Friday, September 25, 2015

Dangerously Dark (A Chocolate Whisperer Book 2)

Author:  Colette London
Genre:  Mystery

Paperback, E-Book
ISBN #:  9781617733475
Kensington Publishing
352 Pages
$7.99; $5.84 Kindle
September 29, 2015

Five Stars

Hayden Mundy Moore is an expert on everything chocolate, helping clients develop new products and revamp recipes until they're irresistible.  But sometimes, a dash of murder finds its way into the mix...


Hayden Mundy Moore is a "chocolate whisperer".  She travels the globe fixing problems for chocolatiers, or really anyone who needs help in this area.  But right now she has some 'down time,' and is determined to fly to Seattle to meet her sexy-voiced financial advisor, Travis.  However, before she can board the plane, Travis tells her she's expected at her college friend Carissa's engagement party in Portland, Oregon.

When she arrives, Carissa is excited about her new chocolate ice cream food truck, Churn PDX, which is different in that it uses liquid nitrogen to freeze the ice cream instantly.  Wanting to show Hayden how it works, Carissa steps inside her truck - and screams, landing directly on top of the dead body of her fiance Declan.

Almost immediately rescued by Austin Martin, another member of the Cartorama community, Carissa leaves in the ambulance with Declan's body, but not before extracting a promise from Hayden to substitute as guide on Declan's Chocolate After Dark, a nighttime tour of places that have special chocolate treats.

Soon Hayden discovers what killed Declan - the liquid nitrogen, which replaces oxygen and can actually suffocate someone.  While the police are calling it an accident, Hayden believes it's murder; much to the dismay of Travis, and her bodyguard Danny, who has shown up unexpectedly to watch over her.  While both are insisting it was an accident, Hayden isn't having any of it and vows to find out the truth of who killed Declan and why.

And what she finds out isn't pretty.  Declan wasn't exactly husband material, and a much more shady character than she could imagine.  In fact, everyone around the Cartorama community isn't really who they claim to be, with secrets running rampant and evasions aplenty, and have reasons to want Declan dead; even her friend Carissa has reason enough to see him gone.

While Hayden thinks she may have been poisoned, (albeit just a bit) and then has another 'accident' later on, she knows she's right on track.  But what she finds out doesn't leave her completely satisfied, it also disillusions her in a way.

This second in the series, much like the first, is well-written and has a very good plot.  I enjoyed the fact that Hayden had a lot of suspects to filter through, trying to decide which one had the greatest motive to wish Declan dead, but never outright accusing anyone without the facts in front of her.  (It can be annoying when the main character goes around accusing everyone of the crime without having proof of it).

I enjoyed the book immensely, but a little disappointed that poor Hayden's love life is going nowhere while Danny's always seems to be going somewhere.  The girl can't get a break.  We know there's a conflict between Danny and Travis; but with Hayden having never met Travis, it's not a fair contest; Danny, for all his protests, is obviously interested in Hayden, but it's like competing with a ghost, somehow; something heard but not seen.  I feel that until she actually meets Travis face-to-face, it's never going to be a fair fight.  Oh, well...for another book I suppose (which I will be waiting eagerly to read)...

When we find out the murderer, yes, it was expected somehow, but it doesn't make it unbelievable in any way.  The characters are three-dimensional, the book a great read; and I look forward to the next in the series.  Highly recommended.

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