See my full review on my blog Mystereity Reviews
"Chocolate Whisperer" Hayden Mundy Moore travels the world helping companies improve the quality of their chocolates. In The Semi-Sweet Hereafter, Hayden is in London assisting Phoebe, the wife of celebrity chef Jeremy Wright. Phoebe owns a failing chocolate pâtisserie and needs Hayden's help to turn it around. When Jeremy turns up bludgeoned to death, Hayden falls under suspicion. To clear her name, she has to hunt down the real killer.
The premise of the book, a globe trotting chocolate expert was really a fun change of pace from the usual cozy. Loaded with tips and tricks for baking with chocolate, as well as yummy recipes, this chocoholic bookworm was hooked from the first page. Hayden is a likable main character, and I could relate to a lot of her quirks (I, too, like going to grocery stores when I'm in a new place!) The absorbing plot had clues that were so well hidden (in plain sight, no less!) that I didn't realize they were clues until the end. I'm not really sure why Hayden believed she was a suspect well into the book. Even if the police seriously suspected her, she would've had her alibi verified and cleared her within a day. The other suspects were a lot more...well...suspicious. A disgruntled former assistant, an angry young chef, an angry corporate sponsor and a ruthless agent all had a lot more motive and opportunity than Hayden had.
Overall, a very enjoyable read with an great premise and an equally good plot, despite a few distractions. It can be read as a standalone with minimal confusion but reading the series in order would probably enhance this book, mostly for the characters' backstories.
Thank you to Kensington Books and NetGalley for the advanced copy of the book in exchange for my honest opinion.