As an authority on all things chocolate, Hayden Mundy Moore is traveling across the pond to lend her expertise to the owner of a posh London chocolaterie-pâtisserie. From coconut truffles to chocolate flapjacks, Hayden’s mouthwatering creations quickly impress her client. But her knowledge doesn’t end there. The detective constable is taken by surprise when she identifies an exotic murder weapon: a stone metlapil, used to grind cacao beans—and apparently to bludgeon someone to death—in Hayden’s own lodgings, no less…
The victim is a sexy celebrity chef who just happens to be the ex-husband of Hayden’s client. Now, amid the terraced town houses and local pubs, a killer is lurking—and the police have an assortment of suspects: a culinary rival, an ambitious agent, a recently-sacked assistant, and unfortunately, Hayden herself. The talented chocolate whisperer will have to find out what sort of nutter clobbered the famous cook—or her career may come to a bitter end…
“Chocoholics and food cozy fans rejoice! With prose as smooth and delicious as its theme, this quality debut cozy introduces a smart protagonist with an unusual and tasty profession.” —Library Journal (starred) on Criminal Confections
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Third book in series!
The Semi-Sweet Hereafter by Colette London is the third book in A Chocolate Whisperer Mystery series. Hayden Mundy Moore is in London on her latest chocolate whisperer assignment. Hayden is there to help Primrose, a chocolaterie-patisserie (bakery specializing in chocolate delicacies) owned by the Honourable Phoebe Wright. Hayden’s job is to find out what is going wrong in the bakery (quality issues) and fix it. Hayden is getting ready to enjoy an evening with friends when she receives a call from Phoebe. Phoebe is asking her to go by Primrose and make sure it is locked up (how is that Hayden’s job). Hayden does not feel she can say no since Phoebe is her boss. Hayden cancels her plans and heads across town. After making sure everything is locked up tight, Hayden heads for her temporary home. Hayden is staying in the guest cottage belonging to Phoebe and her husband, Jeremy. Hayden arrives home to find film equipment in her kitchen and the body of Jeremy Wright on her floor. Hayden quickly calls the police and waits for their questions. Detective Constable Satya Mishra is assigned the case. It turns out that Jeremy was killed with a metlapil, a heavy stone tool used for grinding. When Hayden can tell them the name of the murder weapon and what is used for, it gets her put on the suspect list (do you think she touched it while staying in the guest cottage). Hayden then calls her best friend, Danny Jamieson (and security expert). He quickly catches a plane and heads to London. Jeremy was England’s sexy chef and was quite popular. The press come out in hoards as well as fans. Hayden cannot help but investigate the crime with Danny’s help. Who wanted Britain’s hot chef dead? Turns out the suspect list is longer than some of Hayden’s chocolate recipes. Will Hayden be able to assemble the clues and whip up a killer?
The Semi-Sweet Hereafter sounds good (I thought I did a good job). The reality is a different story. I found it satisfactory. I think the author put more effort into her dessert descriptions than the mystery. The Semi-Sweet Hereafter can be a stand-alone novel. The events of the first two books are rehashed in detail in this novel. As usual we are subjected to many thoughts about Hayden’s financial manager, Travis Turner. Hayden has never met him in person, but that has not stopped her constantly thinking about him and flirting with him on their daily phone calls (I wish as much thought was put into the mystery). The mystery can be solved before the body is found (I am not kidding). I knew who the killer and where she would find it before Hayden stumbled over Jeremy Wright’s dead body. Some information is repeated several times. An example is information about Hayden’s parents (who live in Mayfair but are in France currently), the contents of her uncle’s will, and how Danny is so charming and attractive (but they are just friends). I give The Semi-Sweet Hereafter 3 out of 5 stars (it is okay). I believe a cozy mystery should have more mystery (call me foolish). I wanted less time devoted to Hayden’s rambling thoughts, and more to the plot and development of the mystery. I have tried to like this series, but it is not the type of cozy mystery I enjoy.