Cover Image: A Christmas Candy Killing

A Christmas Candy Killing

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A Christmas Candy Killing is a deliciously sweet start to Christina Romeril’s new ‘Killer Chocolate’ cozy mystery series, featuring twin sisters Alex and Hanna, the owners of Murder and Mayhem, a mystery themed bookshop that serves up delectable chocolates with poison themed names.  A well paced mystery with red herrings throughout, a perfect setting for a murder mystery and a cast of quirky likable characters, this one packs in all the elements necessary for a perfect holiday themed cozy mystery.  Bonus for me was the activities of the Sleuth Bookclub and the recipes at the end of the book!  

Thank you to Crooked Lane Books and NetGalley for the opportunity to read an advance digital copy of this book.  This is my honest opinion.
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Brought to you by OBS reviewer Andra      

A Christmas Candy Killing by Christina Romeril is the first book in the delightful Killer Chocolate series. Delightful because when one incorporates chocolate into a story…well…enough said (at least that is my opinion 😊). But seriously, this cozy mystery set around the holiday season is filled with mystery, intrigue, a couple of interesting twin amateur sleuths and a myriad of other town folks with “interesting” past lives.

The crux of the story is that the beloved, local septuagenarian, Jane (who everybody loves – or do they?) was murdered. The person to discover the body of Jane was none other than one of the owners (a twin in fact) of a mystery bookshop named Killer Chocolates. Alex  Wright discovered Jane’s body as a result of a pre-arranged meeting  between Jane and Alex to discuss the potential of Jane having discovered, through a televised true crime show, that a local resident was indeed a murderer prior to moving to Harriston, Montana. As Alex discovered the body (and it turns out she is also a major beneficiary of Jane’s estate – unbeknownst to her actually) – she is a prime suspect in Jane’s murder. To make sure she is not accused of the crime – Alex and her twin Hannah must team up and “chat” with the residents of Harriston to find the actual culprit. Now – if you are a fan of cozy mysteries – this is not uncommon – having amateur sleuths trying to solve the murder(s) that occur. I think the bit of twist for this series is that the sleuth is a set of twins.

Love the name of the twins mystery themed bookshop -> Murder and Mayhem. The twins also sell home-made chocolates as well, with fillings named after poisons often used in literature like their December’s featured chocolate Candy Cane Coniine (a subtly flavored white-chocolate peppermint ganache with crushed candy canes in a white-chocolate shell. Each month, the bookshop will feature one of their Killer Chocolates in conjunction with a mystery novel. A splendid marketing idea! So in between running a burgeoning new business – the twins work at solving the murder(s). As the story unfolds – we learn of a second murder… and time is running out for Alex, especially since the list of suspects is being whittled down and Christmas is fast approaching.

The clues unfolded in such a manner that it was not until close to the end of the book that I actually figured out who the real murderer was. Just the way I like my mysteries 😊.  I found the portrayal of the myriad of townsfolks very entertaining and at times really good red herrings to the story. I was surprised as to how much detail we got for each potential suspect, which provided depth to the residents of Harriston.

Another aspect I quite enjoyed was that the twins were not too young nor too old at age forty-five – characters with some life experience, still looking for Mr. Right and getting started with second careers – a reflection of today’s world. Individuals still scoping out what life has to offer and open to all possibilities and adventures. This is especially true as Alex, as a young adult, had originally considered going into law enforcement but her mother discouraged it as an inappropriate career so that Alex went into finance instead. And now after all these years – she was finally pursuing one of her passions.

As a debut novel by this author – I found the story had all the necessary ingredients for an entertaining cozy mystery that captured my interest and held it throughout the reading of the book. I love discovering new to me Canadian authors who write in one of my favorite go-to genres for entertainment. I highly recommend A Christmas Candy Killing for those readers who like cozy mysteries, chocolate and Christmas. Settle in for a pleasant and entertaining read.
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Really fun read with lots of twists and turns. Excited to read the next in the series! Love that identical twins are the MCs.
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This is a fun and entertaining read and a promising start to a new series.

I loved the idea of a mystery bookshop which also sells poison-themed chocolates. The characters are three-dimensional and likeable (Miss Watson is adorable) and the mystery progresses at a nice pace. Being German, I also enjoyed the German expressions thrown in here and there (I am curious to know how they are pronounced in the audio version 😃).

All in all, it was a great read and I am looking forward to the next installment in the series.

Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for my copy of the book.
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A Christmas Candy Killing by Christina Romeril was a fantastic cozy mystery to read on my way to visit my daughter over Christmas. The main character, Alex, helps solve the murder of a school teacher. Alex owns a bookstore and her twin sister makes chocolates with a killer spin. There are plenty of suspects to include Alex, too. I love the writing style of the author as her work is enjoyable to read with just the right amount of description. The book was festive and even has a treat for arising chocolatier at the end. Thank you to Ms. Romeril, Crooked Lane Books and NetGalley for the opportunity to review this wonderful holiday mystery!
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Alex and Hannah are sisters who run a bookshop that is mystery themed (ADORABLE!!) called Murder and Mayhem. They also have some chocolate sales that have names align to the theme that are named after poisons! Just with this yes sign me up!!

Alex's friend Jane is found murdered, and Alex gets the bookclub motivated to figure out who the killer is and give Jane some justice! During the time Alex is trying to find out who does it bad things happen left and right, her actions not being the best choice some times, but all in the effort of helping Jane in the end. 

A cute quick Christmas mystery that is all you can ask for! 4/5
Thanks to Netgalley for the ARC!
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Thank you to Netgalley, Christina Romeril and publisher for the ARC of this book 

Sorry for the late review on this one but I saved it until December!

This was an enjoyable book and perfect for the Christmas season. The chapters weren't too long and the story was entertaining.
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DNF @ 20% 

Alex and her twin sister, Hanna, have a mystery book shop and chocolate making business with chocolates inspired by deadly poisons. During one of their Sleuth book clubs, Alex’s friend Jane pulls her aside to confide that she believes a person in their small village is a murderer based on a true-crime show she had watched, and asks Alex to come to her house the next morning to discuss further. When Alex arrives, she finds her friend dead and a man running from the property, and is left wondering if there really is a murderer in their midst.  

The premise is very interesting and I like the idea, but I can’t deal with the writing. It’s very repetitive and characters over explain in the dialogue to the point where is doesn’t really seem like something an actual person would say and feels robotic. If you can get past the writing, this book is pretty interesting and fun, but it’s not for me.
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A Christmas Candy Killing
by Christina Romeril 
⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
I read this the week after Christmas and loved it! I was hooked right away and enjoyed guessing who the killer was. So many secrets to weed through! I cannot wait to see what is next for Alex & Hanna.
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This is the first book I’ve read by Christina Romeril and it won’t be the last. I enjoyed her writing style and her perceptive eye on village life and the secrets held within. 

The Sleuth Book Club holds meetings at Murder and Mayhem: Killer Chocolates and Bookshop, run by Alex and her twin sister, Hanna. When elderly club member Jane hints to Alex that there may be a killer hiding in their village, Alex isn’t sure what to believe. Jane is an aficionado of true crime TV and it won’t be the first time she’s accused a neighbour. When death enters their lives, Alex has to take it seriously- especially as she’s one of the prime suspects. 

This was a well written story, with interesting characters. I enjoyed it.

I was given this ARC to review.
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I loved that the characters were older!  When Hanna and Alex first started talking about Tom, I assumed the age difference was over 20 years.  It was interesting to find out that Alex is in her 40s.  I like that.  I did think that there were too many characters, and at times, it made the story feel a little clunky or hard to follow.  I had to go back and look up who certains characters were.  The poison-themed chocolates were fantastic!  What a great idea for a mystery bookstore!
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“A Christmas Candy Killing“ by Christina Romeril the 1st instalment in the "A  Killer Chocolate Mystery" series.  This is a great start to a new series, reminds me of Joanne Fluke Hannah Swanson series. 

Their chocolates are to die for—but things aren’t so sweet when a real killer comes to town

Twin sisters, Alex and Hannah, owners of a mystery bookstore, in small town Montana, that also sells poisoned themed chocolates. A friend and elderly neighbor confides to Alex about her suspicions that a fellow villager is a murderer, as seen on a true crime show, but that friend and neighbor is soon found dead. Naturally, the twins need to investigate. 

It was entertaining, full of twists and turns and I didn’t completely guess whodunnit until Alex and Hannah did.  plus all the descriptions of the chocolates made my mouth water.

I highly recommend this series to all my cozy loving friends and I can’t wait for book 2 to come out!

I requested and received an advance readers copy from NetGalley and Crooked Lane Books. All thoughts and opinions are my OWN.
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Identical twins Alex and Hannah own a chocolate and mystery book shop. Their theme is to sell kitschy poison titled chocolates. Unfortunately upon visiting a close friend who has important information about a murderer residing in their town, Alex discovers her grisly murder. After the autopsy it is revealed she was also poisoned by their signature chocolate. Alex becomes a prime suspect. She and her twin decide to investigate and by asking questions Alex stumbles on another body, whom Alex suspects by the chocolate box may also have been poisoned. Will her nosiness mean she’s next?
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This first book in the Killer Chocolate mystery series features twin sisters, Alex and Hannah, owners of a mystery bookstore, in small town Montana, that also sells poisoned themed chocolates. A friend and neighbor confides to Alex about her suspicions that a fellow villager is a murderer, as seen on a true crime show, but that friend and neighbor is soon found dead. Naturally, the twin sisters investigate. 

This series debut shows a lot of promise. I love a good Christmas mystery and this is certainly a terrific Christmas mystery. A great setting with some interesting characters, too. I'm hoping that there are many more books to come in this series.
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Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for an early review copy of this book. I requested to read this cozy mystery as the synopsis sounded like a fun, light, seasonal read which is exactly what it was! 
The book was very similar to the early Hannah Swanson mysteries by Joanna Fluke, if you enjoyed those you will more than likely enjoy this one too!
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What is your favorite type of Christmas candy?  I love so many different types, but fudge is my favorite.

Alex and Hannah are identical twin sisters who own a book and candy store, Murder and Mayhem, in a small town in Montana.  Originally from Frankenmuth, Michigan, the ladies have used their family chocolate making tradition to create a line of murder-themed chocolates, perfect to pair with your favorite mystery.  When Alex finds a neighbor, friend, and Sleuth Book Club member, Jane, dead in her own home, she decides she is going to track down her killer.  Jane had wanted to show Alex a true crime show as she thought the picture of a killer on the show matched someone in their small town.  Was Jane onto something or is there another reason that she was murdered?

I enjoyed the mystery in this one and did not figure out the killer until the pieces all fit together at the end.  This was the first book in a new planned cozy mystery series, and I can’t wait to read more.  I enjoyed Alex and Hannah and meeting their friends and acquaintances in their small town.  I also love that they own a combination candy and bookstore.  I think that is a spectacular combination!  I also loved that it was at Christmas time and enjoyed that as well.  There was humor in the story and the book overall had good pacing. 

Review Copy from NetGalley.  Thank-you! I received a complimentary copy of this book. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.
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In Christmas Candy Killing by Christian Romeril, Twin sisters Alex and Hannah are the owners of a candy and mystery bookshop. While at a Sleuth club meeting Jane,  a good friend of theirs tells Alex she knows there is a murder of a cold case in town and can she meet the next morning to see what she thinks. When Alex goes to Janes house she finds the house  Jane Murdered with a box of her shops chocolates on the end table. Soon Alex is the number one suspect and has to find the muder so she can prove she's innocent and find justice for her friend.

   I'm loving this book but it does have alot of parallels to the first Aurora Teagarden book Real Murders. Once you get past that it's a great book. 

    The characters are so charming. I love how the neighbors all look out for eachother and formed a family. The plot was well written and kept you interested till the very end. I especially like how the murder was finally discovered. It was a nice slow reveal and made sense. 

   You how learn about candy making and how the candy shop works with the theme of the mystery Book store. All the chocolates are named after poisions found in Mystery books which is a fun twist. I also enjoyed learning about German cookies and culture through the main characters. It was nice to see a different culture explored 

     This was a great start to a new Cozy Mystery series and I can't wait for the second in the series!

Thank you Netgallery and Crooked Lane books the ARC
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Thank you so much to NetGalley and Crooked Lane Books for my copy of A Christmas Candy Killing by Christina Romeril in exchange for an honest review. It published October 11, 2022.
This was a wonderful first book in a new cozy mystery series. I had a lot of fun with this, I loved the poison chocolates theme, I thought it was so clever and unique and a little meta, too!
I loved that the main character is a twin and I found the setting to be fun, I love Montana! 
I think if you're a cozy fan, you'll definitely enjoy this one!
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The author has written a fine coy mystery centered around a combination mystery bookshop/candy store. Alex and her twin sister, Hanna, ran the store located in the small Rocky Mountain village of Harriston, Montana. Alex, visiting an elderly friend, finds her dead - stabbed to death. The sheriff accusses another friend of the crime, bui A;ex is not so sure. She and a collection of friends and neighbors will spend the days before Christmas searching for the real killer while not being killed themselves.

It was fun getting to know the members of the Harriston community - both their strengths and their faults. The author drops enough clues for the reader to track the guilty party, without giving the culprit away till the book reaches its climax. When combined with the cany recipes, the book is well done.


Hopefully this becomes the first book in a new series - after all, “This is the first time there’s been a murder in Harriston in over a hundred years. What are chance of another … in our lifetimes.”  I give this cozy mystery four-stars.

______________

This review is based on a free electronic copy provided by the publisher for the purpose of creating this review.  The opinions expressed are mine alone.
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I really enjoyed the background of this first book in a new series.  A Mystery Bookstore/Chocolate Shop that sells chocolates with poisonous names. Twin sisters Alex and Hannah have moved to Montana from Michigan to open and operate the shop. Hannah makes the chocolates and Alex runs the rest of the shop.  After a book club meeting Jane asks Alex to stop be her house to watch a true crime show. Jane is sure the killer is living in their town.  When Alex shows up she finds Jane dead. The Sheriff thinks Alex might be the killer so she sets out to clear her name and solve the crime. I liked the characters and the small town setting. I had a problem with the mystery and the way Alex went about solving or not solving it.  It was very obvious who the killer was yet Alex like the Sheriff keeps ignoring them. She spends a lot of time going around in circles uncovering people's secrets that have nothing to do mystery yet never questions the real killer.  I was really surprised when Alex made a few too stupid to live moves.  At the end I felt like the author paid more attention to her chocolate recipes, which look quite good, than the mystery. Overall it was a quick light Holiday Read
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