“Memorable characters, a charming locale, and a satisfying mystery.”—Barbara Allan
When a film crew comes to Mackinac Island, the last thing fudge shop owner Allie McMurphy expects to find is a murder victim . . .
SHOT ON LOCATION
It's Labor Day weekend, the official end of tourist season, and the beginning of a whole batch of trouble. First, the island is invaded by a TV crew filming a murder mystery pilot, and handsome Hollywood heartthrob Dirk Benjamin needs Allie’s help to prep for his role as local cop Rex Manning. Then, Allie’s bichonpoo Mal sniffs out a real murder in the alley behind the Historic McMurphy Hotel and Fudge Shop, a man shot in the head—with a note challenging amateur sleuth Allie to catch the culprit. Like it or not, the fudge maker has to square off against a crazy killer—but this time she may have bitten off more than she can chew . . .
Praise for Nancy Coco and the Candy-Coated Mysteries
“It’s probably best not to read this while you’re too hungry, as the assorted fudge recipes may send you right to the kitchen.”
—The Oakland Tribune
“The characters are fun and well-developed, the setting is quaint and beautiful.”
—RT Book Reviews
“I really enjoyed this cozy mystery and look forward to reading more in this series.”
About the Author
Nancy Coco is the acclaimed author of the Candy Coated Mysteries, the Oregon Honeybee Mystery series, a number of romantic suspense novels, Western historical romances, and four additional mystery series written under the name Nancy J. Parra. An Air Force veteran who rose to the rank of sergeant, Nancy is a member of an online group of female veterans—Military Women Who Have Turned Sword to Pen (RomVets.com). She is also a member of Mystery Writers of America and Sisters in Crime. Nancy lives in Oregon with a Bichonpoo affectionately known as “Little Dog” on Facebook and Twitter. Visit her online at www.NancyJCoco.com.
The author will donate a portion of her earnings from this book to the ASPCA®.
Learn what you can do to help at www.aspca.org/donate.
Read an Excerpt
"Allie, have you heard the news?" Jenn, my best friend and this season's assistant manager of the McMurphy Hotel and Fudge Shop came bouncing into the office.
"There's a town hall meeting tonight," I said, and didn't look up from my work on the finances. Labor Day weekend was the official end of the season on Mackinac Island. It was the Tuesday after and I was working up the numbers to see how successful the season had been and if I could stay in business.
"Yes," Jenn said as she sat on the edge of my desk. "But do you know why?"
I set down my pencil. "Tell me."
"They're announcing that a television pilot for a mystery series set on the island will be shot starting next week."
"A mystery series set on Mackinac?" I sat back. "That's cool."
"It is so cool. Marsha Goodwin told me that a Hollywood producer visited us on vacation a year or so back and wanted to do a series set here. They finally got up the funds to shoot the pilot. They will be doing outside shots here and then inside shots back in their LA studios." She wiggled into place on my desk. "Now, here's the fun part, for a mere two thousand dollars, they will include shots of the exterior of the McMurphy. We could be part of the opening credits for the run of the show!"
"I'm familiar with television shows," I said, thinking back to this summer's cooking show I got roped into. "While a pilot is cool, that doesn't mean a show will get made."
"But it's a shot you can't pass up," she said, and crossed her arms. "What if the series takes off? You could be on the opening for years and on reruns forever."
"Two grand is —"
"Not that much money for that kind of exposure. Think about how business has picked up since that cooking show."
I looked at my computer screen. Our online fudge sales had doubled. We only had a limited amount of rooms to rent so we were turning people away. "It has been good for business," I mused.
"And you want to keep up the exposure," she advised.
"But we are already running to capacity. Any more orders and I'll have to stop making batches by hand and start farming it off to a factory."
"Why would that be bad?" Jenn frowned at me, confused.
"Because we are known for our handmade fudge," I said. "Anyone can make fudge in a factory. We make fudge in the kitchen by hand."
"So hire in another candy maker and start another shift," she said. Then she hopped down and planted her hands on my desk. "The Old Tyme Photo Shop and all the others on this side of Main Street are pitching in for the exterior shots. You don't want to lose to the other side."
"What other side?"
"The other side of Main," Jenn said, and waved her hand and straightened. "People will be counting on your support tonight."
"No pressure," I muttered sarcastically, and rubbed my hands over my face. "If I do this, I'll have to take the money out of the roof remodel fund. That means we would not have the patio roof for events next year."
"They are both long-term investments," Jenn pointed out. "But I think this television show has a chance to really take off."
"It's starring Dirk Benjamin," she said with an exaggerated sigh.
She jumped up and pulled out her phone. "Yes, you know — he did that made-for-TV movie about broken hearts where the older guy has Alzheimer's and the older woman falls for the younger handy-man...."
"I don't watch much TV," I said.
"Oh, you know him," she said. "I'll pull up his IMDb page." She flipped through some screens on her phone and then turned it toward me. "See?"
On the screen was a head shot of a very handsome man. I swore there was a twinkle spot of light coming off his teeth. "He is nice-looking."
"He's more than nice-looking," she said, and turned the phone back toward her. "He is the latest 'it' guy for the small screen. He's been slotted to play the local police detective. There is no way this pilot won't take off."
"So wait, that guy is playing Rex Manning?" I chuckled at the idea that a young Hollywood actor with so much hair and a toothy smile would be playing Rex. Rex Manning was rougher around the edges, with a bald head and more action-movie-guy looks than romantic hero looks.
"Well, not exactly," Jenn said. "The series is about a Mackinac Island writer. You know, an updated version of Jessica Fletcher. She finds clues to murders and he steps in to arrest people."
"Oh boy, I bet Rex loves that idea," I said. Rex wasn't very happy with my meddling with his investigations. I highly doubted he would be happy about a television show depicting the Mackinac Island police as needing an old woman's help to solve crimes.
Jenn smirked. "Rex hates it. I heard that Dirk is shadowing Rex for the next week to get a feel for how he does his job."
That thought made me laugh. "Okay, now I have to call Rex and see how he's taking it." I picked up my phone.
"Before you call," Jenn interrupted. "Are you in for the two thousand?"
"I don't think so," I said with a shake of my head. "The pilot could get made and not picked up or even shown to anyone for years. I think I'll keep my roof improvements."
Jenn stuck out her bottom lip in a pout. "Sad. I think your neighbors aren't going to be too happy."
"We just can't do everything," I said with a shrug. "They are business owners. They'll understand."
* * *
Later that afternoon I took my bichon poo puppy, Mal, out for her afternoon walk. We went out the back of the McMurphy and across the alley to Mal's favorite patch of grass.
"Allie," Mr. Beecher called my name. Mr. Beecher was an elderly gentleman who wore three-piece suits and walked twice daily around the island. He reminded me of the snowman narrator from the Rudolph stop-motion television show. Or more specifically, he reminded me of Burl Ives.
"Hello, Mr. Beecher. How are you today?"
"I'm well, thanks," he said. "I hear that you aren't going to put in for the pool to get the television show to shoot your side of the street."
I sent him a weak smile. "Word travels fast around here."
"You've got some folks up in arms over it," he said, then reached into his pocket and took out a small treat. Mal raced over and did her tricks for him. "I told them that you were entitled to spend your money as you saw fit."
"Thank you," I said. "I'm saving up to remodel the rooftop. It will make a great space for weddings and bridal showers and other kinds of parties. The view of the straits is awesome."
His eyes twinkled. "Like I said you are entitled to spend your money as you see fit. I think your grandfather would be proud of what you've done with the place."
"Thanks," I said. "I wish Papa were here for my first season, too."
"What's our little friend up to?" he asked, and pointed out that Mal was sniffing around the side of the Dumpster two buildings down.
"Mal," I called. "What are you doing? Get over here." I clapped my hands. Mal refused to come. "I'm sorry," I said. "Sometimes she can get really stubborn."
"Do take care. They like to put poison out by the Dumpsters to keep the rats away."
"Oh no." My heart rate sped up. I don't know what I would do if Mal got poisoned. I hurried down the alley to the Dumpster calling her name. "Mal. Mal, come here, girl." It wasn't rat poison she was sniffing around, but a pair of men's tennis shoes ... with the person still wearing them. "I'm sorry," I said, and pulled her off the man. "She has never met a stranger."
The guy was half sitting, half lying down against the side of the building. His head rested against the Dumpster, a hat covering his face as if he needed a nap and wanted to keep the sun out. He didn't make a sound. I froze.
"Is he sleeping?" Mr. Beecher asked as he rounded the Dumpster.
"Oh, boy," I said, noting the dirty jeans and torn sweatshirt he wore. "Hello? Sir?" I reached down and jiggled his shoulder. The hat popped up and revealed brown eyes wide open, but opaque, staring at nothing. "Sir?" I put my hand on his neck to feel for a pulse, but one touch let me know he was dead. The body was cold.
I straightened, my nerves on edge. Mal wiggled in my arms. Mr. Beecher stuck his hands in his pockets and whistled.
"So you've found another dead man," he stated.
"I think so," I said, and fumbled for my phone. "Do you recognize him?"
"He sort of looks like Jack Sharpe," Mr. Beecher mused, tilting his round head to get a better look at the body. "Of course, Jack is a better dresser."
"9-1-1, what is your emergency?" Charlene the dispatcher's voice was clear on the other end of the phone.
"Hi, Charlene, it's Allie."
"Oh, dear me, who's dead now?" She sounded pained.
"I don't know," I said. "I'm in the alley behind Main Street ..." I stepped back to look at the store names stenciled on their back doors. "Behind Doud's Market and Mackinac Gifts."
"I'll send Rex out," she said. "But he isn't going to be happy."
"I'm not responsible for making Rex happy," I replied.
"That's not what I hear," Charlene chuckled. "I've sent a text out to Shane as well to get CSU over there. There is a dead body, right?"
"Yes," I said solemnly. "But just because I call you doesn't automatically mean someone died."
"Honey, the only time you ask for help is if someone dies," she pointed out. "Are you alone?"
"No, Mr. Beecher is here, too."
"Well, good. Who found the body?"
"Mal did," I answered.
"That pup has a nose for the dead," Charlene said.
In the distance I heard sirens. The alley wasn't very far from the administration building where the ambulance and police were housed. The ambulance was one of the only motor vehicles allowed on the island.
"I hear them coming," I said into the phone. "Thanks, Charlene."
"Take care, Allie."
"Well, this certainly is an interesting turn of events." Mr. Beecher kept his hands in his pockets and bent over to peer at the body. "I wonder what killed him?"
"Let's hope it wasn't foul play," I said, and gathered Mal up in my arms. Movement caught the corner of my eye and I turned to see Rex come striding down the alleyway with a tall, impossibly handsome man behind him.
"Allie, Mal, Mr. Beecher." Rex acknowledged us all but didn't introduce the man with him. He turned to the body. "You reported him dead?"
"Yes," I said. "Mal pointed him out and we thought he was sleeping. So I knelt and shook him to wake him up, but he was stiff and cold."
"Wow, a real dead guy. Just like that ... in the alley," the handsome man said, and ran his hand through his mass of blond hair, which was thick and glossy.
"Hello," Mr. Beecher said, and stuck out his hand. "I don't think we've met."
"Right, Dirk Benjamin," the man said, and shook Mr. Beecher's hand. "You're Beecher?"
"Mr. Beecher," he replied.
"The man is definitely dead," Rex said, interrupting. He knelt beside the body and used his pen to pull the hat off the dead man's head. There was blood and gunk on the inside of the hat.
Dirk Benjamin turned very pale. "Is that like brains?"
"Yes," Rex answered with his mouth in a grim line. Dirk turned and got sick on the other side of the Dumpster. "Amateurs ..."
I looked from the hat to the dead man's head and saw that he had a bullet hole right above the eyes.
"I'm thinking it was foul play," Mr. Beecher said out loud.
"Do you think?" Rex muttered sarcastically.
The ambulance — one of only two motorized vehicles allowed on the island — cut its sirens as it crept along the alley toward us. George Marron and Walt Henderson got out of the vehicle. George had long, black hair that was pulled back in a single braid, copper skin, and high cheekbones of his Iroquois ancestry. Walt was a tall, thin man with gray hair and a hawklike nose. He had sharp features and dark brown eyes. His skin had the weathered look of a fisherman or at the least someone who knew his way around the water.
"Mr. Beecher, Allie," George said. "What happened?" "That's what we're trying to figure out," Mr. Beecher said.
"Did either of you hear gunshots last night?" Rex asked as he stood.
"No," I replied. "Mal would have barked."
"It might be a body dump," George said as he squatted down to take a look. "There's not a lot of blood here." He squinted up at us, his dark black gaze serious. "Probably killed somewhere else and moved here."
"Why here?" I asked.
"People know you walk this alley," Rex said. "And with your reputation ..."
"What reputation?" I put one hand on my hip and held Mal with the other.
"Of finding dead men," George said.
"Mal finds them," I pointed out. "What does that have to do with anything?"
"They probably killed him, brought him back here, posed him to look like he was sleeping, and left him here for you to find."
"Are you sure he didn't kill himself ?" Mr. Beecher asked.
"No gun around," Rex said, taking in the scene.
"It could be under the Dumpster," I pointed out.
"Jack Sharpe was right-handed," George said. "The Dumpster is on his left."
"So it is Jack Sharpe," Mr. Beecher said. "I thought so."
"I'm going to have to rope off the crime scene until Shane can get here," Rex said. Shane was the local crime scene investigator and Jenn's boyfriend. "George, take a look at Mr. Benjamin. He lost his breakfast and might be in shock. Allie, keep Mal away from the body. You and Mr. Beecher should go sit on the steps to your apartment until I can square away the scene."
"Yes, sir," I muttered.
"Come on, Allie," Mr. Beecher said, taking my elbow in his hand. "This is the best adventure of my life."
"Well, Mal and I wish it wasn't a normal occasion in ours," I said as we scooted past the ambulance. Dirk Benjamin sat in the back of the ambulance. George had draped him in a blanket and was checking his pulse. I remembered seeing my first dead body. It didn't make me sick, but it did put me into shock.
Mr. Beecher pulled another treat for Mal out of his pocket as we settled onto the steps to my apartment. "I don't know why Rex leapt to the conclusion that the body was left for me to find."
"It was my first thought, too," Mr. Beecher said.
"Why?" I asked. "You walk down this alley twice a day. The body could have been there for you to find."
"Then they were successful, as I did find it, too," he said. "But most likely it was left for you."
I rolled my eyes. "You can't rule out Doud's Market or Mackinac Gifts, their owners and patrons," I said. "It's a stretch to say that it was left for me."
"Not much of a stretch," Rex said as he approached, his latex-gloved hand holding the corner of a piece of paper. "They left you a note."
Easy Butterscotch Fudge
11 oz. butterscotch baking chips 16 oz. vanilla frosting — any brand premade
Line an 8x8-inch pan with wax paper.
Microwave the butterscotch chips in a glass bowl until melted. Check every 15 seconds — takes about one minute. Mix with the vanilla frosting. Scoop into pan, even out, and chill until hardened, about an hour. Cut into pieces. Store in a covered container.CHAPTER 2
"They left me a note?" I stood, surprised and dismayed. "Where did you find it? What does it say?"
"It was in Jack's hand," Rex said. "Did you know Jack?"
"No," I said, and shook my head. "No." I peered around Rex to get another look at the dead man. "He doesn't look familiar."
"The killer must know you, then," Rex said. "This note was addressed to you." He held up a blank note card with my name typed across the front. Allie McMurphy. "I don't like it," he said.
"What does it say inside?"
"kf3," Rex said and he studied the paper. "What does it mean?"
"Is it a code?" I asked, and studied the paper over his shoulder.
"Sounds like chess to me," Mr. Beecher said. "An opening move."
"Yes," Mr. Beecher said. "The white knight opens."
"Oh, that's creepy," I said, and got chills up and down my arms. "What do you think it means?"
Rex frowned at the paper. "I hope it doesn't mean that the killer is playing games." His warm gaze studied my face. "Do you play chess?"
"No," I said. "Not really. I mean, it's been a while. I used to play with Papa Liam, but I haven't in years." Papa Liam was my father's father and the last owner of the Historic McMurphy Hotel and Fudge Shop. Papa had died this spring, leaving the family business to me. "I have to admit, it's very easy to beat me."
"I play," Mr. Beecher said with a twinkle in his dark blue eyes. "I happen to be the island's reigning champion."
"Is there a chess players group on the island?" I asked.
"Of course," Mr. Beecher said. "Now most players gather at the senior center, but we do have some young ones who play at the high school."(Continues…)
Excerpted from "Forever Fudge"
Copyright © 2018 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.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
I have enjoyed this series since I came across the first book. Allie McMurphy is a great sleuth that surrounds herself with friends that care about her and her pets. Mackinac Island is a fun location for this series. A film crew comes to the island to shoot a movie based on the recent murders. The writer and the leading man are particularly interested in getting to know Allie and pick her brain about how she finds so many bodies and plays a large role in solving the cases. I really enjoyed the unique spin in this book. It's always fun to step into a book and when you can go on location with a film crew while sitting in your own home reading, it's an added bonus.
Forever Fudge by Nancy Coco is the sixth book in A Candy-Coated Mystery series. Allie McMurphy is the owner of the McMurphy Hotel and Fudge Shop on Mackinac Island. Labor Day is behind them and so is tourist season. It seems, though, that a film crew has invaded the island to film the pilot of a mystery show starring Dirk Benjamin. Dirk will be portraying a Rex Manning type character and will be shadowing him before production starts (lucky Rex). Allie is out walking Mal, her bichon poo, when he sniffs out a dead body in the alley. A note was left with the body with Allie’s name on it. Inside the note is written “kf3” which sounds like a chess move according to Mr. Beechum. The killer is challenging Allie to a battle of the wits. While Francis and her new hubby are on their honeymoon, Allie has extra responsibilities at the hotel. In addition, she is dealing with her breakup from Trent who is not ready to give up on their relationship and Rex who asks her out on a date. Out on another walk with Mal when he digs up a sock and a toe under a tree. The culprit left another chess clue carved into the tree. Who is behind the crimes and why are they singling out Allie? Join Allie are her most challenging and personal case yet in Forever Fudge. Forever Fudge contains well-developed and established characters as well as a beautiful location. I enjoy learning more about Mackinac Island with its historic locations including the Grand Hotel which was used as a location in my favorite film Somewhere in Time. I thought the pace was a little slower Forever Fudge as Allie deals with making fudge, the day-to-day running of the hotel, Jenn departing for Chicago, her romantic woes, a prankster and the whodunit. I missed Frances and her wit in this tale. Frances is off enjoying her honeymoon and does not return until the end. The main mystery may seem complicated on the surface, but I thought it was straightforward. I quickly pinpointed the culprit and then kept reading to see if I was correct. There is a limited suspect list, but there are good clues and a red herring. The secondary mysteries resolution comes out of left field and the motive was weak. The chess clues did not resonate with me since I do not play the game (I lack the patience for the game). I would have preferred Allie to actively investigate the crime instead of information being passed along to her. I could have done with less romance. Allie loves Trent, but he does not wish to live on Mackinac Island full time. I am rooting for Rex who seems to have more in common with Allie. However, his marital history stands in their way. My rating for Forever Fudge is 3 out of 5 stars. It is not my favorite book in A Candy-Coated Mystery series. There a luscious fudge recipes included in the book and a preview of Fudge Bites.
Dollycas’s Thoughts Fudge shop owner Allie McMurphy is up to her neck in another murder. The quiet tourist destination has had a real crime wave since she came to town. Her dog, Mal, has found yet another body. A body the killer wanted Allie to find because he left her a note with the deceased. She really doesn’t have time for another murder mystery. Frances and Mr. Devaney are off on their honeymoon so the McMurphy Hotel and Fudge Shop is understaffed and some unusual and scary things are happening at the hotel. Allie doesn’t know if they are connected to the murder, but she needs to find out. It doesn’t help that a film crew has set up on the island for a new murder mystery show and the town is running a contest to see which side of the street can come up with the most money. The winner will be a featured backdrop for the film which could be great publicity. The hotel and fudge shop had a good year, but Allie has other plans for her profits. This does not make the mayor happy. Her personal life is in flux too and her BFF is leaving the island for a great job in Chicago. The idea of a peaceful offseason is not going to happen unless she helps find a killer and the film crew leaves town. Fudge! She is going to have to get involved in another investigation! Escaping to Mackinac Island with Allie and the gang is always so much fun. This time the author has really stirred up a sweet mystery. Life at the McMurphy Hotel and Fudge Shop is never dull. There is always something happening. The characters she has created are so engaging. It makes me want to pack my bags and head there right away. I missed having Frances there especially but it is after Labor Day and the newlyweds deserve some time off for their honeymoon. Ms. Coco added an interesting element to the mystery this time. The killer is leaving clues stating chess moves. The problem is Allie doesn’t play chess so she tries to learn. But before she gets even a novice handle on the game another body is found and she realizes the killer knows her well, knows the previous crimes she has helped solve, and the people she cares about may be in danger. This adds a nice twist to the entire story. Forever Fudge is a well-written cozy mystery with well-developed characters. The author blends the intrigue with a little romance and humor. I am team Rex all the way but looking forward to the next installment in the series to see if Allie finally makes up her mind. The fudge recipes throughout the book are an added bonus. This was an entertaining escape and a fine addition to this series.
Allie McMurphy's first season as an entrepreneur on Mackinac Island is drawing to a close, but instead of being a quiet time to switch gears from fudge tours to renovations, she's being hounded (and possibly threatened) by those in town to join in and donate $2,000 to a bid for a film crew to shoot on her side of Main Street. Not that she doesn't want to be a part of a little healthy rivalry, but she has plans for that money for her own business. Filming begins and with it comes a body count. This isn't the typical "stumble across a dead body" situation for which she's becoming known. This time, the killer leaves a message for her at each scene. I really liked this one. Nancy Coco does an excellent job of messing with your head while you try to figure out who the baddie is. While you're being led around, trying to figure out what's going on, relationships grow and become tested. I have to say, she can make your heart race and you fall for a guy without being racy. WOW. Some intense moments between Allie and Rex and I am hoping to see something develop soon between those too. Her writing of the island really puts you in it. She wraps it all up cozily and throws in some delicious recipes for you to go along with. Thank you to NetGalley, Nancy Coco, and Kensington Books for allowing me the chance to read and review this story. I definitely recommend it.
Forever Fudge is the latest great entry in the Candy-Coated Mysteries and I really enjoyed it! What I liked about this book: the quaint, picturesque, old-fashioned setting of Mackinac Island; the excitement of a TV pilot being filmed in town; protagonist Allie sticking to her guns and doing what she thinks is right for the McMurphy; the mysterious murders, pranks, and letters aimed at Allie; the tasty recipes throughout the book. There were a few things that I didn't like as much: a few characters I like were hardly in it (though they had a very good reason); Allie's indecision about Trend & Rex; part of the big reveal was a bit confusing and underwhelming. Overall, I thought it was a great addition to the series and am looking forward to the next book, wondering if it will take place in the off-season and offer a slice of Mackinac in winter. I received an advance copy of this book. This review contains my honest & unbiased thoughts and opinions.
It is the end of tourist season on Mackinac Island and Allie McMurphy’s schedule should be winding down. But when a TV crew arrive on the island to film a murder mystery real life starts to resemble fiction a little too much and Allie is caught up in investigating not just one real life murder, but two, plus two cases of kidnapping. The murderer seems fixating on baiting Allie with strange letters and it is a race against the clock to ensure that the men kidnapped don’t suffer the same fate as the two dead bodies Allie and her dog Mal found earlier. There is a dead chicken, a bloodied teddy bear and a deadly game of chess. The twists and turns and the unfolding love triangle will keep you engaged until the very end.
Allie McMurphy loves her new home on Mackinac Island. She enjoys baking fudge and running the historic hotel, like her grandfather had done. The only slight problem that Allie encounters is her little pup, Mal, keeps finding dead bodies. With the help of Mal and the senior center, Allie has learned how to solve each crime. But when the latest murderer seems to be taunting her with chess moves, will Allie be the next victim? Nancy Coco weaves a windy tale with numerous elements and characters. There’s a small town, chess moves, fudge recipes, and animals, so there is something for all readers to enjoy. Despite this being the sixth book in the series, readers do not need to read the previous books. The quirky cast of characters is delightful and the recipes look delicious. Readers will look forward to reading future works, by this author! Note: This review was originally posted on the Ariesgrl Book Reviews website.
Forever Fudge is the 6th book(includes 2 e-novellas) in The Candy-Coated Mystery series. I love heading to Mackinac Island and stopping in to visit with Allie and Jenn at the McMurphy Hotel and Fudge Shop. Allie is quite busy this time as Francis and Mr. Delaney are off on their honeymoon and Jenn is busy planning a fund-raiser for the Butterfly House. It’s Tuesday after Labor Day and Allie is busy going over the financial’s for the season when Jenn has some exciting news to pass on. She has heard that there will be a pilot for a mystery series to be filmed on the island and the cast and crew are already assembling to begin production. Later that day Allie has taken her bichon-poo, Mal, out for a walk. As Allie is greeting her friend Mr. Beecher Mal as she is prone to do, she finds a man slumped next to a building with a hat covering his head. The man has been shot in the head. In his hand is a note addressed to Allie that has two letters and a number written on it. Allie doesn’t have a clue what the note might mean and Mr. Beecher says that it appears to be a chess move. Apparently, someone is taunting Allie to investigate another murder. Allie calls 911 and within minutes Rex Manning, the police chief, arrives on the scene with his shadow. His shadow, being the Dirk Benjamin who will be portraying Rex in the television pilot. Then Mal finds a sock that has man's toe in it. When a second body is found that was similar to the first one and more chess moves are left for Allie. Allie continues to stand by her promise not to get involved in searching out the killer. But that changes when her former boyfriend, Trent Jessop goes missing. This another well-plotted and told story from Nancy Coco. The book had a wonderful cast of interesting and believable characters. The book also has delicious sounding recipes included with the book. I’ll be looking forward to the next book in this exciting series. I’ll be interested to hear how the Delaney’s honeymoon was and what is new with Allie and Rex.
Forever Fudge by Nancy Coco is book 6 in the Candy Coated Mystery series. It is the second one I have read but could be a stand alone. The tourist season has just wound down on the island, but now a film company is there filming a pilot for tv and the star is shadowing sheriff Rex. Allie is out walking her fur baby, Mal, and the first body is found in the alley with a note for Allie and a chess move. Unbeknownst to the killer, Allie does not know much about chess. When one of the guestrooms in the McMurphy is the target of a bloody prank and then Mal comes up missing, Allie is set to find the murderer. Then she finds a second body and it fuels her even more. Sheriff Rex is falling for Allie and Allie is torn between him and her ex Trent. You have a great cast of characters, plenty of twists and turns, romance, and even humor. Oh, and did I say fudge recipes, yum! I did not want to put it down and was kept guessing until the end. My only negative is the love triangle between the ex and Rex. She needs to make a decision. I was given an ARC by Netgalley and Kensington Publishing for an honest review.
Dead bodies, cryptic notes, nasty pranks and a missing (ex?) boyfriend has Allie stretched to her limits. As owner of McMurphy Hotel and Fudge Shop she already has her hands full when two employees have gone on their honeymoon. Now there seems to be a killer in town who is testing Allie to see if she can figure out the guilty party before she or someone she loves becomes the next victim. This story is a good mix of mystery, suspense and romance with an interesting twist at the end. It is book six in A Candy Coated Mystery series but could easily be read as a stand alone. The story also comes with some delicious sounding recipes. Thanks to Kensington and NetGalley for an ARC in exchange for a fair and honest review.
Book 6 of Nancy Coco’s Candy-Coated Mysteries is an entertaining read. I enjoy Allie McMurphy, the McMurphy Hotel and Fudge Shop, and cute pup, Mal, who has a knack for sniffing out dead bodies. I am upset with Allie not being able to choose between the two men vying for her affection. This is book six, and that needs to stop. Many readers will like this plot, however; I’m not a chess player so all the chess clues were lost on me. I found one of the culprits easy to figure out by his actions, and another suspect’s identity was rather shocking and his reasoning insane. I’ve always liked this series and look forward to book 7. Mouthwatering fudge recipes are included throughout the book! I reviewed a digital arc provided by NetGalley and Kensington Publishing. Thank you.
Good mystery. Love Mackinac Island setting