Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Book Review: The Chocolate Mouse Trap by JoAnna Carl (Chocoholic Mysteries #5)

Stars: 5 out of 5
Pros: Another fun adventure for a great group of characters.
Cons: Only if you don't have the next one waiting to go
The Bottom Line:
Fellow foodie killed
Gives Lee a great chance to solve
Another fun case

All the Trappings of Another Winner

Lee McKinney has recently joined the Seventh Major Food Group. No, the FDA hasn't added another level to the pyramid; it's a group of local merchants who are involved in fancy food and parties. Organized by Julie Singletree, a woman trying to get a party planning business going, the group exchanges tips via e-mail. Julie also uses their e-mail list to forward inspirational messages several times a day. Lee has had enough of the spam when the news breaks - Julie has been murdered and her computer stolen.

Lee fully intends to stay out of this investigation. After all, Julie lived in a neighboring town. But the morning after the funeral, several members of the group are hit by a computer virus. Another has her shop broken into and her computer's memory erased. As things continue to escalate, Lee can't keep her curiosity to herself and begins nosing around.

As if all this weren't enough, Joe and Lee are trying to work out the details of their upcoming wedding. Joe wants a big fancy affair and Lee just wants a few family members and close friends. Meanwhile, Aunt Nettie's sister-in-law contacts the shop hoping to find a job for her son, making Lee feel very insecure.

This series always entertains, and this book was no exception. The plot was a study in contrast. Some things jumped out and were obvious before the characters saw them; others were smack-your-head-how-could-I-miss-that moments. By the end there were lots of clues pointing to the killer, so chances are the reader will miss some if not all of them. Lee's "tong tangles" are kept to a minimum, mostly sprinkled into a few tense scenes.

The chocolate chats this go around were quotes about chocolate. It might be about time to drop the trivia and focus on the mystery. While it was a fun gimmick, it won't be missed.

Like candy, you can't read just one. I'm already hungry for the next volume, but The Chocolate Mouse Trap satisfies.

Enjoy more delightful chocolate crime with the rest of the Chocoholic Mysteries in order.

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