Thursday, March 22, 2018

Great Escapes Book Tours Book Review: Playing With Bonbon Fire

Playing With Bonbon Fire: A Southern Chocolate Shop Mystery by Dorothy St. James

About the Book

Cozy Mystery 2nd in Series Crooked Lane Books (March 13, 2018) 
Hardcover: 352 pages 
ISBN-13: 978-1683314684 
Digital ASIN: B074MBXLWX

Chocoholic Charity Penn must smoke out the killer to stop her newly inherited beachside chocolate shop from going up in flames in Dorothy St. James’ decadent follow-up to Asking for Truffle.
Chocolate shop owner Charity Penn is finally settling into life in the quirky South Carolina seaside town of Camellia Beach cooking up chocolate treats. She’s even helped organize the town’s lively beach music festival which has brought rollicking crowds eager to dance the Carolina shag. That is, until one of the band’s lead singers is found dead beside a beach bonfire.
While also trying to balance the amorous attention of music star Bixby Lewis, in town for the festival, and her quest to perfect a new hot flavored bonbon, Charity dives into the investigation. Though it’s more spice than sugar when she discovers a threatening note, comes across decades of age-old secrets, and Bixby comes into the line of fire when a gas grill explodes on the deck of a beachfront house.
Now Charity must turn up the heat and catch the killer before her chance melts away in Playing With Bonbon Fire, the delightful second Southern Chocolate Shop mystery served up just right for fans of JoAnna Carl and Joanne Fluke.

Review: Playing with Bonbon Fire is book two is the second book in the Southern Chocolate Shop Mystery series.

I missed the first book in the series, but I hope to soon rectify that situation. I really liked the premise of this series and Charity aka Penn and her friends are truly fabulous. In this book she is setting up a music festival, but when a singer is found dead Charity starts investigating as the fingers start to point at people that she's close too.

Charity is still trying to find her footing in Camellia Beach and as the book starts, she's still trying to learn her grandmother's chocolate business and not doing well at that part. She's also trying to learn some of the secrets from her own history. That history being, who her mother is. Then there's the matter of her whole family being idiots, with the exception of her half sister, Tina.

Then there's rocker Bixby. All the girl's are in love with him, but wow, he's more than a bit of a jerk and you see more and more of that as the story progresses. He's dated Tina, but now Tina thinks he may be a good guy for Penn to hook up with. Oye vey. He also wants to acquire a song from one of the local bands that are performing, The Embers.

While people close to all the bands, and Penn, seem to be getting closer to being the next victim, Penn is also working on her very own bonbon. (Since she is having trouble with her grandmother's recipes)

The murder mystery and the mystery surrounding Penn's mother intertwine nicely, which really makes for a good story. It also allows Penn to become closer to more people in the town.

I look forward to seeing how this series progresses.

Rating 5 flowers

About the Author

Mystery author Dorothy St. James was born in New York but raised in South Carolina. She makes her home on an artsy island community in South Carolina with her husband, a neurotic dog, and fluffy cat. Though writing has always been a passion for her, she pursued an undergraduate degree in Wildlife Biology and a graduate degree in Public Administration and Urban Planning. She put her educational experience to use, having worked in all branches and all levels of government including local, regional, state, and federal. She even spent time during college working for a non-profit environmental watchdog organization.
Switching from government service and community planning to fiction writing wasn't as big of a change as some might think. Her government work was all about the stories of the people and the places where they live. As an urban planner, Dorothy loved telling the stories of the people she met. And from that, her desire to tell the tales that were so alive in her heart grew until she could not ignore it any longer. In 2001, she took a leap of faith and pursued her dream of writing fiction full-time.
Known for the White House Gardener Mystery series, Dorothy is going back to her roots and setting a mystery series in a Southern beach town much like the one she’s called home for the past 20 years. The Southern Chocolate Shop Mysteries combine her love of fine chocolates, quirky Southern charm, with a dash of danger.
* Dorothy St. James is the alter-ego of the award-winning multi-published author, Dorothy McFalls. She enjoys writing in several different genres. Her works have been nominated for many awards including Romantic Times Reviewers' Choice Award, Reviewers International Organization Award, National Reader's Choice Award, CataRomance Reviewers' Choice Award, and The Romance Reviews Today Perfect 10! Award. Reviewers have called her work: "amazing", "perfect", "filled with emotion", and "lined with danger."
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