Friday, October 23, 2015

The Chocolate Clown Corpse - JoAnna Carl [Book Recommendation]

Book obtained from: Library “new books” shelf, large print edition

Description: The back cover tells us that Lee Woodyard, the protagonist, owns a chocolate shop. The owner of the shop next door, a clown named Moe, ends up dead. When Moe's widow and children list the clown shop for sale, Lee tours it and finds Moe's widow unconscious inside. Lee attempts to learn who killed Moe and who is trying to kill his widow.

Plot: The book is a light, fun read and moves quickly. The storyline is sufficiently complicated to make for an interesting read, and has several scenes where Lee finds herself in sticky situations, including one scene where Lee extricates herself in hilarious fashion. The end includes a small twist which I saw coming about half-way through the book, well before it occurs. This did reduce the tension somewhat.

Characterization: The characters are reasonably well-developed, although not as much as they could have been. I wanted Lee to succeed, but I wasn't as invested in her success as I wanted to be, possibly because of the reduced tension level, see plot above. Lee's husband is a criminal defense attorney who is appointed to defend the man accused of killing Moe, which made for an interesting sideline.

Setting: Michigan in winter. The descriptions were very good, I was able to picture every scene without it being over-described.

Other: Occasional chapters were followed by a page called “Chocolate Chat,” containing information, history, and trivia about chocolate.

Overall: a fun book. I would read more by this author.

Grade: B

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