Two Lucy Stone novels, Valentine Murder #5 originally published in 1998 and Chocolate Covered Murder #18 originally published in 2012, are combined in Valentine Candy Murder.
Two weeks before Valentine’s Day, Lucy is attending her first library board meeting. When she goes to the basement looking for Bitsy, the librarian, she finds her shot dead. The police suspect the board members and Lucy investigates to remove her own name from suspicion in Valentine Murder.
Nine years later in Chocolate Covered Murder, Lucy is once again thrust into a murder investigation. Max is found drowned in an iced over lake surrounded by fishing line. He has a head bruise but the coroner rules it an accident. Lucy disagrees and investigates.
Valentine Murder seems incredibly dated now. It spends a lot of time talking about a newfangled contraption called a computer. The book never mentions a time frame but I would assume early 1990s. The second book is set so much later that her pre-school age daughter in the first book in now in eighth grade. I think it would have better to add an introduction to each of the books to set the stage. However, both cozy mysteries are well worth the reader’s time. 4 stars!
Thanks to Kensington Books and NetGalley for an advance copy in exchange for an honest review.