Monday, October 3, 2016

Book Review: Behind Chocolate Bars by Kathy Aarons (Chocolate Covered Mysteries #3)



Stars: 5 out of 5
Pros: Great characters in a fun mystery
Cons: The chocolate distracted me from any cons
The Bottom Line:
Halloween cozy
Filled with chocolate and clues
Mouthwatering fun




If Michelle and Erica Don’t Act Fast, Dylan Will Be Behind Real Bars

I am so glad that I don’t live anywhere near Chocolate and Chapters, the combined bookstore and chocolate shop owned by best friends Michelle Serrano and Erica Russell in the Chocolate Covered Mystery series.  No, it’s not because they keep stumbling upon dead bodies (which would naturally be a concern).  It’s because a store that combines two of my favorite things would be deadly for my wallet, my bookshelves, and the waistline.  However, it’s a delightful shop to visit fictionally, and Behind Chocolate Bars is a great third visit.

Halloween is fast approaching, and Erica and Michelle are volunteering on the Haunted House and Halloween festival fund-raiser for the local Boys and Girls’ Club.  Many of the teens that make up the comic book club that Erica has started with the bookstore half of their store are also volunteering.

The last thing that the duo have time for is a murder investigation, but that’s just what they find themselves involved in when the body of Faith Monette is found out at an abandoned subdivision on the outskirts of town.  While Michelle and Erica have never met the victim, their part time employee, high school student Dylan, is the police’s prime suspect in the case.  But he couldn’t have done it, could he?

This book was pushed back a bit to take advantage of the Halloween theme so it had been over a year since I read the second in the series, but I had no trouble reconnecting with the characters.  In fact, as the characters were reintroduced, I was reminded just how much I love them.  Michelle and Erica are a fantastic main character pair, full of sympathy for their friends and determined to help them out.  I really found myself pulled in by a sub-plot involving Michelle’s brother who is a vet and his struggles to deal with his PTSD which has flared up again.  Of course, we get to meet some fantastic new characters here as well.

This is an interesting book since we don’t meet the victim as a living person.  I can’t remember the last time that happened in the cozies I read.  Of course, Faith’s body is found fairly early in the book, so the plot is off and running almost right away.  Since Erica and Michelle quickly discover just how many enemies Faith had made, there is no shortage of suspects to investigate before the book is over, which keeps things moving along.  The climax is logical and fun.

I keep talking about Michelle and Erica in this book.  They really do investigate this crime together, more so than in the previous two books.  Michelle is our first person narrator, and there is time that she is investigating on her own, I still feel like this is a team investigation, which I really enjoyed.

If you are like me, your mouth will be watering for chocolate by the time you finish this book.  You’ll be glad to know there are three recipes at the end of the book to satisfy your sweet tooth.

If you are looking for a mouth-watering read that will keep you turning pages, Behind Chocolate Bars is definitely for you.  It left me well satisfied with a smile on my face.  What else could you want in a cozy mystery?

NOTE: I received a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.

Giveaway!

Thanks to the publisher, I have one copy of this book to give away.  Because it is a physical book, the contest is limited to residence of the US.

Just leave me a comment with your e-mail address so I can get in touch with you if you win.  I will pick the winner next Monday, October 10th, so please leave your comment before 12:01AM Pacific Time on 10/10.  You will have until midnight on 10/16 to get back to me, or I will choose a new winner on 10/17.

17 comments:

  1. Wow! You gave the new book 5 stars and there isn't a con! I love this series and am excited to hear this one is as good if not better! Thanks for sharing. Love your reviews!

    Bec
    Rlewis11797 (at) yahoo (dot) com

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  2. Looking forward to this one. Halloween is my favorite holiday of the year, and I love reading mysteries set around it. Plus, um...chocolate, lol. Thanks for the review!
    frybbe (@) gmail.com

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  3. OMG. I would so love to win this new series. Yum. Chocolate and books. Heaven. Please include me for the giveaway. Thank you, Mark. I'll make sure to get some chocolate when I sit down to read this.

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  4. Ooops, Mark, forgot to leave my email in case I'm the lucky winner.

    impalapatty61@aol.com

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  5. Chocolate would distract me too Mark. Your review does sound like this book would be one to add to my read list. Thank you for including it on your blog. robeader53@yahoo.com

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  6. Sounds lik efun.
    Kckendler at gmail dot com

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  7. I like that this release hits the exact right time of year too! Would love to read about this Halloween caper! Thanks so much for the chance to win!
    JHolden955(at)gmail(dot)com

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  8. This book sounds great! 5 stars!
    Jody McGrath
    jmcgrath221@hotmail.com

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  9. Wow then this one must be wonderful. Please enter me.
    Marilyn ewatvess@yahoo.com

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  10. This book looks awesome to read! Thank you for a chance to win. My email address is piogkm19@aol.com

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  11. Sounds like this is a great new addition to this series. Although, if the chocolate is that distracting, I may find myself having to read it multiple times, just to make sure I catch all the details. (Lol, yeah right.) Thanks for the review and for the chance to win.

    robbfan141729@yahoo.com

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  12. Love love love the cover! brichardson0056@yahoo.com

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  13. Sounds so good and I love the front of the book. I would love to read and review. ptclayton2@aol.com

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  14. I really enjoy this series and look forward to a Halloween one. stoeser1@pie.midco.net

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  15. Sounds delicious!

    kpbarnett1941[at]aol.com

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  16. I really your enjoy your posts. Thanks for the giveaway! If it is about chocolate I have to read it & eat chocolate while doing so. doward1952@yahoo.com

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  17. I'm afraid the Halloween Candy Bowl will deplete rapidly as I read this. The power of suggestion and all that LOL. wendyklik1517@gmail.com

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