*Sorry about the repeat post guys, there was a scheduling glitch and it was posted a day early, yesterday*
Whew! Sorry it took me a while to post again, everyone. It turns out, getting the flu on top of already being sick, really knocks you out. But I’m feeling a bit better now, anyways. And while I was down for the count, I did get some reading in, so that’s always nice!
The series I’m working my way through at the moment is one both my mom and I started reading several years ago, and that I got woefully behind on while I was in school. Like many of the mysteries I read, the series has a “theme” – this time, it’s chocolate!
The Chocolate Snowman Murders by JoAnna Carl
These books are just plain fun – and I was even more excited when I discovered the next one on my list was Christmas themed. What perfect timing!
Centered around Lee McKinney, a former Texas beauty queen who has returned to her roots in Warner Pier, Michigan in order to live and work in her Aunt Nettie’s chocolate shop – they really are the perfect “light reading” mystery.
In this installment we find Lee on the board of the WinterFest Committee. Dedicated to making the picturesque Pier a tourist destination for the winter holidays, the members have worked hard planning a play, choir concerts, and even an art show set to be judged by well-known members of art circles across the country. But when one of their jurors turns up dead after making several passes at Lee, she and her new husband Joe find themselves the prime suspects!
My only critiques are rather minor. In what comes across as an attempt to create an endearing, quirky and relatable human character, Lee was burdened with a tongue she is constantly twisting in knots, and often finds herself saying the wrong thing at the wrong time. However, I can’t help but find her malapropisms a little odd, as the words she chooses are not common vocabulary words and seem to come out of left field.
Also, the books are shorter than most – this was one of the longest so far, coming in at just over 200 pages – which isn’t a problem in the later editions, but it does make them feel rushed in some places at the beginning of the series. I was a few books in before I really got into the rhythm of things and started to get the feeling that I “knew” the characters. This might also have something to do with the fact that the author seems more sure of herself and her tone, which has improved the quality of the writing along the way as well.
However, especially in the last three that I’ve read (numbers 6, 7, and 8 in the series), Carl seems to really have hit the perfect stride. All in all I would definitely recommend these books to anyone who enjoys a fun and quick mystery – especially one about chocolate! Oh, and did I forget mention that each book comes with fun chocolate trivia and yummy recipes?
*Random Personal Note: Oddly enough, though the series takes place in Michigan, and the main character is a transplant from Texas, Carl makes reference to a small town in Oklahoma several times throughout the series. It’s the only place in Oklahoma I’ve ever been to!
Have you read any of the Chocoholic Mysteries? What do you think?