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Synopsis

Murder, Lies and Chocolate by Sally Berneathy.

Book 2 of the Death by Chocolate Series.

Rodney Bradford comes into Lindsay's restaurant, offers to buy her small house for double its value, eats her brownies, and drops dead on the sidewalk in front. Then someone breaks into her house and tries to dig up her basement. Next her almost-ex-husband offers to sign the divorce papers, but only if she'll give him her small, old house and take his big, new house instead.

Suddenly everybody wants Lindsay's house. Is there oil under the basement, plans to bring the railroad through, pirate treasure buried in the basement?  A second break-in occurs and causes her cat, King Henry, to launch into full attack mode, taking a few chunks out of the intruder. 

Lindsay enlists the aid of her enigmatic neighbor, Fred, to help solve the mystery while trying to keep her police detective boyfriend, Trent, from getting in their way with his insistence on all those silly cop rules.

On the positive side, sales skyrocket for the special dessert Lindsay calls Murdered Man's Brownies. Prisoners, murderers, crazy relatives and strippers are all part of the chaos in this second book of the Death by Chocolate series.

BONUS! Chocolate recipes at the end of the book. Poison optional.

 

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Murder, Lies and Chocolate
Average rating
4.3 / 5
February 2nd, 2014
There are a lot of what I call “Bakery Mysteries” out there. There is a whole list at: [...] bakery-dessert-list that are, well, delicious. Some are quite yummy, some not. In this case, Sally Berneathy’s Murder, Lies and Chocolate was my first taste, and I found it quite creamy and with a pleasant mouth feel. (Grin) This isn’t the first in the series, but I did not feel out of place starting my taste of Berneathy here. The story was well paced and I never felt that I was missing parts by not having started at the very beginning. Lindsay runs “Death By Chocolate” a restaurant featuring not only lunch, but luscious chocolate desserts (yes, there are recipes in the back, and they sound marvelous!!!!) She runs the restaurant with her friend Paula who lives next door to Lindsay with her son, two and a half year old Zack. Lindsay’s other best friend, Fred, lives in the house on the other side of her. Fred is a day trader. Or maybe a hacker. Or maybe an undercover agent for MI-6 or the CIA or something. Who knows? Lindsay doesn’t, but that doesn’t keep her from trying to find out! Rounding out the cast is King Henry, Lindsay’s huge white and yellow “Attack Cat,” Trent the police detective and maybe boyfriend to Lindsay – that is, if she can ever get rid of her useless, self centred, spineless “I want him to be ex if he will ever sign the damn papers” husband, Rick the dirty real estate agent. And boy, is he ever a piece of work! Lindsay’s day starts off with the unctuous Rick showing up in the restaurant with a criminal wanting to buy Lindsay’s house for twice it’s value. Things go downhill from there when the man drops dead in front of the restaurant, leading to a chain of break-ins, arson, and homicide. Lindsay herself is smart, snarky, and impatient, but not as dumb as some of the other “bakery mystery” characters, and nowhere near as self centred and irritating as, say, Joanne Fluke’s Hannah Swensen. I had to put those down after the first few. The whole ‘love triangle’ and acting like she was some kind of puffed up, ‘real live detective’ just didn’t do it for me. Lindsay sits on the edge – not quite dumb enough to think she can do it all by herself. Besides, she has Fred the Superhuman Next Door Neighbor to back her up. Whets not to like about a guy who shows up with a machine gun he “found in his attic” to run off the smarmy ex? Overall, this was a 99 cent investment I was happy to pick up from Amazon. I just looked, this is number two in the series, the first one is Death By Chocolate and features Paula. In the blurb about that one, Paula dyes her blond hair brown, hides from everybody and insists on always having an emergency exit from any room. Secrets from Paula's past have come back to put lives in jeopardy. I will admit it is kind of a bummer to know the outcome of the Paula edition because I read the second one first, but I have no doubt I will enjoy reading the book anyway. This is recommended for anyone who likes a good, solid cozy mystery who also loves and adores CHOCOLATE! Yep, that’s me!
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