Thursday, July 11, 2013

Book Review: The Chocolate Moose Motive by JoAnna Carl (Chocoholic Mysteries #12)

Stars: 4 out of 5
Pros: Likeable characters and fast moving story
Cons: One part of the plot never fully explained
The Bottom Line
Grab some chocolate
And enjoy this fast paced read
With fun characters

You'll be Motivated to Finish

Among my lighter cozy series is the Chocoholic Mysteries.  But with a name like that, did you expect anything dark and serious?  Just like a morsel of chocolate, these books go down fast and leave you wanting more.  The Chocolate Moose Motive is no exception at all.

The series is set in a fictional resort town on Lake Michigan and focuses on Lee Woodyard.  She is an accountant at her aunt’s chocolate shop – TenHuis Chocolade.  Even though the town is small, Lee keeps finding herself involved in murders.

When Lee accidentally runs into Sissy Smith – literally – she begins to take an interest in the young woman.  Four months earlier, Sissy’s husband was murdered in their home, and the local gossip is that Sissy did it even though she has an iron clad alibi.

Lee hires her as the bookkeeper at TenHuis Chocolade, but that just brings Sissy’s problems into the shop.  And when someone else dies and Sissy finds the body, Lee knows she needs to jump into overdrive to find the killer.  Can she do it?

I mentioned these are like morsels of chocolate.  Part of that is because they are short.  This book is only about 215 pages, so it’s over before you know it.  That means that the plot is king, and it certainly holds up quite well.  The story starts strongly and never lets go.  There’s always some twist or clue that will make you wonder what is happening.  The climax was gripping and left me turning pages.  However, I felt like a part of the story was never fully explained.  There is enough information given that you can understand what happened and why, but I guess I just wanted more.

Now this isn’t to say the characters are strong.  Those we see are very well developed and believable.  Lee, her husband Joe, and her aunt and uncle are the main series regulars, and they play their normal roles here.  The new characters brought in are just as real, and several scenes made me really feel for them.  There are an impressive stable of supporting characters, and I do wish we saw more of them.  Most just get a cameo or a brief mention.  I’d love a sub-plot that gave them a little more page time.

The book is well written, making the pages absolutely fly by.  You just can’t put it down, and you’ll be done in no time.

If light and fun sound like what you are looking for, you’ll enjoy The Chocolate Moose Motive.  It’s nothing too serious, but it isn’t pretending to be, either.  And for that reason, I always enjoy my trips to Warner Pier.

Once you taste this treat, you'll want to read the rest of the Chocoholic Mysteries in order.

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