Thursday, November 12, 2009

“The Chocolate Cat Caper” by JoAnna Carl

This is the first book in the Chocoholic mystery series featuring female-sleuth Lee McKinney. Lee is back in Warner Pier, the small Michigan resort town where she grew up, after serving a stint as a ‘trophy wife’ to a rich Texan. After Lee’s divorce, her aunt Jeannette TenHuis (known as Aunt Nettie) offers her a place to stay and a job working as a bookkeeper for the family business TenHuis Chocolade.

Lee is happy to be back and is taking advantage of this time to study for the CPA exam. She also enjoys the special perk allowed to each employee: two free chocolates each working day. Mmm, sounds good to me!

The opening chapters find Lee and her Aunt Nettie preparing to deliver a special order of handmade chocolate truffles and bonbons to high-powered attorney Clementine Ripley (AKA The Ripper). Ms. Ripley has a summer home in Warner Pier and is entertaining several guests for a charity fund-raiser.

Ms. Ripley has a purebred cat, and so Aunt Nettie has made several chocolates in the shape of a cat by using a special mold she previously ordered from the Netherlands. She’s hand-detailed the chocolates so they look like Ms. Ripley’s Birman male cat named Yonkers, which is short for Champion Myanmar Chocolate Yonkers. Lee thinks the cat looks like a Siamese cat with long hair.

Lee delivers the chocolates to Ms. Ripley’s home, and after returning to TenHuis Chocolade, is asked to help the local caterer do some serving at the party that same evening. Lee gladly accepts as she wants to see the inside of the home. She also needs the extra money as the divorce left her practically penniless.

Once there, Lee is put to work at the bar. The cat gets out of the room it was shut into and scampers across the bar. Lee takes it back and when she returns, she happens upon a shocking scene: Ms. Ripley has died while eating a Amaretto truffle from TenHuis Chocolade.


Book Bird Dog said...

Well, the cat didn't do it! Nice mystery.

LadyPI said...