Wednesday, January 7, 2015

HOT FUDGE FRAME UP by Christine DeSmet

Publisher:   Signet  
Published:   June 3, 2014
ISBN:  978-0451416483
Genre:  Cozy Mystery  
Format:  Paperback
Obtained via:  Publisher  
Reviewed by name and email address:  Gina


Ava Oosterling has given up her dream to become a Hollywood script writer and returned to her home town in Door County, Wisconsin where she’s opened up a fudge shop.  Well, not exactly her shop.  On one side of the shop her grandfather has his bait business and Ava’s fudge shop is on the other side.  She does a daily show of making fudge for tourists and townsfolk alike and to boost the fudge making business she’s initiated a fudge making contest.  There’s one little problem—the other two contestants don’t exactly play nice with each other.  In fact they can be downright nasty in their attacks which, at times, include Ava.  Not only are there problems between the contestants.  Things turn really awful when one of the judge’s turns up dead.  While at first it looks like suicide, it quickly becomes clear someone has killed the judge who also happens to be Ava’s grandfather’s best friend.  Ava tries to stay out of investigating this murder, but when a box entrusted to her grandfather by the murder victim goes missing she cannot help but become involved.  Can Ava find the killer before the killer turns his…or her…sights on Ava?

I read book one of Christine DeSmet’s Fudge Shop mysteries on my own because I’m one of those people who has to read a series in order.  If I start in the middle I always feel like I’m missing something.  I didn’t much care for book 1, FIRST DEGREE FUDGE, but was pleasantly surprised with book 2, HOT FUDGE FRAME-UP.  Book 1 seemed like a mishmash of characters looking for a story.  In book 2 Ms. DeSmet tells a much more cohesive and interesting story.  I didn’t see the killer coming until that character was revealed.  More than just chefs vying for best fudge maker there is political intrigue and some fun development between the characters.  Ms. DeSmet did a nice job of fleshing them out in the second book. 

Each book is a standalone and you do not have to have read book 1 to appreciate book 2 but I’d check it out anyway just to see who the players are.  Some interesting fudge recipes are included that seem fairly simple to make.

This is an objective review and not an endorsement of this book.

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