Review: Asking for Truffle by Dorothy St. James

askingfortruffleAbout Asking for Truffle

Series: A Southern Chocolate Shop Mystery (#1)
Kindle Edition: 304 pages
Published: September 2017 by Crooked Lane Books

Goodreads DescriptionWhen Charity Penn receives a letter saying she won a trip to Camellia Beach, South Carolina complete with free cooking lessons at the town’s seaside chocolate shop, The Chocolate Box, she’s immediately skeptical. She never entered any contest. Her former prep school friend offers to look into the phony prize–only to end up drowned in a vat of chocolate.

Struck with guilt, Penn heads to the southern beach town to investigate why he was killed. But as wary as she is of the locals, she finds herself lured into their eccentric vibe, letting her defenses melt away and even learning the art of crafting delicious chocolates. That is, until delight turns bittersweet as she steps straight into the midst of a deadly plot to destroy the seaside town. Now, only Penn’s quick thinking and a mysterious cask of rare chocolate can save the town she’s learning to love.

Rich and decadent, Asking for Truffle, the first in a new cozy series by Dorothy St. James, is sure to be a delectable read for fans of JoAnna Carl and Joanne Fluke.

My Review

I really am a sucker for dogs on covers. But I mean, I love cozy mysteries, and this one promised to talk about chocolate. Can’t go wrong there, right?

I’ll just come right out and say it – you really have to stick with this one. Penn is awful for the majority of the book – she’s self-centered, and has an enormous chip on her shoulder. For much of the novel, the secondary characters are the only thing keeping it alive. I kept reading because I wanted to know more about Mabel and Bertie and the rest of Camellia Beach.

But, by the end of the novel, I was actually rooting for Penn. She grows just a tiny bit, enough to make her tolerable. Same with her dog, Stella – actually, the two are kinda similar. Stella bites, and Penn probably would too if she were a dog. By the end, both are nipping instead of chomping…progress right?

The mystery was actually pretty strong, if a little hard to follow at times. I did think the murderer was obvious, but I don’t fault the author for that. I read a ton of cozy mysteries, so I’m good at spotting the killer, and it’s incredibly rare for me to be surprised.

I loved learning about chocolate though, and the town spirit was rather enjoyable. I can see myself picking up the next book in the series to see how Penn’s decision plays out in the next book.

Bottom line? Asking for Truffle is a sweet start to the Southern Chocolate Shop series.

3 stars

Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for the ARC! 

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