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BOOK REVIEW: THE CHOCOLATE SNOWMAN
BY JOANNA CARL

We hope you enjoy this book review by Caryn St. Clair.





The small Michigan community of Warner Pier is preparing for its Winter Arts Festival and the committee is nailing down the last of the details. The choral group is ready to perform, the drama group's play is finished, the giant snowmen have arrived and the chocolate versions of the snowmen are ready. The judge for the juried art show however is neither ready nor has he arrived. In fact, he has canceled. Since the art show is the biggest of the events to be held, the lack of a professional judge would be a disaster. Fortunately, another judge is found and the job of picking Dr. Fletcher Mendenhall falls to Lee McKinley. The judge turns out to be an impossible drunk forcing Lee to leave him at a motel in a Grand Rapids suburb and return home. When her husband goes to pick him up the next morning, Mendenhall is dead.

The mystery of who killed Mendenhall and why is very well crafted. There are hints along the way for readers to use to solve both Mendenhall's murder and another related one that occurs later in the book. The characters are also depicted dead on. Any reader who has worked on any sort of a community event or a committee of any kind really, will recognize all of the players. There's always the town “queen” who is used to running everything, the newbie who somehow manages to become the chair and has to deal with the queen, the timid soul who does a terrific job as long as she doesn't have to talk, the grandiose planner and so on.

Carl also captures the small town feeling without making Warner Pier too “cute.” Even the most picturesque town's residents have the same sorts of troubles as their city counterparts. Small towns may look cute, but looks can be deceiving and Warner Pier is no exception.

Rather than including recipes in this chocolate oriented book, author Carl has chosen to intersperse some history about various kinds of chocolate. While I love recipes, I found these little tidbits much more interesting. Who knew German Chocolate Cake was named for a person?

REVIEWED BY CARYN ST. CLAIR

DO NOT REPRINT WITHOUT PERMISSION OF THE REVIEWER, CARYN ST. CLAIR


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