Criminal Confections

Criminal Confections

by Colette London

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Overview

Hayden Mundy Moore is an expert on everything chocolate, helping clients develop new products and revamp recipes until they're irresistible. But sometimes, a dash of murder finds its way into the mix. . .

Hayden Mundy Moore has bushwhacked through African jungles and haggled in exotic markets to find the finest cacao beans and the most flavorful blends. It's thrilling work but rarely dangerous--until a colleague turns up dead at the exclusive chocolate-themed Lemaître resort spa in San Francisco.

Adrienne Dowling's heart attack is blamed on an accidental overdose of the secret ingredient used in Lemaître Chocolates' new line. Hayden can't believe that conscientious Adrienne would make that mistake. And between chocolate body scrubs, cocoa mud baths, and a non-stop frenzy of chocolate-based treats, Hayden starts to suspect that she, not Adrienne, was the intended target. Finding a killer among the rival chocolatiers and potential suspects won't just be satisfying--it might save her life. . .

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781617733468
Publisher: Kensington
Publication date: 01/27/2015
Series: A Chocolate Whisperer Mystery , #1
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 352
Sales rank: 114,717
File size: 1 MB

About the Author

Colette London is the pseudonym of a bestselling novelist who's published more than three dozen books worldwide. Visit her on the web at www.colettelondon.com, friend her on Facebook at www.facebook.com/colette.london.books, or follow her on Twitter @Colette__London today.

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Criminal Confections 4.1 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 14 reviews.
LisaKsBooksReviews More than 1 year ago
Okay, a cozy mystery based on chocolate? Of course I'm going to read it!  This first in the Chocolate Whisperer series was a pretty good start. I enjoyed the characters and the primise of the story. I will absolutely read another in this series. However, the story could have been a little stronger. There were a few inconsistencies.  Colette London will have a wonderful series here if she tightens up a few things.  I would recommend you give this book a chance so you too can see just how fun this series could be. 
InspirationalAngel531 More than 1 year ago
Title: Criminal Confections - Chocolate Whisperer Mystery 1 Author: Colette B. London Published: 2-3-15 Publisher: Kensington Books Pages: 321 Genre: Mystery, Thrillers & Suspense Sub Genre: Women Sleuths; Cooking; Food & Wine; Amateur Sleuths; Action & Adventure ISBN: 9781617733451 ASIN: B00M4ASPPG Reviewer: DelAnne Reviewed For: NetGalley My Rating: 4 1/2 Stars . . Hayden Mundy Moore is known for her confidential work with those involved in the chocolate business. Nicknamed The Chocolate Whisperer, she comes into a business and solves their particular problem, whether it is an employee problem or a problem with a recipe that needs to be tweaked. Currently she is at an exclusive chocolate themed resort at the bequest of the Lamaitre Chocolate Company, which is run by the lying, cheating, over bearing and arrogant Christian Lamaitre (Those are some of the kinder words to describe him. Do you get the feeling he is not a nice person?) While looking over the business and talking with the employees Hayden meets and becomes friends with the head chocolatier, Adrianne Dowlings. When her sudden death is ruled accidental overdose from the new chocolate the company is producing Hayden is not convinced. As she investigates she is sure that she herself was the intended victim and hires her friend as a bodyguard and begins looking for a killer. The closer she gets to finding answers the closer the danger to her gets. Will Hayden find the killer before he can succeed in drowning her in a chocolate bath? A delicious cozy mystery that will appeal to any chocolate or cozy mystery lover. With a funny, socially awkward heroine, A hunk man she can't see beyond a friend, and her love behind the voice on the phone. So much to intrigue a reader without overwhelming them. The plot is unique and well thought out. The characters grab you and makes you believe they are real. The story flows well. It is the first in a new series so you do have a few slow spots as you are introduced to the different characters and learn their back story, but once established the story moves quickly. There are clues and a few twist and turns to keep it interesting. Take a chance on this tasty cozy. You will find it a sweet read. Look for Dangerously Dark, book 2 and Semi-Sweet Hereafter, book 3 both of which are currently available. My rating is 4 1/2 out of 5 stars.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Lots of humor and I really enjoyed Hayden. Also has a murder mystery.
RitaHMS More than 1 year ago
Okay this book had me from the get go because of the chocolate. I mean who doesn't love chocolate, right? One thing that I did find interesting is that I actually learned a lot about chocolate and there were even recipes. This is a mystery and cookbook all rolled into one which just screamed to my inner food goddess. Hayden is a great character who as a chocolate expert makes her money troubleshooting for companies. She attends a retreat that is being held by the company that she's currently working for. Her friend Danny, who just happens to be a former con who now has his own security company, attends the retreat with her. Once at the retreat Hayden has an encounter with her employer, another with a chef that she is friends with and ends up with a business and sexual proposition from her employer's competition. Sounds lie a lot right? Well then her friend, the chef, dies rather suddenly. This death of course only leads to a boat load of questions:  Was it accidental, a suicide, or a murder? Who is the saboteur? Is there a saboteur and whom? Not to mention the all important who is sleeping with whom? Not to mention all of the others that were swimming around in my head. The biggest question that I want answered is will Hayden ever get her accountant/business manager ( and trustee of an estate left to Hayden by her now deceased uncle) Travis  to tell her what he's wearing? She is attracted to his deep, sexy voice (who isn't?) and determined to break through his seemingly rigid, narrow behavior.  I must say that I liked the fact that we never meet Travis, his scenes are all on the telephone, it really added something to the book. Although I am hoping that in future books we do get to meet him and that he is as sexy as his voice.  There were a couple of things that left me hanging such as why the police didn't investigate the sudden death and why the inheritance part wasn't fully explained. However since this is the first book in the series I am hoping that at least the latter is explained more over time. All in all this was a great read and I can't wait for the next book. I received a complimentary copy of the book on NetGalley for my review. However all opinions are 100% my own.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Dollycas More than 1 year ago
Dollycas’s Thoughts Hayden’s job is to help rescue chocolate companies and their products when their formulas go awry. She is a chocolate expert that has traveled the world honing her knowledge. She seems to enjoy her job but is quite a procrastinator when it comes to paperwork and filing reports. Oh and she is independently wealthy with a financial adviser she has never met in person but he has a wonderful phone voice that curls her toes. She has known Danny forever and he always comes when she calls. He is a hunk with plenty of woman vying for his attention but his relationship with Hayden is strictly platonic. I enjoyed this story and it has a great theme for a cozy mystery, but I did have some issues with the whole thing. First, Hayden is rich because of an inheritance she received and it has some unusual caveats and many things the reader is kept in the dark about. And Hayden is supposed to be a very intelligent woman but she does some really stupid things. Next, I was just completely floored by the way the police just wrote off both the first and second deaths as complete accidents. They did relatively minor investigations that left too many unanswered questions. Lastly, the mystery seems very more complex than it really is. Sadly I had it figured it out very early but kept reading just so that I knew I was right. The good thing is that the author has all the right ingredients for this series to be a great success. Hayden and her back story needs to be more defined. She needs to be a much stronger protagonist. The other characters are interesting and as the series continues they need to evolve as well. Also the mystery itself needs be bigger, the clues more hidden to keep the reader guessing. The chocolate theme is fantastic as is Hayden traveling to each new assignment. I am very interested in seeing if the author can take the story to the next level in book #2. She has a good start now she needs to run with it.
megHan-sHena More than 1 year ago
Chocolate Whisperer Mystery 1: Criminal Confections I love mysteries, have a background in culinary arts, and am addicted to chocolate, so this book totally piqued my interest when I received the email on it.  With a cover that caught my attention, I couldn't wait to get my hands on this book. I really liked how the author begins the story.  A "You probably already know..." "But you might not know..." when it comes to chocolate quickly showed me that this book was definitely going to calm my cravings for chocolate, and after all the discussions of it throughout, I felt like I had watched the opening credits of Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory ... full, and yet satisfied. The characters are awesome - even the ones that I'm supposed to dislike.  I immediately liked Hayden from page one and found each person that she ran into very interesting.  The story is told from her point-of-view, and you get a lot of her snark, and interest in chocolate, throughout the story.  I love how she is awkward.  She's one of those intellectual people who has had a lot of experiences, and luckily has a trust fund (and financial manager) to help her to not have to deal with money woes, but she really has a hard time dealing with people.   It's endearing, to be honest.  In a time when there are so many "perfect" heroines in books, it's nice to see some that are real, even if she is real with a trust fund haha.   The resort spa in the story sounds like a place I would love to visit ... but I could do without the murder on my visit.  The author describes the setting well, and you learn more about the layout of the place - and the people involved - when they do a chocolate-themed scavenger hunt shortly after her arrival.   The murder was unexpected.  Well, not exactly the murder, considering it's a MURDER mystery, but I have a bad habit of reading the first couple of lines of the book synopsis, and nothing more.  In this particular case, though, I'm glad that I didn't know who was going to die.  I actually thought it was going to be one of two other people, so finding the body was way more surprising for me.  (Maybe authors should be elusive with who the murdered party is in their storylines so that their readers can be completely surprised.)  The adventure to find the murderer was exciting and I liked the little side stories along the way.  One of my top two favorite mysteries so far this year.  These are the kind of mysteries that I like to find and I can only hope that the rest of the mysteries that I read this year are on this level.  I can't wait for book #2 to come out.  Well done, Ms. London.  Well done! Note: I received a copy in exchange for an honest and unbiased review.  Please remember that this review is my opinion based on my own personal impression of the book.
gromine49 More than 1 year ago
Hayden is a hoot! Any time you mention food and a mystery you have me hooked. Hayden travels around the world, freelancing, as what they call a chocolate whisperer. Hired to figure out what can make a recipe better or how to improve one, this story jauntily moves along to a great ending. Can't wait until the next one.
gaele More than 1 year ago
The first in a new culinary/cozy mystery series, Colette London has given chocolate lovers a mystery fit for sinking their teeth into.  Hayden  is ‘the chocolate whispererer’ hired by fine chocolatiers to troubleshoot problems and help them stay on top of their game.   Told in first person, Hayden soon finds herself in the midst of conspiracies and tangled webs, with a murder, threats and other  half-explained issues and questions.  While there was a rough outline of both plot and Hayden, there were many misses and lost explanations that I hope will find their way into the next installment.  While Hayden’s passion for all things Chocolate is clear, there really isn’t an emotional tether to either her passion or fears and frustrations.  We do get plenty of information about chocolate, at times the  information seemed to step in as a replacement for developing the characters and plot.  What emerges is a fast paced and reasonably enjoyable story that had me hoping that more time and effort will be expended to make  Hayden and the other characters a bit more three dimensional, not relying on telling us they are X, Y or Z but showing us. I was disappointed in the failure of first person point of view to bring a clear sense of emotional investment into Hayden’s character, a bit of tightening of the prose and decided commitment to follow through with the passions and excitement would have strengthened that  feeling.  I received an eArc copy of the title from the publisher via NetGalley for purpose of honest review. I was not compensated for this review: all conclusions are my own responsibility  
ethel55 More than 1 year ago
I really enjoyed getting to know Hayden Mundy Moore, a chocolate savant! Her life is spent traveling the globe, learning more and more about chocolate, and assisting various corporations with their chocolate confections. In this story, Hayden is a guest at a spa retreat for Lemaitre Chocolates, doing a report for their new leader Christian as he takes over from his uncle Bernard. Soon, a very important staffer winds up dead, possibly poisoned by a new concoction they are making for a chocolate nutraceutical line. Hayden's plus one, reformed bad guy Danny, acts as bodyguard as Hayden sifts through information she learns both by accident and on purpose in her quest to figure out the killer. There is a lot of attention to detail here, and many times, I kind of skimmed over some of the more informational paragraphs detailing cocoa regions and the intricacies of various beans. My only complaint is Hayden's strange, parenthetical style of narration. It was very distracting at times and it says a lot that the mystery still rose above that distraction. I will definitely keep an eye out for the next story in the series, but I hope the author will tone down that part of Hayden's style.
weluvdopey More than 1 year ago
Great Chocolate Mystery! This was a great book; I love chocolate and mysteries so this book had my two favorite things. This is the first book in A Chocolate Whisperer Mystery series. Hayden Mundy Moore is known as the Chocolate Whisperer, she is an expert on chocolate and companies pay her to come in and help them develop new products or revamp recipes. She has traveled all over the world working and it is rarely dangerous. She is at an exclusive resort helping Lemaitre Chocolates when a colleague, Adrienne, ends up dead at a party.  They are saying that Adrienne’s heart attack was caused by an accidental overdose of a secret ingredient that Lemaitre Chocolates is using.  Hayden doesn’t believe that it was an accident, after she is almost killed in the spa, she believes that she was the intended target instead of Adrienne. Adrienne and her friend set off to try and solve the murder before she ends up dead as well. This book is full of colorful characters, a lot of secrets, humor, and mystery. If you love a good mystery book, then you need to read this book. I am looking forward to the next book in this series.  A Review copy was provided to me in exchange for a fair and honest review. The free book held no determination on my personal review.
TheAvidReader_KA More than 1 year ago
Criminal Confections by Colette London is the first book in the new Chocolate Whisperer Mystery series. I was looking forward to reading this book. It looked like a great cozy mystery. Unfortunately, I was very disappointed. Hayden Mundy Moore is an expert on chocolate. Hayden is hired by companies to help them improve an old chocolate dessert, start a new line of chocolates, or help a fading chocolate company. When Hayden does a job, it is kept hush-hush. Most companies do not want the word to get out that they have hired her. Her latest job is for Lemaitre Chocolates. They needed help with a new line of “healthy” chocolates (talk about taking the fun out of our favorite snack). Hayden has been invited to the Lemaitre retreat at Maison Lemaitre (reminds you of the Hotel Hershey with the chocolate buffet and spa). Hayden has invited her best friend, Danny Jamieson to join her (to be her plus one). Danny is her oldest friend and works as a security expert. The retreat starts off well, but soon someone is dead. Hayden knew the deceased and is upset that her death is being written off as “accidental” so she starts to ask questions. I know that this sounds like a great book, but it is not. I would rate it as okay (3 out of 5 stars). I liked it, but did not love it. Hayden Mundy Moore is supposed to be really smart and well-traveled, but by the end of the book she comes across as a bumbling idiot except on the subject of chocolate. The killer is also very easy to figure out (I had it solved within the first fifty pages). Criminal Confections is also written in the first person. I think that the book has potential. With more editing (deleting some scenes completely and not making Hayden look like an idiot) it could be a great book. I received a complimentary copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
ArizonaJo More than 1 year ago
Criminal Confections by Colette London is the first book in her series, A Chocolate Whisperer Mystery. This book introduces the reader to Hayden Mundy Moore, a chocolate whisperer. She is a consultant to chocolatiers around the world, under very discrete circumstances, to help them improve their chocolate products. Her best friend, Danny Jamieson, is a security expert with a very shady past. He agrees to be her plus 1 at a chocolate retreat sponsored by the company that she is currently employed by to help develop a new line of chocolates. Hayden and Danny are best friends that argue or fight and then make up and talk which shows the reader just how deep their friendship is. It's good that Danny is their for Hayden because the first night of the retreat some one that Hayden knows dies. Her and Danny are suspicious even though the local police rule it an accidental overdose. Colette has done her research regarding chocolate. I am a chocoholic but not a chocolate snob so I was overwhelmed with the information that I learned as I read this book about all the different chocolates available. The foods offered at the retreat made me hungry for chocolate the entire time I was reading this book. The recipes in the back were a bonus for any chocoholic to try. The plot began slowly but I understand that it gives the readers a chance to meet and get to know the characters in a new series. The pace did begin to pick up and there were enough red herrings to distract me from forming any conclusions about who the murderer was until the last few chapters. All in all I found this to be a good read and I would give it 3.5 stars. I look forward to reading the next one in the series, Dangerously Dark. I was given a copy of this book by NetGalley and Kensington in exchange for an honest review.
Buecherwurm161 More than 1 year ago
A Sweet Treat Murder Mystery.  I got this book from NetGalley in exchange for a review and I really enjoyed it. Be warned though before you start reading this book, you will crave chocolate and you might even eat more chocolate than usual, I certainly did. This is the first book in the series, written in the first person, and its off to a promising start, I have to agree with another reviewer though that it reminded me a little bit of "Murder she Wrote" as well, and that does not mean it was a bad thing. I had a fun time reading the book however there was a lot of information about chocolates, almost too much, also I would have loved a bit more character development for our main character of Hayden and Danny. I wanted to know more about them and I wished for a little romance as well, but otherwise no complaints. I am looking forward to the next installment in the series.