This summer, Eastport’s favorite lovebirds, kindergarten teacher Sharon Sweetwater and Coast Guard Captain Andy Devine, are getting married. The gala reception is sure to be the fête of the season, especially with a wedding-cake-sized whoopie pie courtesy of The Chocolate Moose. For Jake and Ellie, the custom-ordered confection will finally reel in some much-needed profits. But the celebratory air, and sweet smell of success, are ruined by foul murder. When Sharon’s bitter ex-boyfriend Toby is poisoned with an arsenic-laced milkshake, Andy is jailed as the prime suspect and the wedding is cancelled, whoopie pie and all. Then Sharon makes a shocking confession—one that sounds like a fishy attempt to get Andy off the hook. Now both the bride and groom are behind bars. And with the fate of The Chocolate Moose at stake, it’s up to Jake and Ellie to catch a poisonous predator before someone else sips their last dessert.
The Bottom Line: I simply adore the setting of this series, but I can’t say I am blown away by any other element of this book. While Jake and Ellie are fine characters and I don’t dislike them by any stretch of the imagination, I just haven’t felt, after two books, that I really want and/or need to know more about them. I thought this second book would sort of straighten out and really pull me in as far as the characters go, but I didn’t find that to be the case at all. As I mentioned in my first review, these women are already fully developed characters with an entire history stemming from a previous series. With that in mind, I can’t see a great deal of room for growth which is something I demand out of my characters. I very much liked the descriptions of the Chocolate Moose and the sweet treats Jake and Ellie create, but I found myself mentally wandering off as I was reading about something other than the Moose and its delectable offerings. Since this is meant to be a cozy mystery and I kept wandering during the mystery bits, I can’t see this being a good omen for me continuing with this series. The ultimate assessment is this: yes, I liked this book, I even thoroughly enjoyed some bits, but there are so many series in this genre that one must really set itself apart to keep my attention and keep me coming back for more. Unfortunately, I don’t think the Death by Chocolate series sets itself far enough apart to keep me coming back for another round. Wile I am going to miss the Chocolate Moose, I am quite sure I can find another series with an equally awesome setting that has a bit more bite and ability to draw me in and keep me ensnared.