A Christmas Candy Killing (A Killer Chocolate Mystery)
by Christina Romeril
About A Christmas Candy Killing
A Christmas Candy Killing (A Killer Chocolate Mystery)
1st in Series
The book is set in a fictional town, Harriston, Montana.
Crooked Lane Books (October 11, 2022)
Hardcover : 304 pages
ISBN-10 : 1639101667
ISBN-13 : 978-1639101665
Digital ASIN : B09Q8JS9HV
Their chocolates are to die for—but things aren’t so sweet when a real killer comes to town, in this debut mystery perfect for fans of Joanne Fluke and Laura Childs.
Identical twin sisters Alex and Hanna are the owners of Murder and Mayhem, a mystery bookshop that sells their famous poison-themed Killer Chocolates. But now, there’s a real killer in their midst. Shortly before Christmas, their septuagenarian neighbor, Jane, confides to Alex that a murderer from a true-crime show has taken up residence in the village. Unfortunately, she’s also shared her suspicions with town gossip Netta. The next morning, Alex shows up at Jane’s house to watch the show, but instead discovers Jane’s body, with a box of Killer Chocolates nearby.
The sheriff quickly zeroes in on two suspects: Alex, a beneficiary in Jane’s will, and Zack, a handyman who was seen leaving the crime scene. But Alex maintains her innocence and sets out to draft a list of other potential suspects—townsfolk who’d recently been seen arguing with Jane.
When Alex gets hold of Jane’s journal, she begins to understand the truth. But a bearer of ill tidings is arriving early this year—and Alex just might not make it to Christmas.
Killer Chocolates and mysteries are what you will find at twin sisters Alex and Hanna’s Murder and Mayhem shop in Harriston, Montana. With names like Strychnine Strawberry, Ricin Raspberry Creams, Cotton Candy Coniine, and Veronal Vanilla Cream, the candies are flying out the door as Christmas approaches. While these poison theme candies have fun names, and no poison is used in the creations there may be a real killer nearby. Alex’s elderly friend Jane watches every true crime television show she can. She tells Alex that she knows one of the killers she has seen on television is living in Harriston. She confesses she also told her friend Nessa, who has never met a piece of gossip she hasn’t spread. Alex reluctantly agrees to visit Jane the next day to watch the program.
When Alex arrives at Jane’s house the next day she finds Jane dead . . . with a box of Killer Chocolates too close for comfort.
Alex is beside herself when she is named as a suspect along with a handyman, Zach who did a lot of work for Jane. Hanna knows she is innocent and she believes Zach is too. She just needs to prove it and fast. She has no desire to spend the holiday behind bars.
This new series is off to a fabulous start.
I really like these twin sisters. Alex runs the book part of the shop and Hanna makes the chocolate creations, but they crossover to help each other and work with the customers because most usually leave the place with a least one book and a box of candy. Their relationship is comfortable and relatable. Alex has a real knack for getting people to open up to her especially if she is offering candy. These characters are well-developed for the first book in the series. Ms. Romeril has left plenty of room for them to continue to evolve as the series continues though.
The author took the first couple of chapters to introduce readers to Alex, Hanna, and their dog Miss Watson. We also meet their neighbor Pastor Tom Kennedy, Penelope Shaw, a divorcee, who lives across the street from Tom, and her sights on him as her next husband, Duncan Fletcher who dated Hanna for about 2 months and then he put her in the friend zone and Gary, owner of Harriston Bloom greenhouse. These characters as well as others we meet in the story are all cleverly crafted.
The mystery was very well-plotted. I really enjoyed the way Alex attacked her investigation. Her former career in banking for 20 years gave her the instincts and knowledge needed to be a pretty good amateur sleuth. I was delighted to follow along with her step by step as she worked through the clues. A key piece of evidence reveals the truth she was looking for and everything started to fall into place. The ending was exciting. I loved the way it played out with a surprising hero.
What more could you want? Candy and books are what this girl loves and to have them both in one place is Perfect!
A Christmas Candy Killing was such an entertaining cozy. With characters I can’t wait to visit again, a sweet mystery, a unique theme, a fun setting, and humor in all the right places, this book is A Perfect Escape. I am excited about the next Killer Chocolate Mystery.
Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent
About Christina Romeril
Christina Romeril loves to plot murders, especially by poisoning. When she’s not plotting how to kill one of her characters she’s coming up with ways to dispose of the body. Since writing her debut novel her husband’s friends have been regularly checking on his well-being.
Christina also loves to read, eat chocolates, and travel when she’s not in her she shed writing. She grew up in Southern Ontario and spent most of her summers in Muskoka swimming, boating, and generally getting into mischief. She’s lived on both coasts of Canada and has a love of being near the water and close to a forest. Thus, it makes perfect sense that she moved to the prairies of Southern Alberta over twenty years ago.
During the warmer months, you’ll find her escaping to nearby Waterton Lakes National Park with her cooler stocked full of chocolate and pastries. Occasionally, the once avid hiker will even set out on one of the many hiking trails and hope she doesn’t run into a hungry bear.
Christina is a member of Sisters in Crime and enjoys interacting on social media.
Great Escapes Praise for A Christmas Candy Killing (A Killer Chocolate Mystery)
by Christina Romeril
I found the storyline enjoyable with a solid mystery to solve, and the appealing characters whet my appetite to read more in the Killer Chocolate Mysteries.
~Cinnamon and Sugar and a little bit of Murder
A Christmas Candy Killing is an entertaining (and completely clean) debut to what promises to be a thoroughly enjoyable new cozy mystery series.
~Reading is my Superpower
A Christmas Candy Killing introduces us to a new setting and new characters I’m looking forward to visiting again. Grab some chocolate and settle down for a delicious debut!
A Christmas Candy Killing is a mouthwatering tale with winter weather, delectable chocolates, a mysterious murder, a stubborn sheriff, rampant rumors, a cold case, and Christmas cheer.
~The Avid Reader
For a debut novel, A Christmas Candy Killing was pretty well put together. I was pulled into the story, and I can’t wait to see what comes next in this small Montana town.
This is a fun new series because it contains several of my favorite things – chocolate, books, and murder. We enjoyed this book and look forward to future installments. We give it 4 paws up.!~Storeybook Reviews
This is a fabulous start to a new cozy series by a new to me author. We meet twins Alex and Hannah who own an adorable bookshop that they use to also sell their poison-themed Killer Chocolates. I must say this is an adorable idea that makes me wish this was a real store that I could visit as the chocolate sounds oh so yummy.
~Books A Plenty Book Reviews
With an engaging amateur sleuth and several plausible red herrings with excellent motives for mischief, I recommend A CHRISTMAS CANDY KILLING to cozy mystery readers who enjoy culinary-themed stores, settings in small-town Montana, or chocolate.
~Guatemala Paula Loves to Read
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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.”