Lila Mae is in a tizzy over the Chocolate Ball – a huge event that she and her sisters, Dorothea and Madge, host every year. But due to unusual circumstances, Dorothea and Madge dump everything in Lila Mae’s lap. If it weren’t for Julian Gillespie of Event Is King, the Chocolate Ball would have melted.
Bernie, the Alcott sisters’ 92-year-old father, decides he wants his Bentley back. The sisters and Bambi are horrified. They hire Joseph’s cousin Chewie as Bernie’s new chauffeur.
Wolfram, Lila Mae’s new astrologer, gives clues of things to come. This leaves Lila Mae and her sidekick Amelia with brows furrowed.
On her day off, Amelia decides to bake a chocolate blueberry pie. She discovers she needs to make a grocery run. When she returns home, she discovers her kitchen door is slightly ajar. Arms loaded with groceries, she toes the door open.
Three things catch her attention: a vase of flowers on the kitchen island that was not there when she left the house, her marble rolling pin covered with blood… and a dead body on her kitchen floor.
Amelia’s eyes drift toward the dining room and beyond – is the house empty, or is there a murderer inside? She backs up, turns and hurries outside. After setting the bags on the ground, she slips back into the kitchen and snaps a picture of the dead guy. Then she calls Detective Chance Walker, Lila Mae and finally… 9-1-1.
So many cozy mysteries seem have a heroine that has just moved recently to a small town, has come out of a disappointing relationship and runs a fledgling business. "Bitter Chocolate" is nothing like that. Vive la difference! Like a cold glass of sweet tea on a humid southern afternoon, Ireland presents us with a second look at the Alcott family, members of Houston's social and economic elite. And they are actually likeable, unlike most of the 'rich & famous' we see on 'reality tv' these days.
I have a disappointing history with fruit and chocolate together (well, except for chocolate-dipped strawberries), so I don't know if I could ever try a chocolate and blueberry pie. But I DEVOURED this book!
As Ms. Ireland is a new-to-me author, I've added the first Alcott Family Adventure "Hot Chocolate" to my TBR list at GoodReads, and I can't wait for "Spicy Chocolate" (Book 3) to come out - it is expected in 2016.
Her family feature film screenplay A Girl and Her Dogwas awarded a Kids First! Endorsement by the Coalition for Quality Children’s Media in October 2012 and optioned by Shadow Cave Productions in February 2013.
Originally from Feeding Hills, MA, Dawn migrated to San Antonio in 1968, then when her first son was one years old, her family moved to Houston where work was more plentiful. After 40+ years of heat and humidity, she has her sights on the Pacific NW.
Dawn is the co-author of the animated screenplay Memoirs of a Dog which won the Spirit Award of the Moondance Film Festival (children’s category) September 2011. Her dark comedy Plan B was a finalist in the Table Read My Screenplay script competition in 2010 and years before that, Standing Dead won the Women in Film and Television (Houston Chapter) screenplay award.
Stay tuned for The Last Dog (futuristic/sci-fi 2015), and Spicy Chocolate (2016).
(Disclosure: I received an e-copy of "Bitter Chocolate" from the author via Virtual Author Book Tours in exchange for my honest, non-biased opinion.)