Death is Like a Box of Chocolates by Kathy Aarons is the first book in A Chocolate Covered Mystery I found the book to be enjoyable I would like to know about the characters and see Coco Solid start to series 3.5 stars Star rating 4 4.5 starsWhen Michelle Serrano finds her neighbor dead in her chocolate shop from eating a box of poisoned chocolates, Michelle along with her best friend and business partner Erica throw themselves into finding the culprit to help salvage their reputations as businesswomen Little do they know their small town runs rampant with secrets that people could possibly kill over.Even though I found a lot of negative reviews on here, over the fact that Michelle and Erica s characters are salty then most main stream cozy characters, I found them to be purely entertaining Yes, Michelle is not a fan of small children and Erica can be a bit snobbish sometimes, that doesn t mean that this novel is a bad read Many main characters in cozies can be a bit too perfect in my opinion , so I found their flaws to be refreshing Not every adult woman wants to have children, or even enjoys being around children that doesn t mean they re a bad person I also really enjoyed their wholehearted efforts into finding the killer and the way they navigated the waters of detective hood It was nice to read a cozy where the main characters really put forth an effort into finding the murderer, instead of just hoping clues would fall into their laps I also enjoyed this novel because I had a really hard time figuring out who the murderer was Just when I thought I had it all sorted out, Kathy Aarons pulled a fast one on me and left me reeling I can t wait to read the next novel in this series It also helps that all the chocolate in this novel had my mouth watering Whether It S To Satisfy A Craving For Chocolate Or Pick Up The Hottest New Bestseller, The Locals In Charming West Riverdale, Maryland, Are Heading To Chocolates And Chapters, Where Everything Sold Is To Die For Best Friends Michelle Serrano And Erica Russell Are Celebrating The Sweet Rewards Of Their Combined Bookstore And Chocolate Shop By Hosting The Great Fudge Cook Off During The Town S Memorial Day Weekend Arts Festival But Success Turns Bittersweet When Main Street S Portrait Photographer Is Found Dead In Their Store, Poisoned By Michelle S Signature Truffles As Suspicion Mounts Against Michelle, Her Sales Begin To Crumble And Her Career Seems Whipped With Erica By Her Side, Michelle Must Pick Through An Assortment Of Suspects Before The Future Of Their Dream Store Melts Away FIRST IN A NEW SERIESIncludes Scrumptious Chocolate Making Recipes I finished this book solely so I could give a different perspective than the other reviewers There are several four and five star reviews and I don t think the book deserved as many as were given I don t think that the book was poorly written but I did find the characters to be self righteous and humorless These are definitely two traits I am NOT looking for in the characters that I read about Michelle and Erica seem to take themselves 100% seriously with very little humor involved in their everyday work and life And besides what they did for work, the author did not incorporate anything else into their characters, i.e are they interested in things besides selling books or making chocolates Also, there is no reason given for Erica coming home instead of finishing her degree apparently she s brilliant but yet she comes home to a one horse town to run a bookstore and used book business Doesn t make much sense Michelle on the other hand, thinks her chocolates are the best and chock full of integrity and are far superior to things like, oh gawd, FUDGE This one just didn t do it for me I might have run out of patience for this genre, except for the series that I truly love I have been super busy lately as well and that might account for some of this At any rate, I didn t like this one much at all. A great first book in a series Somehow the author made me even smell her chocolate shop and I know that is an impossibility Do not be fooled by the Forest Gump sounding title this tale is like a Shakespearean tragedy The main characters and their supporting characters, the books chocolate shop, and writing style have sold me on wanting to read I really enjoyed this book The plot was intriguing and I was pleasantly surprised by the whodunit.This book would have been a five star read for me if not for how unlikable the main character Michelle was,she was always thinking unkind things about people including her friends,she just always acted like she was better than everyone and also said some very insenstive things to people with no regrets.I am still looking forward to the second book but I do hope Michelle grows up a bit.Overall I highly recommend it to anyone who loves food cozies. If Kathy Aarons debut mystery, Death is Like a Box of Chocolates, is any indication, cozy mystery readers are in for a delectable series Aarons already appears to be a pro at creating likable sleuths, well developed characters, and a surprise, but logical villain Isn t that what we re all looking for with our mysteries Michelle Serrano is perfectly happy operating a combined bookstore and chocolate shop with her best friend, Erica Michelle is the chocolatier for Chocolates and Chapters, while Erica runs the bookstore, and their lives It s Erica, along with the mayor, who has everyone in town actively volunteering for the Memorial Day weekend Arts Festival And, Michelle had only wanted to hold a Great Fudge Cook off Now, it s a full blown event with the star of Grand Chef Network as a possible guest judge But, everything is temporarily on hold when Michelle finds the body of one of the town s professional photographers Of course everything is on hold Denise appeared to be poisoned by eating some of Michelle s chocolates So, guess who s on the top of the suspect list Michelle is desolate when she can t get into her shop, anticipating the destruction of all of her hard work For her, Chocolate was food and family and friends Is it any wonder that Michelle and Erica team up to ask a few questions and create a project plan for a murder investigation Aarons cast of characters is fascinating Michelle is in love with her chocolate, following rebellious teen years after her parents died Her older brother, Leo, had raised her, then enlisted He s now back from Afghanistan, a disabled veteran suffering from depression There s the brilliant Erica, along with her hot brother, Ben, the Bean that Michelle always had a crush on It s a well developed cast of characters, from Michelle s assistants to the other store owners in town And, of course, there s Michelle s life long enemy, now the owner and editor of the local newspaper.When Michelle looks at her friendship with Erica, realizing how entrenched we were in each other s lives , she actually sums up the world of cozy mysteries Amateur sleuths like Michelle and Erica fall into investigations because they are entrenched in the lives of their small towns And, those investigations often uncover unpleasant secrets about friends and neighbors Aarons Death is Like a Box of Chocolates offers a combination chocolate shop bookstore heaven, anyone in West Riverdale, Maryland, the newest setting for crime and friendship in a small town Kathy Aarons debut is a sweet treat, indeed.Kathy Aarons website is www.kathyaarons.com What a fun read I don t usually read cozy mysteries, but I purchased this from the author on a whim It seemed the perfect book to accompany me on a recent trip and it was The author did a great job of making me smell those chocolates I m still craving caramels and placing me in lovely small town setting without too much exposition or overly done details The characters were great fun and the ending was a surprise All in all a purely entertaining read and easily receives five stars from me. Michelle Seranno and Erica Russell are co owners of Chocolates and Chapters, a bookstore and gourmet chocolate shop They will soon be celebrating the one year anniversary of their renovation with a Great Fudge Cook Off which has snowballed into a part of a town wide Memorial Day weekend celebration That means a lot of work to do in very little time When their neighbor and fellow committee member Denise is found dead with a box of Michelle s chocolates, it puts a serious crimp in Michelle s plans, not to mention is bad for business Aided by Erica s sexy reporter brother, known as Bean, their computer genius Zeke and a mysterious stray cat, Michelle and Erica are determined to help the police solve the murder before Memorial Day I knew this book and I were off to a bad start when I saw the cat on the cover I m not much of a cat fan I just don t get the appeal Then Michelle and I got off to a bad start and never recovered She tosses around phrases like librarian glasses and geek chic Librarians come in all shapes, sizes, colors, genders and styles There s no such thing as librarian glasses Michelle s attitude seems a little antagonistic towards smart people though Erica is a certified genius Michelle is also a chocolate snob she hates fudge Who hates fudge She also hates cupcakes and can t bake What the heck Baking is easy if you pay attention to what you re doing Creating gourmet chocolate is hard Also, Michelle s sheer stupidity in insisting on investigating annoyed the heck out of me It doesn t usually but probably since I didn t like her very much to begin with and since the police seemed competent, I didn t see the need for her to investigate The plot doesn t make a lot of sense I m pretty sure there s a plot hole somewhere but I forget where I figured out who did it about halfway through when the clue was dropped The story didn t end very satisfactorily The plot was wrapped up too quickly and didn t explain enough Why were the committee members targeted or was it a coincidence Why did the murderer try to frame Michelle, Mark and or Colleen or again was it convenience That just didn t make sense The motive was so stupid and lacking in believability The burgeoning romance was kind of cute but I just don t get what Bean sees in Michelle He likes her sense of adventure but I call that stupidity There s a random, brief subplot about Michelle s brother Leo Leo is a war veteran and he plot gets all patriotic and supportive of veterans for no good reason except the book is set during Memorial Day If Leo had been in the story , he could have interacted with his sister and shown of her character, but he is barely in this book at all I kept forgetting who Leo was Hilary Punkin is another random character tossed in because the book is about cooking so there must be some celebrity TV food critic tossed in for good measure There s also too much planning, committee stuff and repetitive babysitting requests that slowed the story There s not enough chocolate making for me and none of the recipes appeal to me or make me even want to try to make chocolate The secondary characters are not all that memorable or quirky I liked Erica better than Michelle because she s smart, loves research and sells books However, she lacks some serious common sense, which I hear geniuses tend to do She also lies too easily Her relationship with Bobby drove me crazy Her sister Colleen seems normal She s a typical stressed mother of young children Her husband is a jerk Denise was not a very nice person Though she didn t deserve to be murdered, the that is revealed about her, the less I liked her Reese seems crazy but her character developed well and the best of all the characters in the book Gwen is a typical politician for all the locals refuse to believe it Henna is the only quirky character in the book I didn t care about the characters enough to want to read any of this series I keep striking out with chocolate books I do wish I could visit Chocolate and Chapters though Two of my favorite things chocolate and books. Michelle Seranno and Erica Russell are co owners of Chocolates and Chapters, a bookstore and gourmet chocolate shop They will soon be celebrating the one year anniversary of their renovation with a Great Fudge Cook Off which has snowballed into a part of a town wide Memorial Day weekend celebration They are very busy and Gwen, the mayor, just keeps piling on Good think Erica loves to organize When their friend, neighboring storeowner and fellow committee member Denise is found dead with a box of Michelle s chocolates, her store gets shut down It is time to solve this murder to get Michelle off the hook and her store back in business I liked the fact that there was a team of sleuths involved in this mystery Not only Michelle and Erica were nosing around, but Erica s brother and best selling crime author, Ben aka Bean , helped out with his many connections One step forward and two steps back happened throughout the book with a few suspects but not as many as in other books I have read Crazy reporter Reese, computer whiz Zach and police detective Bobbie all added to the story and filled out this little town I enjoyed following the life of the townspeople, the attempts to try and solve the mystery as well as the festival they were planning The suspect became apparent near the end of the story and the reason behind it was quickly unveiled I will check out in this series.
Is a well-known author, some of his books are a fascination for readers like in the Death Is Like a Box of Chocolates (A Chocolate Covered Mystery #1) book, this is one of the most wanted Kathy Aarons author readers around the world.
- 304 pages
- Death Is Like a Box of Chocolates (A Chocolate Covered Mystery #1)
- Kathy Aarons
- 15 August 2017 Kathy Aarons