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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

  • 3.5 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
    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

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.

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

Cozy Mystery

This book was fun and easy to listen to! The narrator Lainie Pahos did a great job. I can not wait for more of this series. I was given this free review copy audiobook at my request and I have voluntarily left this review.

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

There is a mystery within the mystery

I love a good cozy mystery and this is no exception! Potts has done a good job with the cuteness of this story. There are puns that make me chuckle and three plot lines that I found interesting. I will say however the sub plots were more interesting to me than the initial murder plot, mainly because there is a lot of mystery and intrigue over Sabrina’s sister having disappeared and this haunted house. I do hope that we get more and more about those plot lines in each story until we have a full story or several stories about each one! I was able to keep interested with the novel. The characters are all really different and have interesting backstories, although I did at times dislike Sabrina. She came across as really abrasive in some aspects and I was surprised that she didn’t get into any fights during her amateur sleuth investigation. I would like her character to try using honey next time unless she’s in an overly emotional state, but if that’s the case I’d like to see that in the story rather than having her shout for no reason at people. I would say I liked this story, but it is in no way my favorite cozy mystery. For me this reads about a 3.5/5 due to Sabrina being really rude throughout a lot of the book and the murder plot just not being as interesting as I’d like it to be.

Next we have narration by Pahos. I unfortunately did not like her narration much. She seemed to lack emotion while reading, and maybe it wasn’t written in there. I mean I haven’t read the book on its own, so it’s quite possible that certain characters weren’t written with any emotion, but I feel like she should have added it herself if that’s the case. With people being monotone it felt really off in a lot of the conversation. She has a nice regular narration voice with the setting, I just didn’t like much of her dialogue work. I will say her strong suit is with female characters. They all had pretty different voices and I could generally tell who was speaking. The men kind of sounded the same. So with this I will have to say her narration falls on the more 2.5/5 side. There are good things to it, but definitely needs work. As for the production standpoint there are a lot of things that should have been edited out. I can’t fault the narrator for this, but basically the editing deserves a 1/5….. I look forward to the next book, hopefully this narrator improves as I am intrigued with some storylines and I’d love to continue listening!

I received this audiobook as part of my participation in a blog tour with Audiobookworm Promotions. The tour is being sponsored by Meredith Potts. The gifting of this audiobook did not affect my opinion of it.

  • 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.

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

Chocolate With a Side of Murder

Murder is heartbreaking, tragic and final, especially when it is a loved one that is victimized. Disappearances may be even worse. With death, at least there is a way for someone to move on and to grieve over their loved ones. But, without a body and with the realization that they could very well walk into their lives again at any moment, it is a perpetual discontinuance of life. Life is on hold and they are left waiting continuously. Waiting and wondering.

With the disappearance of her sister Jessica, Sabrina still holds the hope that she will walk back into her life. It has been ten years, but still nothing has been found. No one remembers anything about the disappearance and there is still hope. When a body turns up in an alleyway, everyone is shocked and secrecy runs rampant within the small town. After her boyfriend, who is a police officer for the town, tells her that they have no leads on the murder of a neighboring shop owner, she plunges right into the investigation. She is determined that this case will not be the second cold case in the town. If the case went cold, Sabrina may not be able to hold it together. But, is she putting herself in danger if one of them is the killer?

Potts has an entertaining murder mystery; however, there are a lot of untied ends which may or may not be broadcast in later installments. The characters are all pretty detailed and cagey, allowing the reader to be suspicious of everyone that the victim knew. The pace is fast and flows together and the book seems to have been written well. This review is complementing the audiobook; therefore, this observance is from the voice relay. The narrator did personify the main character exceptionally well; however, her other vocalizations and personalities weren't very pronounced or lacked differences. If you are a reader of cozy mysteries and women's fiction, this may be something to pick up.

An audiobook was provided to Turning Another Page from Audiobookworm Promotions and in no way affects the honesty of this review. We provide a four-star rating for Chocolate With a Side of Murder by Meredith Potts.

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