In the quaint river town of Geneva, IL, Kelly Clark flees California and returns to her hometown to re-start her life after a horrific divorce from an abusive husband. She accepts her sister’s generous offer to live in the apartment above Chocolate Love, her sister’s specialty dessert shop in the Historic District of Geneva.
Kelly’s life starts to turn around when she reconnects with an old flame. Just when it looks like she is getting her life back on track, she stumbles over a dead body in the kitchen of Chocolate Love. The suspicious death of a Chocolate Love employee sends her hopes for a better future plummeting. Has her violent past and the danger she faced in California followed her home to Geneva? (Summary via Goodreads)
Give Me Chocolate is the first book in Annie Hansen's Kelly Clark Mystery series. In this book she sets the stage and gives the reader a lot of background into the characters and the dessert shop. The dessert shop, Chocolate Love is run by Kelly's sister Nikki. Nikki and her husband Bob took over the family business when Bob's parents retired. Kelly moved back home after divorcing her psycho of a husband and lives in the apartment above the shop. Kelly and Nikki have another sister Adelle who is married with 3 children.
Although Kelly trips over a dead body in the kitchen of the shop one morning on her way out for a run, it is later revealed that the individual died due to a heart attack. Due to the cause of death, it is ruled death by natural causes. So, you may ask, where is the mystery ? If I tell you now, it will kill the story (No pun intended). I will say that you want to read it to get to the last few chapters. That is where the story takes a drastic turn and brings everything together.
The fun thing about Give Me Chocolate is that the "cozy" portion of it being a "cozy mystery" is given more attention. As I said, the reader is given a chance to get to know the characters and develop a bond with them. You will actually feel like you live right next door to Chocolate Love and are a part of Geneva, not someone just passing through.
I cannot wait to dig into the second book in this series, Bean In Love. I have a strong feeling that this is going to one series that I hope has a lot of books in it. So many possibilities and directions Hansen can take......
Review by Missi S.