Death by Chocolate Malted Milkshake–review

This is the second book in the Death by Chocolate series by Sarah Graves. I really enjoyed this one, especially since it had been awhile ago that I read the first book. The goodies that Jake and Ellie are always working on at The Chocolate Moose always sound so yummy! There’s a recipe in the back for one of the items.

My Goodreads review:

Death by Chocolate Malted Milkshake (A Death by Chocolate Mystery #2)Death by Chocolate Malted Milkshake by Sarah Graves

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

It seems like it’s been a year or the better part of a year since I read the first book in the series, so I was glad to be able to get an ARC of this one from NetGalley. It was just as good a mystery and roller-coaster ride as I remember describing the first book.

This book doesn’t need a romantic interest for main character Jake, she’s already married to a great guy named Wade, and the same for her business partner at the Chocolate Moose, Ellie. Ellie is married to George, a construction worker who is gone a lot–but he and Ellie were very happy and had a daughter. It was sad that the girls were thinking of closing their shop, which had always been their dream, but if they couldn’t get more business, it seemed inevitable. Of course, just as they were getting a nice-paying wedding cake job, there was a murder to investigate–and the bride and grooms were both in jail now. Bob Arnold, the local police chief was always incredibly patient with their snooping. He never threatened to toss them in jail, but he seemed genuinely concerned for their well-being.

I loved that some of the action was true edge-of-your seat type action! The showdown with the killer was great. I had never suspected this person at all! Jake’s dad cracks me up. He’s an aging hippie who has just bought a brand new truck and has recovered from a heart attack. He isn’t happy about being babied, so he drives around town, but always stays within the law. Dad came in handy during the showdown, that’s for sure.

I really appreciate the in-depth explanation the author gives for her mysteries. In this book, it took place a week later in the form of Bob and Jake talking, then Jake’s dad had some pretty awesome news for her. I’ll be anxiously waiting for the next book in the series!

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Town in a Blueberry Jam–review

This is the first book in the fairly long-running Candy Holliday series, written by B.B. Haywood starting in 2010. There are eight books total so far, the most recent having been released in April 2017. I can’t wait to read more!

My Goodreads review:

Town in a Blueberry Jam (A Candy Holliday Mystery, #1)Town in a Blueberry Jam by B.B. Haywood

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

There is nothing as handy as belonging to a bunch of online book clubs! I’m always getting to start books that I wondered when I would ever get around to starting. I’m so glad the club chose this book! I really enjoyed reading about the small fictional town of Cape Willington, Maine and getting to know Candy Holliday, her dad Doc and Candy’s best friend, Maggie Tremont.

In the prologue, it described a man falling to his rocky death off a cliff in Cape Willington. As the book started, it was July and time for the annual Blueberry Festival in town. Everyone was excited, but there was a somberness in the air since the police had just reported the murder of Jock Larson, a local man who thought he was a celebrity since he was an ex-Olympic swimmer. He also thought he was God’s gift to women and a lot of people weren’t that sad to see him dead. When a local gossip column woman was crowned Blueberry Queen (instead of the usual younger high school girl), then the woman was found dead in her own home, all fingers pointed to Ray, a local handyman since it appeared that his hammer was found at the scene. Everyone had a soft spot for Ray who was the gentlest of souls, and Candy was not going to let him go down for a murder she and everyone else in town knew he didn’t commit.

Candy and Maggie made a great sleuthing team and when Maggie couldn’t go with her, sometimes Candy’s dad would add some insight to the case or go with her himself. I thought it was pretty cool that he didn’t try to discourage her from sleuthing. I loved that Candy and her dad had a close relationship, especially after he’d lost her mom and Candy had fairly recently gone through a bad divorce and the loss of a good friend she went to college with. They seemed to be helping one another heal while working on the blueberry farm and tending to the chickens.

This was a really well-written and plotted mystery with so many different angles and suspects that I didn’t even think of suspecting the person that it turned out to be. The showdown with the killer was really exciting–Candy and Maggie acted as each others’ heroes. Best of all, an innocent man was set free. Candy had started working for Ben, the editor of the Cape Crier newspaper, so I’m hoping that something will develop between them. She must like him because her first thoughts when he asked her to take over the gossip column were “Is he going to ask me out?” I think there’s potential! I got a kick out of Doc and his buddies hanging out at the diner.

I’ve been collecting this series as I find the various books and now I’m anxious to keep reading it!

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