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Death by Chocolate Marshmallow Pie by Sarah Graves: A Book Review

My first read by Sarah Graves, Death by Chocolate Marshmallow Pie was more of a darker cozy mystery than I was used to, but I liked the bit of change of tone in this genre because it was different for me.

Jacobia “Jake” runs a bakery with her best friend Ellie in the island village of Eastport, Maine, where Ellie finds the owner of the competing bakery across the street, murdered in his shop. Because of previous occurrences, Ellie becomes the top suspect in the murder investigation, and so, Jake has no choice but to put her sleuthing hat on and do some investigating herself to clear Ellie’s name.

First off, I’ve never read a character who got themselves wrapped up in so many vines, scratched up by trees and plants and bit and stung by so many insects. Only to go back and end up getting “attacked” three more times because the area she scoped out made it difficult to spy or hide. Those moments made me laugh out loud at how she could just pick up herself, and go back to focusing on finding the real killer.

The darker edge of the story was due to Jake’s criminal past. Typically the amateur sleuths are squeaky clean in cozies, but Jake proves that you can still be sleuthing it in a cozy sphere with some grit.

I figured out who the killer was about half way through the novel but it was not obvious who it was and I found the story was well paced. Also, narrator Susan Boyce’s way of verbalizing the audiobook was wonderful.

Thank you Kensington Books for the advanced reading copy and Dreamscape Media for the advanced listening copy. Thoughts expressed in this review are completely my own.


Book Description

The island village of Eastport, Maine, is full of delights, including the delicious treats sold at The Chocolate Moose, the waterfront bakery run by Jacobia Jake Tiptree and Ellie White. But a new bakery in town is proving that you can have too much of a good thing... Summer in Eastport means lobsters and blueberries, though tourists and locals alike always leave a little room for baked goods from The Chocolate Moose. This year's arts festival, featuring food, games, and rollicking local musicians, means even more sweet-toothed customers. But it's also bringing competition from a new rival, Choco's, that's trying to slice into the action. Choco's owner, Brad Fairway, is pulling sneaky stunts to divert Moose patrons to his own shop, and Ellie finally confronts him about his tactics. But when Brad is found dead next day, and the weapon is a gun that belongs to Ellie, it's only a matter of time before she is charged with the crime. Sifting through the victim's connections, Jake and Ellie sense they're getting close to the real culprit, a little too close. Can they serve up the solution before the killer dishes up another helping of murder?

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