Chocolate shop owner Charity Penn is finally settling into life in the quirky South Carolina seaside town of Camellia Beach cooking up chocolate treats. She’s even helped organize the town’s lively beach music festival which has brought rollicking crowds eager to dance the Carolina shag. That is, until one of the band’s lead singers is found dead beside a beach bonfire.
While also trying to balance the amorous attention of music star Bixby Lewis, in town for the festival, and her quest to perfect a new hot flavored bonbon, Charity dives into the investigation. Though it’s more spice than sugar when she discovers a threatening note, comes across decades of age-old secrets, and Bixby comes into the line of fire when a gas grill explodes on the deck of a beachfront house.
Now Charity must turn up the heat and catch the killer before her chance melts away in Playing With Bonbon Fire, the delightful second Chocolate Shop mystery served up just right for fans of JoAnna Carl and Joanne Fluke. (Summary via Goodreads)
Even though Playing with Bonbon Fire is only the second book in Dorothy St. James' Southern Chocolate Shop Mystery serier, I am a diehard fan !! I fell in love with the series with her first installment, Asking for Truffles, and know that with every new book, I will continue to fall in love with them.
How can you not fall in love with a series of books centered in a beachtown ? Centered around a chocolate shop ?? And the main character Charity Penn is someone you know that if you met her in real life you would want to be her friend ?
Now we know that the first book in any series usually sets the groundwork for the reader to get to know the area and the main characters involved. And that is exactly what Asking for Truffles does when you start reading Playing with Bonbon Fire, you are already comfortable and fall right back into things with Penn.
And boy is Playing with BonBon Fire a catcher !!! As the town is gearing up for a weekend long beach music festival, things for Penn are anything but smooth sailing !!! (Which as you know from the first book, is par for the course in her life....) As the first night of the festival is winding down, Penn witnesses a bonfire on the beach and finds a dead body in the fire !! As she trys to figure out why someone would kill a member of a band that hasn't performed in 30 years, it seems someone is trying to kill Penn as well. But why ???
We also get to meet Penn's sister, Tina. Tina sent her music star ex-boyfriend Bixby to help out with the music festival but seems to be in the middle of a lot of "mishaps" that endanger his life and those around him. As with Penn though, we cannot help but fall in love with Tina and all her spunk !!!
There is a lot going on in Playing with BonBon Fire but it is nothing that the devoted reader cannot handle !! The only problem will be when you get to the end of the book and have to wait patiently for the next installment. But that's okay because we are left with a lot to ponder and keep our imagination sparked.....
Review by Missi S.