Title: All Fudged Up Author: Nancy Coco Publisher: November 5th 2013 by Kensington Format: Paperback, Pgs 352 Genre: Cozy Mystery Series: Candy Coated Mystery #1
Would a person actually hide Joe Jessop’s body in the utility closet for the sole purpose of getting a leg up in the highly competitive world of hotels and fudge on Mackinac Island? That is what Allie McMurphy is about to find out when she returns home after spending two years in culinary school to run the McMurphy Hotel and Fudge Shoppe - her Papa Liam’s pride and joy.
With a crumbling ceiling, half-completed renovations, and failure around the corner, Allie is scrambling to find out who is responsible and get her family’s business open in time for the tourist season.
You have to love cozy mysteries with their quirky premise and their typical characters, but love some of them I do.
Considering Joe had a habit of sneaking into the hotel to play pranks on Liam, Allie is confused as to why this annual ritual would continue once Liam was dead. Was it a practical joke that cause his death or is there something more sinister afoot? More importantly, why do people think that Allie has something to do with it?
Add to that the bloodstain found under the old carpeting (which by the end of the book was never readdressed) and the island’s inhabitants taking sides by wearing either purple or green ribbons to show their loyalty to either Allie or the Jessop family, has Allie reconsidering her lifelong plan of becoming a permanent island resident.
It is up to Allie and police officer Rex Manning, whom she considers a real life action figure, to put an end to this speculation and get the hotel and fudge shoppe up and running before the grand opening in three short weeks. So when a secret passage way is discovered, old bottles of wine are found leaking and another body shows up in the pool, life gets complicated for this new hotelier.
With items mentioned but not later addressed, a three month old puppy that appears to take center stage, the repetition of how tall a person was prior to their aging and shrinking, plus the never ending comments of how “the dog has some growing up to do before she counts as protection”, or repeated remarks regarding the puppies dark button eyes - grew tiring. Despite that, with a few tweaks, I think that this series may have the potential to make it past the usual three book run that cozies are given.