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23 January 2015

Colette London's Criminal Confections

Thanks to NetGalley and Kensington Books I was able to read Colette London's Criminal Confections in advance of its January 27th release date. Receiving this at no charge in no way influenced my feelings.

Criminal Confections is the first book in the new Chocolate Whisperer series -- a cozy featuring chocolate expert Hayden Mundy Moore. It's also the first book penned under the name "Colette London" ... but that's just a pseudonym. I finally figured out who "Colette London" is and I must say I was suprised. I had actually expected it to be a cozy mystery author I'm already familiar with since it felt as though I was reading a new tale from someone I consider an old friend (I grow quite attached to authors even if I've never actually met them).

Anyway, pretty much right off the bat I knew that I was going to like Hayden. She's my kind of girl. Well, the "monkey on NoDoz" part of her, anyway. 

As I mentioned, Hayden is a chocolate expert. She knows pretty much everything there is to know on the subject -- and how to fix problems for chocolate sellers/creators/whatevers in a discrete manner. She loves her work but hates the reports that come at the end. In exchange for receiving an extension on her latest report's due-date, she agrees to attend a retreat with her friend/ex-thug/security specialist Danny as her "plus-one" for chocolate industry professionals. The retreat is being held by her latest client, Christian Lemaitre, at a chocolate-themed spa resort owned by the company.

Early on during the retreat one of the company's employees dies. The police rule it an accidental overdose but Hayden's intuition tells her that there's been foul play. Because Hayden had quite liked the woman who died, she feels that she owes it to her departed friend to find out what really happened. 

Because of the fact that people are so happy to "dish" to her, Hayden learns quite a lot of inside secrets about the industry and the people around her at the retreat -- and even her "plus-one," Danny. I think at one point or another everyone is suspected of being up to no good except for Hayden and her financial advisor, Travis. (He's not even at the resort where the retreat is being held. We just get to eavesdrop on a lot of phone calls between Travis and Hayden. She has a crush on his voice, you see. I get it. I've had them, too.)

People are on and off and on and off the suspect list at an almost alarming rate. It may drive some readers crazy with confusion but it is a first person narrative from a girl who doesn't know anything about detective work, after all.

I find it rather endearing that she gets so boggled.

Of course, I'm not about to tell you how it ends. Forget it. You can even try plying me with chocolate but I won't give you even a hint.

On the other hand, please. Try. Ply. After reading about so much chocolate in this delightful book I really want some chocolate. Maybe in exchange for a little teeny tiny hint?

Don't forget -- January 27th you'll be able to buy your own copy. If you enjoy chocolate and you enjoy cozies, I really think you'll enjoy this.

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