The Chocolate Cat Caper by JoAnna Carl Book Review

The Chocolate Cat Caper (Chocoholic Mysteries #1) by Joanna Carl

Book Review by Debbie Winkler

The Chocolate Cat Caper (Chocoholic Mystery #1) by Joanna Carl

Series:Chocoholic Mysteries Book 1
Author: JoAnna Carl
Publisher: Signet Books (March 2002)
EAN: 9780451205568
Page Count: 240 pages
Format: paperback

Target Age Group: adult
My Rating:


Lee McKinney has given up her career as a Texas trophy wife and moved back to the small town of Warner Pier, Wisconsin, where she spent the summers cashiering in her aunt’s TenHuis Chocolade shop. Lee is helping out her Aunt Nettie by working at the store and balancing the company books while studying for her CPA exam. She knows that the store, while doing well, needs all of the extra summer business it can get to stay profitable so when a large order comes over from Clementine Ripley, Warner Pier’s wealthiest and most hated resident, Lee urges her aunt to accept it regardless of her personal feelings on the matter.

Lee comes to regret this decision as Clementine Ripley dies the night of her party due to cyanide poisoning in the amaretto truffles that her Aunt Nettie provided. Things look even worse when Lee finds out that her Aunt Nettie blames Clementine Ripley for the death of her husband, which definitely provides her with a motive and she certainly had the means! But Lee quickly discovers that her Aunt Nettie was certainly not the only one who held a grudge against the infamous defense lawyer. There is Marion McCoy, Clementine’s personal assistant, who ran her life, but didn’t seem to really like her; Joe Woodyard, Warner Pier’s golden boy and the subject of Lee’s teenage crushes, the former Mr. Clementine Ripley who inherits the entire estate; the Police Chief, who retired to Warner Pier after Clementine Ripley ruined his career in the big city, but couldn’t escape her shadow; Mayor Hererra, who looked like a fool when Clementine Ripley backed out of her deal to sell her land to the city to build an observation facility; not counting the town’s notorious gossip Greg Glossop, Clementine’s slick and charming investment partner and every scumbag that Clementine Ripley kept out of jail…


The Chocolate Cat Caper is Book 1 in the Chocoholic Mysteries Series and it was cute and light, but it was a bit of a disappointment. Lee is a charming heroine, but she was pretty ditzy and, while her habit of saying the wrong word when she is nervous (which is often) was endearing and laugh-out-loud funny at times, she just isn’t very bright. She solved the mystery by being in all of the right places at the right times (or wrong places at the right times), but there was no real deduction on her part and her attempts to question other suspects in the murder were just laughable. The lack of mystery aside, the chocolate facts were entertaining and I liked reading about how they made the chocolate for the store and the other little details that the author put in. I will definitely check out the next book in the series, but I hope that it has a better mystery in it.


This is a cozy mystery, which means that it is not as hardcore as regular mysteries and there is not a lot of detail (police, autopsy, body condition when found, etc.) in regards to the dead person. There is little to no description of the actual body in regards to the murder and very little official police detail provided as the heroine is not at all involved with the police department. The plot deals with divorce, falling out of love, trophy wives and husbands, bribery, criminals escaping justice, and a callous defense attorney (the victim), but these topics are delivered and dealt with a great deal of humor and are just present as part of normal life. There is some potential romantic interest, but nothing happens. This mystery is very clean, very safe and is perfect for even the most squeamish of mystery readers. Recommended for ages 12 and up.

Notes Like Small Paper Ghosts

Notes Fluttered Like Small Paper Ghosts

Clue Game: Murder for Kids

Clue GameIf Colonel Mustard was found guilty in the library with the rope, could Miss Scarlet still commit murder in the kitchen with the revolver?  And what exactly was Professor Plum doing with Mrs. White in the conservatory with the candlestick?

Plan for a Cozy Mystery

Plan for a Cozy Mystery

Running Hot by Jayne Ann Krentz (The Arcane Society Book #5) Book Review

Running Hot by Jayne Ann Krentz

Series: The Arcane Society Book 5
Author:Jayne Ann Krentz
Publisher: Jove Books (December 2009)
ISBN: 9780515147384
Page Count: 480 pages
Format: paperback

Target Age Group: adult
My Rating: image_thumb84_thumb1

Running Hot by Jayne Ann Krentz Book Synopsis:

Bodyguard Luther Malone expected a little old librarian to show up in Hawaii when he reported for his latest mission. What he got was young, spunky Grace Renquist. Grace expected a hulking brute who relied on his physical prowess to protect her. What she got was a laid back, sexy hunk with a cane.

The mission was supposed to be simple: Luther would protet Grace while she examined the aura of a suspected murderer who was staying at a Hawaiian resort. Of course, nothing turns out as expected. The murderer is a member of a covert paranormal group experimenting with psychic-power boosting drugs. A powerful parahunter is also at the resort watching the murderer. A psychotic singer is on the loose, killing people with her voice. And Grace has finally found someone whose touch she can tolerate – Luther’s…

The Arcane Society Series Update:

Running Hot by Jayne Ann Krentz is book #3 in the contemporary Arcane Society Series and book #5 in the series if you count the 2 books written under Krentz’s historical pen name, Amanda Quick. It is fast-paced, full of action and has great characters.

Running Hot by Jayne Ann Krentz can be read as a stand-alone novel, but does have a few previously introduced characters in it from other Arcane Society books. For those who have read the other books in the Arcane Society series, these little glimpses of other characters add a bit of fun, but they do not detract from first-time readers’ enjoyment.

Running Hot by Jayne Ann Krentz Book Review:

I thoroughly enjoyed the two lead characters in Running Hot by Jayne Ann Krentz. Luther is the first non-parahunter hero Krentz has used in her contemporary segment of the Arcane series. Instead, Luther is an aura manipulator and inspires feelings of fear, happiness, tiredness, etc. in someone’s mind. He relies much more on his mental powers than his physical prowess, which was a refreshing change (though there is nothing wrong with a sexy brute of a hero in a romance book!).  I thought aura manipulation was a unique and imaginative power to have.

Grace, our heroine, reads auras and can “see” violence, personality traits and talents. She has a violent past and is strong willed, but very alone. Sparks fly from the moment Luther and Grace meet and it was great to see their relationship develop throughout the book. It was also wonderful to see a heroine who stayed put when the hero had a rational reason for asking her to do so!

The search for the evil Nightshade organization continues and I am excited to read the next installment in the Arcane Society series!

Running Hot by Jayne Ann Krentz Book Content:

This is a contemporary romance novel with the requisite bedroom scenes so, yes, there are descriptions of sex.  The scenes are very tastefully done and are not overly graphic.  They are also very easy to skip if you are not interested in reading these sections.  There are a few psychotic killers in this book so there is also quite a bit of violence.  Several people are murdered.  There are no graphic descriptions of the bodies.  The bad guys use drugs to manipulate their powers so a lot of the villains are dealing with withdrawal and addiction.  The requisite HOA (“happily ever after”) is present so romance readers will not be disappointed.  Depending on what kind of content you allow your teenagers to read, this book is appropriate for ages 14 and up.

Keep Calm and Continue Sleuthing

Keep Calm and Continue Sleuthing
Unleash Your Inner Nancy Drew