Hot Chocolate is a cozy mystery with an astrology theme. Meet the middle-aged Alcott sisters: Madge, Lila Mae and Dorothea, heiresses to the Alcott Chocolate fortune and mavens of Houston’s elite River Oaks.
Madge ambushes Lila Mae with Dorothea’s manipulative plea: she can’t care for Bernie, their 92-year old father, any longer. Lila Mae explodes in a hissy fit—she had warned Dorothea years ago that they should put Bernie in an assisted living center.
Robert,Lila Mae’s astrologer, warns of impending problems and he’s rarely wrong.
The sisters call a meeting with Walter Branson, their solicitor. They discuss Bernie’s nurse Bambi Chaline, a blonde bombshell who looks more like a hooker than a nurse.
Arrangements are made for Bernie to be transferred over to Lake Sides Assisted Living Center in the Uptown Galleria area and a severance package is drawn up for Bambi.
Jimmy Ray Chaline, Bambi’s bowling alley husband, is enraged that Bambi was let go. He hires ambulance chaser Mark Slade to file a lawsuit for wrongful termination.
The suit is thrown out of court further fueling Jimmy Ray’s rage. Bambi had been more than satisfied with her bonus, letters of recommendation and praise from the Alcott clan.
When Jimmy Ray fails to return home from the bowling alley that night, a series of events unfold that shocks the entire Alcott family and their extended members.
“Narrator Kelley Hazen is a marvel, EVERY character from the three Bentley driving, Alcott sisters of Houston, Texas to the heavily accented Latino and Chinese servants to the 92-year-old father to Bambie Chaline (who sounds just like her name) is believable and highly entertaining…Hazen and Ireland are an ideal match, their characters and text mesh, giving listeners an unusual, very witty and worthwhile mystery. Because there are so many details and diverse personalities, audio is the ideal format for maximum pleasure.” (AudioFile)
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Hot Mystery, Hot Chocolate with Marshmallow Creme
I love this book. It's top of the line in story, production, reader and laughs.
Bambi triggers all the action and keeps the story moving. I love her as a character, not so much if she was a person in my life. She makes me laugh as do most of the eccentric characters in this crazy cozy. As we say in Texas, What a Hoot!! More fun than a barrel of rattle snakes!
The characters come to life with her voice and tongue in cheek reading style. Her voice totally matches the feel of the book and adds another dimension. I read the book first, and listening afterward, enjoyed it even more.
I listened over a two-day period, and it kept me company through all my household chores. It sure made the time go faster.
Dawn Ireland has honed her craft over the years, and has developed a voice that suits her natural humor and Texas style. I can hardly wait for her next book, Bitter Chocolate. What will this wonky group of rich Houston women get involved in next? I know it will be a lot of fun. I read a lot of mysteries, and this was one of my favorite light-hearted comedic novels. It's a great weekend read or listen. I love audio books.
- Sandy Penny "WritingMuse"
THIS COZY MYSTERY IS A RIOT!
Oh yes. The same reason I would listen to a re-run of a great NPR show like 'Car Talk' or 'Wait Wait Don't Tell' or watch a rerun of MASH - It's timeless. This is a whole new genre of entertainment. She should be writing scripts & creating characters for TV.
Any book that has a good mystery, fresh hilarious characters, a great sense of humor and good clean fun.
'Joseph the Asian Housekeeper' is absolutely hysterical. This story is ripe with characters. It has more diversity of character than any audiobook I've listened to.They are all so eccentric and so clearly created. It's really refreshing to hear a narrator that sounds like an adult and not a pinched, nasal teenager.
'Upstairs, Downstairs' - Houston, TX!
I hope this is a series. I'd love to hear more from The Alcott Sisters.
- M Stein