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Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Cozy Mystery Blog Tour: Author Guest Post, Review & Giveaway: The Chocolate Book Bandit (A Chocoholic Mystery #13) by JoAnna Carl

When it turns out a member of Warner Pier’s library board has been living on borrowed time, Lee is determined to discover who wrote the victim’s final chapter…

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!


JOANNA CARL is the pseudonym for the multi-published mystery writer Eve K. Sandstrom. The author writes about the shores of Lake Michigan and has been reviewed in Michigan newspapers as a “regional writer.” She has also written about Southwest Oklahoma and once won an award for the best book of the year with an Oklahoma setting.

Eve K. Sandstrom is an Oklahoman to the teeth: she was born there, as were five previous generations of her mother’s family. Both her grandfathers and her father were in the oil business, once the backbone of Oklahoma’s economy. One grandmother was born in the Choctaw Nation, and Eve is a member of the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma. Eve and seven other members of her immediate family are graduates of the University of Oklahoma. Eve even knows the second verse of “Boomer Sooner.”

Eve wrote two mystery series: the “Down Home” books, set on a ranch in Southwest Oklahoma, and the Nell Matthews mysteries, semi-hard-boiled books laid in a mid-size city on the Southern Plains.

But Eve married a great guy whose family owned a cottage on the west coast of Lake Michigan, not far from the Michigan towns of Fennville, Saugatuck, and Douglas. Every summer for more than forty years she, her husband and various combinations of children and grandchildren have trekked to the community of Pier Cove for vacations that lasted from two weeks to three months.

The area features gorgeous beaches, lush orchards, thick woods, and beautiful Victorian houses. Eve grew to love it. So when her editor asked her to come up with a new, “cozy” mystery series, Eve set it in a West Michigan resort town, scrambling up Saugatuck, Douglas, South Haven, Holland, Manistee, Ludington and Muskegon with her own ideas of what a resort ought to be to create Warner Pier.

As further background, she plunked her heroine into a business which produces and sells luscious, luxurious, European-style bonbons, truffles and molded chocolates. Most small towns couldn’t support a business like this, but the resorts of West Michigan – with their wealthy “summer people” – can. The “Chocoholic Mysteries” were on their way.

Eve’s editor requested that she use a pen name for the new series, and Eve picked the middle names of her three children, Betsy Jo, Ruth Anna, and John Carl. “JoAnna Carl” was born. So that’s how JoAnna/Eve became a regional author in two widely separated regions.

JoAnna/Eve earned a degree in journalism at the University of Oklahoma and also studied with Carolyn G. Hart and Jack Bickham in the OU Creative Writing Program. She spent more than twenty-five years in the newspaper business, working as a reporter, editor, and columnist at The Lawton Constitution in Lawton, Oklahoma. She took an early retirement to write fiction full-time.

She and her husband, David F. Sandstrom, have three grandchildren, whom they love introducing to the lore of their two homes – Oklahoma and Michigan.

She spent 25 years in the newspaper business as a reporter, feature writer, editor, and columnist, most recently at the Lawton Constitution. She holds a degree in journalism from the University of OK and also studied in the O.U. Professional Writing program. She lives in Oklahoma but summers in Michigan where the Chocoholic Mystery series is set. She has one daughter who is a CPA and another who works for a chocolate company and provides yummy insider information on the chocolate business.



This series never ceases to amaze me.  JoAnna Carl is a wonderfully talented author with so much to offer her readers.  The Chocoholic Mystery series is sweet, funny and always has a puzzling mystery that can't be figured out until the very end.  

In The Chocolate Book Bandit, the story moves from the Chocolade and in to the town library.  The library was a wonderful place for the storyline, and I enjoyed meeting the new librarian! :)  Lee was her usual tenacious self, providing a great layout of clues to help readers discover the suspects' secrets as the mystery unfolds with every turn of the page.  

This is a great addition to the series, and one that you'll love to curl up with a sweet treat and read! :) 

Rating: 4.5 stars

I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.  All conclusions reached are my own. 

Thanks to the awesome ladies at Penguin, I have 1 paperback copy of The Chocolate Book Bandit by JoAnna Carl to give away to one of my lucky readers!  Just enter the Rafflecopter below for your chance to win, and be sure to keep checking back for more awesome giveaways! 

  a Rafflecopter giveaway

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