A SHOT IN THE 80% DARK
Bean to Bar Mysteries, Book 4
Cozy Mystery / Culinary Mystery /Woman Sleuth
Publisher: Golden Tip Press
Date of Publication: July 15, 2022 **** 285 pages
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Felicity Koerber’s bean to bar chocolate shop is thriving. Despite everything she’s been through with the murders she’s helped solve, Felicity is ready to take on new challenges. So when a local museum offers her a contract to create a chocolate replica of a gigantic sailing ship sculpture for a gala celebrating Galveston’s history, she jumps at the chance to combine chocolate-crafting with art.
The project is fun – right up until there’s not just one but two dead artists on the scene, and Felicity has to change gears back to being a detective. Logan, Felicity’s business partner and previous bodyguard, and Arlo, Felicity’s ex who is now the cop investigating the case, are split on which victim they think was actually the intended one. Felicity may have to take some chances, both emotionally and in luring out a killer, to determine the truth.
Can she find out how Galveston’s history relates to the murders, unmask a killer, and prepare 2,000 chocolate desserts for the gala all at the same time?
What fun it was to have another visit to Galveston Island and the delightful chocolate shop owned by Felicity Koerber and her business partner, Logan. Some other members of the cast of characters from previous stories are back in this one; including Carmen the lady who creates the most scrumptious-sounding baked items that I wish I could taste in person.
The mystery in this story is the best part, well maybe the chocolate really is. But seriously the mystery of who’s been killing the various artists associated with this gala event was so well done that I didn’t guess who the culprit was. Most of the artists who are creating work to contribute to the exhibition have motives and weak, or no, alibi for the time of the first murders. Some can also easily be tied to the third murder, who had been Felicity’s main suspect until Audrey was found at the bottom of the lake.
The subplot of the love triangle between Felicity Arlo and Logan didn’t appeal to me. But I’m just one reader among many, and others will find it a fun addition to the story.
What did appeal to me a great deal was the mystery, as well as reading about how the giant chocolate sculpture of a ship was being made. It’s not just a matter of carving a huge chunk of chocolate, and seeing all that is involved was quite interesting. If I had a 3-D printer, I’d fill it with chocolate. 🙂 Until I started reading the series, I had no idea what was involved in making a simple piece of chocolate either, and with each book that I’ve read I learned a little bit more about the art of a chocolatier.
A Shot in the 80% Dark is a fun read, and one I recommend to folks who like a good cozy mystery.
Amber Royer writes the Chocoverse comic telenovela-style foodie-inspired space opera series and the Bean to Bar Mysteries. She is also the author of Story Like a Journalist: a Workbook for Novelists, which boils down her writing knowledge into an actionable plan involving over 100 worksheets to build a comprehensive story plan for your novel. She also teaches creative writing and is an author coach.
Amber and her husband live in the DFW Area, where you can often find them hiking or taking landscape/architecture/wildlife photographs. If you are very nice to Amber, she might make you cupcakes. Chocolate cupcakes, of course! Amber blogs about creative writing technique and all things chocolate.
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Autographed copies of A SHOT IN THE 80% DARK
US only. Ends Midnight, CDT, July 28, 2022)
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