Monday, October 31, 2011

Kisses, No Hugs Come From The "Chocolate Kiss Murderer..."

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Kisses to Die For





By A. R. Alan










Angelica Collins had a dream and she was on her way to making it all come true. The fact that her dreams were wonderfully exciting had not yet allowed her to calm down and face the reality that it would take lots of money to make them happen! Angel, to her friends, had just bought a large stately old home and a next-door cafe, she would call Angel's Place. She had gotten as far as placing her Christmas tree in front of a large window of her new home and was outside admiring its beauty, when reality came waltzing in...

Reality, thy name is Officer Tom McLean...

Actually, I would have had the same reaction to McLean as Angel did--he was pushy and, worse, immediately began to spotlight problems with her new home that she had not wanted to face--like that there was no heat, no lock on the front door--little things like that. Then he had the audacity to force her to stay at his home that night! She went for only one reason--he had told her that young girls had been murdered in town. They were already calling the killer the Chocolate Kiss Murderer.

By the next day, however, that amazing small town opened their arms to Angel and heat was soon being added to her home, along with other items that she had not known were absent, such as a water heater. She also had a wonderful neighbor, Bessie, who constantly brought goodies and who agreed to bake for her cafe when it opened. Angel was finding out what she needed and it seemed Bessie always knew somebody who could help, or owed her a favor, and immediately there was a person there handling the problem. Bartering and extra time for paying seemed to be standard for her needs. There seemed no way that she could fail.

Tom McLean was as amazed as Angel was in how things were coming together, but that didn't stop him from worrying about her since the killer was still loose. Especially when chocolate kisses were left at her home... And then spread across the doorway of the cafe where she would find them as she opened up...

Perhaps Tom didn't realize how much he had begun to care until one of Angel's former instructors came into the cafe, and even worked as a waiter to fill in when needed. Tom had been hurt in the past and had sworn he would never marry. Angel looked forward to having a family sometime in the future--it was just as much a part of her dream as her home and cafe. But for right now, the cafe was all she was interested in dealing with and she foolishly ignored the kisses as being more than a joke played by one of the many boys and men who now surrounded her...

In fact, solving the mystery is one of the least things that will keep readers involved. Once the community opens up to Angel and she, in turn, welcomes the community, we the readers get to know, say, a small group of boys who were suddenly practicing their band in her basement, after first painting throughout the house in payment. Then there is the young couple that applied for the job of assistant in the kitchen, who wound up moving into the house, with Lilly cleaning at home and Yong at the cafe. They had been hired even before they applied because they had worked for the Mayor and the Mayor had walked into Angel's home rudely and often, raising Angel’s immediately dislike! (To give him a little benefit--it seemed like everybody was walking in and out of the house for a while and probably would have continued if the chocolates hadn't mysteriously appeared.)

 Then there's Jimmy she meets when he’s delivering furniture for his father and from whom she winds up buying all of her meat for the cafe. Roxy had been sent over by "Tommy" to act as waitress. Angel was not only a little jealous of what kind of relationship she might have with Tom, she was somewhat intimidated by the sexy woman. But when she learned that she had regulars from all over town that would follow her to eat at the cafe, Angel decided she had to ignore her personal feelings...

Readers will instantly love Angel and wish all her dreams fulfilled.  I was especially thrilled when they found that all of the home’s beautiful furniture had been stored in the attic! Of course, they weren't happy to have found the body of a woman stuffed into a small closet behind all that furniture... But, at least finding the body explained the ghost to whom Angel had been talking since she'd arrived. Oh, did I forget to mention earlier that this was a ghost story? 

Needless to say I loved this one! Good times, with a little mystery and a ghost to keep me interested and happy...what more could you want?! Highly recommended...


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