Now for the last book I read on my recent trip out-of-town. “The Chocolate Bear Burglary” is the second entry in the Chocoholic mystery series featuring Lee McKinney. Lee is a former Texan who moved to the resort community of Warner Pier, Michigan after her divorce to help her Aunt Nettie run the family business, TenHuis Chocolade.
It’s winter in Warner Pier and the local Chamber of Commerce has decided on a “Teddy Bear Getaway” to help bring tourists and customers to the town. So several local businesses are using the teddy bear theme in their promotional activities. For example, the local bed and breakfasts have filled their rooms with teddy bears. Restaurants are serving honey cakes. A local theater group is even putting on a play called “Teddy and His Bear”, a comedy about the hunting exploits of President Theodore “Teddy” Roosevelt.
For it’s part TenHuis Chocolade is selling several varieties and sizes of molded chocolate teddy bears. They are also displaying several antique chocolate molds, many of which are in the shape of bears. And my favorite - gift certificates held in the backpacks of cuddly adorable plush teddy bears.
The antique chocolate molds are owned by a local woman whose grandfather used them in his chocolate business in the early 1900’s. The story goes that he sold his business, along with the molds, to the Hershey Company in 1910.
Late one night TenHuis Chocolade is broken into and one of the chocolate molds in the shape of a teddy bear goes missing. Soon after someone is murdered and Lee is chased by a menacing person riding a snowmobile. That was quite suspenseful!
The mystery is complicated by the arrival of Lee’s former stepson from Texas, who won’t say why he suddenly left college and drove all the way to Michigan in the winter with just a few dollars in his pocket. He always seems to be at the wrong place at the wrong time, a fact the police have noted.
And Lee and local hunk Joe Woodyard are working through some tough times in their romance. Lee struggles to understand why Joe won’t take her out in public, but he had been married to a famous person before and had some bad experiences with the press. So he’s determined not to live out his love life in the media again. Lee wonders if that’s just an excuse to not take her out on a date! I suspect we will find out in later books in the series.
I enjoyed this book and some of the chocolate trivia included within. You can buy it here: