To Fudge or Not to Fudge

To Fudge or Not to Fudge

4.4 25
by Nancy Coco

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"Fun characters, quaint setting, mouth-watering recipes." --RT Book Reviews

Life is sweet for Allie McMurphy, proud owner of Historic McMurphy Hotel and Fudge Shop on Mackinac Island--until murder and deception leave a bitter taste. . .

Mulch Ado About Murder

With summer in bloom and tourists afoot, Allie is out walking her pup,


"Fun characters, quaint setting, mouth-watering recipes." --RT Book Reviews

Life is sweet for Allie McMurphy, proud owner of Historic McMurphy Hotel and Fudge Shop on Mackinac Island--until murder and deception leave a bitter taste. . .

Mulch Ado About Murder

With summer in bloom and tourists afoot, Allie is out walking her pup, Mal, when the curious canine digs up a bone from under a flowering lilac bush. The bone leads to a toe that's missing a body. For the successful confectionaire it's only the first in a series of sour events in the middle of the island's Lilac Fest. When her stint on a cooking reality show swirls up a trail of foul play, Allie will have to outwit a cunning killer if she wants to continue living la dolce vida. . .

Praise for All Fudged Up

"Fun, lively." --JoAnna Carl

"A sweet treat with memorable characters, a charming locale, and satisfying mystery." --Barbara Allan

"A sweet confection of a book." --Joanna Campbell Slan

Help Support Pet Adoption--See details inside

Product Details

Publication date:
Candy-Coated Mystery Series , #2
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Penguin Random House Publisher Services
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Read an Excerpt

To Fudge or Not to Fudge

By Nancy Coco


Copyright © 2014 Nancy J. Parra
All rights reserved.
ISBN: 978-0-7582-8712-0


"A lilac by any other name still smells as sweet."

"Mal, get out from under that lilac bush," I called. It was almost time for the Lilac Festival, and my bichon/poodle puppy Marshmallow had fallen in love with the thick mulch that was spread under the lilacs. For some reason she found the bushes next to the Town Crier, Mackinac Island's newspaper, to be the most enticing.

I tugged on her leash. Mal dug in her heels and refused to budge. Like a fisherman fighting a hook, I reeled in the leash. This served to pull on her pink harness and drag one stubborn doggie out from under the bush one inch at a time. "Come on, Mal, let's at least pretend I'm in charge," I muttered and pulled harder.

As the proud yet harried owner of a 121-year-old hotel and fudge shop, I'd walked down to the newspaper to place a want ad for a part-time maid to help fill in during the busy times. Mackinac Island was known for its quaint Victorian feel. There were no cars. In fact, they were banned from the island. Only bicycles and horse-drawn carriages filled the streets.

Mal was a gift from my dear friend and reservation manager, Frances Wentworth. The puppy was supposed to keep me safe from evildoers. She had done her job well last month when I found myself investigating my grandfather's best friend's murder. I kind of had to as he had been murdered in my utility closet.

Still, on the days when she wasn't protecting me, Mal had a tendency to boss me about. Especially when it came to doing things she was interested in doing ... like sniffing under lilac bushes—instead of what I was supposed to be doing ... placing an ad in the paper.

"Come on, Mal, I need to get this errand done before noon." I yanked on the leash. Suddenly she popped out from under the bushes with a bone in her mouth.

I did a double take. Was that a sock hanging from that bone?

Surely not, but on close inspection it had an argyle pattern like a sock. It was knitted like a sock. Okay, so there was a huge hole in what appeared to be a heel like a sock. But then Mal loved socks. Maybe other dogs did too. Maybe, just maybe, some dog buried their bone in their favorite sock. It could happen, right?

I mean, what were the chances that the sock belonged to the bone? Slim to none. Right?

Mal proudly dropped the sock-wrapped bone at my feet and nudged it as if to show me what she found. Her little stubby tail wagged.

"I sure hope that's not what I think it is." I poked it with my white Keds. There was no way I was going to pick it up.

She pushed the bone toward me, wagged her bobbed tail, and darted back under the lilac bush. "Mal, come on, I have work to do." I yanked on her harness only for her to prance out from under the bush. This time she had what looked like part of a shoe in her mouth. She shook the shoe as if to kill it. Dirt and mulch went flying, along with hard pieces that hit my legs with a thump, thud, thump.

Those hard pieces had toenails painted a neon orange.

The spit dried up in my mouth. Adrenaline washed through me. I did what any sane person would do. I scooped up my dog, yanked the shoe out of her mouth, dropped it next to the sock bone, and ran straight into the Town Crier.

There was no way I was going to be alone outside with portions of a dead person. I mean really, what if whoever it had been had been attacked by a wild animal and dragged under the bush to be saved for a later meal? Or worse. What if the animal was a rabid creature using the remains as bait? It could be true. There was no way I was going to hang around and find out.

"Dogs aren't allowed in here," said an older gentleman with a white beard, a balding head, and reading glasses perched at the edge of his nose.

"Right." I faced him and held the door closed with my body. Mal leapt out of my arms and sat down to stare at the old guy as if to dare him to kick her out.

He stared at me. "The dog ..."

I found my voice. "Just dug up remains from under your lilac bush."

He drew his bushy white brows together over his dark brown eyes. "Excuse me?"

I swallowed and cleared my throat as I fumbled for my phone. "Call 9-1-1. I think there's a dead guy under your lilac bush."

"A dead ... what?" He stood and took a step away from me, using his desk as a shield between him and the crazy woman at his door. It would have been funny if I weren't the crazy woman.

"Person," I said. "Well, not a whole person. A part of a person who wears argyle socks and leather shoes ... oh, and paints their toenails orange."

He picked up the phone and hit a single button. "Hi, Charlene," he said. "Get Officer Manning over here, will ya? There's a crazy woman in my office. No, she doesn't appear to have a weapon, just a small white dog. Um, hmm, hold on. Are you the McMurphy girl?"

"Yes," I said, my hands fumbling with my phone. After last month's trouble I had Officer Rex Manning's number on speed dial; I hit the button.

"The one who found Joe Jessop dead in a utility closet?"

"Yes." I put the phone up to my ear and listened to it ring.

"It's the same crazy woman," the man said into his phone. "Right. Okay. Bye." He hung up the phone and sat down slowly, watching me with narrowed eyes as the ringing on my phone dropped me into Rex's voice mail.

"Hey, hi," I said into my cell phone. "I hope you're on your way to the Town Crier. I'm pretty sure Mal dug up a dead person."

I hit the END CALL button. The old man studied me, and I studied him. He reached into his desk drawer and pulled something out. Then he slapped it down in front of him. It was a rabbit's foot. Ew. Okay, I'd seen enough disembodied feet for one day, thank you very much.

"What is that?"

He raised his right bushy eyebrow. "If you don't know I bet the dog could tell ya."

I sighed and crossed my arms. "It's a rabbit's foot. I know what it is. I wanted to know why you got it out."

"Because I don't know how to make an evil eye." He tipped back in his chair, and it squeaked.

"An evil eye?" I shook my head, dazed. "I don't get it."

"It wards off bad omens and such," he said and reached over to adjust his placement, ensuring the rabbit's foot sat square between him and me.

"Um, okay. I'd join you behind your rabbit's foot, but I'm currently busy making sure the door stays closed."

"Now why would you be doing that?"

"Because there is a killer out there. It might be a wild animal. It might be a serial murderer. Either way, there is going to be a door between me and it." I hated to sound smug, but really, a strong wooden door was a lot better at keeping a rabid animal away than a rabbit's foot.

"Well, there, see, that's where we disagree."

"We do?" I scrunched up my eyebrows.

"As far as I can tell the bad luck is already inside with me."

"What? Where?" I glanced around, but there were only three of us inside: me, him, and Mal.

"I'm looking at it." His gaze was steady on me.

"You mean me?" I pointed to my pink polo shirt.

"You're the only one in this room that finds old men dead and seeing as how I'm an old man ..."

"But you're not dead," I tried to reason with him.

"Thus the rabbit's foot."

"Okay, seriously, I don't know what you heard, but I did not murder anyone."

"I didn't say you did."

"But you just said ..."

"That you have been known to be alone when you find old men dead." He shrugged. "I'm hedging my bets."

I didn't know what to say to that, so I simply glared at him. He glared back. Mal sneezed and we both jumped.

"Does the dog bite?" The man finally broke the silence.

"Mal? No, she's a puppy." I picked her up and decided to play nice. I stuck out my hand. "I didn't properly introduce myself. I'm Allie. I run the McMurphy."

"I know." He sat back carefully, still wary. "Charlene told me."

"Right." I pulled my empty hand back.

"Besides, I'm a reporter, not much escapes my notice." He crossed his arms over his wide chest.

"Except a dead body under your bushes."

"I thought you said it was a sock and shoe."

"With bones and toenails." I hugged Mal until she squeaked.

"Orange painted toenails." He pursed his mouth. "Yep, you told me that part, Ms. McMurphy."

"I'm not crazy," I said in my own defense.

"There are people on this island who would disagree with that." He watched me from over the top of his eyeglasses.

"There are people on this island who think we should allow cars. Everything people think is not always right."

"Well, you have me there." He leaned back. "I'm Angus MacElroy."

"I'd say it's very nice to meet you, but right now I'm not so sure." Mal wiggled, but I held her tight. Her fluffy fur was a comfort.

"Why'd you come here, Ms. McMurphy?" Angus asked.

"I came over to place a want ad, but instead it seems I've uncovered a dead body or possibly a murder victim." I tilted my head and studied him as if he were the perfect suspect. For all I knew, he was. "Being a reporter, you probably have seen a million dead bodies."

"Only ten and they were open-casket funerals," he admitted, his brown eyes twinkling. "A murder victim? Isn't that jumping to conclusions?" he asked in a calm manner—too calm, if you ask me.

"It looks like murder to me unless you purposefully buried someone under your lilac bushes."

He leaned back, and the squeak of his chair reverberated round the room. "I didn't bury anyone under the lilacs. There's a law against that, you know."

"Grandpa, are you scaring away customers?" A woman about my age stepped out of the back room. She had dark brown hair, a heart-shaped face, and soft blue eyes. She wore cargo pants and boots and a pale blue tank top under a red, white, and blue plaid shirt.

"She's not a customer," he glanced at me. "She's a crazy woman who won't leave the door. She has some ridiculous notion that holding the door will keep a wild animal from bursting in and killing us."

"Don't be silly." She bussed a kiss on his grizzled cheek. "It's more likely she's afraid to get near you." She stepped around the desk. "Hi, I'm Elizabeth MacElroy. Everyone calls me Liz."

I shook her hand. She had a nice firm grip. "Allie."

"Hi, Allie, who's this sweet puppy?" She leaned in, and Mal jumped into her arms and kissed her. Liz laughed and stood holding Mal. "Aren't you the sweetest?"

"Oh, no." I tried not to panic. "Don't let her kiss you."

"Why not? I love doggies." Her blue eyes twinkled in delight as Mal proceeded to wash her face.

I winced. "She may have dead-body breath."

"What?" Liz froze.

"That's what I told you." Angus leaned back with a smug smile. "Ms. McMurphy seems to think she found a murder victim hidden in the lilacs. Anyone you know missing?"

Grandma's Million-Dollar Fudge

4½ cups of sugar
1 can of evaporated milk
½ cup butter
4 large (4 ½ ounce) chocolate bars
2 packages of chocolate chips (semi-sweet)
1 pint marshmallow creme
2 cups nuts

Butter an 8" x 8" x 2" pan, then line with wax paper or parchment.

Boil together sugar, milk, and butter for approximately 8 minutes, stirring constantly. Place candy bars and chocolate chips in a large bowl and pour sugar mixture over candy. Beat well. Add marshmallow creme and nuts. Beat until cool. Spread in pan. Let cool and cut into squares.


"Ewww." Liz held Mal out at arm's length.

"Sorry." I scooped up the pup. "This is Marshmallow. She sniffed out a bone from under the lilacs. I wouldn't think that much of it, but it had a sock attached."

"Oh." She wiped the back of her hand across her lovely mouth. Her gaze sparkled, and she laughed. "Joke's on me then."

"We called the cops," Angus said.

"Well, what are you doing sitting here?" Liz put her hands on her hips. "Let's go out and contaminate the crime scene like any good reporter would." She opened the door, and I followed her out. There was supposed to be safety in numbers, right?

Officer Rex Manning walked up to us. The police station was practically across the street. "Liz, Allie." He nodded his greeting. "What's this about a dead body?" Rex was a stocky man with wide shoulders and biceps to match. He looked good in fresh starched blues. His baby blue gaze was serious. He wore his trooper hat over his shaved head. Rex was all no-nonsense and efficient movement with competent hands.

I had a bit of a crush on him. It was hard to think beyond the flutter I felt every time I saw him. "Mal dug up the evidence," I said. The words came out breathless, and Liz glanced at me a little too aware. I told myself not to blush or I would give everything away. For someone as pale skinned as me, not blushing was as difficult as not sneezing.

Luckily Mal barked and jumped out of my hands, distracting everyone from my hideous attempt to hide my emotion.

I loved Mal—for a puppy she was brilliant at keeping me safe. She went over and sat next to the sock-covered bone. A single bark, and she put her white paw on it.

"What's this, little girl?" Rex squatted down next to her and examined the bone. He took out a pen, and using his cell phone, took a photo.

Liz kept an arm's distance back but also squatted to get a better look. "Is that argyle?"

"That's what I thought." I got down next to Liz.

"What made you think it was human?" Rex asked behind his camera. "Besides the fabric?"

As if on cue, Mal jumped up, grabbed the tattered bit of shoe, and shook it. A bit of bone flew out and hit Rex in the face.

"Ow." He rubbed his cheek then grabbed the shoe from Mal. At least I thought of it as a shoe. It was actually only the shredded toe of a shoe.

"Is that a toe?" Liz looked at once horrified and fascinated.

I picked up a twig and pushed at the bits that had flown out earlier and hit my shin. They were scattered in a small arc. "Yes," I said. "I don't know of any wild animal that paints its nails orange." I pointed at the flakes of polish, not wanting to get any closer than necessary.

"Cool." Liz pulled a digital camera out of her cargo pants pocket and snapped a photo.

"Stop." Rex covered her lens with his hand.

"Hey." Liz glared at him.

"I'm declaring this an official crime scene. That means it's closed to photographs."

"I don't think so." Liz lifted her camera and snapped a photo of Rex, momentarily blinding him. He did what anyone would do: put his hand across his eyes to block it.

She was fast. I watched with amazement as she snapped a couple more pictures of the bits of toe and of Mal sitting proudly next to the sock-covered bone.

Rex swore something dark and dangerous under his breath and reached for the camera. Liz ducked out of his way and rushed back inside the newspaper office.

I watched while Rex debated whether it was more important to follow her or to stay with the evidence. Tilting my head, I smiled. "It seems I'm not the only troublemaker on the island."

"Reporters," Rex mumbled and went back to his investigation.

It was then I noticed that Mal had disappeared back under the lilac bush. "Oh, no," I said and stepped forward to get her.

Rex stopped me with a hand on my arm. "Don't move. You're not trained in crime-scene investigation."

"Neither is Mal and she seems to be doing fine." I crossed my arms over my chest. Mal popped back out with another bit of bone in her mouth. She dropped it at his feet and gave a short bark before running back to the bush.

"I'll get her," he strode to the bush and got down and pulled Mal out from under the bush. She rewarded him with a lick on the cheek.

"Ha!" Liz said, coming out of the Crier sans camera. "Someone else getting dead-body kisses."

"Don't wipe it off," I warned him with a grin. "It could be evidence."

"It's not evidence," he grumbled and raised his hand to swipe it off.

"It could be DNA evidence," I said, holding up my hand in a stop motion. "Or soil evidence. Do you really want to take the chance of ruining microscopic clues?"

"Oh, for the love ..." He strode my way, his sexy eyes stormy. My heartbeat picked up, but I stood my ground. "Here," he said and handed me Mal, his cheek clearly dirt-smeared from her kiss.

"This is definitely nail polish on this toenail," Liz said as she studied the bit of bone. "These must be female bones."

"How do you figure that?" Rex asked.

"Do you know any men who paint their toenails?" Her blue gaze teased as she raised one winged eyebrow.

"You can't assume anything," Angus said as he strolled over to her. "Huh, it does look like a toe. Came out of the shredded shoe, you said?" He shoved his hands in his brown corduroy pants. He tilted his head and studied the bits.

Mal squirmed in my arms and gave a short bark. I jumped. It still startled me when she barked out of the blue.

"Dog says yes." Angus nodded. "So, Manning, looks like there's a body under the lilacs. What are you going to do about it?"


Excerpted from To Fudge or Not to Fudge by Nancy Coco. Copyright © 2014 Nancy J. Parra. Excerpted by permission of KENSINGTON PUBLISHING CORP..
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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To Fudge or Not to Fudge 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 26 reviews.
audsdau50 More than 1 year ago
This is a fun book with good plot and fun characters. I will read more of her books. It is always nice to fine a new author.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I liked the setting of the story and the characters. Looking forward to reading the next book.
TheAvidReader_KA More than 1 year ago
To Fudge or Not to Fudge by Nancy Coco is the second book in the Candy Coated Mystery series. Allie McMurphy is running the Historic McMurphy Hotel and Fudge Shoppe on Mackinac Island. Allie went to culinary school and is now making delicious fudge for the shop. She has some great help who is teaching her how to run the hotel (since her grandfather passed away unexpectedly). Chef Peter Thomas is visiting the island. He is Allie’s former instructor and mentor from culinary school. Chef Thomas is the judge of a reality television show featuring fudge. They are short a contestant and he wants Allie to audition for the show. When Allie hears the salary, she agrees to audition (reluctantly). Unfortunately for Allie, she does great and is now a contestant on the show (the salary will come in handy for renovations she wants to make to the hotel). Tammy Gooseworthy (that is really her name) is the new pastry chef at the new Grander Hotel. She wants on the show and is being very persistent. Allie and the staff are also getting ready for the Lilac Festival. Jenn (Jennifer Christensen) is Allie's best friend and is an event planner. Jenn is helping out at the McMurphy during Allie’s first season. Allie is going to make a lilac fudge, and Jenn suggests that they old lilac teas. While Allie is on her way to the newspaper to place an ad (while walking her adorable dog, Marshmallow-Mal for short) he starts digging under a lilac tree next to the newspaper. He comes out with a bone between his teeth. Before Allie can react, Mal dives back under the tree. When the police arrive (Office Rex Manning), they agree that they are human bones. Mal is not the only dog who found bones. Daisy, the St. Bernard, is running around the island and has found bones. But Daisy does not want to give them up. Daisy ends up getting put in jail after swallowing a bone. Her owner, Mrs. Finch, keeps Daisy company. Allie is busy recording the fudge contest reality show (all of the contestants are actors) at night and then up early making fudge. It seems every time Allie takes Mal out for a walk, Mal is finding more bones. Who do these bones belong to and why were they killed? Then one of the contestants in the show turns up dead. Unfortunately, Allie was the last person (before the killer) to see her alive. Then Chef Peter Thomas is hurt and has to be flown out to a mainland hospital. Jenn (Jennifer Christensen), is Allie’s best friend and an event planner. Jenn finds herself attracted to crime scene tech, Shane Carpenter. With all the bones being found, there are plenty of crime scenes and chances to Jenn to see Shane. Allie and the gang will have their work cut out for them trying to find the killer. To Fudge or Not to Fudge is a cute and fun cozy mystery. It even includes some fudge recipes that sound delightful (especially the peanut butter fudge). I give To Fudge or Not to Fudge 4.25 out of 5 stars. The book needed an epilogue to wrap up some of the storylines. It was never announced who won the contest on the reality show. There also was not a conclusion with Chef Thomas. We know he got better, but I think Chef Thomas should have come back to the island, stayed at McMurphy, we find out how he is doing and they watch the finale of the bogus fudge making show. The mystery was very easy to solve. I do like the characters in the book (especially the adorable little puppy) and the mystery had some twists and turns (always love that).
PurplemoonSM More than 1 year ago
cute series for mystery lovers.
Mama_Cat More than 1 year ago
How could I not enjoy a book that takes place during a lilac festival – my favorite flower and floral scent? Oh, to be on Mackinac Island at any time of year, much less lilac time! ‘To Fudge or Not to Fudge’ combined two of my loves – chocolate and lilacs – and the family hotel, The McMurphy Inn, that we are first introduced to in ‘All Fudged Up?’ Allie McMurphy is a young woman who inherited the family hotel and fudge shop on Mackinac Island, and has done as much renovation to it as she could borrow the funds for to get it started up. Mal (Marshmallow) is Allie’s adorable pup, a gift from a close friend and Reservations Manager at the Inn. Mal was her close companion even as she learned to obey Allie as only a loving pup can. Jenn, Allie’s best friend from Chicago and event planner extraordinaire, was spending the summer with her to help plan events that would bring much-needed business to the McMurphy. Allie meets Liz, her new friend and a reporter for the island’s Town Crier newspaper purely by accident. The bones of a person who Mal dug up when they were out running errands were unfortunately in front of the Town Crier, where she meets Angus, another reporter. This could only happen to Allie – again – right? In the meantime, Chef Peter Thomas, the finest chocolatier in the country and one of Allie’s former instructors in culinary school, is on the island. She has many varieties of fudge to wow him with, both family recipes and those she has designed, of which he had bought several pounds to try. He would be on island for a month while filming a reality show in which the contestants are creatively preparing various candies; a contestant had to drop out so Chef Peter chose Allie to fill in the slot. She had so much work at the Inn and fudge shop; could one more thing be added to her plate? Not to mention the bones that Mal found earlier that day. The author has a great cast of regular characters who are likable Midwest folks who are easy to root for and appreciate. Allie has learned a lot in a short time, and the inn is in her blood as much as in any McMurphy’s. The adorable Mal rounds her out, whether finding trouble or helping her get away from it; Mal just one day could be as famous as…well, to me, Mal gets equal billing with Allie! Even if it is rather lonely while Allie is at the reality show taping when she isn’t accidentally digging up bones or running the inn. I very much enjoyed the setting of springtime in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula and the adventure of preparing and running the inn! It is one of the most gorgeous escapes this desert dweller could dream about. The plot is multi-layered and detailed; the twists and rollovers keeps the reader’s attention just as much as the antics of Allie at the taping, and Allie and Jenn. The details of the mystery draws one in from the first page and makes this a suspenseful read throughout, culminating in a very satisfying ending. It definitely left this reader eager for the next mystery! I highly recommend this as a very well-written mystery that is I could suggest for teen readers, for those who enjoy the setting and the fun time that Allie has with her friends and happy pup. Oh, and the fudge! Fudge recipes and tips for the foodies, too! And those who might not cook or bake but, like me love the chocolate and fudge! With a grateful heart, I received a copy of this book through a contest at Chatting About Cozies. All opinions are my own, and no monetary compensation was received f
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Debb23 More than 1 year ago
I have to say that this is one fun series. I really enjoyed this book and it never slows down. The characters are all likeable and the description of Mackinac Island makes me want to visit. The mystery starts with Allie's puppy Mal digging up human bones and from there it doesn't stop, a cooking show, Allie trying to run her business, murder mystery that keeps you guessing. My only drawback is that although the mystery is explained and makes perfect sense, I'm not sure the reader will be able to figure it out, unless I missed something. I will definitely continue on with this series.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
2nd book in a series. On Mackinac Island which is a great setting. A cozy mystery which one needs cozy at times. The characters have progressed from the 1st book in the series. Love the dog.
bwilhoite More than 1 year ago
Love this series
love2readallday More than 1 year ago
A light and easy read - fun!
Goulu More than 1 year ago
This is an easy read with recipes to accompany the text. Enjoyable, fast read for a sleepy Sunday afternoon.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Good book kept me up past bed time just had to finish was a good book if you have a few hours its a must read
ColesGodmommy More than 1 year ago
Great follow up to book 1.. The characters are engaging, the story is fun. It will keep you guessing.. Love this series....
Dollycas More than 1 year ago
Dollycas’s Thoughts This was quite a book. A reality cooking show has come to Mackinac Island and it bring Allie’s former mentor Chef Peter Thomas to town. He even talks her into appearing on the show! Mal also finds an interesting item while out for a walk. A bone buried in a bit of mulch, wait is that nail polish, OMG, that’s a toe bone!! Nancy Coco has written a magnificent mystery! I was engaged from the first page until the last. She has created fun and entertaining characters and there are quite a few suspects. I also loved that there were 2 dogs involved in the story. One very well behaved and one not so much. I was laughing as the police were chasing the one who refused to drop his sensational find. Again Allie is under suspicion but she is hot on the trail to clear her name. I love the setting too. It has been many years since I visited Mackinaw Island but I remember the great time we had. It is a truly a unique place and if you are in the area one you should definitely visit. Because of its location it is a great place to have a mystery or two or more. This cozy has it all – a well plotted mystery, fantastic characters, the perfect amount of humor, all set in a beautiful place. Oh and don’t forget the recipes and the fudge making knowledge we gain by reading about Allie’s daily demonstrations!! There’s a Dark Chocolate Peppermint Fudge I can’t wait to try for the upcoming holidays.
RonnaL More than 1 year ago
This is the second Allies McMurphy fudge shop and McMurphy Hotel mystery?  The setting of Mackinaw Island adds a lot to these mysteries along with the numerous scrumptious fudge recipes.  In this book, the pup, Mal, finds some unwanted bones in mulch around the island, while Allie gets involved in a "scripted" cooking show so reminiscent of many shown on TV these days.  The body count grows but the "why" and "who" is difficult to figure out,  Allie keeps charging forth with her little pup, Mal, as her defender. This is a fun series.  I love the descriptions of Island events, Mal's antics, and Allie's two suitors.  The mystery was interesting but difficult to actually figure out by following the story.  Not as good as book one, but definitely good enough to anticipate reading further in this series!  I listened to the book on audio and enjoyed the narration. 
52chickadees More than 1 year ago
“What a Mix of Mulch and Murder—With Delectable Fudge Thrown in For a Divine Cozy” The day was like any other that started for Allie McMurphy, owner of the historic McMurphy Hotel and Fudge Shop. It is a beautiful time of the year on Mackinac Island, with the scents of the fast-approaching Lilac Festival filling the air. What a perfect setting to take her Bichon/Poodle puppy, “Marshmallow”—(“Mal” for short) for a stroll. All was going along normally with Mal’s frequent sniffs and stops until she reaches the building that houses Mackinac Island’s newspaper, “Town Crier”. Snorting like a bull and tugging on her lead, Mal stubbornly refuses to come out from under a large bush—but, when she did—she proudly reappears with a bone—not just any bone, one bearing an argyle sock! Was this some other dog’s buried treasure? Allie found out this wasn’t so when Mal made a second dash under the bush then deposits a shredded boot at Allie’s feet—complete with toes adorned with neon orange toenails! What to do? Which way to turn? Whose body could possibly be buried in with the mulch? Completely unnerved, she runs into the Town Crier office to report the grisly find and calls 911 to get hunky but serious Officer Rex Manning on the scene. Unfortunately, Allie already has some previous history with a murder scene (see “All Fudged Up”) and Officer Manning. As if that isn’t enough to fill anyone’s plate, Allie’s mentor and one of the finest chocolatiers in the U.S., Peter Thomas arrives and talks Allie into participating in the “Candied Chef” reality show. At $20,000.00 per episode, how could she resist? It would be good PR for “The McMurphy”. But her mind is still on Mal’s discoveries, which keep adding up with no solution in sight. Mrs. Finch’s dog, Daisy is no help—as soon as a bone is uncovered, she whisks it away with the police in hot pursuit for the escaping evidence, to the point that the canine is put in jail. Meanwhile, long hours of making fudge and taping the show segments start taking their toll. And when a contestant’s lifeless body is found in the woman’s changing room—all fingers start flying in Allie’s direction. Does she want the grand prize so badly that she would kill one of her opponents? Who really stands to gain from the contestant’s demise? Maybe it’s the producer of the reality show, Bob Salinger? Or perhaps Brian Bere, the nervous Associate producer? Then again, there is angry, grudge-laden Tammy Gooseworthy, daughter of the local mulch company owners. Would she want to be on the reality show so badly that she’d commit such a heinous crime? Before Chef Thomas could join the suspects list, he is bludgeoned and in a coma, making Allie fear for her life as well. What’s on the Lake Huron side between Mission Point and the downtown area? And, if the taping can continue, who wins the reality show? Author Coco, also known as Author Nancy J. Parra has written a fast-paced, mesmerizing cozy which will keep you guessing. One aspect I like about this Author’s mystery writing is that she doesn’t make you wade through several chapters for the murder discovery. She has put many twists, turns, and quirky characters on Mackinac Island—many of whom I hope to re-acquaint myself with again soon. Ms. Coco has graciously included a snippet of Allie McMurphy’s next fudge-coated adventure entitled “Oh Say Can You Fudge” and several yummy fudge recipes you will definitely want to try. Don’t miss a visit to Mackinac Island, it’s a sweet trip that will have you salivating for more. Nancy Narma
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Ths is not a forum for idiots to use to greet each other Erik
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
You kissed who?! So just becayse you saw another alyssa and got mad you go and kiss another girl? Okay well thank you. Walked out
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Weird you on?..I'm def. On today and ready to make up for lost time smirks
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I dont think she wants to date enymore
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
That is the question, but what is the answer?
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Hey whats up