Posted in Craving For Cozies Cruisin Thru Cozies Giveaways Read The Printed Word Challenge Reviews 2019 You Read How Many Books Challenge

The Chocolate Shark Shenanigans (Chocoholic Mystery) by JoAnna Carl #Review / #Giveaway @BerkleyMystery


The Chocolate Shark Shenanigans (Chocoholic Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
17th in Series
Setting – Michigan
Publisher: Berkley (November 5, 2019)
Hardcover: 256 pages
ISBN-10: 059310000X
ISBN-13: 978-0593100004
Kindle ASIN: B07NKN1R3K

In the newest mystery from nationally bestselling author Joanna Carl, a dive into house flipping becomes a deadly flop….

When a house near Lee and Joe’s home goes up for sale, the couple teams up with Lee’s aunt and uncle, Nettie and Hogan, to buy it, remodel it, and resell it for a sweet profit. But after the owners of the house, the Baileys, accept their offer, a local developer, Richard “Spud” Dirk, suddenly swoops in with a higher one, and it seems their dreams might be snatched away.

Lee, never as passionate about the plan as her husband and uncle, is anxious to get back to focusing on managing TenHuis Chocolade. But when a long-hidden gun is found behind a pipe in the Baileys’ basement, she begins to suspect a mystery is afoot. And when Spud turns up dead in the Baileys’ carport a few days later, it becomes clear there’s something rotten at the foundation….

To solve the murder, Lee will have to strip away layers of secrets–that is, if someone doesn’t level her first….

Dollycas’s Thoughts

I am so happy this series has returned!

Lee Woodyard’s husband Joe and her uncle Hogan have decided to get in on the house-flipping craze much to Lee’s dismay. Local developer, Richard “Spud” Dirk is not happy either. He had his eye on the property and even states the owner had given him the right of first refusal. The owners have given Joe approval to get estimates from contractors prior to the completed sale, but Joe was unavailable when the plumber came to check out the pipes so Lee played tour guide. She almost loses her life when an old gun is found in the basement and goes off just winging her a bit, but it is when the body is found in the carport cupboard that she knows this whole flipping deal was a big mistake. When the body is identified as “Spud” Dirk and him feuding over the sale with her family Lee knows she is going to have to hammer down the clues and paint the real killer into a corner unless they wipe her out first.

___

As a confirmed chocoholic, I have been all-in on this series from the very beginning. Lee and Nettie are two of my favorite cozy characters and I am thrilled their stories are continuing. I love the relationship they have with the men in their lives.

Sea salt and sharks are the themes of this story and Ms. Carl doesn’t disappoint,  This time the mystery links the present and the past with an old high gang called the “Sharks” and an old prank may have lead to a new murder. The author peppers this story with suspense as well as humor. After spending a little time catching up with the characters things move along at a quick pace. The flow was excellent and I read the entire book in one sitting.

One of the things I really enjoy about this series are the TenHuis chocolates. Whenever a character takes a bite readers are given a full mouthwatering description. I only had a Hershey bar in the house at the time but it took care of my chocolate cravings until I can lay in some truffles of my own.

Well-written, wonderful characters, a captivating mystery, Chocolate Shark Shenanigans was an entertaining story and a great escape for an afternoon or evening. I was excited to get back to Warner Pier and anxiously await my next visit.

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

To find out more about JoAnna Carl visit her webpage here.

GIVEAWAY
Thanks to the publisher I have 1 copy to give away! 

The contest is open to anyone over 18 years old
with a US or Canadian mailing address.

Duplicate entries will be deleted. Void where prohibited.

You do not have to be a follower to enter but I hope you will find
something you like here and become a follower.

Followers Will Receive 2 Bonus Entries For Each Way They Follow.
Plus 2 Bonus Entries For Liking My Facebook Fan Page.

Add this book to your WANT TO READ shelf on GoodReads for 3 Bonus Entries.

Pin this giveaway to Pinterest for 3 Bonus Entries.

If you publicize the giveaway on Twitter or Facebook or anywhere you will receive
5 Bonus Entries For Each Link.

Contest Will End November 28, 2019, at 11:59 PM CST
Winner Will Be Chosen By Random.org
Winner Will Be Notified By Email
and Will Be Posted Here In The Sidebar.

Click Here For Entry Form

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.”

Posted in Flashback Friday Giveaways Guest Posts Spotlights

Special Guest – JoAnna Carl – Author of The Chocolate Bunny Brouhaha #FlashbackFriday #ReviewRewind #Giveaway


This is a very special Flashback Friday.
This is one of my favorite series!
The mass market paperback of The Chocolate Bunny Brouhaha was released this month
and JoAnna Carl has dropped by for a visit.

Guest Post By JoAnna Carl
(Provided by Publicist)

Now and then I get an invitation to speak, and I nearly always pick the topic “Fun with Research.”

That’s because I think research is truly important to the mystery story, and because I always have fun doing it. Especially doing research about chocolate.

The part about research being important to the mystery story is easy to see. If the clues and the background in a mystery are not accurate, the whole thing becomes unbelievable, and nobody wants to read it.

The part about research being fun results from of my usual method of finding things out. I just ask somebody. I find somebody who knows and ask them. Talking to people is always fun.

I’ve never had anybody refuse to answer a question. I’ll admit that I often pick the subjects for clues in my books because I know someone who will help me out.

This research method led to the creation of the Chocoholic books. An editor asked me to write a proposal for a cozy, and the coziest background I could think of was chocolate. Besides, I just happened to have a daughter who was working for a chocolate company. Duh? Who else can you call at ten o’clock at night and ask the melting point of chocolate?

The editor also liked the idea. Then one problem arose. The Chocoholic books were classified as “Culinary” mysteries, and Culinary mysteries usually have recipes. But my editor and I thought the type of high quality chocolate in the books was not ideal for the typical household cook. The editor suggested “Lore” instead – interesting facts about chocolate.

And when it came to writing the “Lore” parts of the Chocoholic books – well, my talented and practical daughter wasn’t going to cut it even if she was in the chocolate business. I had to find somebody with more authority than a bright and intelligent young woman who was basically a business manager. (If this seems familiar, it’s because my detective, Lee Woodyard, through sixteen books has held a job similar to the one my daughter had in those days. As a fictional character, by the way, Lee is not a lot like that particularly daughter, except that they’re both awfully nice people.)

So for Lore research I found I had to read books. I didn’t mind that. It gives me an excuse to learn about one of my favorite topics: chocolate. Its history and science are fascinating.

The Spanish explored the New World looking for gold, for example, but chocolate may have eventually been a more valuable find.

Of course, in those days the chocolate bar had not been invented. Chocolate was only a drink. One tale that I find interesting is that in Spain young women began to have their maids bring them chocolate during mass, since drinking it was recommended to fight feelings of weakness. (We all know how weak a young girl can feel in church.) When a priest who opposed this practice died under mysterious circumstances, scandal ensued.

Now there’s a motive I definitely couldn’t think of on my own.

And for years churchmen argued over whether chocolate was a food or a drink. Could it be drunk during Lent?

Another religious group involved with chocolate was the Quakers. A bunch of English businessmen, all Quakers, supported early efforts to mechanize the manufacture of chocolate and were prominent in its manufacture and sale. They demanded a high moral code for their industry, even insisting on good treatment for workers in the tropical countries where chocolate was grown. Today’s Fair Trade movement probably thinks it came up with something new, but those Quaker businessmen had the same basic idea.

In England, one of the group, Cadbury’s, even established a model town to house its workers. Interestingly, Milton Hershey did the same thing during the next century in Pennsylvania. Who would have thought that chocolate could be linked to a social conscience?

A lot of the people of chocolate history are fascinating, from the Marquis de Sade to Forrest Mars. Cardinal Richelieu is even sometimes given credit for introducing chocolate to France. Yes, that was the guy who according to the novelist Dumas gave so much trouble to Anne of Austria and the Three Musketeers. The cardinal supposedly drank chocolate for medicinal reasons.

The science of chocolate has an interesting history as well. For several centuries chocolate was promoted as a medicine or an aid to good health.

Even today chocolate has been cited as being good for lowering blood pressure, for example. As for the sugar that often accompanies chocolate – well, it gets a different report.

Joe and Teresa Graedon, who write The Peoples Pharmacy column carried by many newspapers, offer a pamphlet on the health benefits and threats of chocolate – including recipes – that even a scientific dummy like me can understand.

For the history of chocolate my main source is The True History of Chocolate by Sophie D. Coe and Michael D. Coe.

But researching chocolate is fascinating to me, and not just because I’m an absolute freak for the stuff. Writing about it gives me a built-in excuse to visit any chocolate shop I pass. There’s the one in Washington D.C. where I first saw chocolate-covered bacon. There’s the chocolate garden in Michigan, with chocolate-colored plants. There’s the store in Lawton, Oklahoma, that stocks every kind of old-fashioned chocolate bar. And I get a specialty catalog that even offers Walnettos. You have to be old – like me – to remember Walnettos. They’re not chocolate, but still good. And they take me right back to my childhood.

I may have to quit writing and go buy myself a Cherry Mash.

Yum, yum!

~Joanna

Thank you JoAnna for visiting today!

I reviewed the hardcover version of this book last year.

the-chocolate-bunny-brouhaha
The Chocolate Bunny Brouhaha
(Chocoholic Mystery)

Cozy Mystery
16th in Series
Setting – Michigan
A Berkley Prime Crime Mystery
Published by Berkley (November 1, 2016)
An Imprint of Penguin Random House LLC
Hardcover: 240 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0451473820
E-Book ASIN: B01BK0SQEU
goodreads-badge-add-plusShop Indie Bookstores

 

From the national bestselling author of The Chocolate Falcon Fraud comes an Easter candy caper featuring chocolatiers Lee Woodyard and her Aunt Nettie, and a killer who’s hopping mad…

The approach of Easter means a rush of business at TenHuis Chocolade, and Lee  and her Aunt Nettie need all the help they can get to make their famous chocolate bunnies. Unfortunately, new hire Bunny Birdsong is a clutzy basketcase dropping everything she picks up. But to Lee’s surprise, she’s a whiz with computers and fixing the store’s website so they decide to keep her.

However, Bunny receives a few visitors they could do without: her soon to be ex-husband Beau, his wealthy aunt Abigail, and his new girlfriend and her brother all descend on the shop one day and have a bitter argument. Lee hopes they can find a peaceful way to settle their dispute and not bring any more trouble to TenHuis. But when Abigail’s body is discovered in the vacant store next door, it’s clear to Lee there’s a bad egg in her midst. Now she’s on the hunt to find out who it is…

Includes tasty chocolate trivia! 

Dollycas’s Thoughts

It’s all about the BUNNIES! TenHuis Chocolade is getting ready for Easter with plenty of bunnies on order. The also have a Bunny on the staff, Bunny Birdsong. She seems to be an accident looking for a place to happen, but she does have her talents and Lee finally finds out what those are. Both are surprised when her ex’s aunt shows up at the shop, soon followed by the ex himself with his new girlfriend. A little drama in the sales area that Lee quickly tries to handle. When the aunt becomes the latest murder victim in Warner Pier it isn’t good for “anybunny”. Disruption in the shop has everyone on edge and Bunny on the top of the suspect list means Lee has a basket full of trouble. She is hopping into the investigation to find the real killer so everyone can get back to making all those tasty holiday chocolates we all love.

This is a perfect “EGGSCAPE”. My senses skipped right over Christmas to spring and Easter the minute I started reading. The expansion of TenHuis Chocolade continues with just a little pause for the police to collect their evidence. Lee and her Aunt Nettie are doing their best to keep all the workers and employees focused on their jobs while they and Police Chief Hogan focus on the murder.

JoAnna Carl’s stories never disappoint. I jump right in and they brighten my day. I love the characters, I love the setting and I love the chocolate! Don’t let the number of pages in this book fool you. It is a fantastic cozy mystery that will have you laughing out loud and then on the edge of your seat. So well written and plotted precisely, it has an excellent flow. Family, romance, humor, mystery, everything in the right proportions. Ms. Carl tells a top-notch story. I also enjoy the trivia she includes throughout the book.

Think this series is too far along to jump into, it’s not. The author gives you enough detail without revealing or spoiling anything from previous books in the series. Try one and you are going to want to read them all. You just may want to have some chocolate in the house because this book will have you craving a truffle or 2.

perfect 2016

Dollycas
Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

To find out more about JoAnna Carl visit her webpage here.

GIVEAWAY
Thank to the publisher I have 1 copy to give away! 

Contest is open to anyone over 18 years old
with a US mailing address.

Duplicate entries will be deleted. Void where prohibited.

You do not have to be a follower to enter but I hope you will find
something you like here and become a follower.

Followers Will Receive 2 Bonus Entries For Each Way They Follow.
Plus 2 Bonus Entries For Liking My Facebook Fan Page.

Click the Like Button at the top of this post for a Bonus Entry.

Leave a comment for JoAnna and earn 5 Bonus Entries!

Add this book to your WANT TO READ shelf on GoodReads for 3 Bonus Entries.

Pin this giveaway to Pinterest for 3 Bonus Entries.

If you publicize the giveaway on Twitter or Facebook or anywhere you will receive
5 Bonus Entries For Each Link.

Contest Will Ends December 1, 2017 at 11:59 PM CST
Winner Will Be Chosen By Random.org
Winner Will Be Notified By Email
and Will Be Posted Here In The Sidebar.

Click Here For Entry Form

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.”

Posted in Craving For Cozies Cruisin Thru Cozies Giveaways Reviews 2016 You Read How Many Books Challenge

#Review / #Giveaway – The Chocolate Bunny Brouhaha by JoAnna Carl

the-chocolate-bunny-brouhaha
The Chocolate Bunny Brouhaha
(Chocoholic Mystery)

Cozy Mystery
16th in Series
Setting – Michigan
A Berkley Prime Crime Mystery
Published by Berkley (November 1, 2016)
An Imprint of Penguin Random House LLC
Hardcover: 240 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0451473820
E-Book ASIN: B01BK0SQEU
goodreads-badge-add-plusShop Indie Bookstores

 

From the national bestselling author of The Chocolate Falcon Fraud comes an Easter candy caper featuring chocolatiers Lee Woodyard and her Aunt Nettie, and a killer who’s hopping mad…

The approach of Easter means a rush of business at TenHuis Chocolade, and Lee  and her Aunt Nettie need all the help they can get to make their famous chocolate bunnies. Unfortunately, new hire Bunny Birdsong is a clutzy basketcase dropping everything she picks up. But to Lee’s surprise, she’s a whiz with computers and fixing the store’s website so they decide to keep her.

However, Bunny receives a few visitors they could do without: her soon to be ex-husband Beau, his wealthy aunt Abigail, and his new girlfriend and her brother all descend on the shop one day and have a bitter argument. Lee hopes they can find a peaceful way to settle their dispute and not bring any more trouble to TenHuis. But when Abigail’s body is discovered in the vacant store next door, it’s clear to Lee there’s a bad egg in her midst. Now she’s on the hunt to find out who it is…

Includes tasty chocolate trivia! 

Dollycas’s Thoughts

It’s all about the BUNNIES! TenHuis Chocolade is getting ready for Easter with plenty of bunnies on order. The also have a Bunny on the staff, Bunny Birdsong. She seems to be an accident looking for a place to happen, but she does have her talents and Lee finally finds out what those are. Both are surprised when her ex’s aunt shows up at the shop, soon followed by the ex himself with his new girlfriend. A little drama in the sales area that Lee quickly tries to handle. When the aunt becomes the latest murder victim in Warner Pier it isn’t good for “anybunny”. Disruption in the shop has everyone on edge and Bunny on the top of the suspect list means Lee has a basket full of trouble. She is hopping into the investigation to find the real killer so everyone can get back to making all those tasty holiday chocolates we all love.

This is a perfect “EGGSCAPE”. My senses skipped right over Christmas to spring and Easter the minute I started reading. The expansion of TenHuis Chocolade continues with just a little pause for the police to collect their evidence. Lee and her Aunt Nettie are doing their best to keep all the workers and employees focused on their jobs while they and Police Chief Hogan focus on the murder.

JoAnna Carl’s stories never disappoint. I jump right in and they brighten my day. I love the characters, I love the setting and I love the chocolate! Don’t let the number of pages in this book fool you. It is a fantastic cozy mystery that will have you laughing out loud and then on the edge of your seat. So well written and plotted precisely, it has an excellent flow. Family, romance, humor, mystery, everything in the right proportions. Ms. Carl tells a top-notch story. I also enjoy the trivia she includes throughout the book.

Think this series is too far along to jump into, it’s not. The author gives you enough detail without revealing or spoiling anything from previous books in the series. Try one and you are going to want to read them all. You just may want to have some chocolate in the house because this book will have you craving a truffle or 2.

perfect 2016

Dollycas
Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

To find out more about JoAnna Carl visit her webpage here.

GIVEAWAY
Thank to the publisher I have 2 copies to give away! 

Contest is open to anyone over 18 years old
with a US or Canadian mailing address.

Duplicate entries will be deleted. Void where prohibited.

You do not have to be a follower to enter but I hope you will find
something you like here and become a follower.

Followers Will Receive 2 Bonus Entries For Each Way They Follow.
Plus 2 Bonus Entries For Liking My Facebook Fan Page.

Click the Like Button at the top of this post for a Bonus Entry.

Add this book to your WANT TO READ shelf on GoodReads for 3 Bonus Entries.

Pin this giveaway to Pinterest for 3 Bonus Entries.

If you publicize the giveaway on Twitter or Facebook or anywhere you will receive
5 Bonus Entries For Each Link.

Contest Will End November 29, 2016 at 11:59 PM CST
Winner Will Be Chosen By Random.org
Winner Will Be Notified By Email
and Will Be Posted Here In The Sidebar.

Click Here For Entry Form

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.”

Posted in Craving For Cozies Cruisin Thru Cozies Flashback Friday Giveaways Reviews 2016 TBR Pile Challenge You Read How Many Books Challenge

Flashback Friday – The Chocolate Falcon Fraud by JoAnna Carl – #Review / #Giveaway @BerkleyMystery

9WbGnJTR
On Flashback Fridays I will share with you the books I missed when they were first
released that have been screaming at me from my To-Be-Read bookshelf.

Thought this one would be a good one to review today. The mass market paperback edition hits bookstores November 1, 2016.

the-chocolate-falcon-fraud
The Chocolate Falcon Fraud
(Chocoholic Mystery)

Cozy Mystery
15th in Series
Setting – Michigan
An Obsidian Mystery (November 3, 2015)
An Imprint of New American Library
Published by Penguin Ransom House
Hardcover: 240 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0451473806
E-Book ASIN: B00SI025Y8
Mass Market Paperback: 256 pages
Publisher: Berkley (November 1, 2016)
ISBN-13: 978-0451473813
goodreads-badge-add-plusShop Indie Bookstores

 

From the national bestselling author of The Chocolate Clown Corpse, it’s murder, my sweet, for a chocolatier whose love of old crime films plunges her into a real-life murder in which the motives aren’t so black-and-white.

The Warner Pier tourism board is kicking off its Tough Guys and Private Eyes film festival with The Maltese Falcon, and Lee Woodyard and her aunt Nettie are preparing a delicious chocolat noir tie-in at TenHuis Chocolade. What Lee isn’t prepared for is a face from the past: Jeff Godfrey, her former stepson. The last time Jeff showed up in town, he wound up being accused of murder. He says he’s in Warner Pier only to see Bogart on the big screen. Honest.

Then Jeff goes missing, the Falcon theme is haunting everyone, and a body falls at Lee’s feet when she opens the front door—just like in the movie. Now Lee is under deadline to rewrite the ending of a cunning killer’s increasingly convincing murder plot….

Includes Tasty Chocolate Trivia!

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Movies and chocolate always go good together. The Tough Guys and Private Eyes film festival featuring The Maltese Falcon is getting reading to start in Warner Pier and Lee’s stepson (former) surprises her by showing up for the festivities. But when he fails to show up for a family dinner and she can’t find him anywhere she gets worried. Then just like in The Maltese Falcon Lee has a late night visitor who just happens to drop dead at her feet as she she opens the door. Thankfully not her stepson, but things start to be curious as more and more things play out just like the movie. Lee and husband Joe, Aunt Nettie and her husband Police Chief Hogan Jones have their hands full this time.

I love this series, they are fun, fast reads. Lee always goes the extra mile and usually ends up in the wrong place and the wrong time. There is always a catchy theme in addition to the chocolate as if chocolate isn’t enough to reel me in.

This time the Maltese Falcon theme/movie festival sounds like a good time. When real life in Warner Pier starts to mimic the film things get even more interesting. I haven’t watched the movie in years. This story makes me want to find that DVD for my own mini film festival.

This long running series continues because of the author is a master storyteller. She blends great plots, fantastic characters along with plenty of humor. They are light and entertaining and a perfect pick me up. They are concise and fast paced. Through each one we get to know the main characters better and each installment quickly becomes my favorite.

Oh and then there is the chocolate. The chocolate trivia this time is all about fudge and includes some arm numbing recipes along with a quick easy one my family usually whips up during the holidays, but really any day can become a holiday if you have fudge and chocolate 🙂

perfect 2016

Dollycas
Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

To find out more about JoAnna Carl visit her webpage here.

GIVEAWAY
This series usually goes on my keeper shelf but my shelves are overflowing so I am giving away my hardcover copy!

Contest is open to anyone over 18 years old
with a US or Canadian mailing address.

Duplicate entries will be deleted. Void where prohibited.

You do not have to be a follower to enter but I hope you will find
something you like here and become a follower.

Followers Will Receive 2 Bonus Entries For Each Way They Follow.
Plus 2 Bonus Entries For Liking My Facebook Fan Page.

Click the Like Button at the top of this post for a Bonus Entry.

Add this book to your WANT TO READ shelf on GoodReads for 3 Bonus Entries.

Pin this giveaway to Pinterest for 3 Bonus Entries.

If you publicize the giveaway on Twitter or Facebook or anywhere you will receive
5 Bonus Entries For Each Link.

Contest Will End October 21, 2016 at 11:59 PM CST
Winner Will Be Chosen By Random.org
Winner Will Be Notified By Email
and Will Be Posted Here In The Sidebar.

Click Here For Entry Form

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.”

Posted in Giveaways Guest Posts Reviews 2014

Special Guest – JoAnna Carl – Author of The Chocolate Clown Corpse (Giveaways too!)

special guest blueOne of my all time favorite cozy series is the Chocoholic Mysteries so when JoAnna Carl was available to drop by I jumped at the chance!

joanna carl - from her website

FOUR THINGS READERS DON’T KNOW ABOUT WRITING
THE CHOCOHOLIC BOOKS
(And One I Hope They Do Know)
By JoAnna Carl

1. I know practically nothing about making chocolate and less than that about making fancy luxury chocolates like the ones created by my fictional chocolate company, TenHuis Chocolade.
At the time I was inspired to write a series about a chocolate shop, my younger daughter was business manager for such a firm. She gave me a tour, and I interviewed both the company’s owner and the lady in charge of producing the chocolates. If I had a question, I called and quizzed one of them. So it’s their knowledge of chocolate that’s represented in the books. Not mine. I can only hope I got it right.

9780451240675_large_The_Chocolate_Clown_Corpse2. Today my source of chocolate knowledge is Elizabeth Garber, the proprietor of Best Chocolate in Town, a luxury chocolate company located in Indianapolis.

I was introduced to Elizabeth by Jim Huang, one of the world’s experts on the mystery novel, who at that time owned a mystery bookshop in an Indianapolis suburb. Elizabeth, her husband, and her mother-in-law were all mystery fans who shopped at his store and liked my books. Today, if I need to know about chocolate, I call Elizabeth and ask. Bless her heart, she tells me the answer. Right now we’re planning a big remodeling project for TenHuis Chocolade.

3. I could never have written the Chocoholic series if I hadn’t spent twenty-five years as a newspaper reporter, editor, and columnist. Because, as items 1 and 2 indicate, I still work the same way a reporter does.

A reporter finds a “source,” a person who can explain the information the news story needs. It’s best if the source can give snappy quotes while doing it.

9780451467546_large_The_Chocolate_Book_Bandit4. The columnist part of newspaper work was important to me, too. If I hadn’t written a personal column, I would never have had the confidence to write a novel.

The column showed me I could write something with a lot of myself in it that people liked to read. As a journalist, I had been trained to keep my own opinions and personality out of what I wrote.

When my boss asked me to try a personal column, I had no idea what would entertain readers. My first column began, “My grandmother wrote a recipe in the flyleaf of her Bible.” Basically, the column was about how Gran’s love of cooking was mixed up with her instinct of service and kindness to others. I was amazed when people came up to me at parties and told me stories about their own grandmothers and how they expressed goodness and love. Their stories touched me, and I realized I had touched others.


AND THE ONE I HOPE YOU ALREADY KNOW

5. Some critics don’t like “cozy” mysteries, saying they trivialize crime and evil. I think, instead, that cozies make these things manageable. Crime, evil, and general rottenness are so frightening that I have to add coziness or I can’t handle their existence at all.

So in The Chocolate Clown Corpse I dress up my heroine, Lee Woodyard, like a clown and have her chase another clown up and down the stairs of a hospital. I create a mad chase through the snow – on sleds. In The Chocolate Book Bandit I attack a villain using a library book cart as a weapon.

By making the events slightly ridiculous, I cope with them. And aren’t all of life’s events at least slightly ridiculous?

~JoAnna

To find out more about JoAnna Carl visit her webpage here.

9780451240675_large_The_Chocolate_Clown_Corpse
The Chocolate Clown Corpse:
A Chocoholic Mystery

14th in Series
An Obsidian Mystery
New American Library(November 4, 2014)
Published by The Penguin Group
Hardcover: 240 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0451240675
E-Book File Size: 643 KB
ASIN: B00INIJKUC
goodreads-badge-add-plus

 

 

Revenge is sweet for a killer on the loose—and it all started with the murder of Warner Pier’s most hated clown….

Everyone who knew the bozo wanted him dead. Odd, then, that a complete stranger was accused of bursting Moe Davidson’s balloons. But it’s been a month since the miserable shop owner of Clowning Around was killed, and everybody’s moving on, including Lee Woodyard. Her chocolate shop, TenHuis Chocolade, is next door to Moe’s shuttered tourist trap, and it’s giving her delicious ideas to expand. But over whose dead body?

Moe’s widow, Emma, and her two stepchildren list the property for sale, but when Lee tours the building, she finds Emma unconscious. Now Lee wonders whether Moe’s real killer is still at large and is taking care of unfinished business. Unfortunately, since the town is celebrating Clown Week, there are so many potential suspects in grease paint and floppy shoes it’s not even funny.

For Lee, protecting Emma, freeing an innocent man, and rolling out hundreds of her clown-themed chocolates is a pretty tall order. But so is staying alive long enough to find out which one of her neighbors is a killer in disguise.

Includes Tasty Chocolate Trivia!

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Aunt Nettie is on vacations and it’s Clown Week in Warner Pier! The staff of TenHuis Chocolade is busy making hundreds of clown-themed chocolates but Lee is dreaming about expanding the shop. The store next door is up for sale after the owner, a clown no less, was killed and his family wants to move on. Lee would love to move in and can’t wait to check the place out, but the last thing she expected to find was the clown’s widow unconscious in one of the rooms.  Maybe the man they have arrested is not the killer and now the town is overflowing with clowns and suspects. Lee knows there is much more going on and  she is not clowning around. She decides to use the festive atmosphere and her own clown costume to track down the real culprit before someone else is found with their big red shoes toes up  and their lights out permanently.

This story was very entertaining and fun to read. Lee gets herself into more than a couple of tight predicaments and she doesn’t back down. She always puts others first and usually leaps before she looks. Her husband Joe, her aunt Nettie and Police Chief Uncle usually do their best to keep Lee from taking things too far but Nettie and Hogan are off on vacation and Joe is on his own and he has his hands full.  As always her  “malapropism” or as I call it twisted tongue syndrome that makes her think of one word but say another had her getting several strange looks and me laughing out loud.  One of these days those slips are really going to get her in trouble.

Joanna Carl never disappoints. These stories are high on humor and have creative plot lines that are a pure joy to read. She also includes chocolate trivia and wonderful descriptions of all the tasty tempting truffles and other chocolates featured at TenHuis Chocolade. I wish they had an online store because I am more than ready to order today. These virtual chocolates just don’t do the trick.

a perfect escape5 STARFISH

Dollycas
Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

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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.”