Death by Chocolate Cherry Cheesecake (A Death by Chocolate Mystery)
1st in Series
Setting – Maine
Kensington (January 30, 2018)
Hardcover: 240 pages
Kindle ASIN: B072812S81
Life just got a little sweeter in the island fishing village of Eastport, Maine. Jacobia “Jake” Tiptree and her best friend Ellie are opening a waterfront bake shop, The Chocolate Moose, where their tasty treats pair perfectly with the salty ocean breeze. But while Jake has moved on from fixing up houses, she still can’t resist the urge to snoop into the occasional murder.
Jake and Ellie have been through a lot together, from home repair to homicide investigation. So when they decide to open a chocolate-themed bakery, they figure it’ll be a piece of cake. With Ellie’s old family recipes luring in customers, they expect to make plenty of dough this Fourth of July weekend. Having family home for the holiday only sweetens the deal for Jake—until the ill wind of an early-season hurricane blows up her plans. When the storm hits, Jake’s grown son Sam is stranded in a Boston bus station, and her husband Wade is stuck on a cargo ship. But as bitter as the storm is, something even more sinister is brewing in the kitchen of The Chocolate Moose—where health inspector Matt Muldoon is found murdered.
Ellie never made a secret of her distaste for Matt, who had been raining on their parade with bogus talk of health code violations. Now, with no alibi for the night of the murder, she’s in a sticky situation with the police—and it’s up to Jake to catch the real killer and keep Ellie living in the land of the free.
Includes a Recipe!
Sarah Graves ended her Home Repair is Homicide Mysteries back in 2013. To her fans delight, she has brought the characters back in this new Death by Chocolate Mystery series. Jake and Ellie have opened up a bake shop on the waterfront and the town of Eastport still has a murder problem and this murder happens right in their business, The Chocolate Moose. Matt Muldoon has been after them since they opened with one complaint after another, even saying he would report them to his “friends at the Maine State Health Department”. Ellie couldn’t stand the man, but she can’t be the only one. She didn’t kill him but she and Jake will have to find out who did or Ellie may find herself working in the prison kitchen.
These characters were very well developed in the previous series but are now facing new situations as they try to get their new business off the ground. Enough background is given so new readers should not feel lost. They do mention the crimes they have solved before but it is not too much to take over this new story. Jake and Ellie are both strong women and work together very well.
In addition to the dead man in the kitchen, there is a hurricane headed toward Eastport and the town is planning for their huge 4th of July celebration. Jake and Ellie have a huge order for Chocolate Cherry Cheesecakes for the silent auction. Also, Jake’s dad is in the hospital when the story begins. To say these ladies have their hands full is an understatement.
The story rolls along at a great pace as Jake and Ellie find themselves in some dire situations. Twists and turns aplenty keep us readers on our toes. I did enjoy the interaction between the ladies and chief of police Bob Arnold, he trusted them enough to be able to accept their input because they have a history with this type of situation. Jake’s family life added a nice subplot and I was so surprised by Sam’s announcement.
Fans of the previous series will love this spin-off, new readers will fall for these characters too after reading this book. I have to say spin-offs are rare and hard to do in cozy mysteries but Sarah Graves has done a fine job. I am looking forward to future stories with Jake and Ellie.
About the Author
Sarah Graves lives in Eastport, Maine, in a 200-year-old house much like Jake Tiptree’s. After 20 years of home repair – and yes, it really does make you think about murder! – she has handed in her toolbox and returned to her first love: chocolate. When she’s not cooking or baking something delectable, or writing about it, she tends a huge garden or shovels snow, depending upon the season.
Also by Sarah Graves
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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.”