Genre: Mystery (Cozy)
For starters I will probably never take a bite out of a chocolate zucchini muffin, just in case. For second’s this book made me squint at times because I couldn’t believe the main character. Ruby Russell accidentally kills her lying, cheating husband after baking all night and getting a bit tipsy. Her genius plan involves some performance enhancing laced chocolate mousse. Instead of a painful stiffy her husband just becomes a stiff.
From there it’s one painful accident after another with Ruby’s best friend, Charlotte, along for the ride. Add in a snoopy Pentecostal Preacher, a screwy reporter aiming for a way to the top, a son who just wants to marry his love and keep his mother happy, a therapist determined to prove Ruby’s hiding something in the beans, and everyone’s running circles while Ruby’s just trying to be nice. I giggled a few times, but more often I found myself doing a head slap at how things could get worse; at least the first ¼ of the book.
After that I found myself more and more unable to relate to Ruby. She was mean, selfish, childish, and at times a little wacko. Then she would turn around and do something so normal and intelligent that left me with a jaw hanging open. The same could be said for her friend Charlotte. As to the explanations for these 2 crazies there were some, but I still felt a few too many holes were present. Also, I couldn’t feel sympathy for a woman who seemed to be infatuated with her son, on some small level. She doesn’t want him to experience life without her, on any level, and it’s evident by her actions. Instead of feeling smothered, Michael feels sorry for his mother instead and insists on trying to be respectful and as helpful as he can while still maintaining his freedom. Michael is probably the most endearing character for me and I love how even when everything falls to pieces and he’s finally clued in he still sticks by his family.
Dialogue is good, the story flows pretty well, but if you’re not a fan of head hopping then this may not be for you. Lindsey does a lot of head hopping during the second ½ of the book, and luckily I was able to keep up. Overall, if you like mysteries with chaotic neutrals and women who have internal dialogue that snarks and gives in to the insane housewife in all of us, Death by Chocolate might be for you.