Playing with Bonbon Fire

  • Author: Dorothy St. James
  • Publisher: Crooked Lane Books
  • Print Length: 349 pages
  • Release Date: March 13, 2018
  • I Rate it:    
  • GenreCozy
  • Purchase on Amazon

Book Summary

Chocoholic Charity Penn must smoke out the killer to stop her newly inherited beachside chocolate shop from going up in flames in Dorothy St. James’ decadent follow-up to Asking for Truffle.

Chocolate shop owner Charity Penn is finally settling into life in the quirky South Carolina seaside town of Camellia Beach cooking up chocolate treats. She’s even helped organize the town’s lively beach music festival which has brought rollicking crowds eager to dance the Carolina shag. That is, until one of the band’s lead singers is found dead beside a beach bonfire.

While also trying to balance the amorous attention of music star Bixby Lewis, in town for the festival, and her quest to perfect a new hot flavored bonbon, Charity dives into the investigation. Though it’s more spice than sugar when she discovers a threatening note, comes across decades of age-old secrets, and Bixby comes into the line of fire when a gas grill explodes on the deck of a beachfront house.

Now Charity must turn up the heat and catch the killer before her chance melts away in Playing With Bonbon Fire, the delightful second Southern Chocolate Shop mystery served up just right for fans of JoAnna Carl and Joanne Fluke.

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<h2><span class="wrap"><span class="inner">About The Author</span></span></h2>

Mystery author Dorothy St. James was born in New York but raised in South Carolina. She makes her home on an artsy island community in South Carolina with her husband, a crazy dog, and fluffy cat. Though writing has always been a passion for her, she pursued an undergraduate degree in Wildlife Biology and a graduate degree in Public Administration and Urban Planning. She put her educational experience to use, having worked in all branches and all levels of government including local, regional, state, and federal. She even spent time during college working for a non-profit environmental watchdog organization.

Switching from government service and community planning to fiction writing wasn't as big of a change as some might think. Her government work was all about the stories of the people and the places where they live. As an urban planner, Dorothy loved telling the stories of the people she met. And from that, her desire to tell the tales that were so alive in her heart grew until she could not ignore it any longer. In 2001, she took a leap of faith and pursued her dream of writing fiction full-time.

* Dorothy St. James is the alter-ego of award-winning multi-published author, Dorothy McFalls. She enjoys writing in several different genres. Her works have been nominated for many awards including: Romantic Times Reviewers' Choice Award, Reviewers International Organization Award, National Reader's Choice Award, CataRomance Reviewers' Choice Award, and The Romance Reviews Today Perfect 10! Award. Reviewers have called her work: "amazing", "perfect", "filled with emotion", and "lined with danger."

You can find Dorothy on:

Dorthy St. James

Book Review by Bree Herron

Chocolate and mysteries go together like PB&J. I am delighted with this series, just based off of reading this novel. It is well written, and quick to engage the reader. I couldn’t put this down!


So we meet Charity Penn in the previous book, but I was formally introduced to her in this novel. As a character she is a warm personality, she would be a person that everyone would love, and she could be friends with anyone.  She not only has the ability to have amazing chocolate  and a beach front setting, but the ability to sleuth in a sweet manner.

This story had plenty of unique characters that readers will enjoy. It was as though you were truly visiting a festival, allowing yourself to people watch. It is really fun to envision these people in my mind.


Words from the three year old: Look at that cute puppy!

Seriously, that puppy would certainly have me buying more than one copy of a book.

Enjoyable Moments

I really loved the festival setting and how Charity interacted with others. Being that I hadn’t read the first book, it was fun to get to know the characters. I would have to give a huge high five to the author on the whodunit scene, it was awesome.


If you are like me and haven’t read the first book, don’t miss out on this book or series just because of that. This mystery is delightful and as smooth to read as fine chocolate is to eat. Readers with a sweet tooth will love the setting and Charity, the sweet sleuth.

I Rate it

If you like chocolate you will love the giveaway!

**DISCLAIMER: I was provided an opportunity to read this book as an Advanced Reader Copy in return for a fair and honest review.

<h2><span class="inner">Giveaway</span></h2>

To give your sweet tooth a good dose of what it wants, here is your chance to win: (1) Chocolate Prize Package from author Dorothy St. James (U.S. Only)

Enter and good luck!!!

Professional Reader Affiliates

NetGalley Professional Reader Frequently Auto-Approved 200 Book Reviews 2016 NetGalley Challenge Reviews Published Great Escape Tour Host BethanyHouse Blogger Reviewer

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  1. holdenj

    I agree the cover is adorable.

  2. Kay Garrett

    Love both the cover and the title. Can’t wait for the opportunity to read it. Thanks for the great review!


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