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Asking for Truffle
Southern Chocolate Shop #1
Dorothy St James

Crooked Lane
September 12, 2017/ ISBN 978-1-68331-291-8

Reviewed by Laura Hinds


Charity Penn is the recipient of a mysterious letter, informing her that she has won a trip to Camellia Beach in South Carolina where she will receive free cooking lessons at the Chocolate Box, a local chocolate shop. Since she hasn’t entered any contests, Charity (who prefers to be called Penn) is immediately suspicious and puts her friend from school, Skinny, on the case. Alas, poor Skinny, he is murdered and left in a giant vat of chocolate in the same shop!

A guilt-ridden Penn goes to Camellia Beach to try to find out what happened to her friend. The locals become hostile when she asks about him, and they claim he was a druggie who brought crime to their usually crime-free seaside town. Penn sticks around to take the chocolate making cooking classes and finds herself charmed by the elderly Mabel Maybank, who owns the shop. Unfortunately, before Penn can get anything more than classes and hugs from Mabel, Mabel, too, dies, leaving Penn with more questions than ever.

Drawn in by the quirky locals and the small town sense of camaraderie, Penn sticks around to find out what’s going on, and is in for a huge surprise when she learns that she is the one to inherit the Chocolate Box, much to the dismay of Mabel’s children. Will the local police, or the detective assigned to investigate be of any help, or will Penn, whose own life is now in danger, have to take matters into her own hands to find the killer before he or she strikes again?

Now I read a lot of mysteries. I mean a LOT. I can usually, or at least often, sniff out the killer and the motive by the half-way mark of a book. That did not happen this time, as there were so many viable suspects and motives that I considered setting up a white board with a suspect list and a chart of means, motive, and opportunity. But I couldn’t put the book down long enough to set all that up, and instead just kept reading and reading until way past my bedtime!

I highly recommend Asking for Truffle as your go-to book for a great September read. It would also make a fabulous back-to-school gift for the mystery loving teen in your life, or as a recommendation for a book club. The story is appropriate for all ages teen and up, and while I think it would mostly appeal to women, there are men who would like it, too. The readers who will most enjoy it are those who are both mystery bookaholics and chocoholics. I fall into both categories and if there is a 12 step program for either, I don’t want to know about it!

Get your copy as soon as you can, and don’t forget to pick up some gourmet chocolate to have on hand while you read about all the yumminess!

Reviews of other titles in this series

Asking for Truffle #1
Playing with Bonbon Fire #2
In Cold Chocolate #3

Reviewed 2017