Monday, October 14, 2013

Book Review: The Chocolate Book Bandit by JoAnna Carl (Chocoholic Mysteries #13)

Stars: 5 out of 5
Pros: Enjoyable characters and mystery
Cons: I wish we’d see more of the supporting characters
The Bottom Line:
A tasty morsel
Twists, danger, and chocolate
What more could you want?

Lee’s Considering Joining a Committee to take the Place of a…Dead Woman?

By the time a series has reached book 13, it’s hard to find new things to say about it.  That’s the case with The Chocolate Book Bandit.  All fans really need to know is they’ll enjoy this one.  But if you want to know a little more than that, read on.

The series takes place in Warner Pier, Michigan, a resort town on the shores of Lake Michigan.  Our heroine is Lee Woodyard, who keeps the books for her aunt’s gourmet chocolate shop.  It sounds like a nice, safe life, right?  Not when Lee gets stumbling into dead bodies.

In a small town, the willing are always being asked to join various committees, and Lee is no exception.  She’s currently considering taking a spot on the library committee.  It’s a mostly advisory role, but before she takes the spot, Lee wants to observe a meeting.

Abigail Montgomery is the woman who is stepping down from the board, but when she doesn’t show up for the meeting, her body is found in the basement of the library.  Everyone seems to think of her as a quiet, reserved woman.  What might she have done to get herself killed?

These books are always light, fast reads, and this one is no exception.  At only 227 pages, there’s really only room for the main plot and a sub-plot involving Lee and her husband Joe.  Honestly, the sub-plot was okay, although I did like how it was resolved.  The mystery is the main focus, however, and it moves forward at a steady fast with revelations and twists until we reach a logical conclusion.

Lee, Joe, and the suspects are well developed.  Sadly, the supporting players seem to fade further into the background with each book.  Some get a scene, and some just get a mention.  I really wish they were given more page time.  I’d be willing to read a longer book to get an added sub-plot with more of them.  Anyway, the characters we do see are developed enough to care about the outcome.  Lee’s “tongue tangles” are around a bit more in this book, but it actually does tie in to the story.

These are always fast reads, and I flew through this one is a lazy weekend.  In stead of recipes, there are several “Chocolate Chats” as always, this talk talking about potential health benefits of chocolate.

Speaking of which, this book is sure to make your mouth water, especially when Lee is talking about some of the chocolate they make.  Don’t start this one the first day of a diet.

But if you are a fan of the series, you’ll enjoy the latest outing.  For the most part, these can be read in any order, so pick up The Chocolate Book Bandit today and enjoy.

If you are looking for earlier books, check out the Chocoholic Mysteries in order.

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