Sunday, October 3, 2021

Book Review: CRIMINAL CONFECTIONS (A Chocolate Whisperer Mystery) by Colette London

Synopsis (from Amazon)

Hayden Mundy Moore is an expert on everything chocolate, helping clients develop new products and revamp recipes until they're irresistible. But sometimes, a dash of murder finds its way into the mix. . . 

Hayden Mundy Moore has bushwhacked through African jungles and haggled in exotic markets to find the finest cacao beans and the most flavorful blends. It's thrilling work but rarely dangerous--until a colleague turns up dead at the exclusive chocolate-themed Lemaître resort spa in San Francisco. 

Adrienne Dowling's heart attack is blamed on an accidental overdose of the secret ingredient used in Lemaître Chocolates' new line. Hayden can't believe that conscientious Adrienne would make that mistake. And between chocolate body scrubs, cocoa mud baths, and a non-stop frenzy of chocolate-based treats, Hayden starts to suspect that she, not Adrienne, was the intended target. Finding a killer among the rival chocolatiers and potential suspects won't just be satisfying--it might save her life. . . 


An interesting concept - someone who goes "undercover" to test out new varieties of chocolate or determine why some chocolate product isn't selling - all on the hush, hush. Hayden definitely has an interesting job (and apparently skill) and has spent some time at Lemaître evaluating their new creation that infused caffeine into chocolate. In the process she became close to Adrienne, who was spearheading its production. Also, she was invited to their chocolatier weekend celebration. She drags along her friend Danny as her plus one, only Danny has a colorful past.

Adrienne is killed, possibly an accidental overdose via her green smoothie, one she had shared with Hayden. Other than that the smoothie was the least appealing item in the story, Hayden's not sure if they knew which smoothie was Adrienne's. Both for her own safety and because of their friendship, Hayden needs to find the killer. Danny is in full agreement.

The book is filled with quirky characters, including Hayden, for sure. She's a character and interacts in ways that are not always appropriate, but add a bit of humor. There are many suspects from the elderly Bernie who started the company and his son, Christian, who took it over to the potentially failing and smarmy chocolatier, and others who work for Lemaître. A different writing style for sure, yet I enjoyed the book. As a chocolate lover myself, I loved the descriptions of the drinks and foods, not so much the chocolate body wrap. I'll be trying the recipe for chocolate mousse and reading others in the series.

About the Author

Colette London is the pseudonym of a best-selling novelist who's published more than three dozen books worldwide. Her Chocolate Whisperer series (featuring chocolate expert—and amateur sleuth!—Hayden Mundy Moore) kicked off with Criminal Confections and now includes Dangerously Dark, The Semisweet Hereafter, Dead and Ganache, and The Peppermint Mocha Murder, all from Kensington Books. 

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