Rating ****( 4 of 5 stars)
***NOTE: I received a free copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review***
Book #3 in the Candy Coated Mystery series
Allie McMurphy runs the historic McMurphy Hotel and Fudge Shop on Mackinac Island. Still seen by some as an outsider, she’s worked hard to get onto the Star Spangled Fourth Committee to help plan the island’s Fourth of July celebration. After missing several calls from her fireworks expert while working out a recipe for a new red, white, and blue fudge, Allie finally tries to return his call but gets no answer. Worried that something might go wrong with the fireworks show she is in charge of, she heads over to the warehouse where the fireworks are being stored and arrives just minutes before the building explodes.
With several recent fires and now an explosion, it appears that there may be an arsonist running around the Island. As if that wasn’t enough to keep Allie busy, the committee is insistent that finding replacement fireworks at the last minute is her responsibility, since she is the one who wanted to hire someone new for this year’s fireworks show. Allie has to make sure the fireworks go off without a hitch and stay out of the way of an arsonist who seems more and more determined to stop her from finding the culprit.
This was the third book in the series, but the first I had read. I was happy to find that the author briefly re-introduced returning characters so I had no trouble keeping up with the cast and their relations to Allie. The mystery kept me guessing until near the end of the book. It was suspenseful and humorous, with just a touch of romance thrown in for good measure. The heroine herself is a likable person, and her puppy Mal makes her that much more endearing.
There are several very yummy sounding fudge recipes included in the book as well. The recipes in this volume were all pie-flavor themed. I can’t wait to try the Coconut Cream No Bake Fudge or the Strawberry Cream Pie Fudge, and to read more books from this series!