There's a legend in the Sea Islands that before a hurricane hits the Gray Lady can be seen walking down the beach warning of doom. Penn doesn’t believe in such silly stories, but she does believe weather forecasters. A powerful hurricane is heading their way. Everyone on the island of Camellia Beach is busy boarding up windows and securing valuables to upper levels of buildings. Joe Davies, a local treasure hunter with an unquenchable sweet tooth, claims to have seen the Gray Lady walking toward him just that morning and is terrified for his life.
After the storm passes everyone returns to survey the damage. As Penn walks her little dog Stella on the beach, she finds Joe Davies’ body washed up onshore. Not only that, it looks as if an exploding transformer caused Joe’s seaside shack to burn to the ground. Did the Gray Lady claim another victim? Many on the island believe that is exactly what happened.
Penn is sure there’s another explanation. She follows the clues and hints of lost gold to discover that the truth behind the treasure hunter’s death is as much of a maze as the boating channels winding their way through the local marshes. (Summary via Goodreads)
I LOVE returning to Camellia Beach even during and after a hurricane hits ... and that is what is going on in Bonbon With the Wind, the fourth book in Dorothy St. James' Southern Chocolate Shop Mystery series....oh and a dead body or two.
Charity Penn, who goes by Penn, lives in Camellia Beach after inheriting a chocolate shop and it's not just your average chocolate. She makes the candy with a special chocolate that only she gets which makes it very special and popular. Even though this is the fourth book in this series, Penn is still dealing with her new life and somehow this new life involves her with dead bodies and murder and her in the middle of it.
In Bonbon With the Wind a hurrican hits the island town and when the residents return to access the damage and move on, Penn and her dog, Stella, uncover a dead body on the beach. This is not just a dad body, it is a friend and someone that Penn and her friend Althea had seen right before the hurrican hit. Joe was walking on the beach scared saying he had come in contact with "the Gray Lady". "The Gray Lady" is said to be a ghost who warns of impeding death. So when Joe's body is found talk of ghosts is high on the gossip chain, even bringing "ghost hunters" to town to see if they can catch sight of the ghost.
Penn is drawn into the case when Joe's wife and daughter show up in town looking for answers and they have a lot of questions. Top of the list of questions is how their husband/father who is actually John who use to own a car dealership ended up at Camellia Beach as a retired fisherman. And Penn also learns about a bank robbery that may have had something to do with John/Joe going into hiding.....
St. James will have the reader on the end of their seats reading this story. You cannot help but love Penn and all her friends and town. And the devotion Penn has when her town or a member of it is hurt will melt your heart like a hot summer day does to chocolate. I also love that when I read these books, I feel like I am there....I can see the town and the beach, I want to hang out in the chocolate shop and even the back deck looking out over the marsh and I definitely want to get to know Harley and everyone else a lot better. So I will be returning to the Southern Chocolate Shop Mystery series as often as St. James writes the books...... I hope you do also !!!
Review by Missi M.