A STUDY IN CHOCOLATE
Bean to Bar Mysteries Book 5
Cozy Culinary Mystery / Women Sleuths / Romance
Publisher: Golden Tip Press
Date of Publication: January 27, 2023
Number of Pages: 260 pages
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Felicity Koerber’s bean to bar chocolate shop on Galveston’s historic Strand is expanding, as it has become a gathering spot for the community, despite having been the scene of multiple murders. Artists she met while doing a chocolate sculpture are now working out of the shop. So when Felicity is invited to tea by an eccentric art collector, she’s intrigued, especially when she gets asked to pose for a portrait done with chocolate on chocolate. Only, where there is a murder the next day at the same historic house where the tea was held, one of Felicity’s artist friends becomes the main suspect.
When the killer threatens that unless Felicity unravels the murder, one of her two love interests will be the next victim, she finds herself unwittingly at the center of a puzzle with a Sherlock Holmes-obsessed murderer who wants to be the next Moriarty – and wants to cast Felicity as Sherlock.
Felicity starts finding unexpected connections between her friends and acquaintances and must deal with the idea that someone who knows her is a murderer. At the same time, she has to keep her business running, despite construction dust and unruly customers – and an unexpected order for thousands of truffles.
Satchmo the retired police-dog-turned-therapy dog returns to help her sniff out a few clues, and the kidnapping of Ruffles, the quirky artist’s cat, helps lead Felicity into the puzzle. Can Felicity solve it in time to protect the people she cares about from becoming additional victims?
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My new favorite cozy mystery series is back and it’s as engaging as ever! Amber Royer’s A Study in Chocolate entertains with its fast pace, scrumptious food descriptions, confounding mysteries (yes, plural), adorable animals, amazing information about several topics, and a huge cast of fascinating characters.
In this book 5 of the Bean to Bar Mysteries, we are reacquainted with several secondary characters from the previous books and introduced to a few new ones further proving my assertion that Amber Royer plans to include the entire population of Galveston in her stories. As usual, somebody turns up dead, and Felicity gets drawn into solving the mystery of who the murderer is. This time, deliberately by the killer themself with the added tension of a threat to Logan, one of Felicity’s two love interests, as the next target to die.
Everyone is suspect and red herrings and misdirections abound as expected. Ms. Royer kept things interesting with details on chocolate roasting and truffle making and delving into the Sherlock Holmes cases. It always amazes me how she is able to integrate so many disparate elements into a cohesive narrative. Food plus classic literature plus art plus family plus business plus romance equals a wonderfully enjoyable read. Even the dreaded love triangle didn’t bother me too much in this book because this is pretty much Logan-centric. I’m not sure if it’s a big hint about Felicity’s final choice or another misdirection by the author. I hope we find out in the next book as promised.
I also hope that the next book goes through an extra step of proofreading and better formatting before publication. While they didn’t detract from the story, some of the errors and the poor appearance of the paperback distracted me and lessened my appreciation for the book. What didn’t lessen is my gratitude to Lone Star Lit for inviting me to review this book for the blog tour. Thank you.
Amber Royer writes the Chocoverse comic telenovela-style foodie-inspired space opera series and the Bean to Bar Mysteries. She is also the author of Story Like a Journalist: A Workbook for Novelists, which boils down her writing knowledge into an actionable plan involving over 100 worksheets to build a comprehensive story plan for your novel. She also teaches creative writing and is an author coach.
Amber and her husband live in the DFW Area, where you can often find them hiking or taking landscape/architecture/wildlife photographs. If you are very nice to Amber, she might make you cupcakes. Chocolate cupcakes, of course! Amber blogs about creative writing technique and all things chocolate.
GIVEAWAY! GIVEAWAY! GIVEAWAY!
Signed copy of A Study in Chocolate +
a chocolate bar from French Broad Chocolate.
(US only; ends midnight, CST, 3/10/23)
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