Cream of Sweet
Chocolate Cozy Mystery, Book #1
By Wendy Meadows
Author’s Website: http(://)wendymeadows(.)com
Hazelnut pralines, coffee crèmes, strawberry mousse delights and chocolate drops – little bits of heaven that Olivia makes at the Block-a-Choc Shoppe; scrumptious. Could anything ever dampen these yummy treats? Maybe one thing.
When Lizzy Couture, a less than liked member of the community, is found murdered, Olivia is a suspect. After one of her chocolate drops, with just a dash of arsenic was found to be what killed Lizzy, Olivia knows she must get to the bottom of this. Olivia is not a killer!
Olivia teams up with a P.I. for help, and on the way, they realize just how many people disliked Lizzy and were capable of killing her. Will they ever find the murderer? Will Olivia remain wrongfully accused? You’ll be guessing until the very, very end…
Cream of Sweet is the first title I have read by author Wendy Meadows. I think this is one of the few cozy mysteries where the main amateur sleuth (Olivia Cloud) did not actually discover the body of the murder victim (Lizzy Couture).
I guess one the of the reasons I am not a huge fan of shorter stories is the lack of depth in the characters. Unfortunately, in this book, the story did not deliver the depth of the amateur sleuth I SO wanted. The story had many of the requisite components, but I just could not get into liking Olivia. Not surprisingly, I did not like the deceased either (but that was by the author’s design, I am sure). I found both characters rude and unrelatable:
Lizzy snapped. “And what’s going on here? Why haven’t you set up any booths yet? The festival is three days away, Olivia Cloud. I expected better. Not from the likes of you, though, I’ll admit,” she said, folding her twig-thin arms. “From ‘the likes of me’? What’s that supposed to mean?” How rude? Olivia had done nothing but try to help.
I did find the names of some of the other characters in the book rather interesting! For example: Jana Jujube and Kinks McGee.
And as with many cozy mysteries – the amateur sleuth is interested in one of the male leads (usually the lead detective but in this case – a private investigator). The relationship between Jake (the investigator) and Olivia was quite awkward at times. I found this odd since Olivia is a mature woman (with a grown son in fact). But it would be interesting to see where this relationship might go in future books in this series.
I did like the cover art for the book – one can never go wrong in my mind when a cute dog is on the cover ☺. And I must admit, I did not figure out “whodunit” until the reveal, which is a major plus for this title in my books. I would be interested in reading another title in this series as well as a longer story by this author to see if I can get into her writing. She is worth another try in my opinion, should time and opportunity permit.
*OBS would like to thank the publisher for supplying a free copy of this title in exchange for an honest review*