Though the TenHuis Chocolade gals of Warner Pier, Mich., are busy selling luscious Valentine’s Day treats, finding a Valentine body in their alley can’t be good for business.
When private detective Derrick Valentine shows up flashing a photo of missing Christina Meachum, store manager Lee Woodyard denies knowing any such person, even though the picture looks just like one of her employees. Pamela has been placed in TenHuis Chocolade by the owner, Lee’s Aunt Nettie, whose friend Sarajane runs an underground railroad for battered woman. When Valentine is found dead behind the store dumpster, Lee and her friends and relatives are in a quandary. Neither Nettie’s husband, the town police chief, nor Lee’s, the city attorney, knew of the scheme to keep Pamela hidden. The underground picks up Pamela and moves her along, but not far enough to escape her problems. Meanwhile, a crooked financier is using his Warner Pier home for a hideout, and Lee’s husband refuses to explain why he’s meeting with some mysterious strangers. Lee’s poking into Pamela’s past opens such a nasty can of worms that she ends up in real danger.
Like Lee’s earlier cases (The Chocolate Snowman Murders, 2008, etc.), this one offers enough mystery and chocolate trivia to keep fans happily turning pages while munching on bonbons (not supplied).