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Death Of A Chocoholic by Lee Hollis
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DNF.

Almost never happens. Less than 6 books have I ever put down and called it a day. But I got a little more than halfway through (197 out of 332 pages) and just could not do it.

I've read the first three and frankly the first and third books were weak. Really weak. But I liked the second book quite a bit, so I thought the author had it in her and I wanted to give the series a chance to improve. It didn't.

I'll admit I'm pretty picking about third person narrative; to me you have to write really well to make it flow and the narrative here wasn't flowing for me. The writing felt elementary, or a bit like stage direction; I just flipped open to a random page and every single paragraph started with "Haley". Jarring.

The other biggie for me, and the main reason I stopped reading: Haley is a mess. I had this problem in the last book too. I want to admire my protagonists; at a minimum, I want to be able to respect them. Nobody respects Haley; by page 197 there were at least 3 different scenes were she did something so stupid, or so clumsily, in a crowd full of people, that everyone was laughing at her. Not with her; at her. If the author is aiming at humour, she's failed. Horribly.

The book is interspersed with Haley's columns, which started out in the first book as witty and entertaining; in this book, they were just more instances of when Haley did or said something stupid and embarrassed herself with her ineptness. Neither witty nor entertaining.

I'm sorry this series didn't improve for me; there were a lot of solid elements that could have been great: Haley has two solid best friends she could have had some great scenes with. I like her brother and his partner, Sergio (chief of police) too; they're entertaining when they make an appearance. But overall, the series just doesn't resonate with me and I've added all four books to my donation bag for Friends of the Library. I hope someone out there will give them a more appreciative home. ( )
  murderbydeath | Sep 20, 2014 |
I always look forward to my next visit to Bar Harbor and a chance to catch up with Hayley and friends. This trip was one of my favorites by far. From the moment I first saw the cover of DEATH OF A CHOCOHOLIC I knew this was going to be a book to remember. And it was.

Lee Hollis never fails in getting me to laugh out loud over the situations Hayley finds herself in. During the first pages of this story I laughed so loud I honestly startled myself! And I challenge anyone to not laugh at a scene that has Mona in it!

Now, before I have you thinking this is a comedy, let me assure you there is a brilliant mystery to solve. While I thought I had figured it out, I found I was way wrong. I never guessed the “who” in the “done it” until I was right where the author wanted me to be. Brava/Bravo Lee Hollis.

And as always, there are great food and cocktail recipes to enjoy. I suggest having some fun with the book and trying out some of the recipes and enjoy them with the story.

We also get a sneak peek at book #5 in the series, DEATH OF A CHRISTMAS CATERER.

If you haven’t read the Hayley Powell series, please do something awesome for yourself and start reading them ASAP! If you have read the rest of series, you will not be disappointed in the latest installment. ( )
  LisaKsBookReviews | Feb 13, 2014 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0758294492, Mass Market Paperback)

Fed up with dating after a disastrous setup, the only thing Hayley wants to snuggle up to is a box of made-to-order chocolates from plus-sized, plus-mouthed chocolatier Bessie Winthrop. But when Bessie is found dead in her kitchen, only Hayley suspects that Bessie's "heart attack" might actually be a candy-coated murder. Turns out Bessie had more enemies than a boxful of chocolates, each one a suspicious flavour. It's sticky business juggling a job, two teenagers and finding a killer, but it's better than letting a killer find Hayley first...

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:21:35 -0400)

"Fed up with dating after a disastrous setup, the only thing Hayley wants to snuggle up to is a box of made to order chocolates from plus sized, plus mouthed chocolatier Bessie Winthrop. But when Bessie is found dead in her kitchen, only Hayley suspects that Bessies "heart attack" might actually be a candy coated murder. Turns out Bessie had more enemies than a boxful of chocolates, each one a suspicious flavour. Its sticky business juggling a job, two teenagers and finding a killer, but its better than letting a killer find Hayley first..."-- Back cover.… (more)

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