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The Chocolate Cat Caper (A Chocoholic Mystery #1)

3.72  ·  Rating Details  ·  3,034 Ratings  ·  200 Reviews
Looking for a fresh start, divorcée Lee McKinney moves back to Michigan to work for her aunt's chocolate business-and finds that her new job offers plenty of murderous treats to chew on.

When a high-profile defense lawyer dies after eating a cat-shaped chocolate laced with cyanide, it's up to Lee to find out who tampered with the recipe-before she and her aunt end up behind
Kindle Edition, 244 pages
Published March 1st 2002 by Signet (first published 2002)
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(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Jun 29, 2012 Barbara rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
A very predictable and non-descript mystery. Everything is predictable about this novel. The murders, the murderers, the weapon, the motive everything even the romance is predictable.
But even then I would have been willing to give it three stars since it was an easy read and somewhat enjoyable. If not for the annoying non-consistent speech impediment or is it a brain impediment from the main character. When she is tense she says the wrong words, but when she is kidnapped all of a sudden she has
After divorcing from her husband, 28 year old Lee McKinney moves back to Michigan to the small town of Warner Pier, to help her Aunt Nettie with her accounts of her chocolate business called TenHuis Chocolade. Her first week back, is very eventful. She brings the order of $2000 worth of chocolate to the town's defense attorney Clementine Ripley who everyone loves to hate. She goes to speak to Ripley's assistant who says she will give them a check, when Ripley's Visa Card is declined. At the hous ...more
Jul 18, 2012 Dolly rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Mystery fans
This is the first book in the Chocoholic Mystery series by JoAnna Carl. I've read one other book in the series so far, and I think they are basically decent brain candy.

I love the chocolate as it's described in the story, although I am sure that it leads me to eat more of it. The little tidbits of information about chocolate are also interesting and the quiz at the end is entertaining.

The story was engaging, but I figured out what was going on from the beginning, which I cannot ever do with th
Nov 27, 2011 Jenn rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Well, huh. I've been reading quite a few cozy mysteries lately. Why is it that the "heroine" of them all has just gotten out of an awful relationship and has moved back to a small town? I mean, I guess the small town is part of the cozy mystery genre, but do all the female leads have to be the same template? This one started out okay. I was kinda into it, though Lee kind of annoyed me. At least she wasn't short, like most of the heroines in these books. That's at least one difference. The culpri ...more
I read this book out loud to my mother over the phone for the Read Harder book challenge. It was a fine cozy mystery, but it made me want chocolate. I think we were on chapter three when my mom wondered who done it, so I told her who I thought and I was right. I was a bit miffed that the cat didn't play a bigger role in the plot, but you can't have everything. To sum it up, a nice cozy with a cat and chocolate.
Melvin Rodríguez-Rodríguez
There are three things every mystery needs: to be compelling, plausible and surprising. The Chocolate cat caper's plot is plausible, sometimes it's not that compelling and overall it's not surprising. The main character, Lee McKinney, is a Texas blonde that sometimes passes as a bit dumb and has tendency for malapropisms that's supposed to be funny but mostly distracts from the story. With the exception of the lovable and funny Aunt Nettie and her teenage employees, the rest of the characters ar ...more
Mary Kay  Kare
Apr 29, 2013 Mary Kay Kare rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
According to the website Stop, You're Killing Me, Carl is actually Eve Sandstrom. I read some of her earlier books and have been looking for more ever since so I jumped right on this. Big mistake. Apparently someone has been explaining to Sandstrom how you're supposed to write and the result is a book full of cliched characters and all the things I hate most in modern cozies.

My beloved spouse/relative/friend/yoga instructor is being framed! And the police are too stupid/lazy/corrupt to see what
Dawn Michelle

3 1/2 Stars
Read January 8, 2010

Cute book. Loves all the chocolate talk. Enjoyed the facts about it as well. And the mystery wasn't half bad wither. I knew who had done it before the book ended (though it was a guess), but I didn't know why. And it took me awhile to get there because she wrote the story so well and through in a lot of red herrings.

Lee has moved back to Michigan from Texas (she left her rich husband and needed a new place to live) and has moved into her Aunt's house and has taken
Jul 17, 2012 Jennifer rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery-cozy
Why read: Looking for more culinary inspired mysteries.

What impressed me: All you ever wanted to know about chocolate and more. For all that this book lacked in character development, it certainly proved the author's knowledge about chocolate, both its origins and the candy-making process. While I'll never be motivated enough to make my own chocolate, I really enjoyed reading about others doing it.

What disappointed me: This was a very short, and therefore not all that in-depth, book. 230 pages i
Following her divorce, Lee returns to Michigan and the love of her aunt Nettie while she tries to get her life back in order. Nettie owns a luxury chocolate shop in the small tourist town. When a customer dies after eating a chocolate laces with Cyanide, Lee feels that she must get involved in the investigation to protect her aunt, herself and and the reputation of the shop.

This is a charming book. The first person narration is very chatty and readable. The characters are well developed and lik
Nov 07, 2010 Laura rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Ok, I'm giving this 3 stars, because when I finished reading I felt fairly entertained. However, after only about 5 minutes of actual thought AFTER finishing the book, I realized that I felt rather cheated. I knew who the killers were from the very beginning of the book (read: before the murder even occurred), and further thought really just made me more and more frustrated with the idiocy or willful blindness of all the characters in failing to see it too. But, while that frustration makes me w ...more
A bit too predictable but not bad. Lee's speech impediment was supposed to be funny but after a while it became annoying.
Dec 30, 2015 Jennifer rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I read this on the recommendation of my friend. It was an enjoyable story. I will read the next book soon.
Like so many inaugural volumes in cozy mystery series, this one starts with a relative of Our Intrepid, Spunky Heroine being suspected of murder. OISH is no great shakes, in truth, though she's hardly the worst specimen of her ilk. Lee is just sort of there, functional yet nondescript, the greying lace doilly that's been under your grandmother's antique candlesticks for as long as you can remember. She serves her intended purpose, and you'd notice if she weren't there, but she doesn't leave an i ...more
Mar 03, 2012 Wendy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was the first book in the Chocoholic series which was recommended to me by a friend. I enjoyed it. The main character makes these word mistakes when she is nervous. At first I found it annoying but the author stressed it less as the book went on which made the character more enjoyable for me. I have the second and third books and am planning on reading them next.
I felt that the characters were flat an not that interesting. I thought the ending was stupid, but as this is the first book in the series, I will consider reading at least book 2 and seeing if it get's better. This may simply been a case of "first book I ever wrote" syndrome and may get better as it goes on, or perhaps it never does. We'll see.
Aug 30, 2011 Deborah rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I got a free copy of this book at a book fair. I chose it because it had chocolate and cat in the title - two things I love. I didn't expect much from it, but have to say that it was a fun read. I look forward to reading more in this series. Love the candy connection and the quirky characters.
Apr 13, 2014 Sharon rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
After divorcing her husband, Lee McKinney moves back to Warner Pier, Michigan to handle the accounting side of her aunt Nettie's "TenHuis" gourmet chocolate shop. I think Lee's malapropisms are meant to be funny, but I found them to be overdone and annoying. Lee makes a deliver to high-powered attorney, Clementine Ripley. Clementine dies after biting into one of Aunt Nettie's handmade chocolates. Lee becomes an amateur sleuth when she decides to find out who poisoned the chocolate and framed her ...more
Sep 01, 2011 Heather rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a fun mystery series. Easy read and fast. Makes me laugh right out loud! Eleven in the series so in the back of my mind I'm saying how many mysteries is one girl from a small town going to solve but JoAnna Carl keeps putting them out!
Connie Easlick
Apr 10, 2010 Connie Easlick rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: murder-mysteries
This was a very good book.
It ran differently than Joanne Fluke and Diane Mott Davidson, but somewhat the same.
I really like the chocolate facts. I am hoping for a few small recipes, though, in future books.
An okay read I guess, nothing offensive or to dislike about it but then again nothing that makes it stand out from anything else, pretty much interchangeable with any of the many of other books where someone bakes cupcakes or is a caterer (although instead of recipes this has chocolate facts but they didn't seem in anyway connected with the tale, just inserted in random places!) I think the author has tried to make Lee McKinney quirky by giving her an infliction of malapropism -it might have bee ...more
Apr 30, 2016 Bonnie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The Chocolate Cat Caper by JoAnna Carl. Lee McKinney helps her Aunt Nettie at her chocolate business. Clementine Ripley is a defense attorney that no body likes. She orders two thousand dollars worst of chocolate items, including a cat shape that looks like her cat, for a big party she was having. Lee ends up working the party since they were short of help. Clementine ends up dead before the party starts. They say there was poison in the special box of chocolate Aunt Nettie made for Clementine. ...more
Addison Public Library
Having divorced her rich Texas husband without wanting a settlement, Lee McKinney returns to a small town in Michigan to work at her Aunt Nettie’s gourmet chocolate business. She’s only back in town for a short while before Clementine Ripley, a famous defense attorney, is poisoned. As Clementine was widely despised, the list of suspects is long. Unfortunately, Aunt Nettie seems to be the chief suspect so Lee swings into action to clear her aunt’s name.

KD 11-01

Check out this book today!
At least I didn't HATE it, though it is a ho-hum book. A trophy wife gets divorced and starts over in the small town where she summered as a teen. She has a kindly Aunt Nettie, of course. She keeps bumping into the former lifeguard she once drooled over, of course. And once she gets to town, people start dying. If you can't figure out whodunnit, and who will end up in whose arms, you've never read a mystery.

I gave it two stars instead of one because 1) the book has a specific setting, a small to
Two years ago or so, I started this series in the middle. Now I've read how the series began in the Chocoholic Mystery series. If you love culinary cozies with recipes inside, this series is the one for you. Lee McKinney returned back to her hometown of Warner Pier, Michigan, after her divorce and move from Texas. When she helped her aunt run her chocolate store, she'd gotten more than she bargained for, when she volunteered to help out at Clementine Ripley's party. She ran into her best friend ...more
Connie N.
#1 in the Chocoholic Mystery series. This started out slow, but it ended up getting much better as it went along, perhaps we get to know the characters better and start to have an liking for them. Lee has returned to her home town in Michigan after her divorce, living with her Aunt Nettie. Nettie just happens to own the local chocolate shop, and Lee acts as her bookkeeper. But when Lee is helping waitress at a local wealthy woman's home, the woman (the controversial and universally unlikeable Cl ...more
Apr 14, 2012 Jenn rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Now that I have my kindle app and an iPad, I find it takes forever to finish a paperback novel. What used to take me 1-2 days now takes about a week. Real live books are usually only read at night, when I'm tucked up in bed and the phone and iPad are charging. Does this mean I like the physical books any less? No way, Jose! It means I get easily distracted now holding onto my electronic book-a-ma-thingies.

The first book in the Chocolate series was pretty good. The heroine/sleuth/ex-trophy wife
I may have been that my inner Lady Godiva was offering some unconscious input when I bought this title. I do love chocolate!
Carl (a pseudonym for author Eve K. Sandstrom) has created in this debut series a charming Michigan town where everybody takes turns being mayor, talks like the people in Fargo, and loves chocolate. Only these people don't settle for foil-wrapped kisses - Aunt Nettie TenHuis has the corner on the sweets market here. She makes the goodies while her niece, former trophy wife
Tabby Kat
Twenty-eight-year-old ex-Texas beauty queen, Lee McKinney, always thought that money was the solution to everything. After witnessing the downfall of her parents marriage over finances it seemed that nothing could be more true. However, after surviving five years of marriage with money-hungry millionaire, Rich Godfrey (aka Mr. Gottrocks), Lee is fed up, and decides to leave behind her trademark Texas trophy wife coiffed hair, and bright red lipstick, along with everything else she has accumulate ...more
I'm interested in reading more in this series. The second book, which I read a year ago, felt different to this one. I want to know which new characters the author introduces in the third and beyond. Even though I like cozy mysteries, I have to say it's the most difficult subgenre ever in my reading experience. E.g it's more difficult than science fiction. Unlike science fiction however, it doesn't promise an awesomesauce lot and fails to deliver. That's why I'm sticking to the cozy mysteries f ...more
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JOANNA CARL is the pseudonym for the multi-published mystery writer Eve K. Sandstrom. The author writes about the shores of Lake Michigan and has been reviewed in Michigan newspapers as a “regional writer.” She has also written about Southwest Oklahoma and once won an award for the best book of the year with an Oklahoma setting.

Eve K. Sandstrom is an Oklahoman to the teeth: she was born there, as
More about JoAnna Carl...

Other Books in the Series

A Chocoholic Mystery (1 - 10 of 15 books)
  • The Chocolate Bear Burglary (A Chocoholic Mystery, #2)
  • The Chocolate Frog Frame-Up (A Chocoholic Mystery, #3)
  • The Chocolate Puppy Puzzle (A Chocoholic Mystery, #4)
  • The Chocolate Mouse Trap (A Chocoholic Mystery, #5)
  • The Chocolate Bridal Bash (A Chocoholic Mystery, #6)
  • The Chocolate Jewel Case (A Chocoholic Mystery, #7)
  • The Chocolate Snowman Murders (A Chocoholic Mystery, #8)
  • The Chocolate Cupid Killings (A Chocoholic Mystery, #9)
  • The Chocolate Pirate Plot (A Chocoholic Mystery, #10)
  • The Chocolate Castle Clue (A Chocoholic Mystery, #11)

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“: He went on to the outside door, opened it, and stepped back to let me out. Or I thought he was going to let me out. I stepped forward and he stepped sideways, and we bumped into each other again. Suddenly we were standing in the doorway, nose to nose. This time neither of us moved. We stood just there.
The moment would have passed if either one of us had reacted normally. Or maybe we did react normally.
It was a heck of a kiss.”
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