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4.75 stars for Candy, Cigarettes, and Murder by Brenda Whiteside and Joyce Proell #cozymystery #cozy

Title: Candy, Cigarettes, and Murder (Chocolate Martini Sisters Mystery Book 1)

Author: Brenda Whiteside & Joyce Proell

Genre: Cozy Mystery

Book Blurb:

It’s a birthday weekend with the gift of murder. Recently widowed, Emma Banefield looks forward to a getaway birthday weekend with her free-wheeling sister, Nicole Earp, sipping chocolate martinis at the peaceful, historic Dulce Inn. When a rude stranger, a nasty food critic, and a madhouse of temperamental artists greet them, all hope for a tranquil weekend evaporates faster than dew on a hot desert morning. Overlooking the riotous atmosphere is doubly hard after Em discovers the body of a hotel guest, and a second murder affects Nic personally. Now, entrenched in a caper that pits them against a surly detective, they cozy up to a hotel staff hiding dangerous secrets to uncover clues to the killer. Using their smarts and love of all-things mystery, will the Chocolate Martini Sisters solve the crime ahead of the obstinate Chief Detective or find themselves trapped in the middle of a third murder?

My Review:

A sister mystery that will keep the reader guessing right up to the end. Em and Nic spend two weekends a year together and this one is much more than they counted on.

This book is easily described as a slow-burn mystery. No stone is left unturned and no scene too small for intricate detail. The two sisters are so different that alternating POV works in presenting them.

The character development provides deep insight into each character. This extends into secondary characters as well. There are lesser themes that will resonate with different types of readers.

We have a divorced woman who may still carry a torch for her ex. You have a mother quite concerned about the life and well-being of their twenty-something kid. You have one who enjoys what life brings. You have one who questions what life brings.

If there is an issue here, it would be with the timeframe of this book. The entire book is set in one weekend. It just seems that this could have been conveyed in a slightly shorter version. Doing this might have worked to make the pacing a little more intriguing.

If you are a fan of Brenda Whiteside, you will want to get a hold of this book. If you are a fan of modern cozy mystery, then this book will be for you. If you find yourself caught up in the Chocolate Martini sisters, you will want to get ready for book two. A wonderful mystery to fill your evenings with reading pleasure.

My Rating: 4.75 stars

Buy it Now:

Author Biography:

Brenda Whiteside is the award-winning author of romantic suspense, romance, and cozy mystery books. After living in six states and two countries—so far—she and her husband have settled in Central Arizona. They admit to being gypsies at heart so won't discount the possibility of another move. They share their home with a rescue dog named Amigo. While FDW fishes, Brenda writes.

Visit Brenda at

She blogs about life and writing

Joyce Proell is the award-winning author of Amaryllis, Eliza and the Cady Delafield mysteries: A Deadly Truth, A Burning Truth and A Wicked Truth. Along with her husband and little dog, Nellie, she lives in Minnesota in her very own little house on the prairie. She loves to hear from readers.

Visit her website at or

Reviewed by: Mr. N


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