I love chocolate. No surprise to those who know me. I adore dark chocolate–at least 70% and Belgian, of course. I have been known to venture into Swiss and German chocolates but my favorite is still Belgian. I like my dark chocolates plain and ready to break into pieces that don’t make your cheeks bulge when you pop it into your mouth. I even like it with a piece of apricot or a slice of candied orange peel or fat, tart cherry or even a pecan or almond tucked inside. I’m not fond of creams, but I will sample and I do inhale dark chocolate truffles. Victoria’s landmark “Dutch Bakery” and “Terrible Truffles” makes the best.
So I was amazed when I dived into a mystery book where the heroine popped chocolates like a drug. She wasn’t that discerning a chocoholic but she ate chocolates as she went about solving her case. Nicola Furlong’s “Teed Off” has her amateur sleuth, Riley Quinn, also diving into chocolates–“Rogers,” one of Victoria’s best. It helps that Nicola is also a chocoholic connoisseur. My protagonist is a P.I. named Newton Figgby, who has to have a continuous chocolate fix in order to boot up his flavenoids to nourish his brain cells. Newton knows his sources of chocolate baked goods and of course, dark Belgian chocolates. Janet Evanovich and Lee Goldberg’s fun collaboration of FBI agent, Kate O’Hare and international thief/conman, Nicholas Fox, reveals Kate’s passion for Toblerone chocolates. JoAnna Carl’s character, Lee McKinney Woodyard, who is the owner of “TenHuis Chocolade,” uses her chocolate shop as the backdrop for her amateur sleuth. Nancy Coco’s heroine, Allie McMurphy, who operates Mackinac Island’s “Historic McMurphy Hotel and Fudge Shop includes some awesome fudge recipes in her books, “To Fudge or Not to Fudge” and “All Fudged Up.”
And hey, remember you write what you know so Charlaine Harris, Nancy J. Parra (aka Nancy Coco) and R.E. Hargrave are a few chocoholics, whom I visualize nibbling their chocolate treats at their computers while crafting their chocolate inspired protagonists.
There are even websites such as Janet Rudolph’s chocolate news, reviews and recipes found at http://www.dyingforchocolate. blogspot.ca and a fun site for interactive murder mysteries (for a price) at http://www.murderbychocolate.net.
However, in my search for chocoholic writers and their protagonists, I did find an exception, Daryl Wood Gerber, who also writes mystery cosies under her pen name, Avery Ames. In one of her series, her amateur sleuth, Charlotte Bessette owns “The Cheese Shop” in Providence, Ohio which did yield an awesome recipe for “Choco-Socko Cheesecake.” Another series written by this prolific writer is the “Cookbook Nook,” featuring Jenna Hart, who makes “Chocolate Cherry Bonbons” in “Fudging the Books.”
If you want more chocolate recipes, go to http://www.darylwoodgerber.com and click on recipes. There, you will find a treasure trove including “Expresso Chocolate Mascarpone,” “Triple Chocolate Pudding,” “Goat Cheese Brownies” and of course, “Choco-Socko Cheesecake.”
Now excuse me while I search for my stash of dark Belgian chocolates. I seem to have developed this powerful craving while delving into my research. . . .