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The Chocolate Castle Clue: A Chocoholic Mystery by JoAnna Carl/Giveaway

IN THE November 19 ISSUE

FROM THE 2011 Articles,
andMysteryrat's Maze

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.

Click here to buy this book & support indie bookstores & KRL

To enter to win a copy of Chocolate Castle Clue, simply email KRL at life@kingsriverlife.com 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 rb@robinburcell.com or cindy@cindysamplebooks.com.

Terell Byrd is a native Fresnan, who was born, raised, & educated locally. In the course of a mad gypsy life, she has taken classes in Electrical Engineering, broken into bank vaults at night & worked as a Tax Examiner for the IRS. She now lives quietly, with more cats.

{ 9 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Pattie
Twitter: @pattietierney
November 19, 2011 at 10:41am

I’m like you, the word ‘chocolate’ in a title always draws me in, as does small-town life (though I’ve never lived in one), plus aging family members (goofy Aunts are a weakness of mine). Can’t wait to check out this book, I’ve enjoyed Carl’s books before.
A recent post from Pattie: THE THIN MAN Nora Charles Holiday Quote Typewriter PinMy Profile


2 Terell November 26, 2011 at 3:55pm

Thank you for the great comment! I had never read one of JoAnna Carl’s books before, but this won’t be the last!


3 Sandy Murphy November 22, 2011 at 10:41pm

I got to meet JoAnna Carl at Bouchercon – she told how she came to write the books, how Lee became a chocolatier and how she writes. It was cool to hear how an idea turns into a book series. I’ve read most of Carl’s books but will have to track this one down – and soon!


4 Terell November 26, 2011 at 3:57pm

It is always fascinating to hear how a writer works. Each one has a little different method.


5 Nancy Naigle
Twitter: @NancyNaigle
November 24, 2011 at 3:59pm

Chocolate catches my attention, too. But I love a good mystery and this sounds like one. Can’t wait to read it. Fingers crossed to win a copy….but I jotted it down on my TBR list so I don’t lose track of it.

Thanks for sharing this new to me author.


6 Terell November 26, 2011 at 3:59pm

Glad you liked the review – it is good to meet another chocolate lover – even if only in cyberspace!


7 Barb Goffman November 25, 2011 at 4:35pm

Mystery and chocolate. Can’t go wrong with that. Hope to win the book.
Anyone who loves Joanna’s books should come to Malice Domestic in the spring. She’ll be there.


8 Terell November 26, 2011 at 4:00pm

Malice Domestic always has great authors. Thank you for reading the review.


9 Lorie
Twitter: @mysteryrat
November 29, 2011 at 1:28pm

We have picked a winner! Thanks for entering & we hope you keep coming back for more mystery fun!
Lorie Ham, KRL Publisher


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