An expert chocolatier is out to catch a bitter killer when a colleague is murdered at a chocolate-themed resort in this cozy mystery series debut.
Hayden Mundy Moore isn’t just any chocolate expert. Known as the Chocolate Whisperer, she specializes in helping clients develop new products and revamp recipes until they're irresistible. She’s bushwhacked through African jungles and haggled in exotic markets to locate the finest cacao beans. It's thrilling work but rarely dangerous—until a colleague turns up dead at the exclusive chocolate-themed Lemaître resort spa in San Francisco.
Adrienne Dowling's heart attack is blamed on an accidental overdose of the secret ingredient used in Lemaître’s new line of chocolates. But Hayden can't believe that her conscientious Adrienne would make such a careless mistake. Between chocolate body scrubs, cocoa mud baths, and seemingly endless chocolate treats, Hayden starts to suspect that she, not Adrienne, was the intended target. Now finding the killer among the rival chocolatiers won't just be satisfying—it might save her life.
Includes an irresistible chocolate recipe!
many misses and lost explanations
The first in a new culinary/cozy mystery series, Colette London has given chocolate lovers a mystery fit for sinking their teeth into. Hayden is ‘the chocolate whispererer’ hired by fine chocolatiers to troubleshoot problems and help them stay on top of their game.
Told in first person, Hayden soon finds herself in the midst of conspiracies and tangled webs, with a murder, threats and other half-explained issues and questions. While there was a rough outline of both plot and Hayden, there were many misses and lost explanations that I hope will find their way into the next installment. While Hayden’s passion for all things Chocolate is clear, there really isn’t an emotional tether to either her passion or fears and frustrations. We do get plenty of information about chocolate, at times the information seemed to step in as a replacement for developing the characters and plot.
What emerges is a fast paced and reasonably enjoyable story that had me hoping that more time and effort will be expended to make Hayden and the other characters a bit more three dimensional, not relying on telling us they are X, Y or Z but showing us. I was disappointed in the failure of first person point of view to bring a clear sense of emotional investment into Hayden’s character, a bit of tightening of the prose and decided commitment to follow through with the passions and excitement would have strengthened that feeling.
I received an eArc copy of the title from the publisher via NetGalley for purpose of honest review. I was not compensated for this review: all conclusions are my own responsibility