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The much anticipated Winter Arts festival is here, and as treasurer of Winterfest, Lee is up to her elbows in mix-ups behind the scenes. When the art show's guest juror shows up drunk, Lee lets him sleep it off, only to find out later that someone's put the visiting dignitary into a permanent state of repose. Lee and Joe were the last people spotted near the crime scene. In The much anticipated Winter Arts festival is here, and as treasurer of Winterfest, Lee is up to her elbows in mix-ups behind the scenes. When the art show's guest juror shows up drunk, Lee lets him sleep it off, only to find out later that someone's put the visiting dignitary into a permanent state of repose. Lee and Joe were the last people spotted near the crime scene. In a seriously sticky situation, it's up to them to find the real killer before someone else comes to a bitter end...


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The much anticipated Winter Arts festival is here, and as treasurer of Winterfest, Lee is up to her elbows in mix-ups behind the scenes. When the art show's guest juror shows up drunk, Lee lets him sleep it off, only to find out later that someone's put the visiting dignitary into a permanent state of repose. Lee and Joe were the last people spotted near the crime scene. In The much anticipated Winter Arts festival is here, and as treasurer of Winterfest, Lee is up to her elbows in mix-ups behind the scenes. When the art show's guest juror shows up drunk, Lee lets him sleep it off, only to find out later that someone's put the visiting dignitary into a permanent state of repose. Lee and Joe were the last people spotted near the crime scene. In a seriously sticky situation, it's up to them to find the real killer before someone else comes to a bitter end...

30 review for The Chocolate Snowman Murders

  1. 4 out of 5

    Larry Bassett

    Sexual harassment and murder seem way out of place in a book that has been mostly frippery. But there is a body on page thirty-five. And another on page ninety-five. When I compare this to the other books I am reading, I wonder what I am doing reading The Chocolate Snowman Murders. I must be in desperate need of a break from literature. Am I in no man’s land? Am I the only guy to have ever read this book? Maybe this is my way of exercising my feminine side. Or maybe just resting my brain. This is Sexual harassment and murder seem way out of place in a book that has been mostly frippery. But there is a body on page thirty-five. And another on page ninety-five. When I compare this to the other books I am reading, I wonder what I am doing reading The Chocolate Snowman Murders. I must be in desperate need of a break from literature. Am I in no man’s land? Am I the only guy to have ever read this book? Maybe this is my way of exercising my feminine side. Or maybe just resting my brain. This is the best line in the book. In fact, it may be the only good line. “’Lee, I’m going to ask you to do something that you’re not going to want to do. Something you’re going to think is immoral, and that I know is illegal.” I looked at her warily. “You don’t want me to put preservatives in the chocolate, do you?” “Good heavens, no! I’d never do that.” Now, I want to explain my view of two stars: GRs says “It was OK.” That’s what I mean too. I have just learned about the cozy genre and this book is of that ilk. It may be that a cozy book can get no more than two stars from me. Apparently I have several more on my shelves that I will have to read when I get down off my high brow. Even more in this chocoholic series. And, to tell the truth, chocolate was the attraction.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Linda

    Another good adventure in Warner Pier! I liked the WinterFest setting and the snowmen chocolates seemed so cute. I did find the culprit pretty obvious but since that doesn't happen to me often I did keep questioning my choice. A good Christmas story. Another good adventure in Warner Pier! I liked the WinterFest setting and the snowmen chocolates seemed so cute. I did find the culprit pretty obvious but since that doesn't happen to me often I did keep questioning my choice. A good Christmas story.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Dawn

    The small town of Warner Pier, Michigan is preparing for their annual Winter Arts Festival. Lee and her husband Joe are members of the WinterFest committee and this time of the year they are very busy. When the art show’s guest juror shows up drunk, Lee drops him off at a motel only to learn he has been found dead in the motel room the next day. Lee becomes an instant suspect when the story of the short ride from the airport to the motel comes out. She refuses to be steamrolled by the local poli The small town of Warner Pier, Michigan is preparing for their annual Winter Arts Festival. Lee and her husband Joe are members of the WinterFest committee and this time of the year they are very busy. When the art show’s guest juror shows up drunk, Lee drops him off at a motel only to learn he has been found dead in the motel room the next day. Lee becomes an instant suspect when the story of the short ride from the airport to the motel comes out. She refuses to be steamrolled by the local police and works on her own to find out what happened to the man. I read the first five pages of this book twice. I felt like I couldn’t invest in the narrative at all. When I turned the page and began page five I finally became interested in the story. I feel that even though I hadn’t read the previous books in the series the author gives enough background throughout the book. That said, I still prefer to read the books in any series in order. The plot moves in waves. I prefer a steady pace. The characters are well developed, but again, I will I knew more of the history from previous books. I fluctuated between rating this a 3 or 4. I ultimately went with a 4 because the problems I had with the book were more about personal preference and not the actual writing or plot. I did enjoy the book and it peaked my interest in going back and reading book one. I did enjoy that the setting is in an area I am familiar with and love. The characters are relatable. I recommend giving this book a read.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Luffy

    Like it happens sometimes, a fair handful of characters were introduced what seems like simultaneously. I inferred from that crowd that one of them was going to be the victim. It was fun right from the start to guess who it would be to die. The fun in this book stayed constantly. I thought Mozelle was the one to bite it. I was wrong. When the true victim appeared in the story, I had my doubts absolved. Here was a revolting chap, ideal and all fattened up - not only literally - for sacrifice. I Like it happens sometimes, a fair handful of characters were introduced what seems like simultaneously. I inferred from that crowd that one of them was going to be the victim. It was fun right from the start to guess who it would be to die. The fun in this book stayed constantly. I thought Mozelle was the one to bite it. I was wrong. When the true victim appeared in the story, I had my doubts absolved. Here was a revolting chap, ideal and all fattened up - not only literally - for sacrifice. I was less joyful with the second murder. It seemed pointless. It was pointless. There is no more dangerous than a murderer who's paranoid. It looked like the guilty one had used up all goodwill from fate or whatever, and had run out of safe ground. In retrospect it seemed that the nice person, the second victim was lost forever, but then a superficial character found redemption and was the new nice person in the Warner Pier committee. I'm guessing that touch was intentional, but you never know what is the intent in a fast paced, solid if not brilliant book. The one constant conclusion with this series is that each book differs from its siblings, although there is a common signature. I was pleased to be able to picture parts of the scenery and the landscape, and that's saying a lot as spatial recognition is not my forte. The tight, no nonsense, and suspenseful prose of the climax caught me unawares. I missed minor appearances like Tracy and Brenda. And aunt Nettie. The latter gave me the impression that she had retired and left the shop to Lee. It seemed that only the committee was present in Warner Pier. I am surprised that Joe never once became annoying in the series. After all he's, quote unquote, the best catch in West Michigan. Nevertheless he was the state debate team winner and wrestling champ too. Maybe it's because the focus is on his wife, but I think he will always be more of a Mary Sue than a Gary Stu, if that makes sense. He's supposed to be rugged and virile but he's in the background. Having said that, there are more males than females in this story. There are more unpleasant male characters too. Whether I personally find that true in real life is an opinion that stays variable from day to day. I've now read eight books of Joanna Carl and that's a relatively prolific output. Unless you're a writer and your name is Nora Roberts, or Barbara Cartland, or Danielle Steel, or Agatha Christie. Okay so J Carl is not so prolific but it has been a real treat to read these books of hers over the span of a year. I dread the day when I'll have naught to look forward to except the books of other authors. I've made my peace with reading all of Miss Marple books, and I hope to handle the loss of this series' unblemished presence better. At least it's not outstayed its welcome. Unlike this review, and unlike life, really. My next to go to series would be crucial. Until then let's hope for the best.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Kris

    My first dip into the world of the Chocoholic Mystery Series, and my first Joanna Carl book. I really enjoyed it - so much that I finished it in one day! As usual, I grabbed a book that was about halfway through the series, but it didn't really seem to matter. I got an idea of the characters and location pretty quickly. I loved the little history of chocolate notes, and I learned white chocolate isn't really considered chocolate at all. Too bad because I love white chocolate the best! As an added My first dip into the world of the Chocoholic Mystery Series, and my first Joanna Carl book. I really enjoyed it - so much that I finished it in one day! As usual, I grabbed a book that was about halfway through the series, but it didn't really seem to matter. I got an idea of the characters and location pretty quickly. I loved the little history of chocolate notes, and I learned white chocolate isn't really considered chocolate at all. Too bad because I love white chocolate the best! As an added bonus, I even got to knock Michigan off my 50 States list - I didn't know that when I picked the book up. Was the book perfect? No, but some things were pretty accurate (like how dark it is in Michigan in the winter!), and the small town feel of the book completely over rode anything that seemed a little off. All in all, it was a quick cozy to that helped me take a very small break from school work. Just what I needed right now! Challenges this book counts towards Outdo Yourself Cruisin' thru the Cozies Support Your Local Library Read the 50 States (Michigan) ~Kris~

  6. 4 out of 5

    Anastasia

    The Chocolate Snowman Murders by Joanna Carl is the 8th book in the Chocoholic Mystery series. The Warner Pier Winter Arts festival is marred by the murder of the guest art show judge after he was dropped off by Lee at a hotel when he had become drunk and obnoxious. The story was interesting but I found it difficult ti like any of the characters and Lee's speech slip ups become tired after a while. The chocolate facts were interesting although they did little to add to the story. The chocolate d The Chocolate Snowman Murders by Joanna Carl is the 8th book in the Chocoholic Mystery series. The Warner Pier Winter Arts festival is marred by the murder of the guest art show judge after he was dropped off by Lee at a hotel when he had become drunk and obnoxious. The story was interesting but I found it difficult ti like any of the characters and Lee's speech slip ups become tired after a while. The chocolate facts were interesting although they did little to add to the story. The chocolate descriptions though sounded wonderful and delicious -dangerous if you are watching your weight.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Kayla

    This is the first cozy mystery I've read and I really enjoyed it. I've only ever read suspenseful mysteries and I'm in love with the cozy ones now. Joanna Carl had me guessing who the murder was until the very last chapter. I didn't expect who it was but once it was revealed it all made sense. I can't wait to read another cozy by Joanna Carl. This is the first cozy mystery I've read and I really enjoyed it. I've only ever read suspenseful mysteries and I'm in love with the cozy ones now. Joanna Carl had me guessing who the murder was until the very last chapter. I didn't expect who it was but once it was revealed it all made sense. I can't wait to read another cozy by Joanna Carl.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Jennifer

    Accountant Lee Woodyard works at her aunt's chocolate shop in the tourist town of Warner Pier, Michigan, along the shore of Lake Michigan. The town's Winter Arts Festival is just about to begin, and Lee is asked to pick up a last minute replacement judge at the airport for the art competition. As soon as she picks him up, the troubles begin. Lee quickly realizes the man is drunk, and even worse, he has no qualms about making the moves on Lee while she is trying to drive through rush hour traffic Accountant Lee Woodyard works at her aunt's chocolate shop in the tourist town of Warner Pier, Michigan, along the shore of Lake Michigan. The town's Winter Arts Festival is just about to begin, and Lee is asked to pick up a last minute replacement judge at the airport for the art competition. As soon as she picks him up, the troubles begin. Lee quickly realizes the man is drunk, and even worse, he has no qualms about making the moves on Lee while she is trying to drive through rush hour traffic. Halfway home, Lee drops the letch off at a motel, so someone else can pick him up the next day, only there is no next day for the letch, as he has apparently offended someone else as well, enough so that they murdered him. Unfortunately, Lee and her husband, Joe, are the prime suspects and quite the subject of the local gossip mill. After a good cry, however, Lee, gets to work trying to determine who the real killer is, and there are plenty of possible suspects.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Kanisha

    I can't say that I enjoyed this book. It was obvious pretty early on who the murderer was, if not the motive. Since I'm normally hopeless at figuring out who dunnit, that was enough to tell me that this wasn't a very good mystery. I also can't say I liked the protagonist--her tongue twister thing was honestly a bit annoying. The cops handling the case were insufferable and incredibly unprofessional, not to mention just flat out bad at their jobs. The attitude toward sexual assault was weird--he' I can't say that I enjoyed this book. It was obvious pretty early on who the murderer was, if not the motive. Since I'm normally hopeless at figuring out who dunnit, that was enough to tell me that this wasn't a very good mystery. I also can't say I liked the protagonist--her tongue twister thing was honestly a bit annoying. The cops handling the case were insufferable and incredibly unprofessional, not to mention just flat out bad at their jobs. The attitude toward sexual assault was weird--he's only doing it to try to embarrass her because he was intimidated by her height? And that's a common, normal reason apparently. And she only felt vaguely disturbed by it, more angry than anything? Okaaay. Also, people from northern states have a reputation for being incredibly unhospitable and unfriendly. Who knew. The only upside to this book was that it's pretty short and I didn't hate it so it didn't send me into another reading slump.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Anthony Lipuma

    Man this book, is just good. The humor is amazing. Each chapter ends with suspense, making me turn the page each time. I might quick to jump to conclusions but I still managed to find who the killer was before the book did, so HA! Anyways back to praising this book. My favorite part is the part with the snowman. That part is amazing. The suspense i got from that was fantastic. I was on the egde of my seat. I kept on anticipating things that don’t even happen. I should stop before i go crazy. 5/5, Man this book, is just good. The humor is amazing. Each chapter ends with suspense, making me turn the page each time. I might quick to jump to conclusions but I still managed to find who the killer was before the book did, so HA! Anyways back to praising this book. My favorite part is the part with the snowman. That part is amazing. The suspense i got from that was fantastic. I was on the egde of my seat. I kept on anticipating things that don’t even happen. I should stop before i go crazy. 5/5, book of the year, would recommend.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Shannon

    Not my favorite in this series. Having reached book #8, I know I do love most of the characters and everyone, but I have to say this one seemed a little formulaic. We don't really have any of the characters developing, and there's the same two-murders-one-attack-on-Lee plot device as in most of the other books. I'm wondering what happened to Lindy and Dolly and some of the other regular characters that we've had pushed aside in this edition. None of these suspects were even that interesting. Not my favorite in this series. Having reached book #8, I know I do love most of the characters and everyone, but I have to say this one seemed a little formulaic. We don't really have any of the characters developing, and there's the same two-murders-one-attack-on-Lee plot device as in most of the other books. I'm wondering what happened to Lindy and Dolly and some of the other regular characters that we've had pushed aside in this edition. None of these suspects were even that interesting.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Vicki Gooding

    An enjoyable read. There was twice she seemed to jump back a page or two after appearing to move on to the nest day which confused that portion of storyline. I loved the "flavor" of the story though, as well as some wonderful historical trivia leaving us "hungry" to learn more. I liked the characters, and am eagerly looking forward to reading more of her books. An enjoyable read. There was twice she seemed to jump back a page or two after appearing to move on to the nest day which confused that portion of storyline. I loved the "flavor" of the story though, as well as some wonderful historical trivia leaving us "hungry" to learn more. I liked the characters, and am eagerly looking forward to reading more of her books.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Knight

    Good read. I enjoyed it. The author was kind to us and didn't have Lee doing too many stupid things in this one. One incident early on revealed a person to be the murder or co-conspirator, but the incident seemed to be forgotten. But it all came together in the end, in a very inventive way. Good read. I enjoyed it. The author was kind to us and didn't have Lee doing too many stupid things in this one. One incident early on revealed a person to be the murder or co-conspirator, but the incident seemed to be forgotten. But it all came together in the end, in a very inventive way.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Catherine

    An easy read, but was able to spot the murderer early on. Nothing to special.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Mary

    Enjoyable mystery. With Lee and hubby Joe as possible suspects in a murder of an obnoxious man.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Kathleen

    I’m usually not too crazy about “cozy” mysteries, but this was surprisingly good!

  17. 5 out of 5

    Andi

    Not a believable motive, but still an enjoyable community in which to spend some time

  18. 4 out of 5

    Jenny Dohner

    This book piqued my interest just barely. I appreciate the setting, and fact that the book is very clean, characters mainly sweet. But it was very simple...compatible to watching ‘Murder She Wrote’ 😊

  19. 4 out of 5

    Dyann Taylor

    Pretty generic read - not even very interesting chocolate facts! Characters not well developed, plot a little thin.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Jessica Walters

    Awesome.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Karen

    Cute story

  22. 5 out of 5

    Lynn

    A Fun Easy Read

  23. 5 out of 5

    Sandi

    Her books are fun, quick romps.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Linda Lugar

    Very fun!

  25. 5 out of 5

    Gale Wilkinson

    I loved this book and this series. The characters work well together. The plot was great and the mystery kept me going to the end.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Sharon Buxton

    C. fiction, mystery, series, (Chocoholic Mystery, #8)

  27. 4 out of 5

    Angela Gillooley

    Good book. I liked the characters and setting. I don't usually read a book series out of order . I think I would enjoy this from the beginning. Good book. I liked the characters and setting. I don't usually read a book series out of order . I think I would enjoy this from the beginning.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Groucho42

    Winter festival, drunken, misogynist art judge, murder. A bit too simple, but still a good entry into the series.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Robin

    Fun characters and story, but I figured out the villain pretty early into the book. Not her most clever.

  30. 4 out of 5

    audrey

    I hit the snowman with twenty pounds of chocolate. Synopsis: She totally did. Then she had to run screaming through the snow like Jason XI: Jason Freezes His Tail Off. When series heroine and chocolate entrepreneur Lee Woodyard agrees to sit on the board of the Warner's Pier, Michigan Winterfest, she's expecting a little bickering with the other board members and hopefully a lot of great publicity for the chocolate shop she runs with her great aunt. What she gets is, say it with me, a dead body. N I hit the snowman with twenty pounds of chocolate. Synopsis: She totally did. Then she had to run screaming through the snow like Jason XI: Jason Freezes His Tail Off. When series heroine and chocolate entrepreneur Lee Woodyard agrees to sit on the board of the Warner's Pier, Michigan Winterfest, she's expecting a little bickering with the other board members and hopefully a lot of great publicity for the chocolate shop she runs with her great aunt. What she gets is, say it with me, a dead body. No scratch that, two dead bodies. She also gets a mercifully plausible reason for being suspected by the police, and a chance to tell the story in her own uniquely mellow and readable voice. See, I used to be mighty fond of culinary mysteries, and then as the field saturated, I either burned out on them or just read a whole string of them that sucked it, hard, so I don't read as many as I used to. But I'm a sucker for well-written small towns, for a start, and I have a thing about first-person narratives: they have to be really well done for me to go near them. Weird, right? Well, I do very much like Lee's voice. She's strong and capable and snarky and arrogant and sometimes she's just flat-out wrong, which are all characteristics I find myself empathizing with a great deal. Make of this what you will. :) The scene in the blockquote is probably my favorite from recent cozy-culinary memory, btw. Lee's lured out to the abandoned conference center at dawn and then chased by a homicidal life-sized snowman over hill and dale. The scene is executed flawlessly, and it's only later, during The Big Reveal, that I realized there is no earthly reason for the murderer to have dressed up like a snowman. I sort of still don't care. It was that much fun of a scene. But a facile voice can't carry a whole book. Facile doesn't mean artistic or compelling, and luckily this book was only a quarter (yes $0.25 and gods bless my crazy Hannafords used book bin) because it's headed right back out there. Notice that the title and quote are one and the same. That's because really, there were no other sentences in the book that made me perk up and take notice, made me stop and just admire the way the author wrote. It was almost as if oh hey, deadline for the next book's coming up, better take a week and crank this out. Soulless, kind of. Just like a box of chocolates, I'll read one more from this series and then I'll stop, I swear.

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