The Chocolate Jewel Case Hardcover – Large Print, Dec 2007
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"I'm proud to stand up and say, 'My name is Charlaine, and I'm a Chocoholic!'" --This text refers to the Mass Market Paperback edition.
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. --This text refers to the Mass Market Paperback edition.See all Product Description
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
I will maybe try the next in the series, but if there are no real improvements, and the return of some of the core characters, I may have to rethink. I would recommned this book only to true fans of the series.
But housing issues aren't the only thing on Lee's mind. There has been a string of robberies in town recently. Since it's the start of the summer season, many of the summer people are returning to find their cabins have been robbed. Jewels and antiques are the prime targets.
Lee's been pretty busy making sure her guests are provided for and running TenHuis Chocolade since Aunt Nettie is in Europe on her own honeymoon. But then fate takes over and Lee is forced to care about the robberies. And there's the strange man who shows up claiming to be Joe's dad, who died 30 years ago. And the body found floating in the lake. What is going on?
The books in this series have always been light and fun, but this book turns out to be too light. The plot seems to be meandering all over the place. While it does come together in the final third, the lack of focus early on hurt the book.
The story doesn't suffer from a lack of characters. Even so, I spotted the villain earlier then I should have. And the number of characters means that series regulars like Aunt Nettie and Lee's best friend are noticeably absent. The characters that are here are fun, however.
The chocolate chats this go around spotlight a few non-fiction books on chocolate. They sound tempting. Still, this is one "feature" that I wouldn't miss if they took them out.
This is one of the weaker entries in the series, yet it is still fun enough to please fans.
First, the author has got to get rid of the stupid tongue-tangling gimmick. It's been annoying since the beginning of the series, but it now seems so forced that it's ridiculous.
Lee has never been my favorite main character in a cozy series, but in this book, she was downright unbearable. It seemed like he was angry, annoyed and ticked off through the entire book. Every little thing that anyone did, there she was, stomping around, nosing into their business and determining how she would question them about something or other. She was downright unlikeable, and I couldn't help wondering why on earth Joe would've wanted to marry someone like her.
And speaking of marriage -- we get it, Lee married Joe. We got it in the first chapter. We didn't need to be beat over the head with that, or the fact that they're living in Lee's house, at least once a page.
Besides all this, the plot was very thin, with too many things going on that were too easy to figure out. And there were far too many characters that were brought in for this one story, forcing out the characters that we usually see who really do add something to the story.
All in all, a very big disappointment.
This particular entry hits the reader over the head constantly with the fact that it's hot in Warner Pier. And there doesn't seem to be any reason for the long descriptions of the weather other than to take up room on the page. We are supposed to believe that Lee has to suffer with the heat and may lose her business because her central air goes out and they only have casement windows so they can't put in window units. Well, you know what? We don't have central air and we don't have window units. For YEARS they've been making rolling AC units you just take from room to room with you. Is everyone in Warner Pier too backward to know about such a thing? What kind of business owner doesn't know exactly where to lay her hands on something so vital to her business?
Plus, Lee's verbal tick is really, really annoying.