I just finished The Chocolate Kiss-Off by Heather Haven. Just like the two earlier books in the series, I found this one interesting and well written.
As usual, someone has been found murdered under slightly 'odd' circumstances, in this case drowned in a big pot for making chocolate - what a waste ;). The murder victim was the owner of the chocolate factory or shop. Apparently, she sold both wholesale and directly in her shop.
In this book New York has been hit by a blizzard and is very cold and it's a bit hard to get around. Percy (the main character) is on her own, because her father, and only colleague in the private investigating business is away on a war-related case - trying to find a group of spies. She already has two cases when a really good friend of hers, who makes chocolate, is accused of murdering his boss. So she hires another friend, or in this case the father of her son's friend, to take over the older cases.
I won't mention more about the actual case, but in this book, her eight-year-old son wants to know more about his father, who Percy thinks of as Leo the Louse (which tells you something about him). She's forced to take time out of her busy schedule to find out where he is and what he's doing. Again, I won't go into what she learns, but anything to do with her ex a sensitive topic for her.
I have probably said this before about this series, but if so I'll say it again - I like that it's historic. The dialect or jargon reminds me of old movies I've seen and that's fun.
Maybe I should add a few things I don't like quite as much. To begin with, as many of my followers know, I'm a vegan and Percy is exceptionally fond of meat in all forms. She basically hates anything else. I know this is part of the historic context, that people ate a lot more meat, so I'm trying to ignore it. The other thing is that Percy is a little bit full of herself. She feels superior to her mother and sister, for instance and tends to make snap decisions about people she meets and if they fail her high standards, she will think less of them.
To some extent, I can understand that, but I do feel she's a little unfair to her mother. Of course it is a bit weird to cook such odd mixtures of candy and potatoes or fruit and vegetables. Some people like that sort of thing, so I suppose it's not completely unheard of. I'd find it odd, but since Percy's not about to start cooking for the whole family, maybe she should give her mom a break. Also, her sister Sera is only just 20. Percy is about 35. Of course she find Sera immature and tiresome at times. That doesn't have to mean that Sera is a bad person. I think Percy should give her sister a break too, but that's just me.
Finally, the cover art is a bit amateurish, I'm sorry to say, but maybe I pay more attention because I'm in the business, no matter how modestly.
None of this is enough to spoil my enjoyment of the series as a whole. If you enjoy historic mysteries that aren't too scary or gory, then I think you'd like this series too. I love this old-fashioned world where people are nice to each other most of the time, despite all the meat eating and smoking and so on.