This is the eighteenth book in the Chocoholic Mysteries series by JoAnna Carl, and I was honored to be asked by a rep from Berkley Publishing to read and hopefully review. I’d recently read the first book, so even though I haven’t read the others, I was still able to follow along, and everything made sense, so it’s possible to read it as a standalone. I didn’t mind learning that a couple marriages had happened in the span between the first book and this, in fact, I’m pretty sure I knew (and had hoped) they would from when I peeked at all the blurbs for the books, lol.
I love that reading the first book and now reading this didn’t seem much different. I know some series change voice over the years or read differently, but to me this one still has the awesome running theme of family and good friends. I’m definitely planning to start catching up with this series though!
My Goodreads review:
The whole theme in this book was centered around an elusive mama raccoon and her six babies that Lee and Nettie wanted removed from in back of the chocolate shop. It spiraled into a lot more after that including seemingly meaningless burglaries that led to attacks and eventually a murder as well as an attempted murder.
I just love Aunt Nettie’s character! She’s one lady you really want on your side and can be sweet as a granny or well, vicious as a raccoon. Let’s just say if you’re having a showdown with a killer, it’d be a really good idea to invite Aunt Nettie along! The showdown was pretty epic, and I never really guessed the killer. I did have a basic idea of what the burglaries were all about though.
Another character I liked in the very first book, and I’m glad he’s not changed is Hogan Jones. (Admittedly, I’d only read the first book of the series so far when I was asked to read this, but with a little working knowledge of the characters from book 1, I had no trouble keeping up.) I love that Hogan’s not like the typical cozy mystery cop who’s always warning the sleuths off the case. His main interest is always catching the bad guy which means he listens to Lee (or now Nettie seeing how he’s married to her lol), and what could come off as a hair-brained scheme to other officers is at least given some thought by Hogan. He’s one of my favorite fictional lawmen.
I voluntarily read and reviewed this book provided by Berkley Publishing via NetGalley, and my opinions are my own. Look for it at your favorite book seller on August 3!