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Publisher's Summary

Sabrina Daley is still haunted by the mysterious disappearance of her sister 10 years before. Even though the case went cold long ago, she keeps holding out hope that one day she will discover what happened to her sister. Sabrina's life is turned upside down again when she discovers her friend's dead body in the alley way behind her family's coffee shop. If that isn't bad enough, after a week of investigating, the local police appear to be stumped. Terrified about a second case going cold in town, Sabrina decides to take matters into her own hands. She sets out on her own, determined not to give up until she has brought her friend's killer to justice.

©2017 Meredith Potts (P)2017 Meredith Potts

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4 out of 5 stars
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Performance

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Story

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  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars

Bad!!

When Sabrina stumbles upon a dead body in the alley beside her shop, her life is turned upside down. She feels like the case could go cold and she is determined that the town won't have another unsolved case. Her sister went missing 10 years ago and it remains unsolved, and so Sabrina tries to find out who the killer is.

I very very rarely give a book 1 star, I think I can count on one hand the number of times I've rated a book so low, but this book was really bad. I wanted to put it aside numerous times, but because it was a review book, and relatively short, I kept going. I kept hoping it would get better, but unfortunately it didn't!!

I didn't like Sabrina, at all. She had no redeemable qualities in my eyes!! She was extremely pushy and rude and I thought the way she handled things was awful. She had no respect for anyones privacy, and I don't care if they were "suspects" in her mind, people were trying to grieve and she kept pushing.

I found the plot to be a tad ridiculous! I'm sorry, but her "boyfriend" (the author way overused this term) is a detective and was frustrated that the case was going cold after only a day or two. I get that investigating cases if frustrating, but I really don't think a detective would be that dejected after such a short time!! It felt unrealistic and silly. Plus, would he really tell his girlfriend so much about an active case??

In all, this was definitely not for me. I enjoy a good cozy mystery, but this one was pretty bad! I won't be continuing with the series.

Lainie Pahos seems to be a fairly new narrator and it definitely showed. She messed up on the characters voices sometimes and didn't really have the right inflections at the right times. Plus there were two pretty bad mistakes made during the recording. She cleared her throat and repeated herself during the performance! Both glaring mistakes and both of which should have been caught and fixed before production!

I was given this audiobook at my request and have voluntarily left this review. This in no way affected nor influenced my thoughts.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Not one of my favorites.

What did you like best about Chocolate with a Side of Murder? What did you like least?

I like cozy mysteries. I liked the premise of this one. However, I found the main character to be annoying. I did not enjoy her hounding of all the suspects.

Would you be willing to try another book from Meredith Potts? Why or why not?

I don't think so. There are so many other more enjoyable cozy mystery series out there.

Did the narration match the pace of the story?

The pace was fine but I found some of the voices irritating like the voice of the main character's sister and grandmother.

Do you think Chocolate with a Side of Murder needs a follow-up book? Why or why not?

No. As I found the main character unlikable, I wouldn't care to hear any more of her life story.

Any additional comments?

I received a free copy of this audiobook and agreed to leave a review. I'm sorry it couldn't be a more positive one.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

I am going to find the murderer.

This was a pretty good book. I have seen this author before and has wanted to try her books. So when i was gifted this book for an honest review, i knew this was my chance to see how i would like this author. I enjoyed the story and the characters. However, Sabrina was very very pushy with her questioning. But she got the job done. I would like to listen to more in this series.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Fun cozy mystery

A great little cozy mystery (clean, no swear words or gore) to listen to on long drives. The start of a fun series. I hope there will be more books about these characters.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Cozy Mystery!

Chocolate with a Side of Murder is the first book in the Daley Buzz Cozy Mystery Series. Sabrina, coffee shop owner discovers a dead body in the alley while throwing out the trash. It turns out to be Andrew, the owner of the chocolate shop next store. When the police are baffled, Sabrina sets out to find the killer - motivated by frustration of her sister's unexplained disappearance 10 years ago. This was a fun mystery which I enjoyed. The book was nicely narrated. I was gifted a copy of the audiobook in exchange for an honest review.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Thoroughly entertaining.

Sabrina is feisty and tenacious in solving crimes.

Lainie Pahos, narrator, knows her characters well.

Story great for all ages.

I was provided this audiobook at no charge by the author, narrator or publisher in exchange for an unbiased review via audiobookboom com.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Great Cozy!

FUN! FUN! FUN! This fast paced mystery is so much fun to listen to, I could not put it down. Sabrina's finds the body of her friend Andrew in the alley dead! Now she is on a mission to find his killer. With a cast of characters that will make you feel that each has motive and opportunity, you are taken on Sabrina's amateur sleuthing mission. She is determined not to let the case get cold as the disappearance of her sister, Jessica's case did 10 years earlier. Her research, and all out persistent pushiness will make you smile, cringe and wonder how in the world she got these people to talk! There is a large cast of characters, each with their own quirks, some with alibis, and others nothing but motive keeping you listening just to finally see who the murderer is!

Lainie Pahos is a new narrator to me and I found her voice to be very good. She has a great ability to switch between characters and her male voice is authentic. I enjoyed her pace and found the story a fun listen. There were a few editing errors, but did not deter the listening of the story.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Great Book!

This is a great book with a wonderful story and well developed characters. The story flowed very well and was very enjoyable. This book will keep you reading long into the night and you will not want to put this book down until you finish. This was such a great read and full of surprises. The narrator did a wonderful job with this book. She did a great job with the different voices of each character in this book. It was very easy to listen to and I didn’t want to stop listening until the end. If you are looking for a great book with well-developed characters then you need to listen to this book. I am looking forward to listening to the next book by this author and narrator.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

A Good First Book.

I was voluntarily provided this free review copy audiobook by the author, narrator, or publisher.

I have enjoyed this sweet story that revolves around a young amateur detective that has already experienced deep sorrows in her life with her sister's disappearance. That in fact is the only part of the story that really doesn't fit with the rest of it. I was waiting for the moment when the two mysteries would link together somehow, but that never happened, so even though the sister's disappearance weights heavily on Sabrina's mind and heart, I didn't find it relevant to the story. Maybe it is a prologue to other developments yet to come in future books, but the emphasis it received in this first chapter, might have been a little too high.
Great narration and interpretation and though chocolate is definitely there, I think that your craving at the end will be more for a good cup of coffee than a piece of chocolate...

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

An Interesting Story

Any additional comments?

Narration: The narration for this audiobook was okay. The character distinction between male and female was good. Between the female voices there was adequate differentiation but some more was needed for the male voices. Sometimes the narrator’s intonations and tonality seemed ‘off’ (either too casual or without appropriate emotion) but I found that improved somewhat as the story progressed. (3/5)

Production: Sound quality was generally good. The audio was clear and sound levels were consistent. I picked up three blips in the audio where entire sentences were repeated. (4/5)

Overall Experience: Overall this story translated to audio well, despite some issues with narration and audio repeats. (4/5)

Sabrina is the manager at her family’s coffee shop, the Daley Buzz and gets pulled into solving a murder mystery when a fellow business owner is found murdered. Through the prologue and many flashbacks used in this narrative, we discover that Sabrina’s sister disappeared many years ago. She carries the trauma of that incident everyday. Her sister’s case may have gone cold but she refuses to let that happen to Andrew’s case.

Sabrina takes it upon herself to investigate the crime, when local police (with whom her boyfriend is a detective) can’t find any leads. Unfortunately once she assumes the role of investigator she becomes an almost unrecognisable, overly brusque version of the Sabrina we initially meet. There seems to be no justification given for her haranguing of suspects, except that she wants justice for Andrew.

The whole mystery plays out through a series of interviews with suspects and we get a chance to meet several viable suspects wth clear motives. The mystery is fairly well plotted and the pacing of the story is good.

I think there is so much potential in this story. There are some very interesting elements that I hope are played out, especially in the later stories. The missing sister story line is quite intriguing. Unfortunately, I think the execution of these ideas needs some tightening and, for that reason, I’m not in a rush to read more.

I decided to go with three stars for this review as I do find the mystery itself was interesting and that the suspects, for the most part, were credible.

I voluntarily reviewed this audiobook through Audiobookworm Promotions.

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • MommaBear
  • 07-26-18

A good start to a new series

Oh, that chocolate - I want some.

I loved the book - I loved how the main character decided she was going to solve the murder and not let anyone's feelings about being questioned by someone with no authority stand in her way. She is a woman whom despite the fact she still is suffering from what I would call PTSD over her sister going missing is not going to let others suffer as she is still doing and by deciding this stops drifting as I feel she has done to some extent for the past ten years.

The story a cosy mystery style one but with that bit extra over the sisters disappearance and because of this you do actually become more involved with the book - usually cosy mystery type books are ones you can just lay back and enjoy with no mental input from you except for seeing the scenes and characters in your mind if like this one they are fleshed out well. So although I adore cozy mysteries, my minds relaxation time this one is just that bit better as it stops me being quite so lazy as I do really 'have' to get emotionally involved with at the very least the main character and at the end I want to find out did she ever find her sister or what happened to her, whereas usually with these types of books I finish and move on to next book without thinking again about anyone in that book until and if another in the series comes out.

The narrator's voice is perfect for this story - she captures the main character so well plus she tells the story with the right amount of expression - not just making it a monotonous tale as sadly some do and so spoil even the best story.

So this combination of author and narrator make a perfect partnership and I plan to read and more books in this series plus hopefully find other books narrated by Lainie Pahos that I would enjoy.

So if you love the cozy mystery genre but would like for a chance to have a book in which reader involvement is needed a tad more than usual then buy this book, I don't think you will be disappointed.

I did receive this book free on the understanding I would consider writing an honest review and I have tried my best to do this - I like this book and am grateful to have been given the chance to find another great author and narrator to listen to.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Inishowen Cailin
  • 02-24-18

Good, nicely entertaining listen

I love a good mystery and this one caught my attention at the beginning simply from the description on the blurb. Not only is there a murder to solve but also a missing person's case going back ten years. The mystery surrounding Sabrina's sister's disappearance had me intrigued and I felt sorry for Sabrina's family at having to live with the uncertainty of not knowing what happened to her. I will enjoy following this series just to find out how this story plays out.
Sabrina makes a very good detective. She has no difficulty in ferreting out suspects and getting them to talk. She seems to be more adept at it than the local police.
I enjoyed this first in the series and I will look forward to reading the rest.

I voluntarily reviewed a copy provided by the author at my own request.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Amazon Customer
  • 01-22-18

Excellent

Really enjoyed this book. I will looking at buying the next book in the set.