Wednesday, July 20, 2022

Mint Chocolate Murder by Meri Allen

 Mint Chocolate Murder
Book Summary

Riley Rhodes returns in the second delicious cozy set in a New England ice cream shop, Meri Allen's Mint Chocolate Murder!

When Udderly Delightful Ice Cream shop manager Riley Rhodes is summoned to Penniman’s Moy Mull Castle, it’s the cherry on top of a successful summer season. The gothic pile built by an eccentric New England Gilded Age millionaire has been transformed into a premiere arts colony by Maud Monaco, a reclusive former supermodel. As part of Moy Mull’s Fall Arts Festival, Maud is throwing a fantasy ice cream social and hires Riley to whip up unique treats to celebrate the opening of an exhibit by Adam Blasco, a photographer as obnoxious as he is talented.
As Penniman fills up with Maud’s art-world friends arriving for the festival, gossip swirls around Blasco, who has a dark history of obsession with his models. Riley’s curiosity and instincts for sleuthing – she was a CIA librarian – are piqued, and she wonders at the hold the cold-hearted photographer has over the mistress of Moy Mull.

But when Adam is found dead behind the locked door of Moy Mull’s dungeon, Riley realizes there’s more than one suspect who’d wanted to put the malicious photographer on ice.
My Thoughts

Riley Rhodes is creating unique ice cream flavors for an event at Moy Mull Castle owned by Maud Monaco, a former model.  As part of the Moy Mull Arts Festival, there will be an ice cream social.  Maud is also featuring Avant Garde photographer, Adam Blasco at the festival.  When it is time for Adam’s talk on the first day of the festival, he is MIA.  Adam is later found dead in the castle’s locked dungeon.  Riley can think of several individuals who were disgruntled with the insufferable photographer.  Unfortunately, one of the suspects is Willow’s boyfriend, Luca.  Riley dons her sleuthing cap and works to expose the killer.

Mint Chocolate Murder by Meri Allen is the second novel in An Ice Cream Shop Mysteries.  It can be a standalone if you have not read The Rocky Road to Ruin.  I like Riley Rhodes who is a former CIA librarian (and spy) who now managing Udderly Delicious Ice Cream Shop in Penniman, Connecticut.  Riley creates ice cream flavors that have lines out the door at the ice cream shop.  The setting of Moy Mull Castle is unique.  An eccentric millionaire recreated a medieval castle in Connecticut.  It was a hotel for a time.  Maud has brought back the Scottish charm and the antiques found in the attic.  The festival seemed like it was fun with plenty of delicious treats.  I did feel the pacing was slow.  We follow Riley through her day-to-day routine leading up to the festival.  The author’s detailed descriptions further bog down the story (do we have to know what each person is wearing along with hair color).  The murder does not occur until almost a quarter of the way into the book.  By the time the victim was killed, I already knew who would die and who committed the crime.  I am baffled as to how the title tied into the story.  Mint chocolate ice cream is not a flavor mentioned in the book (pumpkin spice is mentioned several times).  There are a number of characters in the story.  It is challenging trying to keep track of all of them (just like in the first book).  There are delectable ice cream flavors including the colorful unicorn ice cream (you will find yourself heading to the freezer for a pint). Mint Chocolate Murder is a colorful cozy with a fun fall festival, a modish ex-model, a disrespectful photographer, appetizing ice cream, a curious crime, a striking castle, and a sharp-eyed sleuthing librarian.

Mint Chocolate Murder comes out Tuesday, July 26 and it can be preordered from Amazon*.  The first An Ice Cream Shop Mystery is The Rocky Road to Ruin.  You can follow Meri Allen on Amazon and you will receive an email when she has a new book release.  Thank you for stopping by today.  Tomorrow I am featuring Love Blooms in Morning Star by Charlotte Hubbard.  It is the fourth book in The Maidels of Mornings Star series.  I hope that your day is filled with sunny smiles.  Take care, stay cool, and Happy Reading!


The Avid Reader 

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