Jessica Beck. Drop Dead Chocolate. New York: St. Martin’s Paperbacks, 2012.

Matters of the heart are front-and-center in this latest addition to the Donut Shop Mystery series.  Suzanne’s mother, Dorothy, is so outraged by Mayor Cam Hamilton’s latest sleazy business venture that she decides on the spur of the moment to run against him in the upcoming election.  Dorothy doesn’t feel the need to consult with anyone about this, not even April Springs’ sheriff, Phillip Martin.  As readers of the series know, Sheriff Martin has carried a torch for Dorothy for decades and since his divorce he has been courting her.  Suzanne has come to peace with that even though she and Sheriff Martin have had run-ins over Suzanne’s habit of sticking her nose into police business. Someone who can’t accept the sheriff’s budding romance is his ex-wife, Evelyn.  When she hears that Dorothy is going to run for mayor, Evelyn decides that she will enter the race too.

April Springs is abuzz at the thought of a three-way race, but that gleeful excitement is short-lived because soon after Dorothy and Evelyn submit their filing papers,  Mayor Hamilton is found bludgeoned to death–in the building that was to be Dorothy’s campaign headquarters. Suddenly, Suzanne’s mother is Suspect #1.  Chief Martin quickly realizes that his romantic entanglement with Dorothy make it inappropriate for him to investigate the case.  The state sends in an outsider (sort of)–state police investigator Jake Bishop. Jake is Suzanne’s boyfriend, but he is all-business once he takes over the case.  Suzanne promises to stay away from Jake while he leads the investigation and not to poke around in case herself.  Chief Martin also agrees not to freelance on the case.  But Mayor Hamilton double crossed, intimidated, and exploited a lot of people and when Suzanne and the chief  hear their stories, they soon forget their promises to Jake.

Was Hamilton killed for love, or money?  And who will be the next mayor of April Springs?  This seventh book in the Donut Shop Mystery series saves its best surprise for the end.

 

Check this title’s availability in the UNC-Chapel Hill Library catalog.

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Filed under 2010-2019, 2012, Beck, Jessica, Mountains, Mystery, Novels in Series, Novels Set in Fictional Places

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