Tuesday, October 28, 2008

The Chocolate Snowman Murders - JoAnna Carl

The Chocolate Snowman Murders
A Chocoholic Mystery
JoAnna Carl


It’s winter in the lakeside resort town of Warner Pier, Michigan, and that means it’s time for the Winter Arts Festival. As the manager of her Aunt Nettie’s shop, TenHuis Chocolade, Lee Woodyard is on the planning committee for the festival. When the original art show juror cancels due to injury, Fletcher Mendenhall becomes the last-minute replacement. Lee ends up driving to the airport to pick up Fletcher. He sounds quite happy when she contacts him by cell phone. When he gets in the truck, the reason for his happiness is painfully apparent. The man is completely drunk.

After enduing a couple of pathetic advances, Lee drops Fletcher at a hotel forty-five minutes from Warner Pier and leaves him to sleep it off. Her husband, Joe, is none too pleased to hear about Fletcher’s actions and drives out to confront him. Joe assumes that Fletcher has, indeed, passed out when he doesn’t answer the door at his motel. The next morning, Joe returns to find Fletcher dead. Someone beat him with the lamp in his room. Of course, Lee and Joe are the prime suspects. When another committee member is found dead, it’s clear that there’s something other than jealousy at work.

Warner Pier sounds like a lovely place to visit. The author expertly captures the small town atmosphere and relationships. The mystery is plotted very well and evenly paced. As always (THE CHOCOLATE JEWEL CASE, THE CHOCOLATE BRIDAL BASH) the author provides chocolate trivia, facts, and tempting recipes throughout the story. This is the perfect cozy for a cold night spent next to a fire. If you’re very lucky, you’ll have someone like Aunt Nettie to make “real” hot chocolate for you, too.

Rating: 6
October 2008
ISBN# 978-0-451-22506-1 (hardcover)


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