Oh Say Can You Fudge
A Candy Coated Mystery – #3
By Nancy Coco
Brought to you by OBS reviewer Andra
Allie McMurphy is busy making yummy fudge for the summer holiday–until murder gives her something else to chew on. . .
Red, White, And Boom
It’s not Fourth of July on Mackinac Island without fireworks and fudge. The Historic McMurphy Hotel and Fudge Shop is supplying the treats–and Allie has hired Rodney Rivers, the biggest name in aerial displays, to create an unforgettable spectacle. Unfortunately, Allie finds him dead, covered with screaming chicken fireworks, just before the entire warehouse of pyrotechnics goes up in smoke. Is it arson or is it murder? Allie and her bichon-poo, Mal, must sift through the suspects until the killer is caught and the island can enjoy a star-spangled celebration.
We start off on Mackinac Island with a bang…literally. Certainly the way I like to begin a mystery….with fun, excitement and drama right off the bat. This is the first Nancy Coco title I have read and I must say, her writing style is easy to read and generally a delight.
Starting off at book three of a series is usually not where I would like to start a series, but I must say that Ms. Coco certainly does justice to introducing the characters so that I really wasn’t missing much of the back story. Given my enjoyment of the book, I will even go back and read books 1 and 2!
Oh Say Can You Fudge takes place on the quaint island setting of Mackinac Island with descriptions of the fudge making process and recipes included throughout the book. Can you say yummy…. I’m going to pull a couple of those to try.
Allie McMurphy – the amateur sleuth – has recently moved back to Mackinac Island and is hoping to get in good with the locals by orchestrating a spectacular Fourth of July fireworks show (actually three shows) that the town’s people will never forget. Once she managed her way on to the Star Spangled Fourth planning committee, her biggest challenge was the local “know-it-all” and chair of the Star Spanngled Fourth planning committee – Mrs. Amerson. I got the sense that Allie is a bit insecure as a relatively new “Islander”:
“I wanted to impress everyone so they would see that I’m a valuable part of the community.” “You are valuable,” Rex said. “You don’t have to prove anything to anyone on this island.”
Trust me; Mrs. Amerson is an annoying committee member and thorn in Allie’s side. Luckily Allie is up for the challenge, whether she believes she is or not.
Allie and Trent – I really enjoyed their relationship. Seems like a slow and steady progression, which to me is more realistic. A true gentleman; complementing Allie when he picks her up for their date, for example:
“You look amazing,” he said. I smiled and did a little twirl, causing the skirt of my sleeveless, red dress to bell out.
I wonder if Trent’s blue blood heritage will stand in the way of their eventual happiness and longevity. I could sense (or is this wishful thinking?) a potential spark between Officer Rex and Allie, which I would love to be explored in the future. Not that I don’t like Trent, but not 100% sure the “it” factor in their relationship is for the long haul. Guess I will need to continue on with the series to find out. 🙂
One thing I did find a bit much was the frequent total description of clothing a character was wearing in a particular scene. I found it a bit distracting…why would I need to know what everyone is wearing at different points throughout the book?
Aside from all the recipes, Oh Say Can You Fudge is filled with murder and intrigue…. arson, one or more spectacular fireworks displays, cats and dogs, errant teenagers, romance and so much more. As this is a mystery…..I shall leave it to you to unravel and enjoy this story.
Overall, I really liked this read. The sleuth and her broad range of family, friends and acquaintences were engaging (and some were even hunky :)). The location was portrayed as a great place to relax and enjoy the holiday celebrations surrounding the Fourth of July.
*Title supplied via netgalley*