A Midsummer Night’s Fudge
Candy-Coated Mysteries, Book #10
By Nancy Coco
Author Website: nancyjcoco(.)com
Brought to you by OBS Reviewer Jeanie
During the Midsummer Night’s Festival, Allie decides to take her bichonpoo, Mal, home to spare her furry little ears from the sounds of fireworks. But on her way back, Allie spots a body in the lake. Just minutes ago, Winona Higer was crowning the event’s Queen—could the competition have really been that deadly?
While she ponders the mystery the next morning, Allie prepares her favorite dark chocolate cherry fudge recipe. But she’s soon recruited to sub for the late Winona and serve as parade float judge, among other duties. As she hears rumors and gossip, and learns of mean pranks and threatening notes, her instincts kick in—despite her boyfriend the cop’s disapproval. Now, between managing a new hire and keeping the tourists filled with fudge, she’s dealing with a case that’s boiling over. (Goodreads)
Allie McMurphy is one of the most well-known young women on Mackinac Island. She has successfully renovated and managed the Historic McMurphy Hotel and Fudge Shop for quite a while. She and Jenn, her best friend and event planner, have turned it into a destination for events such as weddings and anniversaries. Allie is getting more involved with various community committees, and not one of them keep her from finding dead bodies or solving murders.
The Midsummer Night’s Festival is a huge success, and everyone is watching the fireworks. On her way back from taking Mal home, Allie saw something floating in the lake. When she realized it was a person face down in the water, she waded out and pulled in Winona, the project manager over the planning and preparations for this festival. Even though she was in and out quickly, it was too late to help Winona. Then she saw that Winona died from a gunshot wound, and that changed everything.
Allie and police officer Rex are dating, and I’m happy she decided that he is the guy she wants to spend time with. While Rex never did want her involved in any of the investigations, she seems unable to not help her friends. Dating Rex instead of being just friends is new, and while she doesn’t want to give up being able to think and act on her own, she also doesn’t want to risk their budding relationship. Other people on the island look up to her sleuthing skills, however, which gets her into trouble. She suggests that people talk with Rex, but when the next person is found murdered, someone who was going to meet with Rex that day, people are uneasy and don’t know if Rex and the other officers are up to the challenge. When a dear friend of Allie’s is threatened, then her house broken into and torn apart, she gets involved despite her best intentions.
This exciting, compelling new read in the series invited me in to the McMurphy and kept me entertained throughout. It has been wonderful to see Allie grow and roll with whatever comes her way, including having spent her first winter on the island. The characters are described so well that, were I to visit Mackinac Island, I would expect to see her and her friends, her pup Mal, and her cat Mello. The mystery was intriguing and, even though I had a good idea who the bad guy was, the well-placed red herrings diverted my attention for a while. The setting is described so well, it is almost like being there. It is one of my favorite cozy places to visit, especially when Allie makes fudge!
I enjoy the author’s sense of humor as well as how she builds suspense throughout. There were a couple times that I wanted to pull Allie back from some of the people she went to see and erase some of the things she said, especially when Rex didn’t want her, or any of the other ladies on the island, out and about until the killer is caught, especially as the attacks escalate. The resolution was very satisfying, and there were no outstanding issues at the end. I can hardly wait for the next book in the series! For those who enjoy sweet recipes, the author shares a variety of fudge and desserts included. I highly recommend this novel and series!