Everyone who knew the bozo wanted him dead. Odd, then, that a complete stranger was accused of bursting Moe Davidson’s balloons. But it’s been a month since the miserable shop owner of Clowning Around was killed, and everybody’s moving on, including Lee Woodyard. Her chocolate shop, TenHuis Chocolade, is next door to Moe’s shuttered tourist trap, and it’s giving her delicious ideas to expand. But over whose dead body?
Moe’s widow, Emma, and her two stepchildren list the property for sale, but when Lee tours the building, she finds Emma unconscious. Now Lee wonders whether Moe’s real killer is still at large and is taking care of unfinished business. Unfortunately, since the town is celebrating Clown Week, there are so many potential suspects in grease paint and floppy shoes it’s not even funny.
For Lee, protecting Emma, freeing an innocent man, and rolling out hundreds of her clown-themed chocolates is a pretty tall order. But so is staying alive long enough to find out which one of her neighbors is a killer in disguise.
Includes Tasty Chocolate Trivia!
After leaving her bad-news husband back in Texas, Lee McKinney moved up north to a quaint resort town. Now she keeps the books for her aunt’s luxury-chocolate shop. But Lee soon finds that Michigan winters can be murder....
Lee and Aunt Nettie can’t believe their luck. A teddy bear promotion will have tourists flocking to Warner Pier, which could mean skyrocketing sales for TenHuis Chocolade. To help decorate the scrumptious store, their friend Gail, an antique dealer, lends them a collection of valuable chocolate molds. But after a burglary at the shop, Gail meets with a grisly fate—and the main suspect in her murder is Lee’s troubled teenage stepson. Lee sets out to clear his name, but awakening long-hibernating family secrets might be more than this daring crime solver can bear…
INCLUDES TASTY CHOCOLATE TRIVIA!
As much as the chocolate concoctions at TenHuis Chocolade can tantalize people’s tongues, Lee’s newest hire is more likely to make them wag. Forsythia “Sissy” Smith is the granddaughter of Warner Pier’s resident hippie, but the fact that Sissy is a third-generation flower child is the least of Lee’s concerns. The previous winter, Sissy’s husband, Buzz, was found dead, and even though her alibi was airtight, the gossips are still pointing their fingers at her.
Then the chief gossip is found dead, with Sissy on the scene. Was she lured there? Or is she the killer? Lee has a sneaking suspicion that someone is out to keep a dark secret from coming to light. And they would have no problem killing a certain clever chocolatier who might uncover the truth....
With Tasty Chocolate Trivia!
Irked that her mom might be MIA on the Big Day, Lee heads to her aunt’s chocolate shop, TenHuis Chocolade, for advice. There, the bride is shocked to learn that years earlier, her mother ran away on what would have been her own wedding day—hours before her fiancé was found dead, an apparent suicide. Now, to smooth things over with her mother—and ease her own way down the aisle—Lee must untangle a mystery older than she is....
The Warner Pier tourism board is kicking off its Tough Guys and Private Eyes film festival with The Maltese Falcon, and Lee Woodyard and her Aunt Nettie are preparing a delicious chocolate noir tie-in at TenHuis Chocolade. What Lee isn’t prepared for is a face from the past: Jeff Godfrey, her former stepson. The last time Jeff showed up in town, he wound up being accused of murder. Now he says he’s only in Warner Pier to see Bogart on the big screen. Honest.
Jeff may now be a college grad, but that doesn’t mean he’s any less naïve than the kid Lee had to bail out of trouble earlier. There are all those strange phone calls, a girlfriend who’s secretly on Jeff’s tail, and a pack of suspicious-sounding acquaintances right out of Dashiell Hammett. Then Jeff goes missing, the Falcon theme is haunting everyone, and a body falls at Lee’s feet when she opens the front door – just like in the movie.
Now Lee is under deadline to rewrite the ending of a cunning killer’s increasingly convincing murder plot…
Includes Tasty Chocolate Trivia!
Clementine Ripley, the defense attorney everyone loves to hate, is throwing a party that calls for several thousand dollars worth of custom chocolates—some made in the image of her champion cat. Lee jumps at the job, but sweet success takes a bitter turn when someone adds and extra ingrediant—cyanide—to one of their delicious chocolates and it finds its way into Ms. Ripley’s mouth. Now it’s up to Lee to figure out who tampered with Aunt Nettie’s recipe before they find themselves behind not-so-chocolate bars.
INCLUDES YUMMY CHOCOLATE TRIVIA!
Lee and Joe were the last people spotted near the crime scene. In a seriously sticky situation, it's up to them to find the real killer before someone else comes to a bitter end...
Running TenHuis Chocolade keeps Lee McKinney Woodyard busy enough, but now she’s been offered two different positions in the town of Warner Pier—one on the tourism committee and another on the library board. To decide between the two, she goes to Warner Pier’s historic library to check out the board’s monthly meeting.
As usual, rumors are flying through the small town—this time, they’re about the rugged new library director, Henry “Butch” Cassidy, and the changes he allegedly plans to make. Butch is indeed attractive—but Lee doesn’t get a chance to find out about his proposed changes. A few minutes into the meeting, the discussion is interrupted by the terrified screams of the library clerk.
She has discovered the lifeless body of Abigail VanRoostock, a prim and proper retiring member of the board, crumpled in a heap at the bottom of the basement stairs. Suddenly, everyone in attendance, including Lee, is suspected in her murder. And as Lee finds out, they’ve all got something to hide…
INCLUDES TASTY CHOCOLATE TRIVIA!
When Lee discovers a dusty trophy hidden away inside TenHuis Chocolade, she is eager to share it with her aunt Nettie. The timing couldn’t be better—Nettie is hosting a reunion for her old high school singing group, the Pier-O-Ettes.
Unfortunately, the trophy brings back terrible memories of the night of the group’s trophy-winning performance at the Castle Ballroom. The ballroom’s owner was found shot to death. The insurance company called it suicide; his wife insisted it must have been an accident; the town whispered, Murder. Now Lee has a mystery to solve.
Before she can take aim at the events of the past, someone turns up murdered in the here and now. Lee needs to keep her eye on the prize and hope the trophy will be the clue to finding the killer—before she ends up as a target herself….
It's Valentine's Day at TenHuis Chocolade, but Lee is getting no love from detective Derrick Valentine. He's looking for one of their new employees-an abused woman who Lee and her Aunt Nettie have been hiding. But when Valentine meets his own sticky end, it's Aunt Nettie who is suspect. Now, Lee has to free Nettie of guilt without exposing their innocent guest-and find a killer with a heart that's definitely not made of chocolate...
In the Southwestern city of Grantham, Bo Jenkins takes his young son hostage and demands to talk to the press. Enter Nell Matthews, a reporter for the Grantham Gazette, who becomes a hostage herself before finally turning the tables on her captor.
But when Bo Jenkins dies under suspicious circumstances, Nell initiates an investigation that could bring down an entire city—and just might implicate Mike Svenson, the charismatic cop with whom she’s begun a secret romance. As Nell moves dangerously closer to the truth, she realizes that her beat is getting too close to home…
“Fascinating…A strong and unique character.”—Sue Henry
“Sandstrom writes with confidence. An impressive debut for a wonderfully conflicted heroine.”—New York Times bestselling author Margaret Maron
“A good book with great characters, and a twisting plot.”—I Love A Mystery
Includes a preview of The Homicide Report and JoAnna Carl’s The Chocolate Book Bandit.
A split-second judgment and a single bullet turn a routine assignment into murder for reporter Nell Matthews and officer Mike Svenson. The shoot-out at the Grantham Women’s Shelter may have liberated a woman from her knife-wielding husband, but it also left Mike holding the gun and targeted for scandal. Especially when it turns out that the deceased was the son of the most powerful matriarch in town. Now Nell finds herself with an unexpected key to the dead man’s past—a key that links him to a bizarre conspiracy and will lure Nell into the crosshairs of a killer still on the loose…
The Nell Matthews Mysteries are...
“Strong and unique.”—Sue Henry
“Beguiling and wicked.”—Boston Herald
“Hooks you on the first page and never lets go.”—William Bernhardt
Includes a preview of The Violence Beat and JoAnna Carl’s The Chocolate Book Bandit.
Crime reporter Nell Matthews doesn’t have to go far for a gripping lead story. In fact, the Grantham Gazette’s own basement pressroom has become the scene for the paper’s next explosive headline. Nell and her boyfriend, Detective Mike Svenson, have stumbled on a trail of press ink leading to the body of copy editor Martina Gilroy. And just before dying, she whispered one final word: Alan.
Alan was Nell’s father—a man who vanished from her life when she was a child…a man who was implicated in the murder of her mother. For Nell, investigating the story behind Martina’s death means sifting through her own past to discover the truth about her father, exposing a long-buried secret, and surviving the deadline—her own.
“The Nell Matthews series will attract legions of new fans. A nicely plotted mystery…[Sandstrom] knows her way around the pressroom.”—The Sunday Constitution
“Thoroughly enjoyable.”—I Love A Mystery
*New York Times bestselling author Margaret Maron
Includes a preview of The Smoking Gun and JoAnna Carl’s The Chocolate Book Bandit.
The approach of Easter means a rush of business at TenHuis Chocolade, and Lee and her Aunt Nettie need all the help they can get to make their famous chocolate bunnies. Unfortunately, new hire Bunny Birdsong is a clutzy basketcase dropping everything she picks up. But to Lee’s surprise, she’s a whiz with computers and fixing the store’s website so they decide to keep her.
However, Bunny receives a few visitors they could do without: her soon to be ex-husband Beau, his wealthy aunt Abigail, and his new girlfriend and her brother all descend on the shop one day and have a bitter argument. Lee hopes they can find a peaceful way to settle their dispute and not bring any more trouble to TenHuis. But when Abigail’s body is discovered in the vacant store next door, it’s clear to Lee there’s a bad egg in her midst. Now she’s on the hunt to find out who it is...
Includes tasty chocolate trivia!
From the Hardcover edition.