Series: A Chocoholic Mystery #15
Published by NAL on November 3rd 2015
Genres: Cozy, Fiction, Mystery
From the bestselling author of The Chocolate Clown Corpse, it’s murder, my sweet, for a chocolatier whose love of old crime films plunges her into a real-life murder where the motives aren’t so black and white… The Warner Pier tourism board is kicking off its Tough Guys and Private Eyes film festival with The Maltese Falcon, and Lee Woodyard and her Aunt Nettie are preparing a delicious chocolate noir tie-in at TenHuis Chocolade. What Lee isn’t prepared for is a face from the past: Jeff Godfrey, her former stepson. The last time Jeff showed up in town, he wound up being accused of murder. Now he says he’s only in Warner Pier to see Bogart on the big screen. Honest. Jeff may now be a college grad, but that doesn’t mean he’s any less naïve than the kid Lee had to bail out of trouble earlier. There are all those strange phone calls, a girlfriend who’s secretly on Jeff’s tail, and a pack of suspicious-sounding acquaintances right out of Dashiell Hammett. Then Jeff goes missing, the Falcon theme is haunting everyone, and a body falls at Lee’s feet when she opens the front door – just like in the movie. Now Lee is under deadline to rewrite the ending of a cunning killer’s increasingly convincing murder plot… Includes Tasty Chocolate Trivia!
My Thoughts: Wonderfully written! 5 chocolate stars for this one…
I love the whole noir film convention. I have never even heard of anything like that but how fun would that be? Completely, dressing in costumes from the 40s, the fedoras, the hair styles, the drinks, the accents, very cool. Warner Pier has some fabulous ideas for tourism.
Lee is pretty funny, she always seems to find trouble or it seeks her out. She and her Aunt Nettie are both so curious. They just can’t sit back and let the police figure it out.
When Lee’s ex-stepson, Jeff shows up and disappears in the same day Lee is extremely worried. Then his friend, Tess shows up and she doesn’t know where Jeff is either. Lee knows there is foul pay involved. So, Lee and Aunt Nettie take off from the chocolate company and follow a few clues. Aunt Nettie has a keen eye for details that even Lee doesn’t see. The two of them are hilarious as they meet character after character from the Maltese Falcon movie. It is a good thing that Nettie is married to the police chief and Lee’s husband has such patience otherwise these ladies wouldn’t only have lots of explaining to do.
I find the characters so believable. The mixture of the Michigan and Texas characteristics are so true to life. Lee has some pretty neat quirks, using a close but different word when she is stressed, being tall, scared of trees and clumsy at time.
I found the way this story follows the Maltese Falcon movie and book to be extremely fitting with just enough change and chocolate to keep it going. You can always count on Ms. Carl to have a nice plot with lots of twists. I always like the research Ms. Carl does and little facts included in the book, be it the facts within the plot or the chocolate facts & recipes Ms. Carl adds in (well, fudge in this book). She makes it fun and exciting with quick wit.
I honestly can’t believe that this is the 15th book. It is such a delightful series, the perfect cozy mysteries. If you haven’t read these books yet start with the first one The Chocolate Cat Caper, and you will be hooked and craving chocolates (both are good things).
This is a Guest Review for Baroness’ Book Trove. Thank you for the opportunity to review this book for your site. ~Jen
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