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Death by Chocolate Frosted Doughnut–explosive action
Death by Chocolate Frosted Doughnut
by Sarah Graves
Jake and Ellie continue to make delightful chocolate goodies at The Chocolate Moose when they are not being shot at, run off the road, or drowned. In Sarah Graves’ Death by Chocolate Frosted Doughnut, there is more than enough action, some strong female characters you will want to see survive, lots of suspects, and some confusing motives. I could relate more to the chocolate than the many nautical references which are, in fact, extremely important to the plot.
Jake lives in an old home bursting at the seams with extended family. Her sidekick Ellie is instrumental and often the leader in Jake’s dangerous investigations. As you read about the remote town of Eastport, Maine, where Jake put down roots twenty years before, you can understand why she decided to stay. As autumn closes in, the town is hosting the Eastport Pirate Festival which draws a huge tourist trade and, in this case, provides the perfect atmosphere for explosive action.
I would like to extend my thanks to Netgalley and to Kensington Books for giving me the opportunity to read this book in exchange for an honest review.
Notes: 1.This is #3 in the Death by Chocolate Mystery Series, but the author does an excellent job of supporting the reader so that this book can be a standalone.
2. The book concludes with a recipe for Double-Chocolate Ginger Cookies, featuring chocolate chips, white chocolate, and crystallized ginger.
Publication: February 25, 2020—Kensington Books
His face, furrowed and grooved by age and the outdoors, was like something you might find carved into an old tree trunk, and his grip had felt as tough as bark.
I took a gulp of my hot drink and felt the brandy molecules percolating through my collapsed brain cells, reviving them. Or at least making them dance around very happily indeed, which was enough for me at the moment.
She was an overbearing old fussbudget, our Bella, but she would have stepped in front of a freight train for any one of us.
Death by Chocolate Malted Milkshake–delicious cozy mystery
Death by Chocolate Malted Milkshake
by Sarah Graves
Jake (Jacobia) relates this tale from the first person point of view as she and her friend Ellie struggle to survive the low tourist season in Maine. In this delightful cozy mystery, Jake and Ellie own their dream shop, The Chocolate Moose. Having recently purchased a vintage, mint green milkshake maker, they have added chocolate milkshakes to the treats featured in their chocolate themed bakery. Unfortunately, an abusive local drunk is found dead with one of their milkshake cups beside him.
In Death by Chocolate Malted Milkshake by Sarah Graves, questions swirl like a milkshake in a blender. Was the victim poisoned by the milkshake? Will the tampered milkshake rumors prove deadly to their struggling business? The ladies are counting on a whoopie-pie wedding cake to keep their business afloat; but with the groom suspected of murder, will the wedding even take place?
There are other suspects, interesting extended family members, a competent, sympathetic sheriff, lots of action, and more than a little danger as Jake and Ellie try to save their shop, keep Ellie and her family from having to move, discover the murderer and stay alive. I was surprised by the ending and the revelation of the murderer.
I would like to extend my thanks to netgalley.com and to Kensington Books for giving me the opportunity to read this book in exchange for an honest review.
Notes: #2 in the Death by Chocolate Mystery Series, but will work as a standalone.
It features a recipe for Ginger Chocolate Biscotti.
Publication: January 29, 2019—Kensington Books
The landlady’s glare was so cold, you could’ve used it to freeze fish.
An old railroad trestle crossed the gap between two high bluffs over a grassy salt marsh. In the moonlight, the cattails in the marsh stood motionless as if at attention.
Basically, I thought, frogs lived in a puddle, ate flies, and never got warm; still they yelled out their happiness in doing it and I found that encouraging.
Bad Neighbors–another fun ride with Agnes and Effie
by Maia Chance
Grab your hat for a whirlwind ride with Agnes, a self-professed nerd, and her wacky Aunt Effie in Maia Chance’s new cozy mystery Bad Neighbors. Agnes, recovering from the breakup of a long term relationship, has still not unpacked her boxes as she continues to try to figure out her future. Meanwhile Agnes, Effie, and cousin Chester take on their first four guests at the Stagecoach Inn, which they have only barely begun to remodel. Their four nonpaying guests are part of a tour group who have come to small town Naneda to view the changing leaves. Unfortunately their bus broke down. The whole town scurries to accommodate the tour bus participants because the town is also hosting their Harvest Festival along with the obnoxious judge of a yearly contest among towns in the area.
With this autumnal backdrop, the plot thickens as one of the locals is found murdered and Agnes’ old high school flame Otis is a suspect. Along the way there is a lot of suspicion thrown on various characters, and Agnes picks up a lot of ridicule from various townspeople who resent her sleuthing. Her arch rival turns out to be the snarky cupcake queen Delilah who sets her eyes on Otis.
Agnes, Effie, and their gaggle of equally quirky guests engage in numerous adventures in the name of investigations. Agnes has some close brushes with death and seriously considers leaving the craziness of the Stagecoach Inn behind to return to graduate school. What will it take to discover the murderer and to invest Agnes fully in life in Naneda? The end of this fun and humorous cozy mystery will reveal all.
I would like to extend my thanks to netgalley.com and to Crooked Lane Books for giving me the opportunity to read this book in exchange for an honest review.
Notes: #2 in the Agnes and Effie Mystery Series, but works as a standalone
Publication: April 6, 2018—Crooked Lane Books
…in my “new” car. This was a fifteen-year-old whitish minivan that looked like a cross between a handheld Dustbuster and the Space Shuttle. Its undercarriage was about two inches from the ground and bumped and scraped on every last pebble. At speeds over forty-five miles per hour, it felt in danger of disintegration.
To say I had butterflies in my stomach is an understatement. It felt as if I had pterodactyls swooping around in there.
Over the past weeks, our new relationship had felt like a fragile, enhanced bubble. I had made sure not to get too comfortable, because if I got comfortable, settled in, made myself at home, it would hurt that much more when the bubble inevitably popped.