Death by Chocolate Chip Cupcake (A Death by Chocolate Mystery)
5th in Series
Setting – Maine
Kensington Cozies (March 29, 2022)
Hardcover : 288 pages
ISBN-10 : 1496729226
ISBN-13 : 978-1496729224
Kindle ASIN : B098KPSC5N
In the quaint island village of Eastport, Maine, Jacobia “Jake” Tiptree and Ellie White run the Chocolate Moose bakery, where delicious treats take the spotlight—but murder sometimes gets a walk-on role . . .
Jake and Ellie are taking a break from perfecting their chocolate pizza recipe to cater a housewarming party hosted by movie icon Ingrid Merryfield. Miss Merryfield is famous for her old-Hollywood glamour. Her new home, Cliff House, has a reputation too—for being haunted. But she isn’t concerned, and some of her guests even try to summon a spirit during the party, using an Ouija board. What arrives instead is a freak autumn storm that downs an ancient tree, trapping everyone on the property and setting the stage for a killer’s planned spree.
Though Jake and Ellie don’t intend to get stirred into the mix, there’s no avoiding it—especially when they witness one of the guests being shoved over the very precipice that gave Cliff House its forbidding name.
Jake and Ellie begin sifting through suspects and motives, a search that takes them from a long-lost family graveyard to a wise old herbalist’s deceptively-sweet cottage and finally to Cliff House’s overgrown gardens. Is there some ghostly presence involved—or a flesh-and-blood villain? And either way, can they ensure that they avoid meeting their very own, very permanent Hollywood ending?
Movie icon Ingrid Merryfield has come to Eastport, Maine and her first stop is the Chocolate Moose Bakery. Jacobia “Jake” Tiptree and Ellie White are a little starstruck and surprised when the actress says she has come “home” to Eastport and purchased Cliff House, a house known for being haunted. She asks Jake and Ellie to cater the desserts for her upcoming party and will pay them handsomely to stay overnight to cater to the guests food needs as requested. Needing money to keep the bakery open they just can’t refuse.
The party starts off okay but soon the Ouija board is pulled out to try to lure some ghosts. The only thing that they seem to conjure up is a terrific storm that brings down a huge tree that blocks the only exit by road from the property leaving Ellie, Jake, Bella, and Mika trapped. Soon thereafter bodies start dropping like flies. One, off the cliff, another in the basement, and more to come. Ellie and Jake want out and go to great lengths to try to do that as soon as they realize there is a killer in their midst or a very angry ghost.
Jake and Ellie find themselves in trouble again and have taken Bella and Mika along for the ride. Mika’s husband Sam tries to help and even Jake’s dad gets in on the action. We see the supporting characters differently in this story. Everyone played an exciting role and I loved that. A surprising new character stole my heart and attention immediately. Igor, an Irish Wolfhound found himself in danger too and it made my heart skip a beat during a very tense scene.
This story unfolds at breakneck speed so readers have to hold on tight. Jake and Ellie took a lot of risks to free their family and friends from the Cliff House property. The killer was not their only worry. They had to battle a horrendous storm, high tides and big waves, earthquakes, falling trees, missing ladders, and more. They traveled through tunnels, spooky rooms, and hallways at Cliff House trying to find answers. They were in constant motion the entire story. I was exhausted for them and with them by the time I turned the final page.
Ms. Graves plotted out a whirlwind mystery and kept the pedal to the metal from start to finish. I was so caught up in the story I didn’t really form my own list of suspects and the actual reveal of the killer was a bit of a surprise. The pieces start to fall into place for me later in the book. This plot really kept me on my toes.
Ms. Graves took her characters on quite an adventure in Death by Chocolate Chip Cupcake and in turn her readers. I really enjoyed this book a lot.
I am excited about the upcoming Death by Chocolate Marshmallow Pie set to hit shelves on April 25, 2023. I think both the characters and myself need a little time to catch our breath before we can handle whatever Ms. Sarah Graves dreams up next. We will all be ready by April.
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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.”