Tuesday, March 21, 2023

A Christmas Candy Killing - Killer Chocolate #1

A Christmas Candy Killing is the first in a new shopfront cozy series by Christina Romeril. Released 11th Oct 2022 by Crooked Lane, it's 304 pages and is available in hardcover, audio, and ebook format. Paperback format due out in 4th quarter 2023 from the same publisher. It's worth noting that the ebook format has a handy interactive table of contents as well as interactive links and references throughout. I've really become enamored of ebooks with interactive formats lately. 

This is a promising start to a comfortable easy-to-read small-town "shopfront" holiday cozy with a pair of appealingly intelligent twin female protagonists who own a shop featuring everyone's favorite combo: chocolate and books. An elderly neighbor who claims that a real-life killer has taken up residence in town turns up murdered and so the sisters are soon on the case to solve the mystery and clear their names.

As with most cozies, the emphasis is on the characters and the puzzle. The crimes are described off-scene and without being too graphic. The language is clean and there's no gruesome content. The subplot threads are skillfully entwined into a satisfying climax and resolution. Although I do confess I figured out "whodunnit" before the end, I still enjoyed it very much. I'm looking forward to the next installment in the series (due out in late 2023).

Four stars. Definitely one for shopfront cozy fans. It's full of book and series name drops and it's always fun to find new authors to follow. The author has also included an intriguing detailed recipe for pear ganache bonbons, including instructions for everything from tempering the chocolate to making the forms and the pear ganache to fill them.

Disclosure: I received an ARC at no cost from the author/publisher for review purposes.

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