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The Chocolate Pirate Plot by JoAnna Carl

This is the 12th in JoAnna Carl’s “A Chocoholic Mystery” series. Carl is the pseudonym for a mystery writer who lives and writes in both Oklahoma and Michigan.

The author has invented a rollicking tale about a band of mischievous and ultimately, deadly, buccaneers who board yachts and other pleasure boats near Warner Pier, a summer resort along Lake Michigan’s eastern shore. The pirates begin by boarding Lee and Joe Woodyard’s craft one summer evening and put on a surprise performance. As hard as they try, the Woodyard’s cannot figure out who these pirates are– until a dead body is found near shore. Lee decides to help the local police investigate and she turns up the heat on the pirate crew.

Lee is bothered by the fact that just prior to the search for the body an actress from the local theater runs past 5 houses to get to Lee in order to alert her that her friend is missing on the beach. Ironically, the body found is not the body of her friend. What’s up with that?

After it is discovered that the dead body is a technician at the local summer theater, Lee and Joe are threatened with gunshots and other attempts to board their boat. Other boats also experience surprise boardings, but no one else is threatened until after Lee gets close to solving the mystery. Part of the plot is the discovery that a famous actor who portrays a pirate in movies is in town to collect his new yacht. (Not Johnny Depp, but rather Depp-like.)

The author does a good job of creating interesting characters. I’d like to get to know Lee better, find out more about her aunt’s chocolate business, and spend more time exploring western Michigan through this series. I’ll be reading more of this series to catch up with this interesting cast of characters.

Liz Nichols

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