Hello, book lovers! Time for another installment of Book Notes from The Biblio Blonde! We’re kicking off the fall season with a cozy mystery from a list I recently featured.
Forever Fudge is the latest installment in Nancy Coco’s Candy Coated Mystery series. This entire series is set on Mackinac Island in Michigan.
Before we get to the book, I want to take a quick, scenic detour! A few years ago, my family and I vacationed in the Mackinac area. Mackinac (actually pronounced Mack-in-aw) is an island located where Michigan’s Upper Peninsula meets the Lower Peninsula, and near where Lake Huron meets Lake Michigan.
You guys, this place is amazing! Mackinac Island is a throwback in time… did you know no motorized vehicles are allowed on the island?? (I was happy to know an exception is made for emergency vehicles!) You take a ferry over from the mainland, and explore the island on foot, by bicycle, or by horse drawn carriage.
As you arrive on Mackinac, you start off in a charming, old fashioned downtown area. One thing Mackinac is famously known for: its FUDGE!! There are fudge shops ALL. OVER. THE PLACE. Seriously, throw your diet out the window for a few days. You can watch fudge being made and sample flavors you didn’t even know you wanted to try. So it’s no surprise that fudge features heavily in our mystery series!
(I’d love to show you pictures of the scrumptious fudge, the quaint shops, and the really cool process of the fudge being made. But it turns out I didn’t take any. We’ll say I was living in the moment. I was probably eating fudge.)
You can explore the downtown (they do have more than fudge), visit Fort Mackinac, and explore the gorgeous natural beauty of the island, approximately 80% of which is a state park. I’ll leave you with just a few more photos:
Definitely a destination that I’d love to visit again in the future! But for now… back to our Book Notes!!
In Forever Fudge, Allie McMurphy is closing out her first summer season on Mackinac, having taken over her family’s historic McMurphy Hotel and Fudge Shop a few months earlier. It’s Labor Day weekend and things on the island are starting to wind down… or are they?
A TV crew has descended on Mackinac Island, shooting a pilot for a new mystery series. In fact, the series bears more than a little resemblance to what’s been happening over the summer, with a murder mystery to be solved, a plucky amateur sleuth, and a heartthrob local law enforcement officer.
But in the midst of the excitement, Allie’s sweet little fluffy dog Mal (short for Marshmallow) sniffs out a real murder, complete with a dead body, in the alley behind the McMurphy. The plot thickens when a note with Allie’s name is found at the scene. It turns out the killer wants to play a clever game with our heroine to see if she lives up to her reputation as the island sleuth… but this time, Allie may have bitten off more than she can chew!
First of all, if you haven’t read the rest of the series, I’d highly recommend starting at the beginning! Forever Fudge references cases and incidents from previous titles, so although you can read it on its own, it’ll be more satisfying if you go back and start with the series’ first title, All Fudged Up!
The theme in this book is wrapping up the summer season… a character is leaving Mackinac, Allie is trying to make some choices about her relationships, and she’s reflecting back on the last few months of a major life transition. Just to top it off, a killer starts targeting her by setting up references and similarities to previous crimes she’s helped solve on the island.
As Allie, her friend Jen, our local policeman (and Allie’s possible love interest) Rex, and others meet the film crew, get to the bottom of pranks, and uncover more crimes, they have to decipher some confusing clues relating to an old chess match. Later, when the killer ups the stakes by kidnapping a prominent Mackinac resident, Allie and her friends must race against the clock for answers.
This is a great addition to the Candy Coated Mystery series. Obviously, I love the setting and that adds so much flavor to these books! I’ve become fond of Allie, and I’m certain that I know who I’m rooting for between her suitors. Most of all, the people and the community feel in these books is part of what brings us all back to cozy mystery titles again and again!
Forever Fudge releases on September 25th… make it your last hurrah to the summer season before diving into your fall and Christmas reads!! Happy reading, everyone!
(I received a complimentary copy of this novel from Net Galley and the publisher in exchange for my honest opinion. All thoughts are my own. Post contains affiliate links.)