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Chocolate Covered Murder by Leslie Meier

I like food-themed mysteries.  Not sure what that says about my tastes, but I usually find that they are fun, fast reads.  Meier’s latest in her Lucy Stone Mystery series, “Chocolate Covered Murder” is no exception.  The only disappointment is she did not include the recipe for Lucy’s prize-winning Maple Blueberry Cheesecake in the book. (I’ll have to check Meier’s website to see if she’s posted it there.)

I really like Meier’s protagonist, Lucy Stone.  She’s a small town weekly newspaper reporter and someone who gets to know everyone who comes to town and knows everything that goes on in town.  She’s the kind of character that the reader comes to hang out with every time a new book comes out to enjoy a not-so-taxing read.  In this book Lucy is helped out of a snow-covered ditch by one of the town’s life-long residents and shortly after Lucy discovers that the same man drowned when he fell through the ice in a pond. He had a fish hook caught in his lip.  Lucy suspects foul play, but the police rule it an accidental drowning.  The former wife of the man is one of the owners of Fern’s Famous Fudge, a candy shop that has been a fixture in Tinker’s Cove for years.

There’s a new chocolate shop in town, Chanticleer Chocolates, that is billing its product as the “best candy on the coast.”  The two shops go head-to-head for the Valentine’s Day business and the newspaper, “The Pennysaver” is stuck squarely in the middle.  Most of the townsfolk square off with most of the women supporting Fern’s business and most of the men supporting Chanticleer, mostly because of its bombshell of a store manager, Tamzin Graves.  The big boss of Chanticleer is Trey Meacham, a new businessman to the area, who manufacturers all of the chocolates in an old converted factory in a town nearby.  His business acumen is undeniable, but some of the townspeople discover he may not share all the same interests and values as the regular folk.

There are two deaths that occur in the book that Lucy decides to solve with the help of an Army Major who comes into town late in the story with some information on Tamzin that helps to break open the case.

Chocolate Covered Murder” is an enjoyable, fast read for anyone who loves a cosy mystery set in a quaint New England town.

Liz Nichols

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