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on May 4, 2004
This is the best yet of JoAnna Carl's Chocolate Lover's Mysteries. The plot moves along briskly, and there are enough clues that the identity of the murderer doesn't come out of left field, which is one of my biggest pet peeves in a mystery.
Lee, Aunt Nettie, Joe, Chief Jones and the other inhabitants of Warner Pier feel like old friends by now, the Chocolate Chat tidbits are always interesting -- and best of all, Carl has cut back on the incidences of Lee mixing up her words when she gets flustered. This annoying trait was way too frequent in the first book, less evident in the second, and only occurred a few times in "Frog." Carl is much too good a writer to have to rely on such gimmicks!
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on February 1, 2004
Lee McKinney is building a new life for herself, working at her Aunt Nettie's chocolate shop in Warner Pier, Michigan. An old acquaintance from high school, Joe Woodyard, is showing interest in Lee and he asks her to accompany him on a romantic dinner and river cruise. Unfortunately Joe has a run-in with an eccentric man, Hershel Perkins, who accuses him of illegally tearing down an old root beer stand. When Hershel's canoe is found near Joe's place, the police suspect there may have been some foul play on Joe's part. While Lee and Joe are trying to find out the truth, they have to dodge attacks from someone in a car and then a boat, and Joe's life is seriously threatened. This is the third book in this charming series and the enjoyable mystery is interspersed with interesting facts about chocolate. It is recommended reading.
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on December 11, 2003
When Hershel Perkins picks a fight with Joe Woodyard in the local post office, Lee McKinney and the other locals think little of it. Hershel is known as the town crank, nice enough, but he's fought with just about everyone. But that night, Hershel goes missing. All the evidence points to Joe, but Lee refuses to believe her boyfriend could have had anything to do with it. When Hershel is found dead, the stack of evidence could be overwhelming. Lee overhears some things that make her wonder about Joe. They don't know each other too well yet. Still, it's such an obvious frame job even the sheriff is looking for other suspects. An attempt on Lee and Joe's life only confirms the fact that something else sinister is going on in this small resort town. Can they stay alive long enough to clear Joe's name from town gossip and the law?
Anyone looking for a light, fun cozy need look no further then this charming series. Being the third in the series, we are given just enough background to remind us of the characters, but not enough to slow down the story. The plot moves along nicely, with several scenes that had me turning pages as quickly as I could. While it reaches a logical conclusions, there was one plot point that needed a little ironing out. It wasn't enough to detract from the book overall for me, however. The author brings the small town Michigan setting and the characters to life with ease, and she introduces a potential new series character I can't wait to see again. The descriptions of the chocolates are enough to make your mouth water, so be prepared. The "chocolate chats" in this book focus on the history of chocolate and were more interesting then some of the ones in previous books have been.
Once again, I enjoyed each page of the book and am already looking forward to my next visit to Warner Pier, Michigan.
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