4 star rating
Hot Chocolate
By Dawn Greenfield Ireland
Author’s Website:

Brought to you by OBS reviewer Andra 

Some spoilers – but will try and limit these as best as I am able.


Meet the middle-aged Alcott sisters: Madge, Lila Mae and Dorothea, heiresses to the Alcott Chocolate fortune and mavens of Houston’s elite River Oaks.

Madge ambushes Lila Mae with Dorothea’s manipulative plea: she can’t care for Bernie, their 92-year old father, any longer. Lila Mae explodes in a hissy fit—she had warned Dorothea years ago that they should put Bernie in an assisted living center.

Robert, Lila Mae’s astrologer, warns of impending problems and he’s rarely wrong.

The sisters call a meeting with Walter Branson, their solicitor. They discuss Bernie’s nurse Bambi Chaline, a blonde bombshell who looks more like a hooker than a nurse.

Arrangements are made for Bernie to be transferred over to Lake Sides Assisted Living Center in the Uptown Galleria area and a severance package is drawn up for Bambi.

Jimmy Ray Chaline, Bambi’s bowling alley husband, is enraged that Bambi was let go. He hires ambulance chaser Mark Slade to file a lawsuit for wrongful termination.

The suit is thrown out of court further fueling Jimmy Ray’s rage. Bambi had been more than satisfied with her bonus, letters of recommendation and praise from the Alcott clan.

When Jimmy Ray fails to return home from the bowling alley that night, a series of events unfold that shocks the entire Alcott family and their extended members.


The Alcott sisters: Madge (the eldest at age 62), Lila Mae (the middle sister) and Dorothea (the youngest at age 55) – I must say, right from the beginning, I liked these eccentric, yet endearing sisters.  They are a hoot!  Chuckle….that is all I have so say.  No, seriously…this is certainly one murder mystery that got me giggling…as well as guessing.  A good combination in my book (pun intended :)).

Right from the beginning the reader gets a sense of the quirks each sister (and other characters throughout the book as well) have.  The sisters are heiresses to a fortune – the Alcott chocolate fortune…..yummy.  You will be rewarded with some yummy recipes at the end of the book…good thing because whenever the sisters get together, coffee and chocolate abound.

There is the requisite murder of course, but the book holds a few other mysteries as well as odd turns of events.  All I want to say is watch out for Bernie (the 92 year old patriarch, he is no spring chicken, but he is sly as a fox).  While Bambi is portrayed as the young blonde bimbo bombshell (did I mention YOUNG?) home nurse to Bernie, as the story progresses, you can see a sweet, innocent side to this character.  At times though (and I can’t say why), she seems WAY to needy for a woman of her age.  Ah…it does add to the chuckle factor.  Now venturing away from the chuckle aspect….you will be surprised by one turn events which bond Bambi and Dorothea in a most unusual way.  I must say I found this surprise a wee bit unbelievable, but that is just me….you decide for yourself once you have read this delightful book.

I quite enjoyed the subtle relationship between Lila Mae and Chance…playfully in love but dignified, acting like a teenager in love but with the maturity of their years.  It made the relationship feel pure and real.  It was interesting to see how Chance handled the conflict of interest.  This brought a certain feeling of classiness for me to the story.

Now this story takes place in the south….so I was totally astounded when I read:

“How am I going to get through the summer heat?  We’ll have to go to Calgary.” 

Now myself being from Alberta (the province in Canada where Calgary is), I wondered why a southern lady would think of a northern Canadian city to retreat to when the summer heat got bad?

I am delighted to say that I did not figure out “who dunnit” until the very end.  And that is just the way I like my cozy mysteries.  I was SO wrapped up in the lives of the sisters and the writing was so good, that I did not latch on to any subtle hints along the way.

I will patiently await the next book so that I can continue reading about these funny, lovable and enticing cast of characters in the next installment titled Bitter Chocolate.

*OBS would like to thank the author and Virtual Author Book Tours for supplying a free copy of this title in exchange for an honest review as part of their ongoing blog tour*