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First-Degree Fudge: A Fudge Shop Mystery Mass Market Paperback – September 3, 2013


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First-Degree Fudge: A Fudge Shop Mystery + Bran New Death (A Merry Muffin Mystery)
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Product Details

  • Series: A Fudge Shop Mystery (Book 1)
  • Mass Market Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Signet (September 3, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0451416473
  • ISBN-13: 978-0451416476
  • Product Dimensions: 6.7 x 4.2 x 1.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (29 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #303,128 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

Praise for First-Degree Fudge:

“An action-filled story with a likeable heroine and a fun setting. And, oh, that fudge! I’m swooning. I hope Ava Oosterling and her family and friends take me back to Door County, Wisconsin, for another nibble soon.” —JoAnna Carl, national bestselling author of the Chocoholic Mysteries

“The first in a new series set in the 'Cape Cod of the Midwest', First-Degree Fudge is a lighthearted confection that cozy mystery readers will devour.” —Lucy Burdette, author of Topped Chef

“As palatable as a fresh pan of Belgian fudge, this debut will delight candy aficionados and mystery lovers with its fast pace, quirky cast and twist after twist. A must-read!” —Liz Mugavero, author of Kneading to Die

“Christine DeSmet has whipped up a melt-in-your mouth gem of a tale. One is definitely not going to be enough!” —Hannah Reed, national bestselling author of Beeline to Trouble

First-Degree Fudge will tingle your sweet tooth at the first mention of Cinderella Pink Fudge, even if this pastel treat may be a murder weapon.”—The Washington Post


 

About the Author

Christine DeSmet is a winner of the Romance Writers of America Golden Heart as well as a three-time finalist. She is also a winner of the Slamdance Film Festival writing contest. A member of Sisters in Crime, Mystery Writers of America, and Romance Writers of America, Christine teaches fiction and screenwriting at the University of Wisconsin–Madison.

Customer Reviews

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  • "Writing" 6
  • "Characters" 4
  • "Funny" 3
  • "Suspense" 3
  • "Action" 2
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

15 of 17 people found the following review helpful By upmary on September 12, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I love cozy mysteries and am always excited to see the first in a new series. I started this book and it was okay for the first few pages but then it just fell apart. The main character is, to put it bluntly, too stupid for words. She started out irritating and then her behavior became so unreasonable and unbelievable that I couldn't continue reading. Also, the way the murder was committed made no sense given the information presented in the book. Finally, the characters were one-dimensional and acted like comic book stereotypes.

I hate leaving a bad review because I know the author put a lot of time, effort and hope into her book, but I just spent $5.99 on a book I will not finish because it was so bad and I don't want someone to make the same milstake. I hope the author learns from her mistakes and I wish her luck with her next book.
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18 of 21 people found the following review helpful By Mark Baker HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on September 10, 2013
Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
Ava Oosterling is moving back to her hometown of Fisher Point, Wisconsin. She's started making and selling fudge, sharing space with her grandfather in his bait shop right on Lake Michigan.

Ava is working on creating specialty flavors, and is hoping her latest, Cinderella Pink Fudge, will be a hit with Rainetta Johnson, the visiting actress who will then help spread the word about it. However, before the fundraiser the actress is in town for can even start, Rainetta is found dead with a piece of Cinderella Pink Fudge in her mouth. But the bigger surprise is when a diamond is also found in Rainetta's mouth. How did the diamond get in Ava's fudge? With the sheriff investigating her and her family, can Ava prove she is innocent?

I really wanted to love this debut. After all, who doesn't love fudge? So I was willing to forgive some of the shortcomings in the first half of the book, most noticeably the fact that Ava is a bit annoying. She has a fatalistic attitude and, as others point out, can be immature and untrusting of anyone but herself.

But then I hit the half way point and a plot twist came that created a huge plot hole. I kept waiting for the characters to figure it out (I didn't mind that they didn't right away), but they never did. Then Ava starts acting even more irrational, and I lost my patience with the book. Yes, I did finish it, and a part of me wonders what will happen next. But I don't have the patience to submit myself to the next book to find out.

It's a shame because I had such high hopes for this book. In the end, it is a wasted series debut.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By bluesdiva on October 1, 2013
Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
I know I'm in trouble when by page 50, I'm rolling my eyes. By page 100, I'm shaking my head. By page 150, I'm yelling at the book: "Wait! What"? or "What is the matter with you?" or "You are an idiot"..
Without going into the plot too much I have to ask...If one were in possession of stolen diamonds would one really put said diamonds in a batch of fudge that was going to be offered to the general public at a fund raising benefit? WHY would one do that??? Why did the cops not ponder that question? Or worse, the protagonist, Ava's, theory that the diamonds were put into the fudge making ingredients and that's how they got there, is absurd. If one were whipping up a batch of fudge wouldn't one NOTICE there were friggin' diamonds in the batter???
Sometimes these cozies have nonsensical plots but the characters are endearing enough to make up for it. Not here. Ava is a dumbbell. She's 32 years old but acts like a 15 year old. She does one stupid thing after another. Her BFF, Pauline is annoying as hell. Her obsession with alliteration gets old fast. It was cute the 1st couple of times but after the 4,000th time I was ready to strangle her. Sam, the potential love interest is kind of boring and humorless.
There were some good points. The author captures the ambience of the small Wisconsin town. The identity of the murderer was not a huge surprise but I kept thinking: no it couldn't be that person, so it was somewhat shocking when it turned out to be.
I may give this series one more try. Or maybe not
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Linda Langford on September 13, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I loved this story!! This cozy mystery takes place on a small peninsular in Wisconsin. Ava opens up her fudge shop in her Grandpa's Bait & Beer shop, which doesn't sound very appetizing but she's determined to give it a go. Fixing her Cinderella Pink Fudge for a party for a retired, aging film star, Ava and her 18 year old assistant, Cody, just make it to The Blue Heron Inn, owned by Isabelle Boone, "Izzy", in time to set up their table of fudge. Ava hopes she has a chance to talk to Rainetta Johnson about helping her fudge get noticed by Hollywood's elite party goers. When Rainetta is found dead with a piece of Ava's fudge in her mouth, AND the sheriff finds diamonds in the fudge, and at Ava's shop.....the ball starts rolling to figure out where the diamonds came from; how they got in Ava's shop; and who killed the former movie star. If you're like me, you'll be surprised who the killer is!!

I won't give away anymore spoilers, but there is always action in this cozy mystery!! For a debut writer, the plot and characters are well thought out. The descriptions of Ava's fudge are beautiful! It was hard for me to imagine a fudge shop sharing space with a bait & tackle shop, but we'll wait & see what, if any, changes come about in future books in this series.
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