Sunday, November 24, 2019

In Cold Chocolate by Dorothy St. James

Dorothy St. James was born in New York but raised in South Carolina.  For the last twenty years, Dorothy has made her home on an artsy island community in South Carolina with her husband.  Dorothy St. James is the alter ego of Dorothy McFalls, an award winning, multi-published author.  She enjoys writing different genres.  It wasn't until 2001 that Dorothy took the plunge and pursued her life long dream of writing full-time.  You can sign up for her newsletter by clicking here.  Dorothy has also written A White House Gardener Mystery series.  
In Cold Chocolate by Dorothy St. James has readers traveling to Camellia Beach, South Carolina.  Charity Penn owns the Chocolate Box where she is featuring sea salt chocolate turtles in honor of the baby sea turtles that will soon hatch on local beaches.  Penn joins Althea Bays and the rest of the turtle watch team to welcome the baby sea turtles into the world.  The event gets off to a rough start because Chef Bailey Grassi has left his outside lights blazing.  Jody Dalton takes off with a gun to shoot out the lights.  They soon hear a scream and find slimy realtor, Cassidy Jones dead with Jody standing over him with her gun.  It seems like a slam dunk case, but Jody claims she is innocent.  Penn, a soft touch, ends up digging into the case and finds a number of likely suspects. Penn is also dealing with missing sea turtle chocolates at the shop plus being told to keep her nose out of the murder investigation.  Can Penn expose the killer, or will she end up swimming with the fishes like the sea turtles?
20 of the beautiful baby sea turtle..
In Cold Chocolate by Dorothy St. James is the third story in A Southern Chocolate Shop Mystery series.  In Cold Chocolate can be read as a standalone if you are new to the series.  Charity Penn owns The Chocolate Box in Camellia Beach, South Carolina where she is currently finishing up renovations to the shop.  The sea turtles will soon be hatching so Penn has created a delectable treat in their honor that is flying off the shelves.  On the night of the hatching, Cassidy Jones is killed, and it looks like antagonistic Jody Dalton is responsible.  Penn would love to avoid this investigation, but Jody’s son asks her to please help his mommy.  Despite being warned to keep her nose out of the case, Penn is soon knee deep in suspects.  I wanted to give this series another chance after not having been enthralled with Asking for Truffle.  Charity Penn is a nice character and I just love the descriptions of the chocolates that she creates for the shop (they have me pining for a chocolatey treat).  The island sounds like a lovely place to live, but there are too many mean people in this story for my liking.  There were some slow sections that could have been peppier and some areas that could have been eliminated completely (seemed like filler).  It was interesting to learn about the hatching of sea turtles.  I had no idea they were considered a delicacy (that is just terrible and disgusting).  I see why they need people to keep an eye on the hatching ground.    The mystery was uncomplicated, and the guilty party can be identified before the coroner removes the body.  I did enjoy the dog, Stella and her antics.  She was a delightful addition to In Cold Chocolate.  While In Cold Chocolate was not the right fit for me, I suggest you obtain a sample to judge for yourself.  In Cold Chocolate is a light-hearted cozy mystery with sun, sand, sweets and sea turtles. 
Loggerhead hatchlings can emerge from their nests in a variety of different colors.  I've seen plenty of black, brown, white and tan hatchlings but this particular turtle was born with a vibrant orange color that I had never seen before.  Lucky for me, the sand was soft enough for the turtle to leave its tracks as it hustled to the ocean to make the photos composition more interesting.  I was able to capture the moment just before a wave surged in and welcomed the vibrant beauty to the sea.
In Cold Chocolate can be picked up at Amazon* (Amazon UK).  The other two novels in A Southern Chocolate Shop Mystery series are Asking for Truffle and Playing with Bonbon Fire.  Thank you for stopping by today.  I will return tomorrow with my review of Spy by Danielle Steel.  This novel sweeps you back to World War II where Alex Wickham goes from debutante to secret agent.  I hope that you have an exciting day.  Take care and Happy Reading!

The Avid Reader
Young nerd woman reading a book and drinking coffee - Illustration price | Minty

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