A Chocolate Whisperer Mystery, #1
By Colette London
Author’s Website: http://www.colettelondon.com
Brought to you by OBS reviewer Andra
Hayden Mundy Moore is an expert on everything chocolate, helping clients develop new products and revamp recipes until they’re irresistible. But sometimes, a dash of murder finds its way into the mix. . .
Hayden Mundy Moore has bushwhacked through African jungles and haggled in exotic markets to find the finest cacao beans and the most flavorful blends. 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 Chocolates’ new line. Hayden can’t believe that conscientious Adrienne would make that mistake. And between chocolate body scrubs, cocoa mud baths, and a non-stop frenzy of chocolate-based treats, Hayden starts to suspect that she, not Adrienne, was the intended target. Finding a killer among the rival chocolatiers and potential suspects won’t just be satisfying–it might save her life.
This story started off with an intriguing element–chocolate. And at least from my perspective, who doesn’t like chocolate? When you mix chocolate with murder and San Francisco, there are high hopes for a good, cozy mystery 🙂 I found that this cozy begins with a relatively quick pace, slowing down to a snail’s pace in the middle and towards the end the pace and intrigue picks up yet again.
We get a glimpse of Hayden and her occupation – “The chocolate whisperer” in the chocolate industry. Her services are for the most part under the radar as no company wants it known that they are having difficulties and had to bring in the chocolate whisperer.
I enjoyed the character Danny Jamieson, Hayden’s good friend, ex-con, security dude and a bit of a playboy. The description of Danny was just delicious and who doesn’t love reading about hunky guys? I could go for having a security guy around like him! While he is presented as a “pretty” boy, I find he did have some depth…more than Hayden seemed to be aware of. Or it could be that Hayden is just not very astute in those manners. The mystery surrounding Hayden’s relationship with her financial guru Trevor did add likeability for me to the series….I do want more details about Trevor!
The mystery part of the story was weak I found. A traditional murder (or two) but the whole mystery just did not “grab” me. A few of the characters were attention grabbing – Bernard (Christian’s uncle) – the chocolatier who had brought the company to new heights. He’d turned it into a San Francisco institution as familiar as cable cars, Lombard Street, and Pier 39. When Bernard stepped down, his nephew Christian took over. Christian, the current head of Lemaître Chocolates, is a bit of a slimy character with glimpses of “niceness”. Another notable and lovable character in the book is ‘Poopsie’ – the yorkie of Isabel and Bernard Lemaître. I thought the bonding of Poopsie and Hayden was cute.
As a first installment of Colette London’s Chocolate Whisperer Mystery cozy series, I so wanted the feeling that I just HAD to continue on with this series, but I unfortunately, did not get that sense. I would like to see how Hayden, Travis and Danny evolve so if the next installment turns up in my inbox to read, don’t get me wrong, I will continue on….I would love to see further development of the aforementioned main characters. Just not an auspiciously strong start of a new series, in my opinion.