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review 2015-04-11 00:00
Hot Fudge Frame-Up: A Fudge Shop Mystery
Hot Fudge Frame-Up: A Fudge Shop Mystery - Christine DeSmet

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Our family loves to travel to Door County for day trips or family vacations so I feel right at home visiting Oosterling’s Live Bait, Bobbers, Belgian Fudge & Beer. I love all the local references.

In this second book of the series Ava is competing with two celebrity chefs, one of them has some crazy ideas for her fudge ingredients, in a fudge contest. Local leaders have been lined up as judges. As Ava works on her new fudge flavors, the other chefs can’t be in the same room together without feet and food flying. The event is being filmed for television so Ava tries to just stay out of the line of fire. But when one of the judges is found dead, the fights become the least of her worries. Especially when the sheriff starts to treat Ava as a suspect. Lloyd, the now deceased judge, was Ava’s grandfather’s best friend and owned quite a bit of local property. Ava quickly puts together a list of other suspects, now she just needs to figure out which one has fudged up her life this time.

The author has given us quite a mystery to chew on. A lot happens within these 352 pages. The story is much more complicated than it first appears and I was totally taken aback with the way things played out. Wow, I sure didn’t expect that ending.

We learn a lot about the history of Fisher’s Harbor, and some people’s plans to change the town and take away its charm. Ava is very concerned about those plans but also how they will affect her family, especially her grandparents.

I really enjoy the way the residents come together in times of distress and also in times of celebration. In this story we not only have a festival with a prom-like dance but a funeral. People always bring food to the family after a death and most funeral luncheons are potluck. Very familiar to me after the past few weeks. The dance was for the young and old alike and there were even bets placed on who Ava’s date would be. Her date was also quite a surprise and absolutely perfect.

The book not only has a beautiful setting, an awesome mystery, and terrific characters, it is also full of humor and a bit of romance. I highly recommend this book and if you can, take a real trip to Door County to take in all it has to offer from fudge, cherries, beer, cheese…oh and lighthouses, beautiful beaches and more. It is called The Cape Cod of the Midwest for good reason!
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review 2015-04-07 16:59
FIVE-ALARM FUDGE
Five-Alarm Fudge: A Fudge Shop Mystery - Christine DeSmet

FIVE-ALARM FUDGE had my taste buds tingling and the amateur sleuth raring to investigate!

 

The series had me at the word fudge. I couldn’t wait to get my hands on FIRST-DEGREE FUDGE, book 1 in the Fudge Shop Mysteries. Now here I am, just finished the third book and I’m already looking forward to the next!

 

Author Christine DeSmet has once again created a tempting concoction of mystery, great characters, and mouthwatering delights. This was a fast paced read with twists and turns, and a strong mystery that kept me guessing. The only negative thing I can say about this book is . . . it didn’t come with samples of all the yummy sounding fudge. But there are recipes for it! J

 

If you’re looking for a good cozy mystery, FIVE-ALARM FUDGE is a tasty treat you’re sure to love.

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review 2014-10-13 00:00
First-Degree Fudge
First-Degree Fudge - Christine DeSmet

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Oosterling’s Live Bait, Bobbers, & Belgian Fudge is where Ava Oosterling sells her fudge right across the store where her grandfather sells bait, bobbers, beer and other things a fisherman may need. Located on the pier in Fisher’s Harbor, Wisconsin, in the heart of Door County.

Door County is a place we have vacationed at several times over the years and Fisher’s Harbor depicts clearly the life of the towns along the peninsula protruding into Lake Michigan. I enjoyed all the local references included those outside of Door County. Heck the town we are living in now even gets a mention. Door County is known for its lighthouses, fish boils and cherry orchards. Wisconsin is also home to the Green Bay Packers and fans just love their beer and brats. The author gives us a great overview of the entire area.

She introduces us to Ava who has returned to the area after short stints in Las Vegas and Los Angeles. One bad decision pulled her life off course and she has come back home to start over. Her parents own a farm that can supply some of the fudge ingredients and her grandfather (Gilpa) has some room in his store. Together they decided to add a few special things and make half of the shop a place for Eva to make and sell her fudge. She has a chance to really get her product off to a good start at an event ex–film star Rainetta Johnson will be attending but things go awry when the actress is found dead with a piece of Ava’s fudge in her mouth.

An author faces an uphill battle when debuting a new cozy series. They not only need to introduce to the characters and the setting but they also have to wrap it all in a mystery that keeps readers engaged while at the same time leaving room for the characters to grow in future installments. I think Christine DeSmet did this very well. The premise of the mystery was a little bit out there but I could see the possibilities. One major clue helped me to figure out who the killer was a bit before Ava but I did enjoy her following the breadcrumbs and catch the culprit.

The story has just the right amount of humor and romantic tension you could cut with a knife. The characters are charming and I want to know more about them. DeSmet has laid a good foundation for the series. I hope to read Hot Fudge Frame-Up soon. Five-Alarm Fudge. the 3rd book in the story will be out April 7, 2015.
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review 2014-10-13 00:00
First-Degree Fudge
First-Degree Fudge - Christine DeSmet

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Oosterling’s Live Bait, Bobbers, & Belgian Fudge is where Ava Oosterling sells her fudge right across the store where her grandfather sells bait, bobbers, beer and other things a fisherman may need. Located on the pier in Fisher’s Harbor, Wisconsin, in the heart of Door County.

Door County is a place we have vacationed at several times over the years and Fisher’s Harbor depicts clearly the life of the towns along the peninsula protruding into Lake Michigan. I enjoyed all the local references included those outside of Door County. Heck the town we are living in now even gets a mention. Door County is known for its lighthouses, fish boils and cherry orchards. Wisconsin is also home to the Green Bay Packers and fans just love their beer and brats. The author gives us a great overview of the entire area.

She introduces us to Ava who has returned to the area after short stints in Las Vegas and Los Angeles. One bad decision pulled her life off course and she has come back home to start over. Her parents own a farm that can supply some of the fudge ingredients and her grandfather (Gilpa) has some room in his store. Together they decided to add a few special things and make half of the shop a place for Eva to make and sell her fudge. She has a chance to really get her product off to a good start at an event ex–film star Rainetta Johnson will be attending but things go awry when the actress is found dead with a piece of Ava’s fudge in her mouth.

An author faces an uphill battle when debuting a new cozy series. They not only need to introduce to the characters and the setting but they also have to wrap it all in a mystery that keeps readers engaged while at the same time leaving room for the characters to grow in future installments. I think Christine DeSmet did this very well. The premise of the mystery was a little bit out there but I could see the possibilities. One major clue helped me to figure out who the killer was a bit before Ava but I did enjoy her following the breadcrumbs and catch the culprit.

The story has just the right amount of humor and romantic tension you could cut with a knife. The characters are charming and I want to know more about them. DeSmet has laid a good foundation for the series. I hope to read Hot Fudge Frame-Up soon. Five-Alarm Fudge. the 3rd book in the story will be out April 7, 2015.
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review 2014-03-29 07:52
First-Degree Fudge (Fudge Shop Mystery #1) - DNF
First-Degree Fudge - Christine DeSmet

Can. not. do. it.

 

I'm not rating this because I couldn't even get past chapter 1.  I tried, really I did.  Perhaps I was in a less-than-tolerant mood, but the writing just isn't for me.  I submit to the jury:

 

1.  "Oh my gosh golly giddy-ups, I saw Hollywood's voluptuous, von-vivant vixen vamp!"  There are so many things wrong with this sentence including crimes against French.

 

2.  "Her eyes melted like dark chocolate as an ambrosial smile curved onto her face."  Ambrosial smile?  

 

am·bro·sial  [am-broh-zhuhl]

adjective
1. exceptionally pleasing to taste or smell; especially delicious or fragrant.
 
I realise it's technically correct, but it so, really doesn't work for me.
 
3.  The MC shares her fudge shop with her grandfather, who runs a Live Bait and Bobbers shop!  All signs point to a straight face when the author announces that the name of the shop is Oosterling's Live Bait, Bobbers and Belgian Fudge.
 
In the name of all that is holy, who thinks a live bait and fudge shop is a good idea?!?!
 
On my best day, I'm not a fan of fudge and I'm never going to willingly go into a LIVE BAIT SHOP to buy any.
 
Chocolate night-crawler fudge anyone?
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