Jacobia Tiptree (Knockdown, 2011, etc.) is back with a new job in a new location but the same old nose for murder.
Trading in her hammer for a spatula, Jake and her best friend, Ellie White, have opened a spanking new shop on the main drag of Eastport, Maine. Just next door to Second Hand Rose, a resale shop run by always-trendy Miss Halligan, the Chocolate Moose has been a success since the day Jake and Ellie hung their big wooden sign out front. Even the discovery of cranky Matt Muldoon face down in a vat of melted chocolate does little to stem the tide of customers. Jake and Ellie move temporarily to the kitchen of her massive old Victorian while police chief Bob Arnold checks the Moose for clues, much to the annoyance of Jake’s stepmom, Bella Diamond, who’s afraid all that baking will mess up her sparkling clean counters. So as soon as the crime scene tape comes off, they plunge back in. After all, they’ve promised to create a dozen of their signature chocolate cherry cheesecakes to donate to the town’s Fourth of July auction, held each year to pay for the fireworks. And even though it’s not certain that there will be fireworks, since a hurricane sits poised for a direct hit on Eastport, Jake and Ellie want to keep busy, because Bob’s made it clear that as soon as the fundraiser is over, he’s ready to arrest Ellie for Muldoon’s murder. As her handywoman heroine reinvents herself in chocolate, Graves adds enough physical danger to her comfy tale of small-town mayhem to move it into the somewhat oxymoronic range of the cozy thriller.
Gives new currency to the phrase “baking up a storm.”