This is the sixth book in the Candy-Coated series by Nancy CoCo (aka Nancy J. Parra, Nell Hampton) and I absolutely loved it! It was even more special since I started it while we were still on Mackinac Island last week and I could picture the various places mentioned. This series and another cozy series (Cycle Path by Duffy Brown) are what inspired me to visit Mackinac Island. I’m so anxious now for the next book to come out. The official release date for this one is September 25. My Kindle copy I purchased will arrive tonight at midnight!
I won a paperback advance copy of the book from one of the author’s giveaways on Facebook, but that in no way influenced my decision to review or the review I gave–all that was voluntary.
My Goodreads review:
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
I had the pleasure of starting this paperback ARC that I won from the author while I was vacationing on Mackinac Island! It was seriously too fun to be able to read and picture some of the places that Allie goes while sleuthing or on her daily rounds. I even visited the bookstore there and talked to the woman in charge who told me she thought the McMurphy was based on one of the hotels (I won’t mention which one, not sure if I’m allowed to) and probably others along Main Street as well. I will say that I bought fudge from this particular hotel and it was amazing!
In this installment taking place on Labor Day weekend, Mal sniffs out another murder right away, then soon a TV crew follows since they are filming a mystery series pilot on the island. Rex gets to be shadowed by an actor named Dirk who is supposed to play the police chief in the series. The clues after the first murder occurs are given in the form of chess game clues, and the clues and another murder seem to follow Allie’s previous case locations. Someone had to know her history of helping solve murders on the island, and Allie had her suspicions after a writer for the show said he’d been on the island since May when Allie herself had first arrived.
There was no shortage of suspects and I was really surprised at who the killer turned out to be as it definitely wasn’t who I had in mind. I love how the characters have developed since the first book. Jenn, Allie’s bestie has been on the island all summer (which has me a little confused wondering where the two Christmas novellas are supposed to come in if Allie has only been there since May and this book is taking place in September–maybe parallel time?) helping her with the hotel and running her own events planning service. It’s still up and down as far as the Trent vs. Rex guy-Allie-will-pick decision goes, although I think Allie is realizing that Trent’s heart isn’t really in the island as Rex’s is. I’m personally Team Rex myself, lol.
Two of my favorite characters were on their honeymoon, so they were definitely missed. Jenn and Shane are still an item even though Jenn had to go off to another job for awhile. I absolutely cannot wait for the next book in this awesome series! Now that I’ve been to Mackinac, I want to read the series again (as well as another cozy series that inspired me to want to visit Mackinac) with a new set of eyeballs that’s seen this amazing and magical place. I have most of the series on Kindle or iBooks. Maybe on my next Mackinac trip, I’ll get those in paperback since the cover art is always so cute–and it would make for the perfect souvenir.