Cover Image: The Chocolate Shark Shenanigans

The Chocolate Shark Shenanigans

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I have been a big fan of this series since the beginning.
Lee and Joe have a home go up for sale next to their house. So Joe , Lee and her Aunt & Uncle buy it. They plan on remodeling it and reselling. A local developer, Spud, wants it and isn't to happy that they bought it. While Lee is down in the basement with the plumber, they discover a gun. Spud turns up dead a few days later at the house. Lee just can't help herself again trying to solve a murder.
I received this from NetGalley for review.
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THE CHOCOLATE SHARK SHENANIGANS is the seventeenth book in JoAnna Carl’s “Chocoholic” cozy mystery series. When Joe and Lee Woodyard buy an old house to flip for a little extra income, they never imagined the Pandora’s box they’d be opening. In this book, you have what Agatha Christie might refer to as a “sleeping murder” – a murder that went unanswered for, and one that most people were unaware of, until very recently. When Lee discovers a gun in the basement of the Bailey house, she and her family members are left with nothing but questions. I love this this type of story in which the main characters must decipher the past in order to make sense of the present.

Warner Pier, Michigan seems like a quaint and utterly charming small town with nice people but, in investigating the recent death of local developer Spud Dirk, a wealth of secrets simmers to the surface. Lee’s husband Joe is both a source of information and a partner in crime as they investigate the murder. Joe grew up with Spud and many of the main suspects. I must say that the names JoAnna Carl litters this mystery with are a hoot – Spud, Sharpy, Digger, Meyer “Curley” McWhirley, and “The Sharks”. The innocent and somewhat goofy names belie the seriousness and danger that ends up surrounding the main characters. As the story progresses, bits of the solution are obvious to me, while connecting everything proves entertainingly elusive.

THE CHOCOLATE SHARK SHENANIGANS is an intriguing mystery with layers of secrets that the reader will delight in peeling back until the culprit is finally revealed. Near the end of THE CHOCOLATE SHARK SHENANIGANS I’m left suspecting everybody except the sleuths. JoAnna Carl does a good job of balancing the typical and terrific cozy mystery trappings with the more sinister elements. I look forward to the next “Chocoholic” mystery.
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This is book 17 in the Chocoholic Mystery series.  Set in Michigan, Lee is busy keeping their chocolate shop running and Joe is busy with his partner fixing up a house to flip.  When they find a gun in the basement someone in town doesn't want them investigating an old robbery and is willing to kill to keep his secret. This is a cute and clever mystery that's an easy read.  It can be read as a stand alone but you'll get more from the story with backgrounds on the main characters.  I received a copy of this ARC in exchange for a fair and honest review.
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Cute, cozy, and clever. This is the 17th Book in this series and the first one I have read.I was completely sucked in by the charming cover, The quirky title, and of course the chocolate. I would have probably enjoyed the story more had I known more of the characters backstory, but it truly worked perfectly fine as a standalone. The mystery was clever and a little more complex than most cozies. Lee, her husband, and her uncle have purchased the house next-door with hopes of flipping it. When a gun and a dead body are discovered in the house there plans are diverted. Why does nothing like this ever happened on HGTV? The mystery involves the past, a high school club, and a prank gone wrong. I thought it was well plotted and I enjoyed trying to puzzle it out. I also loved all the chocolate facts sprinkled throughout the story, and I am now convinced that chocolate is good for you! A fun cozy with a little bite!

This book in emoji’s 🔨 🍫 🦈

*** Big thanks to Berkley for my gifted copy ***
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Series: Chocoholic Mystery - Book 17
Author: JoAnna Carl 
Genre: Cozy Mystery/Culinary/Holiday
Publisher: Berkley 
Page Count: 256

From Berkley comes the 17th book in the “Chocoholic Mystery” cozy murder series from JoAnna Carl, AKA Eve Sandstrom, The Chocolate Shark Shenanigans.

Lee may not be happy with the current house flipping arrangement that Joe and Hogan, as well as her aunt Nettie, have roped her into, but she is still doing her part to get things moving. Even when she almost gets shot due to the clumsiness of a plumber, she carries on. But when a body is discovered on the property, she is nearly ready to call it quits!

Readers can’t help liking Lee in this new cozy murder book. The characters are fun to read and learn about, and they make you want to grab a hammer and go to work. Sometimes in a series as long-running as this one, characters can become stale, annoying even but not these characters! Every new addition to the series brings new mystery, new revelations, and page-turning enjoyment.

Adding in the element of chocolate never hurt in a cozy murder story, and The Chocolate Shark Shenanigans is no exception. Readers will fall in love with the chocolate shop, and all the delicious descriptions and interesting facts sprinkled throughout the book.

The identity of the killer and the ending is almost a surprise, and yet not one as well. If readers follow the clues in this cozy murder book and pay attention to the details, they will be able to figure out who the murderer is before the final reveal. Even the motive becomes evident if you take the time to sit back, relax, and read between the lines.

I thoroughly enjoyed this new addition to the series. It has all the elements needed in an excellent cozy murder book, some wonderful characters and a feeling of being there, strolling down the sidewalk, and meeting the cast of characters as if they were old friends. I am happy to recommend this book and series to readers of all cozy genres.

ARC provided by Berkley and NetGalley
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Berkley Prime crime titles usually come out at the beginning of the month. This month they have 4 to choose from and they are set to release on 11/05/2019.
Goodreads and Amazon links will be posted.


Check it out!

Air Warden Mystery Book 1

The start of an exciting new World War II historical mystery series featuring charming, quirky Air Raid Warden Poppy Redfern....

Summer 1942. The world has been at war for three long and desperate years. In the remote English village of Little Buffenden, the Redfern family's house and farmland has been requisitioned by the War Office as a new airfield for the American Air Force. 

The village's Air Raid Warden, twentysomething Poppy Redfern, spends her nights patrolling the village and her days writing a novel of passion. It is a far cry from the experience of the other young women in town: within days, two of the village's prettiest girls are dating American airmen and Little Buffenden considers the "Friendly Invasion" to be a success. 

But less than a week later, Doreen Newcombe, the baker's daughter; and the popular Ivy Wantage are both found dead. Poppy realizes that her community has been divided by murder, and the mistrust and suspicion of their new American neighbors threatens to tear this town, already grappling with the horrors of war, apart. Poppy decides to start her own investigation, but she soon unearths some unfortunate secrets and long-held grudges. She will have no choice but to lay a trap for a killer so perilously close to home, she might very well become the next victim....

Get a copy!

Check it out!

Chocoholic Mystery Book 17

In the newest mystery from nationally bestselling author Joanna Carl, a dive into house flipping becomes a deadly flop....

When a house near Lee and Joe's home goes up for sale, the couple teams up with Lee's aunt and uncle, Nettie and Hogan, to buy it, remodel it, and resell it for a sweet profit. But after the owners of the house, the Baileys, accept their offer, a local developer, Richard "Spud" Dirk, suddenly swoops in with a higher one, and it seems their dreams might be snatched away. 

Lee, never as passionate about the plan as her husband and uncle, is anxious to get back to focusing on managing TenHuis Chocolade. But when a long-hidden gun is found behind a pipe in the Baileys' basement, she begins to suspect a mystery is afoot. And when Spud turns up dead in the Baileys' carport a few days later, it becomes clear there's something rotten at the foundation....

To solve the murder, Lee will have to strip away layers of secrets--that is, if someone doesn't level her first....

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Check it out!

Murder She Wrote Book 50

In the fiftieth entry in this USA Today bestselling series, two timelines converge as Jessica Fletcher returns to high school to investigate the murder of an old colleague, while we meet Jessica as a young teacher solving her very first murder--that of the high school principal.

     Young Jessica Fletcher's life couldn't be more ordinary. She teaches at the local high school while she and her loving husband, Frank, are raising their nephew Grady together. But when the beloved principal dies under mysterious circumstances, Jessica knows something is off and, for the very first time, investigates a death.

     Present-day Jessica returns to high school for a colleague's retirement party and has fun seeing familiar faces. That is, until the colleague winds up dead--and his death has mysterious links to Jessica's very first murder case.

     With nothing but her own instincts to guide her, Jessica embarks on a quest to find out what really happened all those years ago and who's behind these murders. Because time is running out to catch this killer.... 

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Check it Out!

Counterfeit Lady Book 3

Elizabeth Miles finds herself in a position no con can help her escape. Her beloved fiancé, Gideon Bates, is awaiting his turn in the draft to fight in the Great War. Elizabeth is finding it hard to think of anything else, but Gideon has thrown himself into his work, preparing wills for soldiers before they ship out. Corporal Tom Preston is part owner of Preston Shoes, a company that is making footwear for the army, so he has a rather large estate. He needs a new will, however, because he has just been secretly married to a woman whom his family would never approve. He wants to make sure she and their unborn child are provided for if he does not return. 

When Tom is later reported killed, Elizabeth and Gideon learn that the new will has gone missing after Tom's bride revealed her identity to his family. Unless the new will is found and validated, the original will, which leaves everything to Tom's brother, will prevail and the wife and child will get nothing. If Tom's new bride survives, that is. Some terrible threats have been leveled against her, and Elizabeth and Gideon must figure out a way, legal or not quite, to secure Tom's fortune for his wife and child while saving her life in the process.

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Chocolatier Lee Woodyard once again finds herself in the middle of a murder case in JoAnna Carl’s latest Chocoholic Mystery, “The Chocolate Shark Shenanigans.”

When a mysterious gun and a dead body are found in the house Lee and her husband Joe are flipping with her uncle, Chief of Police Hogan Jones, Lee hops into detective mode to find out who killed the man, how did the gun appear in their basement, and are either of these situations connected to a prank and a death 20 years ago?

Told from the perspective of Lee — including her silly twisted tongue moments like saying collarbone instead of collateral — the story moves along quickly as it’s told in the way her mind works — frantically, rambling, fast-paced. Carl always writes in a fun, plucky manner, sometimes almost tongue-in-cheek. So “Shenanigans” doesn’t disappoint with an interesting, intriguing tone.

Filled with twists and turns, misdirections, and all sorts of action like prowlers, shootings and murders, “Shenanigans” will leave the reader guessing until the very end — who killed Spud Dirk and why, and does his death have anything to do with a pretend convenience store robbery 20 years ago, the same night the town curmudgeon died?

Readers will love Carl’s characters — Lee always delights with her determination and her twisted tongue; her and Joe’s relationship is as sweet as can be; and Hogan and Lee’s Aunt Nettie, as well as the rest of the townfolk, are fun and delightful.

As usual, the author includes several chocolate facts and a recipe throughout the book to whet the appetite for the chocolate lovers out there.

“The Chocolate Shark Shenanigans” is a fun little whodunnit in a series that once again delivers a great story!

Five stars out of five. 

Berkley Prime Crime, an imprint of Penguin Random House LLC, provided this complimentary copy through NetGalley for my honest, unbiased review.
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Lee and her husband have purchased a house not far from them.  Her husband, Joe, plans to fix it up and resell.  There's another buyer trying to outbid them but the sellers are sticking with Joe's offer.  When Lee takes the plumber down to the basement to check on the pipes, she sees some rags in the crossbeams overhead.  Her husband had cleaned that room, so she asks the plumber to get it down.  He drops it and a gun goes off.  It almost hit Lee!

Berkley and Net Galley let me read this book for review (thank you).  It will be published November 5th.

They are both amazed to find a gun in the rags.  It's a gun that has been missing for a long time.

The next surprise was a dead body in the cupboards of the garage.  It's the other buyer and he's been murdered.  To add insult to injury, they suspect Joe as a suspect.  After all, they had words about the sale of the house in a public place.  Lee is ready to do her own snooping.  She knows Joe didn't do it.

They finally figure it out after many questions, but the killer is coming after them now...
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The Chocolate Shark Shenanigans:  A Chocoholic Mystery
By JoAnna Carl
November 2019

Review by Cynthia Chow

Sharks and chocolate shouldn’t go together, but when the town of Warner Pier embraces the tourist-attracting theme of “Lake Michigan – Fisherman’s Paradise,” the family-run TenHuis Chocolade begin designing shark-shaped, sea salt dusted confections.  Part owner Lee Woodyard is doing a lot of stress-eating of the chocolaty fish truffles now that she has a new mortgage hanging over her head, as her husband’s assurances that their house-flipping venture will be a long-term success do little to ease her fears of debt.  Along with her Aunt Nettie’s husband Hogan Jones, they have purchased the rundown Bailey house with the intent of renovating it for sale in the newly affluent town.   Even Lee’s worst fears didn’t include the discovery of a gun in their basement, uncovered by their plumber and leading back to a convenience store holdup from years past.  While that prank-gone-weird only resulted in a wounded slushee machine, a very present-day crime lands Lee and her husband in trouble when the body of Richard “Spud” Dirk is found in the Bailey house carport.  Joe has recently – and publicly – argued with Spud over bids to buy the fixer-upper, meaning that Police Chief Hogan is off the case when Joe is named one of the main suspects.

While Joe is at first adamant that Lee let the State Police handle the matter, Hogan is the one to encourage her to delve in to the past and present crimes.  It was over a decade ago that the late Spud and his high school friends took inspiration from West Side Story and named themselves the Sharks, but their exploits were more embarrassing than dangerous.  Pulling out the whole story of how shenanigans involving toys guns led to a very real gunfire is proving to be surprisingly difficult for Lee and Joe, especially when yet another shooting occurs in town.  Intent on solving the puzzle and protecting their investment in the Bailey House, Lee and her husband discover a safe full of cash, exasperating half-confessions, and sullied reputations.

Lee may be stressed out and frustrated with her finances on the line, but she confidently pursues investigations in her beloved adopted town. The former Texan debutante still occasionally mixes up her words with malapropisms, but it’s actually her native Texan accent that does more to set her apart from the rest of the West Michiganders.  Chocolate lore and information is interspersed throughout the novel, and even their fishy shapes can’t make the TenHuis Chocolade’s truffles and chocolate candies any less appealing.   Readers will feel as comfortable with the Warner Pier residents as the characters do with each other, and this 17th in the series feels as fresh as the first.  Readers will be drawn from the first page into the lives of Lee, her family, and the Warner Pier Michiganders.
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These are always enjoyable cozy mysteries. Quite a good caper and love the chocolate facts. Less and Joe are so sweet.
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The Chocolate Shark Shenanigans is the 17th book in the Chocoholic Mystery series by JoAnna Carl. I've had most of the books in this series on my TBR shelf for a very long time. When you own thousands of books, it takes awhile to bring a series to the top of the pile. When I saw the front cover of this newest book, I knew it was time to start reading this series!

I don't usually jump into a series on book 17....but I did this time. I'm learning to take chances in my old age. ha ha. I knew if I didn't just jump in, that this series could remain in TBR limbo even longer than it already has. I'm glad I finally tested the waters and "met'' the owners of TenHuis Chocolade!

I enjoyed this book! I think I would understand the characters better starting at the beginning of the series, but I still enjoyed this fun mystery. The characters are quirky. There's lots of humor. And some great investigation as well. All in all, a fun, entertaining cozy mystery. I'm definitely back-tracking and starting this series from book 1 though....I want to see how this all got started!

The basics: Lee Woodyard's husband decides to buy a house to remodel and flip. She's not too keen on the idea, but goes along with it. When a hidden gun and a dead body are discovered in the house, they all get pulled into investigating a past crime and a present killing. Who knew flipping a house could be so dangerous?

I liked the humor and fun in this story most of all. Sometimes a really entertaining cozy can just be so refreshing and fun to read. I needed this dose of humor. This whole series appears to be this way if the covers are any indication! I can't wait to read the rest of the books! I need a little Lee -- and her constant use of wrong words -- in my life! I don't often give cozy mysteries full stars because they are such light reads and often written in a definite formula....but I had so much fun reading this entertaining, cute story that I'm giving it full marks.

Cute story! Fun read! I will definitely be reading this entire series!

**I voluntarily read an advance review copy of this book from Berkley Publishing via NetGalley. All opinions expressed are entirely my own.**
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In the Chocolate Shark Shenanigans, Lee & Joe buy the house next door hoping to flip it for a profit, but things get off to a nasty start. First, they find a gun in the basement rafters that accidently gets dropped and Lee almost gets shot. Thankfully no one is hurt, but then they find a dead body in the garage! In order to solve this case, they must look back on the towns history to figure out a long ago fake holdup by the high school group known as the Sharks, of whom Joe was almost recruited to be one. This one is full of twists and turns and seemingly unconnected incidents that all come to light in the end.
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It has been awhile since I have seen a JoAnna Carl's book. I have always enjoy my visit to the TenHuis factory and Lee Woodyard. Of course a visit with Lee and friends we must have chocolate. Special Chocolate in the book are a shark that goes along with a summer advertisement. I feel the rating should be 4.5 stars as there is not a lot about chocolate that I especially enjoy reading about it.
Joe and Hogan want to flip a house. When a house in Lee and Joe's neighborhood is for sale, the group buys it. Lee is at the house with plumber when a exploration occurs and Lee is nearly shot dead. It turns there was a gun that went off by accident. Richard "Spud" Dirk claims he had an agreement from the parents to buy the house. Spud is found MURDERED the carport of the disputed house. As Lee begins to examine the Murder she finds that she must look into what happen in the mid-fifties to find a motive for te two killings.

Disclosure: Thanks to Berkley for a copy through NetGalley. The opinions expressed are my own.
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I have read this whole series and enjoyed them however I was disappointed in this one ....there was such a long wait between books and it seems as if the original author did not write this one it was much too simplistic in both the plot and the dialog
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Get ready to join more shenanigans as Joe and Lee embark on another chocolate covered adventure.   Things quite literally start out with a bang when an old, antiquated gun is found in a house that is being renovated by none other than the beloved sleuth, Lee.  She narrowly misses being fatally shot, and this sets off a chain of events.  Why did this happen?  Who left this gun hidden so long ago?  Follow Joe and Lee along as the investigate the long ago abandoned "Shark" gang.  They may just stir up more than memories in their hunt for the truth.

I have to say, I really expected a bit more from this cozy, but I did enjoy reading it.  I am a big fan of cozy mysteries and anything to do with chocolate, and this filled my sweet tooth on both!
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This is the first title that I've read from this series.  It was a quick read.  The characters were likable.  I enjoyed this cozy mystery.
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Lee and Joe decide to turn their talents toward flipping a house that has gone up for sale in their neighborhood. With help from Lee’s aunt and uncle, they hope to make a pretty penny. But then a nasty local developer, Spud Dirk, buys the house out from under them. Lee is disappointed, but puts all her energies into running her chocolate shop TenHuis. But a long missing gun and the death of the dastardly Spud pull Lee into yet another mystery. This long running cozy series will delight and comfort readers with mouth watering descriptions of chocolate, even asthey read about murder most foul
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