Thursday, October 6, 2022

Review: A Christmas Candy Killing by Christina Romeril


About the Book

Cozy Mystery


Crooked Lane Books

Release Date
October 11, 2022

Synopsis from Goodreads:

Their chocolates are to die for—but things aren’t so sweet when a real killer comes to town, in this debut mystery perfect for fans of Joanne Fluke and Laura Childs.

Identical twin sisters Alex and Hannah are the owners of Murder and Mayhem, a mystery bookshop that sells their famous poison-themed Killer Chocolates. But now, there’s a real killer in their midst. Shortly before Christmas, their septuagenarian neighbor, Jane, confides to Alex that a murderer from a true-crime show has taken up residence in the village. Unfortunately, she’s also shared her suspicions with town gossip Netta. The next morning, Alex shows up at Jane’s house to watch the show, but instead discovers Jane's body, with a box of Killer Chocolates nearby.

The sheriff quickly zeroes in on two suspects: Alex, a beneficiary in Jane’s will, and Zack, a handyman who was seen leaving the crime scene. But Alex maintains her innocence and sets out to draft a list of other potential suspects—townsfolk who’d recently been seen arguing with Jane.

When Alex gets hold of Jane’s journal, she begins to understand the truth. But a bearer of ill tidings is arriving early this year—and Alex just might not make it to Christmas.

My Review

Alex Wright decides to move to Montana and open a mystery bookshop.  She convinces her twin sister, Hannah, to join the business.  Hannah is an expert chocolate maker, and her specialty is poison-themed chocolates.  They are the perfect item to sell in a mystery bookshop. Their customers love them.

It’s almost Christmas, but a friend of Alex’s has a real-life mystery to share with Alex.  Jane Burrow’s is a devoted fan of a true crime show and always spreads her theories about the latest culprit. She is sure the latest subject of the television show now lives in their little village.  She invites Alex to view the show to get her opinion.  Unfortunately, Alex never gets to watch the show. Instead, she finds Jane’s dead body with a box of chocolates.

The sheriff immediately picks two suspects and doesn’t seem to be interested in anyone else.  One of those suspects is Alex.  With the help of her sister and their friends, Alex sets out to find the real killer and clear her name.

This is the first book in a new series. I always love getting in on the ground floor of a new series.  This one started off a bit slow for me as the author introduced the characters.  However, the mystery begins early in the book and, once it did, I was completely engrossed in it.  

Alex is a strong character who doesn’t back down, not even after her sister begs her to.  I really liked both Alex and Hannah.  They work well together.  Sometimes it was difficult for me to keep all the other characters straight as there are quite a few, but they all had their purpose…some nicer than others.

I found myself quite intrigued with a storyline that revolves around a true crime episode, which could possibly come to life in this small town. The storyline took many twists and turns.  Several red herrings are thrown into the mix.  There are quite a few potential suspects.  I narrowed it down to two and I actually figured it out before Alex.  

Overall, this is a good start to a new series.  I’m looking forward to reading the next book and revisiting these characters.

For reading challenges:

Cruisin’ thru the Cozies Reading Challenge 2022
A Literary Escapes Reading Challenge 2022 (Montana)

FTC Disclosure: I voluntarily reviewed a free Advance Reader Copy of this book from NetGalley and the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review.  All opinions expressed are my own.


  1. A chocolate and bookshop mystery sounds delightful.

  2. I like getting in on a new series too before I get behind.

  3. Glad to hear you enjoyed this one. It's next up on my reading schedule. Hoping to start it over the weekend.

  4. A mystery bookstore + chocolate store sounds like a place I wish really existed. This sounds like one I need to add to my TBR!


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