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Chocolate Cupid Killings, The [Hardcover]

Joanna Carl

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Book Description

Oct. 6 2009 Chocoholic Mysteries (Book 9)

Ninth in the scrumptious — and national bestselling — Chocoholic Mystery series.

TenHuis Chocolade is wall-to-wall with chocolate hearts for Valentine's Day. But Lee is getting no love from Private Detective Derrick Valentine.

He's looking for their employee — a woman Lee and her Aunt Nettie have been harboring for an underground railroad-type organization that aids abused women. Luckily, they manage to not spill the cocoa beans and clue him in.

But the situation becomes a complex confection when Valentine meets his end. And it's Aunt Nettie who becomes a suspect. Lee will have to find a way to free Nettie of guilt without exposing the innocent — and find a killer with a bitter heart that's definitely not made of chocolate...

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Signet (TRD) (Oct. 6 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0451227972
  • ISBN-13: 978-0451227973
  • Product Dimensions: 21 x 15.1 x 2.2 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 340 g
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #956,843 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

About the Author

JoAnna Carl is the pseudonym of a multipublished mystery writer. She spent more than twenty-five years in the newspaper business, working as a reporter, feature writer, editor and columnist. She holds a degree in journalism from the University of Oklahoma and also studied in the OU Professional Writing Program. She lives in Oklahoma but spends much of her summer at a cottage on Lake Michigan near several communities similar to the fictional town of Warner Pier.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.2 out of 5 stars  24 reviews
10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Solid and Enjoyable Entry Oct. 12 2009
By Ms. Jessica - Published on
The Chocolate Cupid Killings was a quick read a nice update on the characters of Warner Pier. The mystery is more involved in this entry and there are a number of interesting side mysteries as well. Lee was likeable and kept the tongue twisters to a minimum; however, her husband, Joe was slightly irritating in this book. By the end of the book, I hardly cared what his secret was since I was so annoyed at how he excluded Lee. Overall, this isn't my favorite Chocoholic book, but I didn't have the mystery completely figured out until the very end and I still really enjoyed the book.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars super amateur sleuth Nov. 5 2009
By Harriet Klausner - Published on
Lee McKinney Woodyard is the business manager of TenHuis Chocolade owned by her Aunt Nettie; who is harboring an abused woman in her home. Her friend Sara Jane Harding, owner of a B & BB, is involved in the underground railroad that helps women in danger of being killed by an abuser to obtain new identities, homes, and money in order to start over elsewhere. Currently Christina Meacham who uses the name Pamela Thompson is staying with the aunt and niece until they can find a place for her to begin anew.

Pamela's husband Harold ran a chop shop that had mob connections; he released his stress by beating her up. She testified against him in court leading to his sentencing of five years in prison. Now he is free and hunting his spouse. Private Detective Derrick Valentine visited TenHuis asking for Christina; Lee lies, but also knows her ward must leave town immediately. That night Nettie finds a dead Valentine near the dumpster; the women conclude Harold is involved. Pamela leaves town escorted by another woman on the railroad, an underground conductor, but when they assume they are finished with Christina, she returns.

Readers should not taste this amateur sleuth on an empty stomach because of the mouthwatering descriptions of chocolates, which lead to snacking. The plot is cleverly constructed with false leads and intriguing twists leaving the mystery unpredictable, plausible and entertaining. JoAnna Carl provides a terrific thriller.

Harriet Klausner
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Tasty Feb. 3 2010
By R. Fink - Published on
A fun, fast read, my first foray into this series. As with many "cozy mysteries" it is the characters, not the puzzles, that are center stage, and that is the case here. These are fun people, ones you would like to know. And once we learn we have all been misled, we feel a real kinship with them. I surely will want to sample another piece from this chocolate box in the future.
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Interesting Chocolate-Flavored Cozy Oct. 23 2009
By Edie - Published on
This ninth offering in the Chocoholic Mystery series finds Lee McKinney Woodyard, owner of TenHuis Chocolade, up to her elbows in chocolate. She and her Aunt Nettie are also hiding an employee who is involved in a secret underground railroad-type organization that helps protect abused women.

Detective Derrick Valentine is hot on the trail of the missing woman. When he ends up dead on their back doorstep, Aunt Nettie is holding the murder weapon. Throw in a Detroit mobster, a sneaky CEO under investigation, secretive cops and husband or two, and you will find a fascinating tale.

When another body is found, Lee turns to online research to help her figure out who everyone is and what, really, is going on around town.

Fans of this series will not be disappointed. The writing is fast-paced with plenty of characters to keep track of. In the end, the ending is pretty much a surprise, and, as many of us know, family always sticks together.

The Chocolate Cupid Killings: A Chocoholic Mystery
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Mob? Abused Women? Corporate Intrigue? and Chocolate! Sept. 24 2013
By N. Wallach - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition
It's early February in Warner Pier, Michigan, and there are no tourists in the area. TenHuis Chocolates is actually gearing up for the Easter rush but that does not mean that crime and murders do not take place there so that we can enjoy the delicious mystery cooked up in this book. This is a nice little cozy mystery featuring the normal cast of characters. In this edition, the author throws into the mix elements of abused women, the Detroit mob, corporate shenanigans, and more. On the local front, there are some developments in the Woodyard family which are coming to a head and are causing some angst amongst the folks.

As is common in this series, every few chapters the author throws in some tidbits about the chocolate trade. I was somewhat disappointed in the ones provided here as they seemed somewhat elementary and maybe even repetitive. Another fixture of the series are the descriptions of the chocolates that TenHuis chocolate makes, but again, they seemed somewhat flat and not as appealing as in previous volumes. These are minor quibbles, to be sure, but they did make this story not as much fun to read as others. Lee's habit of mixing up words when she is nervous does make an appearance, but in this case it was much more subdued than in previous books. This is a good thing as on some previous books it was too distracting.

The plot revolves around two main ideas. First, there is a network of people that supports the anonymous transportation of severely abused women - a kind of modern-day "underground railroad"; and second, some major financial shenanigans involving a large corporation, whose CEO happens to own a large structure in town. I found it quite interesting to see how the two sub-plots were woven around each other and their interactions.

The writing is light and breezy and this is not a book that will take you long to go through. It's a cozy mystery after all! The plot and relationships are convoluted enough that I was not able to sass out all of the aspects of the story until it was unraveled by the author. As usual with mystery series, I am always interested to see if the characters who populate the series are believable, and if they grow in an appealing fashion. This book does not disappoint. While all the major characters are present, several supporting characters make appearances as well, in believable fashion. About the only thing that bothered me about how this plot was constructed was that Joe was again very closemouthed about his actions and disappears for large parts of the story. This has been happening in several books now and is starting to stretch the credibility of it all.

While I enjoyed the book, it was not one that I was absolutely enthralled with. Some of the actions of the "bad guys" were not completely aligned, and the motives and actions of the killer were a bit too much to swallow. So, I decided to give this book a three star rating. It's OK, it's not great; and it makes for reasonable reading when you have a few hours to kill. Hopefully the next one in this series will be better.

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