Asking for Truffle by Dorothy St. James is the first book in the NEW “Southern Chocolate Shop” mystery series. Publisher: Crooked Lane Books, coming September 12, 2017
When Charity Penn receives a letter saying she won a trip to Camellia Beach, South Carolina complete with free cooking lessons at the town’s seaside chocolate shop, The Chocolate Box, she’s immediately skeptical. She never entered any contest. Her former prep school friend offers to look into the phony prize—only to end up drowned in a vat of chocolate.
Struck with guilt, Penn heads to the southern beach town to investigate why he was killed. But as wary as she is of the locals, she finds herself lured into their eccentric vibe, letting her defenses melt away and even learning the art of crafting delicious chocolates. That is, until delight turns bittersweet as she steps straight into the midst of a deadly plot to destroy the seaside town. Now, only Penn’s quick thinking and a mysterious cask of rare chocolate can save the town she’s learning to love.
Rich and decadent, Asking for Truffle, the first in a new cozy series by Dorothy St. James, is sure to be a delectable read for fans of JoAnna Carl and Joanne Fluke.
Searching for answers to her friend’s untimely demise, Penn heads to the small town of Camellia Beach (fearing a scam being played on her) and discovers that something sinister is afoot and she is caught in the middle of it all.
This was a fun book and I so enjoyed the people that I met from Penn to Mabel to Granny Mae to Harley to Bertie to Athena and even Stella. From the opening paragraph to the conclusion, this book immediately grabbed my attention and I could not put it down until all was said and done and what a ride this was. The author did a great job in setting the stage for tightly woven mystery that kept me glued to the pages as Penn did her best amid her own personal baggage to find out what happened to her friend. Everyone is a suspect and the author penned it so that every person that I met had a motive for the killing, and I like that with each clue presented, the list of suspects got shorter and shorter until only one person was standing. The murder was a brilliant set-up by the author to make this an all-encompassing journey of self-discovery that had me rooting for Penn, especially with her upbringing of being abandoned by both her parents and an uncaring grandparent. I liked that she has flaws which more than endeared her to me. Boasting a friendly cast of characters, engaging dialogue and a small-town atmosphere, this was an exciting story and with that ending, I can’t wait to read the next book in this delightfully charming debut series.
FTC Full Disclosure – I received a digital ARC of this book from the publisher via NetGalley.