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Welcome to my cyber neighborhood coffee shop! Grab a mug of your favorite beverage and a cozy chair to read and comment a bit. Be sure to try a piece of black forest cake or tiramisu. Try both; cyber-cake is calorie free!

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Saturday, April 27, 2013

Book Review: Death by Chocolate by Sally Berneathy

Book Synopsis on Good Reads

Lindsay Powell awakens one bright Sunday morning to find her almost-ex-husband in bed beside her. Had she really been glad to see the cheating creep standing on her front porch last night? At that burst of insanity she should have called 911, requested she be declared mentally incompetent and locked up for her own protection.

While sleeping with the jerk feels like the absolute worst thing that could happen, that error becomes insignificant as Lindsay’s life rapidly spirals downward into complete chaos and a near-deadly bout with the chocolate she loves.

Lindsay’s neighbor, Paula, is an enigmatic single mom of a two-year old boy. Though Lindsay and Paula have worked together for two years, Lindsay has no idea why her friend dyes her blond hair brown, hides from people and insists on always having a second exit. Secrets from Paula’s past have come back to put all their lives in jeopardy.

Determined to help her secretive friend, Lindsay enlists the reluctant aid of another neighbor, Fred, a computer nerd who rarely leaves his always-tidy house. In spite of his mundane existence, Fred possesses arcane tidbits of knowledge about such things as hidden microphones, guns and the inside of maximum security prisons.

Battling Paula’s elusive stalker, poisoned chocolate, Lindsay’s irritating almost-ex, and a dead man, Lindsay needs more than a chocolate fix to survive.

My Review at Good Reads

5 out of 5 Stars

How well do you really know your closest friends and neighbors? How good a friend are you? Solid friendships don’t require every detail of someone’s past, but not knowing can sure put you in a dangerous situation if that untold past catches up. I liked the story of friends and trust and the main action plot was believable and just fiction enough to keep me guessing and surprised in the earlier chapters of the book.

I totally enjoyed this book! Told in first person, Death by Chocolate is an intense story with a light hearted edge. It doesn’t take long after the beginning of the book to love Lindsay, the main character and for her soon to be ex-husband to make your skin crawl. By the end of my first reading session I wanted to help Lindsay’s neighbor and best friend, Paula, with whatever her trouble was and I was ready to offer to babysit her 2-year old son. I was also smitten with King Henry, the robust cat who chose Lindsay as his human and announced the presence of the bad guys as a watch cat.

This is not a curl up with a cup of tea or coffee book. Death by Chocolate is Lindsay’s breakfast and lunch diner where she specializes in decadent chocolate creations; I’d really suggest curling up with a cup of hot chocolate! The climax of the book is a very “I watch TV shows” attempt at getting the guilty party to confess on tape that goes not quite the way it does on TV. Just as you think it’s a crime for the book to have such a trite end, surprise! It doesn’t, not really. The twists aren’t deep corkscrew rollercoaster twists that turn you upside down, but they are definitely like the one that turns at the end of each hill.

At the end of the book are recipes for decadent chocolate treats, many that are featured at Lindsay’s diner. A sweet finish to a good read!

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