FUDGE BITES is the seventh book in Nancy Coco’s “Candy- Coated” cozy mystery series. Allie McMurphy is the owner of the McMurphy Hotel and Fudge Shop, but she also frequently gets involved in murder investigations. Often, her pets lead her into a mystery to solve. In this installment, it’s a little reminiscent of the classic Disney film THAT DARN CAT! Allie’s cat Carmella discovers a body and does a disappearing act through much of FUDGE BITES. Allie and her friends spend much of this book looking for clues, trying to figure out if the murder involved a case of mistaken identity, and looking for her missing cat. In addition to the various mysteries in FUDGE BITES, Allie struggles with feelings of loneliness and uncertainty about what to do over the winter – both personally and professionally.
This mystery is fascinating because, from the very beginning, it focuses on disguises and deceptions. The story opens with most of the main characters, including the victim, disguised as zombies for a Zombie Walk for charity. From then on, it’s not totally clear whether the murdered man was really the intended victim, or if it was really another man similarly dressed. There are a handful of red herrings for readers, and the fictional amateur sleuths to separate from genuine clues. I like the assortment of puzzles for readers to work out in FUDGE BITES, as well as the personal drama for the main character. Although this is a classic cozy mystery, things do get explosive when the murderer seems unpredictable in the choice of target and method of violence. Although Allie feels lonely at times, it’s great seeing her friends and romantic suitors trying to lift her spirits and support her as she works this case and goes through the motions of running her business.
FUDGE BITES is full of disguises, danger, and one determined amateur sleuth. At the end of this book, Nany Coco gives a hint about which way things are leaning for Allie’s love life. As expected, FUDGE BITES is packed with super yummy fall favorites-flavored fudge recipes. I look forward to reading the next “Candy-Coated” mystery.
Halloween on Mackinac Island is a season of fun tricks, but finding a corpse is no treat for fudge shop owner Allie McMurphy . . .
NIGHT OF THE REALLY DEAD
It’s late October, off-season for tourists, but locals are up and lurching for the annual zombie walk charity event. Though everyone’s living it up, trouble is just a few pawprints away. Allie follows the bloody tracks of her calico cat, Carmella, to a body in the alley behind the Historic McMurphy Hotel and Fudge Shop. Unlike the island’s other walking dead, this one’s flatlined for good. It seems that someone is using the zombie fest as the perfect backdrop for murder. Now amateur sleuth Allie and dreamboat officer Rex Manning must use every trick in their treat bag to unmask a killer in disguise.