Death by Chocolate Cherry Cheesecake (A Death by Chocolate Mystery #1) by Sarah Graves @KensingtonBooks ‏ #bookreview #mystery


Title: Death by Chocolate Cherry Cheesecake

Author: Sarah Graves

Publisher: Kensington

Publication Date: January 30, 2018

Page Count: 240

My rating:  2 1/2 stars

About the book:

Life just got a little sweeter in the island fishing village of Eastport, Maine. Jacobia “Jake” Tiptree and her best friend Ellie are opening a waterfront bake shop, The Chocolate Moose, where their tasty treats pair perfectly with the salty ocean breeze. But while Jake has moved on from fixing up houses, she still can’t resist the urge to snoop into the occasional murder.
Jake and Ellie have been through a lot together, from home repair to homicide investigation. So when they decide to open a chocolate-themed bakery, they figure it’ll be a piece of cake. With Ellie’s old family recipes luring in customers, they expect to make plenty of dough this Fourth of July weekend. Having family home for the holiday only sweetens the deal for Jake—until the ill wind of an early-season hurricane blows up her plans. When the storm hits, Jake’s grown son Sam is stranded in a Boston bus station, and her husband Wade is stuck on a cargo ship. But as bitter as the storm is, something even more sinister is brewing in the kitchen of The Chocolate Moose—where health inspector Matt Muldoon is found murdered.
Ellie never made a secret of her distaste for Matt, who had been raining on their parade with bogus talk of health code violations. Now, with no alibi for the night of the murder, she’s in a sticky situation with the police—and it’s up to Jake to catch the real killer and keep Ellie living in the land of the free.

Includes a Recipe!

My review:

When picking up Death by Chocolate Cherry Cheesecake by Sarah Graves  I was under the impression that this was an all new cozy mystery series and with that highly appetizing cheesecake on the cover I knew I needed to read it. But once starting to read the book I found that the “First in a new series” is a bit misleading with this one.

Sarah Graves has written the Home Repair is Homicide series which consists of sixteen books and what she has done is taken the characters from that particular series and come up with a spin off by moving them into a new setting. Now I for one am the type to do my best to avoid jumping into something mid series because I always get that feeling of something missing so imagine my disappointment when immediately starting this one that feeling arose thinking this was a true book one.

Starting off the story jumps right into the action and I became on alert when it was mentioned Jacobia “Jake” Tiptree had experience solving murders. So within the opening pages there really wasn’t an introduction to this character I’m supposed to connect with at all. Then after tossing the reader into action there was a bit of character development which at that point felt a bit out of place beginning to give the story a disjointed feel.

Now it’s rare for me to rate a cozy so low because it’s usually the characters and setting that I fall in love with so being a tad disconnected from the start wasn’t a good sign. But as I went on I was still expecting a 3 or 4 star read despite the rough beginning but what I found was quite often the story would get a little overly descriptive for my taste as in what they were baking etc etc but then fly through the actual mystery parts that should have gone a little deeper.

The flow just felt off to me throughout so in the end I wasn’t a huge fan of this one. I will say though that those that were fans of the author’s previous series and these characters will probably feel right at home and absolutely love the series but for me being a new reader this one just wasn’t my cup of tea leaving me to rate this at 2.5 stars.

I received an advance copy from the publisher via NetGalley.

Find this book online: 

Goodreads  /   Amazon


About the author:

Sarah Graves lives with her husband John, a musician and luthier, and their black Labrador Retriever in a house very much like the one Jacobia Tiptree is remodeling in Eastport, Maine. When she’s not writing Jake’s adventures, Sarah works with her husband on the house and she plays the 5-string banjo.


Categories: Uncategorized

10 replies

    • Yes, I think it’s false advertising to release this with “brand new series” when it’s using previous characters. I know mysteries like this generally finish up the case all in one book but there’s just character building leaving me with the missing something feel every time.

      Liked by 1 person

    • It will all depend on your level of tolerance for jumping in mid-series. I do my very best to avoid that because I don’t like feeling lost so I felt misled with this one.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s