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The Chocolate Snowman Murders: A Chocoholic Mystery    by Joanna Carl order for
Chocolate Snowman Murders
by Joanna Carl
Order:  USA  Can
Signet, 2008 (2008)
Hardcover, Softcover
* *   Reviewed by Mary Ann Smyth

I don't know what makes me happiest - reading a good mystery or dreaming of the chocolates described in Joanna Carl's newest offering in her Chocoholic Mysteries. The mystery is a good one and the chocolates are first rate also.

Warner Pier Winter Arts Festival in a town in West Michigan is being planned with TenHuis Chocolate preparing a surprise chocolate treat following along the lines of the Festival's motif - a snowman. As Lee McKinney Woodyard is on the planning committee, she volunteers to pick up the art juror at the airport. He turns out to be a drunken letch and Lee drops him off at a sleazy motel where he turns into a corpse.

The ensuing investigation into his murder leads to Lee and her husband Joe coming under suspicion from what I consider a stereotypical jugheaded lawman who can't see the solution in front of his face. Too predictable. Nevertheless, the whole book is a delight and well worth the read.

Lee Woodyard is a great character with a burgeoning sense of humor that won't quit. She, though, is quite capable of handling her life with a good head on her shoulders. In addition to solving crimes, she works with her aunt at TenHuis Chocolates. The action is nicely paced, with a few moments of sheer terror. The culprit took me by surprise also.

I found the history of chocolate (inserted between chapters) extremely interesting but also distracting. The Chocolate Snowman Murders is a great holiday mystery for those of us who tire easily of the usual Christmas stories.

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