(A Chocolate Whisperer Mystery)
New Cozy Series
Setting – California
Mass Market Paperback: 352 pages
Publisher: Kensington (January 27, 2015)
E-Book ASIN: B00M4ASPPG
Hayden Mundy Moore is an expert on everything chocolate, helping clients develop new products and revamp recipes until they’re irresistible. But sometimes, a dash of murder finds its way into the mix. . .
Hayden Mundy Moore has bushwhacked through African jungles and haggled in exotic markets to find the finest cacao beans and the most flavorful blends. It’s thrilling work but rarely dangerous–until a colleague turns up dead at the exclusive chocolate-themed Lemaître resort spa in San Francisco.
Adrienne Dowling’s heart attack is blamed on an accidental overdose of the secret ingredient used in Lemaître Chocolates’ new line. Hayden can’t believe that conscientious Adrienne would make that mistake. And between chocolate body scrubs, cocoa mud baths, and a non-stop frenzy of chocolate-based treats, Hayden starts to suspect that she, not Adrienne, was the intended target. Finding a killer among the rival chocolatiers and potential suspects won’t just be satisfying–it might save her life. . .
Hayden’s job is to help rescue chocolate companies and their products when their formulas go awry. She is a chocolate expert that has traveled the world honing her knowledge. She seems to enjoy her job but is quite a procrastinator when it comes to paperwork and filing reports. Oh and she is independently wealthy with a financial adviser she has never met in person but he has a wonderful phone voice that curls her toes. She has known Danny forever and he always comes when she calls. He is a hunk with plenty of woman vying for his attention but his relationship with Hayden is strictly platonic.
I enjoyed this story and it has a great theme for a cozy mystery, but I did have some issues with the whole thing. First, Hayden is rich because of an inheritance she received and it has some unusual caveats and many things the reader is kept in the dark about. And Hayden is supposed to be a very intelligent woman but she does some really stupid things.
Next, I was just completely floored by the way the police just wrote off both the first and second deaths as complete accidents. They did relatively minor investigations that left too many unanswered questions.
Lastly, the mystery seems very more complex than it really is. Sadly I had it figured it out very early but kept reading just so that I knew I was right.
The good thing is that the author has all the right ingredients for this series to be a great success. Hayden and her back story needs to be more defined. She needs to be a much stronger protagonist. The other characters are interesting and as the series continues they need to evolve as well. Also the mystery itself needs be bigger, the clues more hidden to keep the reader guessing. The chocolate theme is fantastic as is Hayden traveling to each new assignment. I am very interested in seeing if the author can take the story to the next level in book #2. She has a good start now she needs to run with it.
About This Author
Colette London is the pseudonym of a best-selling novelist whose published more than three dozen books worldwide.
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Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. Receiving a complimentary copy in no way reflected my review of this book. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”