Review: Asking for Truffle: A Southern Chocolate Shop Mystery by Dorothy St. James. Crooked Lane Books

Description (from NetGalley):

When Charity Penn receives a letter saying she won a trip to Camellia Beach, South Carolina complete with free cooking lessons at the town’s seaside chocolate shop, The Chocolate Box, she’s immediately skeptical. She never entered any contest. Her former prep school friend offers to look into the phony prize—only to end up drowned in a vat of chocolate.

Struck with guilt, Penn heads to the southern beach town to investigate why he was killed. But as wary as she is of the locals, she finds herself lured into their eccentric vibe, letting her defenses melt away and even learning the art of crafting delicious chocolates. That is, until delight turns bittersweet as she steps straight into the midst of a deadly plot to destroy the seaside town. Now, only Penn’s quick thinking and a mysterious cask of rare chocolate can save the town she’s learning to love.

Rich and decadent, Asking for Truffle, the first in a new cozy series by Dorothy St. James, is sure to be a delectable read for fans of JoAnna Carl and Joanne Fluke.


My Review:

Well, I liked this book before I started it because it is about one of my favorite subjects: CHOCOLATE!


Then I met Charity Penn, and followed her intriguing story. Starting with a mysterious letter and an invitation, her good friend offers to look into the matter with shocking results–he loses his life in a large vat of chocolate.


Stricken with grief and guilt, Charity decides to look into the death of her friend. From there, we are led a complicated course strewn with a whole school of red herrings–the suspect are plentiful, there are several possible motives. Through it all, though, Charity continues to be mystified about how she got into this situation in the first place. Along the way we encounter a satisfactory selection of fine chocolates, in various ways.


This is an entertaining and engrossing read, full of atmosphere and lots of questions. By the end, Penn has found some answers, but enough questions remain to ensure there will be more books to find all the answers.

My thanks to author, publisher, and NetGalley for providing a copy to read and review.

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