Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Book Review: The Chocolate Bunny Brouhaha by JoAnna Carl (Chocoholic Mysteries #16)

Stars: 5 out of 5
Pros: Fun characters; delightful mystery
Cons: A minor timeline issue
The Bottom Line:
Locked construction zone
Adds fun touch to mystery
Books always delight

What Mess Has Bunny Brought to TenHuis Chocolade?

As I sat down to read The Chocolate Bunny Brouhaha, I began to wonder why this was the first time in the long running Chocoholic Mysteries series that we were visiting Lee Woodyard and TenHuis Chocolade in their gear up for Easter.  I mean, that is a huge holiday for chocolate makers, especially the makers of gourmet chocolate.  Granted, it’s rare that the theme plays a huge part in the story, but as this book opens, it is later winter, and the shop has transitioned from Valentine’s Day hearts to Easter bunnies.

Lee and her aunt Nettie, who actually owns the shop, have recently hired a new employee, Bunny Birdsong, a woman going through a divorce.  Unfortunately, Bunny isn’t quite working out in the chocolate making portion of the business, and Lee is about to fire her when she suddenly sees Bunny might be the help she needs on the office side of things.

Bunny comes with a lot of baggage in the form of her soon to be ex, his current girlfriend, and his aunt Abigail, who is determined to keep Bunny and Beau together.  After an afternoon of drama in the shop from the extended group, Abigail’s body is found in the building next door, currently under constructions so TenHuis can expand into it.  However, all the doors into the buildings and between the units should have been locked.  Who had access to the keys?  The police think Bunny had a good motive, but Lee doesn’t think the woman has the personality to commit murder.  Can she clear her employee’s name?

The books in this series are always a little shorter than most of the others I read.  This one is no exception at 227 pages.  Yet the author doesn’t waste a minute.  We jump into the story right away and things continue to advance from one complication to another until we reach the climax.  Yes, everything does make sense by the time we reach the end, including the variation on the locked room mystery set up here.

I do often complain that because the books are short, we don’t get to see much of the supporting players, but a couple of them get more page time in this book, which I really appreciated.  The main trio, Lee, her husband Joe, and Aunt Nettie are here as always, and I really enjoy spending time with them.  And the characters introduced for this story are as strong and entertaining as ever.

I did catch an error in the timeline, one of my pet peeves, as characters started talking about something that happened “yesterday” when it was really several days before.  Fortunately, that editing error didn’t impact anything else in the book, and it is clearly just that, an editing error.

Instead of recipes, this series has always included chocolate trivia scattered throughout the book.  This time, we look at several key figures in the development of chocolate as we know it today stretching from Christopher Columbus to Milton Hershey.  This time around, we do get one comfort food recipe for a delicious sounding potato soup mentioned earlier in the book.

I’ve been reading the Chocoholic series since the very beginning, and I truly am hooked on these delicious mysteries.  If you suffer from the same addiction I do, you’ll be delighted with The Chocolate Bunny Brouhaha.

Need to feed your addiction?  Here are the rest of the Chocoholic Mysteries in order.

NOTE: I received a copy of this book.


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 Tuesday, November 8th, so please leave your comment before 12:01AM Pacific Time on 11/8.  You will have until midnight on 11/13 to get back to me, or I will choose a new winner on 11/14.


  1. And now I want a chocolate bunny! Easter is one of my favorite holidays and I'm not going to lie - it's because of all the amazing chocolate that is suddenly available. This sounds like a series I'd really enjoy and one I definitely need to try. I don't mind a book being short if I feel like the mystery is fully developed which sounds like the case here. Adding this series to my TBR and my email is katherine.e.pitts(at)gmail(dot)com. Thanks for hosting the giveaway!

  2. I looove chocolate bunnies - although I won't be able to eat them anymore. Waah. Anyway, this mystery looks adorable. Great review, too! Glad JoAnna is continuing this series.

  3. I love this series. Thanks for the chance and your review. Janngrogan@yahoo.com

  4. looks like a series I want to read!!!

  5. Enjoyed your post! I haven't read this series for some time so need to catch up. Thanks for the giveaway! doward1952(at)yahoo(dot)com.

  6. Loved your review and I just love chocolate so it would be a perfect book for me to read.I have put it on my tbr list thanks for the giveaway ptclayton2@aol.com

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  8. I love this series and like everyone else, I love easter and bunnies! mommatoodle at msn dot com

  9. This is one of the series that got me hooked on cozies. Love the characters & the trivia. Thanks for the giveaway. Fingers crossed! Stacieamelotte (at) yahoo (dot) com

  10. I love this series. I can picture the small Michigan town and smell the chocolate when I read these books. Can't wait to read the latest. Thanks for the chance.

  11. Cadbury eggs are my guilty pleasure at Easter! I've read at least one in this series and would be interested in trying another. Thanks for the opportunity! dm_richards (at) yahoo (dot) com

  12. These are fun! I like the clever titles they have come up with! Thanks for the chance to win!

  13. Time to catch up on this series! Thanks for a chance to win.

  14. Oh, dear. Just checked your list of the series in order, and I have fallen waaay behind on these.

  15. Sounds like a cute read from a new-to-me author. Thanks for the chance. mbradeen@yahoo.com

  16. Great series. kckendler at gmail dot com

  17. I always enjoy this series too and need to catch up.
    ghueting at att.net

  18. Enjoyable review. Thanks for a chance to win a copy.

  19. I'm a long time fan of this series as well and always look forward to a new book! pennyt at hotmail dot com

  20. I love this series. I agree that we don't see much of the supporting characters but over the course of the series I think we'd gotten to know them. Thanks for the chance to win! stclairck@gmail.com