"Crime de Cocoa" contains the first three Chocoholic Mysteries as well as a bonus short story. The short story "The Chocolate Kidnapping Clue" is set about ten years before the first Chocoholic mystery, "The Chocoate Cat Caper". The short story is set during a summer when series heroine Lee McKinney is working in her aunt and undle's chocolate shop in Warner Pier, Michigan.
These are great, light mysteries. But if you've already read the first three novels ("The Chocolate Cat Caper", "The Chocolate Bear Burglary", and "The Chocolate Frog Frame-Up") all that is new here is the short story.
The first 3 Chocoholic mysteries plus a short story of our heroine as a teen, solving her first mystery. I enjoyed the stories and the characters. As happens in cozies, the main character is too stupid to live, when it comes to crimes. Going alone to meet suspects...that sort of thing. But enjoyable and fun to see the romance build by reading one story after the other in order.
The relationship between the aunt and the main character is warm and supportive.I enjoyed how the stories flowed together seamlessly.
This book contains Ms. Carl's first three mysteries, The Chocolate Cat Caper, The Chocolate Bear Burglary and The Chocolate Frog Frame-Up. There is also a short story at the beginning of the book called The Chocolate Kidnapping Clue which helps set the stage for Lee McKinney's escapades. The Chocolate Cat Caper has our heroine serving at a party for the well-known Clementine Ripley whom no one likes in the town of Warner Pier. Lee's aunt was among those who hated Ms. Ripley. Clementine ate an amaretto truffle and died soon after which pointed the finger at Aunt Nettie. Lee bumbles about the clues and finds the murderer. In this book, she meets her sweetheart, Joe. The Chocolate Bear Burglary introduces more of the town's residents and her ex-stepson, Jeff, who happens to be in town when a burglary at the chocolate shop and a murder take place. Lee feels she must clear her stepson who doesn't seem to want to answer any questions. The Chocolate Frog Frame-up begins with an altercation between Joe and the town's resident eccentric, Hershel. After Hershel is murdered, the perpetrator goes to extreme lengths to frame Joe and even tries to kill him and Lee. All three are good stories and I am really enjoying the characters and look forward to reading more of this author's series.
This is actually three books previously published and and a new short story at the end. I really enjoy this author and if you haven't read her work before you will be getting three for the price of 1!
Fairly light mystery, fun to read. The main character is studying to be a CPA, which gave me hope (as a CPA) to see some inside stuff in the book. False hope. She could just as easily be studying to be an optometrist or bull rider, for all the inside stuff that we see. She also has a distressing (to her) habit of saying the wrong word when she knows perfectly well what the right word is. Some of these are funny, but I had a hard time with it at first.
All in all, however, it's a good book and worth reading. I think I will order the second in the series.
By the way, the author's real name is Eve K. Sandstrom. She has written a number of books under that name, too.
I LOVED this series! I am looking forward to reading more books from Joanna Carl. Chocoholics unite!
the first three in the series!