by Terell Byrd
Details on how to win a copy of The Chocolate Castle Clue at the end of this review!
Okay, I admit it, anything that says ‘chocolate’ on it has my immediate attention. You do not need to be a chocoholic, like me, to enjoy this book. This happens to be my favorite type of mystery, one in which a series of tragic incidents in the past cause a chain reaction resulting in murder in the present.
Our heroine is Lee McKinney Woodyard. She came to the small town of Warner Pier, Michigan several years ago to be the business manager of the TenHuis Chocolate factory. Her Aunt Nettie and Uncle Phil TenHuis established the business thirty-five years ago. They produce fine Dutch style chocolates.
The tourist season is almost over. It is fall in Warner Pier and the town is preparing for a big, multi-class high school reunion. One of the highlights is to be the first performance in forty-five years of a local singing group called the Pier-O-Ettes. Aunt Nettie and five of her friends composed the chorale and were very popular at the time. They waited tables and sang at a former town landmark called the Castle.
Lee finds a trophy the Pier-O-Ettes won and rushes to show it to Aunt Nettie and her old gal pals. The trophy brings back only unhappy unspoken memories. The last performance of the singing group was the same night the owner of the Castle Ballroom died under suspicious circumstances. The case was ruled suicide by the police but the widow always claimed it was an accident. There have always been whispers of sex, drugs, illegal money and murder connected with the last days of the Castle – it never reopened after the demise of the owner.
Could kind, sweet Aunt Nettie and her friends have had something to do with the sudden departure from life of the proprietor? Why did someone murder the widow of the Castle owner after all these years? All but one seemed to have lied about where they were when the old lady was killed. Do these six women, all but one successful business women, share a dark secret? You must read the book to find out!
A nice mystery with shavings of delicious chocolate history sprinkled throughout. I particularly liked Lee’s embarrassing tendency to say the wrong word when under stress. It provides both humor and, in at least one case, a clue to the puzzle in the novel.
To enter to win a copy of Chocolate Castle Clue, simply email KRL at firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject line “Chocolate”, or comment on this article. A winner will be chosen November 26, 2011. U.S. residents only. There are also chances in this issue to win a copy of Murder By Mocha by Cleo Coyle and 1 pound of coffee from Classical Coffee Company.
If you love mysteries, why not check out Left Coast Crime:
Mystery Conference in Sacramento, March 29-April 1, 2012.Registration through 12/31/2011 is only $210 (it goes up to $225 after that). Registration information can be found at the conventionwebsite, or by sending an email to email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org.