonviolent and delivered with a smile will thoroughly enjoy this little gem.” - American Library Assoc. Booklist Magazine


“This is book one in a fun new cozy series set in unconventional Table Rock, where people believe in aliens and a less mainstream life style. Expect some crazy relations, a cat, plenty of suspects, a hot detective, recipes and all the trappings of a good cozy mystery. Told in her own words, Maggie makes for a lively protagonist as she races around looking for clues and the culprit, while dodging attempts on her life and well-meaning relations and trying to open her café. If you enjoy this type of detective story this is a good one, being pacy, amusing without being too crazy and never losing sight of what a good mystery is all about, i.e. detecting. I would definitely read another, so I hope this is the first of many.” - Rachel A Hyde –


“I loved this book! Maggie Miller is laugh out loud funny. After her divorce she moves to the new age town of Table Rock, Arizona to open a beignet shop. She is setting up shop the day before her opening but when she goes to open a carton that should be holding the chairs for her shop she finds the dead body of her landlord instead, along with her missing rolling pin, now covered with blood. In addition to a handsome detective we meet a bunch of interesting characters including her attorney/organic farmer brother in law Andy and a former Olympic figure skater who, with his partner Clive, runs The Hitching Post -a bridal store next door. I loved meeting Maggie and hope there will be many future adventures to follow along with her. I highly recommend this book.” - Natasha Rose, Bookseller


“All thrillers are not serious. In fact, there are some very funny thriller novels published that not only supply a good dose of suspense, but laughs as well. J.R. Ripley's Buried in Beignets is a good example. This novel tells the story of Maggie Miller, who, after being newly divorced, decides to use her life savings and loans from family to open a Beignet shop in a small Arizona town…As the novel progresses, readers are introduced to some fairly bizarre characters, neighboring shop owners, family members, and law enforcement personnel. The novel is mostly tongue-in-cheek, so readers will be laughing throughout, even though Maggie, et. al. are in danger much of the time…Maggie is likeable and has a very strange family, so many readers will be able to relate to her. The novel does have a surprise ending; there are several suspects, each with a viable motive to get rid of the landlord, and while Maggie looks at all of the suspects, she is obviously not a professional detective, so she misses a lot and jumps to conclusions as to who-done-it…the book is a fun read, has good recipes (at least one is good – the other is for a tree-hugger type casserole that this reader isn't about to try), helpful hints, and plenty of laughs. Readers who want a change from heavy thriller novels will welcome this quick and easy read.” - Karen Hancock (Reviewer)