Wednesday, October 5, 2022

ARC Review: A Christmas Candy Killing by Christina Romeril

A Christmas Candy Killing

Christina Romeril
Publication: Crooked Lane Books (October 11, 2022)

Description: Their chocolates are to die for—but things aren’t so sweet when a real killer comes to town, in this debut mystery perfect for fans of Joanne Fluke and Laura Childs.

Identical twin sisters Alex and Hannah are the owners of Murder and Mayhem, a mystery bookshop that sells their famous poison-themed Killer Chocolates. But now, there’s a real killer in their midst. Shortly before Christmas, their septuagenarian neighbor, Jane, confides to Alex that a murderer from a true-crime show has taken up residence in the village. Unfortunately, she’s also shared her suspicions with town gossip Netta. The next morning, Alex shows up at Jane’s house to watch the show, but instead discovers Jane's body, with a box of Killer Chocolates nearby.

The sheriff quickly zeroes in on two suspects: Alex, a beneficiary in Jane’s will, and Zack, a handyman who was seen leaving the crime scene. But Alex maintains her innocence and sets out to draft a list of other potential suspects—townsfolk who’d recently been seen arguing with Jane.

When Alex gets hold of Jane’s journal, she begins to understand the truth. But a bearer of ill tidings is arriving early this year—and Alex just might not make it to Christmas.

My Thoughts: This debut cozy culinary mystery was filled with tasty treats and murder. Alex and her twin sister Hanna moved to this small Montana town and opened a Mystery Bookstore that also sells homemade chocolates. 

When one member of the book club hosted by the store is found stabbed to death in her home, Alex begins to look into the case. Jane was a friend of hers who frequently thought that people living in her town might be criminals hiding from the law. Jane was a devoted watcher of true crime shows. This time she is sure of herself. Before she could tell Alex who she suspected, she was murdered. The two main suspects are a local handyman with a secret past and Alex who is, unknown to herself, the beneficiary of Jane's will. 

To keep herself off the suspect list, Alex begins to look into anyone who might have wanted Jane dead. She finds a number of suspects and a number of people who are determined to keep their pasts secret.

I enjoyed this story and found Alex an interesting character. She is long-divorced and not really looking for a new relationship though she is concerned that she will have a lonely old age. I liked the bookstore and the intriguing chocolates named for various poisons. There are recipes at the end for two of the chocolates and their fillings which are way beyond my culinary abilities.

I thought the plot was well-written. As the story went on, I began to suspect who the killer was and was pleased to be correct. Fans of culinary cozy mysteries will enjoy meeting this new sleuth and look forward to her further adventures.

Favorite Quote:
Staring at her reflection while she brushed her teeth, Alex wondered about all that had happened in the past few days. Who was, even now, sitting in their warm and cozy home, secure in the knowledge that, with Jane's demise, their secret was safe?
I received this one in exchange for an honest review from NetGalley. You can buy your copy here.

No comments:

Post a Comment

I love getting comments. Let me know what you think.

This blog is now officially declared an Award Free zone! I do appreciate your kindness in thinking of me and I am humbled by your generosity.

Your comments are award enough for me. Comment away!