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Candy Apple Dead

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Abby Shaw has returned to her hometown of Paradise, Colorado--leaving behind a career in corporate law and a cheating husband--to take over her aunt's candy shop, Divinity. But her sweet new life quickly turns sour when a fellow merchant dies in a fire. With all clues pointing to arson--and Abby's brother as the number one suspect--she must sink her teeth into finding the Abby Shaw has returned to her hometown of Paradise, Colorado--leaving behind a career in corporate law and a cheating husband--to take over her aunt's candy shop, Divinity. But her sweet new life quickly turns sour when a fellow merchant dies in a fire. With all clues pointing to arson--and Abby's brother as the number one suspect--she must sink her teeth into finding the killer.


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Abby Shaw has returned to her hometown of Paradise, Colorado--leaving behind a career in corporate law and a cheating husband--to take over her aunt's candy shop, Divinity. But her sweet new life quickly turns sour when a fellow merchant dies in a fire. With all clues pointing to arson--and Abby's brother as the number one suspect--she must sink her teeth into finding the Abby Shaw has returned to her hometown of Paradise, Colorado--leaving behind a career in corporate law and a cheating husband--to take over her aunt's candy shop, Divinity. But her sweet new life quickly turns sour when a fellow merchant dies in a fire. With all clues pointing to arson--and Abby's brother as the number one suspect--she must sink her teeth into finding the killer.

30 review for Candy Apple Dead

  1. 5 out of 5

    Ell

    Candy Apple Dead is the first book in Sammi Carter's "Candy Shop Mysteries" and I have bought all the rest in the series after reading this book. I just really loved how relaxed this cozy was. It was perfect reading for the beach or park. As other readers have mentioned, it is not a particularly suspenseful cozy, but I think the way the mystery unraveled was expertly written. The main character, Abby, is very likeable. If you are looking for a cozy series that is more relaxing than suspenseful, Candy Apple Dead is the first book in Sammi Carter's "Candy Shop Mysteries" and I have bought all the rest in the series after reading this book. I just really loved how relaxed this cozy was. It was perfect reading for the beach or park. As other readers have mentioned, it is not a particularly suspenseful cozy, but I think the way the mystery unraveled was expertly written. The main character, Abby, is very likeable. If you are looking for a cozy series that is more relaxing than suspenseful, this is it!

  2. 5 out of 5

    Jenn

    I read quite a few of the themed cozy mysteries. For the life of me I can't remember why I didn't enjoy this one at all, but I do remember stating a few times during this book that I really hated it. I think it may have been the characters who drove me crazy. I read quite a few of the themed cozy mysteries. For the life of me I can't remember why I didn't enjoy this one at all, but I do remember stating a few times during this book that I really hated it. I think it may have been the characters who drove me crazy.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Glen

    Fairly decent cozy about a candy store owner/amateur sleuth. When a man, who is perhaps a little too popular with the ladies, dies in a fire the sleuth's brother is the prime suspect. She has to get him off the spot, so she investigates, and finds the usual small town secrets. Not bad. Some good recipes, too. Fairly decent cozy about a candy store owner/amateur sleuth. When a man, who is perhaps a little too popular with the ladies, dies in a fire the sleuth's brother is the prime suspect. She has to get him off the spot, so she investigates, and finds the usual small town secrets. Not bad. Some good recipes, too.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Diane Morasco

    What could be more delish than a mystery series that takes place in a candy shop? Adding pizza, cheese & baked goods is the only thing that comes to mine. Oh, talk about sheer deliciousness. Sammi Carter's Abby Shaw is the latest amateur sleuth to join the ranks in the cozy mystery genre. Candy Apple Dead is a luscious read. I enjoyed getting to know Abby in this tempting debut. I loved the small town feel of life in Paradise, Colorado. Carter created a likable heroine who has chutzpah. Abby seems t What could be more delish than a mystery series that takes place in a candy shop? Adding pizza, cheese & baked goods is the only thing that comes to mine. Oh, talk about sheer deliciousness. Sammi Carter's Abby Shaw is the latest amateur sleuth to join the ranks in the cozy mystery genre. Candy Apple Dead is a luscious read. I enjoyed getting to know Abby in this tempting debut. I loved the small town feel of life in Paradise, Colorado. Carter created a likable heroine who has chutzpah. Abby seems to have no fear & thrusts herself right into the thick of things. While Abby does stick herself into the midst of some precarious situations & you often wonder,"what the heck is she doing?" it makes sense. Granted, it is a bit frustrating but you can't help but root for her as she tries to get to the bottom of the murder. Which is what makes her a believable & endearing protagonist. You just want Abby to persevere. The characters are interesting & not all syrupy sweet. Love that! The family dynamics between Abby & her brother are intriguing. You want to know more about what lies beneath all of their tension. You want to know what makes Wyatt behave the way he does. Why two children growing up under the same roof veer off into two very different paths. Carter pens Wyatt in a way where you want to know what makes him tick ~ you just want to know more about him, his wife & children. As for Abby, you want her to have it all. She is charming, sassy & smart. Candy Apple Dead is an entertaining mystery. The clues are drizzled about evenly & it is a fast, fun read. Carter's Candy Apple Dead kicks off the Candy Shop Mystery series & this series shows bright promise. My only gripe was the ending. It seemed to end a tad too abruptly. For me, the big reveal was more like, "Huh?" it just didn't click well enough for me. Perhaps, a few more pages would of done the trick?!

  5. 5 out of 5

    Vickie

    Really only partly finished this. Skimmed mostly. Character pissed me off with her waffling.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Tabby Kat

    Abby Shaw is trying to readjust to life in Paradise, Colorado after years away. Part of that adjustment is running Divinity Candy Shop, which she just inherited from her aunt. But adjusting to life in a small town also means adjusting to local politics. The Downtown Merchants Alliance is currently debating the merits of moving the local Arts Festival to the downtown area. The issue is hotly contested. Brandon Mills is spearheading the effort to move it, so when he doesn't show up at a meeting ab Abby Shaw is trying to readjust to life in Paradise, Colorado after years away. Part of that adjustment is running Divinity Candy Shop, which she just inherited from her aunt. But adjusting to life in a small town also means adjusting to local politics. The Downtown Merchants Alliance is currently debating the merits of moving the local Arts Festival to the downtown area. The issue is hotly contested. Brandon Mills is spearheading the effort to move it, so when he doesn't show up at a meeting about the issue, Abby is concerned. That night, Brandon's shop burns down - an act of arson. Then Brandon's bones are found in the ruins and Abby's brother Wyatt becomes the chief suspect. With the detective assigned to the case infuriating Abby, she decides to step in and see what other motives she can dig up. What she uncovers sheds a whole new light on many people she knows. Yet more and more the evidence is pointing to Wyatt. Did he do it? If not, can Abby clear him

  7. 5 out of 5

    SweetCheeses And Coffee Dreams

    I thought this book was going to a cute and quirky mystery, based on the reviews I read. It was just meh. Story of a woman who comes back to her hometown after years of being away and a failed marriage(her husband cheated on her and she is pretty bitter about it) and inherits a candy shop from her aunt. There is a mystery, too, but it didn't hold my interest that much. Her character development was just OK, and it seemed she spent more time making up interesting names for them and for the shops I thought this book was going to a cute and quirky mystery, based on the reviews I read. It was just meh. Story of a woman who comes back to her hometown after years of being away and a failed marriage(her husband cheated on her and she is pretty bitter about it) and inherits a candy shop from her aunt. There is a mystery, too, but it didn't hold my interest that much. Her character development was just OK, and it seemed she spent more time making up interesting names for them and for the shops in the town (odd choices, I thought). She spent all this time trying to clear her brother of a crime, but I didn't see much love between them...and I know you do for family, but it didn't have the chemistry or passion one usually has for their family. At least I didn't feel it. *sighs* That being said, I read another review that said the second one was much better. We'll see. It might be a while, but I might try one more in this series.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Versel Rush

    I finally gave in after seeing this pop up every time I opened my Amazon recommendations (and, lately, on my Goodread recommendations as well). I hope that this is the last I will see of this series on any recommendations list. The book was boring--no other way to put it. Abby, the new owner of Divinity Candy Shop, was wishy washy and, frankly, not too bright. By the end of the book I was seriously tired of hearing about her cheating ex-husband and the dysfunctional relationship she has with her I finally gave in after seeing this pop up every time I opened my Amazon recommendations (and, lately, on my Goodread recommendations as well). I hope that this is the last I will see of this series on any recommendations list. The book was boring--no other way to put it. Abby, the new owner of Divinity Candy Shop, was wishy washy and, frankly, not too bright. By the end of the book I was seriously tired of hearing about her cheating ex-husband and the dysfunctional relationship she has with her drunk, self-centered brother and her nasty, know-it-all cousin/employee. The mystery was silly; the ending predictable (even without any real clues). The recipes sounded really good and, yep, I liked the dog. Those two things are the only reason this book gets 2 stars instead of 1.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Georgiann Hennelly

    Abby Shaw now owns Divinity candy shop when her aunt passed away she left it to Abby. Making sweets and selling them eases her heartache, but having Brandon MIlls sweett on her helps it even more. Brandon invites Abby to go to dinner with him after they attend the town meeting . But when he fails to show up for the meeting or the dinner date , and his store burns down. Abby fears something has happened to him and when she see,s her brothers truck near the scene before the fire and a body is fou Abby Shaw now owns Divinity candy shop when her aunt passed away she left it to Abby. Making sweets and selling them eases her heartache, but having Brandon MIlls sweett on her helps it even more. Brandon invites Abby to go to dinner with him after they attend the town meeting . But when he fails to show up for the meeting or the dinner date , and his store burns down. Abby fears something has happened to him and when she see,s her brothers truck near the scene before the fire and a body is found in the ruins of the store. Abbys brother becomes the prime suspect, and she sets out to prove he didn,t kill Brandon. But can she do it before the police catch her brother and lock him p for murder? Looking forward to reading more books by this author.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Amy

    My first cozy mystery and first mystery in a very long time with a short history. I loved the idea of combining candy with murder (I'm a bit of a sweet tooth), but this book was bad. The title had nothing to do with the plot. The main character is an idiot and is constantly doing things a former corporate lawyer or anyone who studies law should know not to do. So much of it was her sheer stupidity in ticking everyone off asking stupid questions and saying stupid things. I found her character not My first cozy mystery and first mystery in a very long time with a short history. I loved the idea of combining candy with murder (I'm a bit of a sweet tooth), but this book was bad. The title had nothing to do with the plot. The main character is an idiot and is constantly doing things a former corporate lawyer or anyone who studies law should know not to do. So much of it was her sheer stupidity in ticking everyone off asking stupid questions and saying stupid things. I found her character not endearing in the least, and anything candy-related usually gives me warm fuzzies without trying. This book may have totally turned me off an entire genre. But it was a short read at least.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Mark Baker

    The idea of moving the Arts Festival downtown stirs up trouble, including arson and murder. Can Abby get her feet under her running a new business and solve the crime? I liked the characters and setting, but the plot was a little rough. Read my full review at Carstairs Considers. The idea of moving the Arts Festival downtown stirs up trouble, including arson and murder. Can Abby get her feet under her running a new business and solve the crime? I liked the characters and setting, but the plot was a little rough. Read my full review at Carstairs Considers.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Jessica

    I was surprised by this book. The writing was more detailed and the story more interesting than I had expected. I am looking forward to seeing if the next book in the series will prove to be as entertaining.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Anjula

    What's the point in "investigating" if you ignore everything that people tell you? Or assume that you know better? What's the point in "investigating" if you ignore everything that people tell you? Or assume that you know better?

  14. 4 out of 5

    Kellene

    I'm not sure exactly how to review this one. I would say I have mixed feelings about it, but I don't really. The main character, Abby, was not really likable for me. She comes across as way too wishy-washy to have been a corporate lawyer, and I'm not sure how she is going to keep a candy store running when she can't stay in the store long enough to fill orders (did the lady ever get her candy bouquets or not?). The other characters went from ho-hum to down right horrid (Abby's brother is a major I'm not sure exactly how to review this one. I would say I have mixed feelings about it, but I don't really. The main character, Abby, was not really likable for me. She comes across as way too wishy-washy to have been a corporate lawyer, and I'm not sure how she is going to keep a candy store running when she can't stay in the store long enough to fill orders (did the lady ever get her candy bouquets or not?). The other characters went from ho-hum to down right horrid (Abby's brother is a major butthead regardless of how sympathetic the author tries to make him). The cop was okay, I guess, but the only character I really liked was Max, the dog. The setting was typical cozy small town, but I wouldn't want to spend any time there. And the mystery.... without including spoilers.... I felt totally ripped off by the solution. Seriously doubt this series is going anywhere else on my list.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Kelly

    I keep trying to sort out my feelings on this one, but I'm having a lot of trouble figuring it out. The mystery itself was decent, but for some reason I kept feeling an overwhelming sense of sadness. I keep trying to sort out my feelings on this one, but I'm having a lot of trouble figuring it out. The mystery itself was decent, but for some reason I kept feeling an overwhelming sense of sadness.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Connie N.

    This is a very good start to a cozy mystery series about a candy shop owner, Abby Shaw, who returns to her hometown in Colorado after her divorce and when Abby inherits the store after the death of her Aunt Grace. Abby has hopes that she and handsome Brandon might be a couple until his store burns down, with him in it. Abby's brother Wyatt becomes Suspect #1, so it's natural for Abby to start looking for answers. She does this in a very believable way, talking to friends and neighbors to follow This is a very good start to a cozy mystery series about a candy shop owner, Abby Shaw, who returns to her hometown in Colorado after her divorce and when Abby inherits the store after the death of her Aunt Grace. Abby has hopes that she and handsome Brandon might be a couple until his store burns down, with him in it. Abby's brother Wyatt becomes Suspect #1, so it's natural for Abby to start looking for answers. She does this in a very believable way, talking to friends and neighbors to follow leads and see what she can learn, hopefully one step ahead of the police who are focusing on Wyatt's "guilt." I really liked Wyatt, and especially the strong brother/sister relationship between him and Abby. Jawarski is the cop on the case and is amusing in a very understated way. We meet a lot of the townspeople (and Max the dog), so many that it is often confusing trying to keep them straight, although that's a general failing with the first of any series. Carter has a very smooth and easy-to-read writing style, with some subtle humor that made me smile. I was confused all the way to the end, having no idea of the identity of the murderer, which is good. But, on the bad side, the ending was way too abrupt, featuring people that hadn't been properly introduced within the bulk of the story. However, I liked the story and the writing for the most part and will certainly continue with the series.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Jessica

    Candy Apple Dead is the first book in Sammi Carter's "Candy Shop Mysteries" and I absolutely love it! I read the whole book in about 2 1/2 days! I probably could have read the whole thing from start to finish in one afternoon but... ya know... pesky priorities get in the way lol. Seriously though, I couldn't put it down. It was such a page turner and Sammi kept me guessing and in suspense with every character!... soon everyone became a suspect and I was just itching to find out who did it! I als Candy Apple Dead is the first book in Sammi Carter's "Candy Shop Mysteries" and I absolutely love it! I read the whole book in about 2 1/2 days! I probably could have read the whole thing from start to finish in one afternoon but... ya know... pesky priorities get in the way lol. Seriously though, I couldn't put it down. It was such a page turner and Sammi kept me guessing and in suspense with every character!... soon everyone became a suspect and I was just itching to find out who did it! I also love the main character "Abby Shaw" she is a woman after my own heart. Determined, head strong, feisty, sarcastic and hilarious! I am definitely glad that I own this book, because I will be coming back to it again sometime in the future... need to read a few more mysteries so I forget who the killer is ;) I also love the fact that there are candy recipe's in the back of the book! And you better believe I will be trying these!

  18. 4 out of 5

    Natalie

    I have to say, this book wasn't entirely memorable. I finished it on Wednesday, and I've already forgotten most of it. It felt like this book was too full of stereotypes. Brandon the player, Abby the burned ex, Stella the PTA/town council busybody, Wyatt the misunderstood husband... etc. Abby stumbled through most of the book, making it entirely obvious that she was looking for Brandon's killer. The book dragged on and on, throwing red herrings in the mix, until, like Abby, we fell on top of the I have to say, this book wasn't entirely memorable. I finished it on Wednesday, and I've already forgotten most of it. It felt like this book was too full of stereotypes. Brandon the player, Abby the burned ex, Stella the PTA/town council busybody, Wyatt the misunderstood husband... etc. Abby stumbled through most of the book, making it entirely obvious that she was looking for Brandon's killer. The book dragged on and on, throwing red herrings in the mix, until, like Abby, we fell on top of the murderer. Not impressed. Loved the candy store idea, but that was about it.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Lunetaylina

    I first read this in fifth grade. I loved it! I was, and still somewhat, a mystery freak. I liked reading of suspense, still do, that makes my heart pound and this book did the treat. Although since I was in 5th grade the first time i read it, i didn't know why they were talking so much about monkeys... (but now I do... (^-^)-ew!) ReReading it for good times during the summer. Re read it and i still love it! I first read this in fifth grade. I loved it! I was, and still somewhat, a mystery freak. I liked reading of suspense, still do, that makes my heart pound and this book did the treat. Although since I was in 5th grade the first time i read it, i didn't know why they were talking so much about monkeys... (but now I do... (^-^)-ew!) ReReading it for good times during the summer. Re read it and i still love it!

  20. 5 out of 5

    Maria (Ri)

    I wanted to like this book, but found it only just ok. It's the typical cozy scenario - a single woman in a cute job finds herself in the middle of a murder that she feels compelled to solve herself. It felt too predictable, too similar to many other small town women sleuth cozies. Plus, all the talk about candy made me so hungry!! I'm hoping this series develops a little more depth and personality. I'd like to see more of te small town characters fleshed out a bit more too. I wanted to like this book, but found it only just ok. It's the typical cozy scenario - a single woman in a cute job finds herself in the middle of a murder that she feels compelled to solve herself. It felt too predictable, too similar to many other small town women sleuth cozies. Plus, all the talk about candy made me so hungry!! I'm hoping this series develops a little more depth and personality. I'd like to see more of te small town characters fleshed out a bit more too.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Linda

    Overall I enjoyed this book and look forward to making another trip to Paradise. I wouldn't have minded a little more candy making but the mystery was good. I think this book suffered from a little first bookitis, not sure exactly what it was but I think there is some good material here. Also a plus that there were candy recipes at the end. Overall I enjoyed this book and look forward to making another trip to Paradise. I wouldn't have minded a little more candy making but the mystery was good. I think this book suffered from a little first bookitis, not sure exactly what it was but I think there is some good material here. Also a plus that there were candy recipes at the end.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Leslie aka StoreyBook Reviews

    cute book and yummy candy recipes!

  23. 4 out of 5

    Theresa

    Abby has just moved back to her home town of Paradise after divorcing her cheating husband and leaving her law career behind. Her recently deceased aunt has left her Divinity, the candy shop in town which Abby is currently running. Abbys life seems to be turning around when Brandon Mills, a handsome flirt who owns the shop down the street asks her out to dinner. Unfortunately, her hope is dashed when Brandon is a no show. Later that night, Abby awakes to sirens and a fire burning Brandon’s shop Abby has just moved back to her home town of Paradise after divorcing her cheating husband and leaving her law career behind. Her recently deceased aunt has left her Divinity, the candy shop in town which Abby is currently running. Abbys life seems to be turning around when Brandon Mills, a handsome flirt who owns the shop down the street asks her out to dinner. Unfortunately, her hope is dashed when Brandon is a no show. Later that night, Abby awakes to sirens and a fire burning Brandon’s shop to the ground. Now with Brandon missing, a body found under the rubble, and her brother Wyatt a top suspect, Abby finds herself directly in the middle of a mystery. Candy Apple Dead is a fun and quick cozy read. I really liked the main character Abby. She is level headed, smart, and observant. I find it enjoyable when cozy characters do not put themselves in situations that make my eyes roll. The mystery kept me guessing and I was curious as to what secrets Brandon had tucked away. At first, I was unsure of the police character but Officer Jawarski certainly has a charm! This book did not follow exactly the typical cozy structure which I found refreshing. 🍭 ... also I still love the cover even though it really does not match the story!

  24. 5 out of 5

    Genevieve Bomes

    Abby Shaw has returned to her hometown of Paradise, Colorado to take over her aunt's candy shop, Divinity. A man that has been flirting with and who she considers a friend ends up dead in his burned down shop. Major suspect Abby's brother whose wife had been having an emotional affair with the man. Abby sets out to prove that her brother is innocent. This is the first book of the series and is fantastic. I can't wait to read the rest. Abby is a little obsessed with cheating but who wouldn't be a Abby Shaw has returned to her hometown of Paradise, Colorado to take over her aunt's candy shop, Divinity. A man that has been flirting with and who she considers a friend ends up dead in his burned down shop. Major suspect Abby's brother whose wife had been having an emotional affair with the man. Abby sets out to prove that her brother is innocent. This is the first book of the series and is fantastic. I can't wait to read the rest. Abby is a little obsessed with cheating but who wouldn't be after having been cheated on that to me is what makes her character seem real. The side characters are fun and I love her relationship with her brother they argue and fight but still would defend each other. The mystery was great and made me keep guessing to almost the end.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Cassandra

    The mystery was really good, The ending wasn't obvious. Abby though was a bit obnoxious and acted like a teenager through out the book. And the homeless comment was outdated and unnecessary and something a typical spoiled person would say. The candy recipes though are good. But otherwise this book didn't leave a sweet taste in my mouth. The mystery was really good, The ending wasn't obvious. Abby though was a bit obnoxious and acted like a teenager through out the book. And the homeless comment was outdated and unnecessary and something a typical spoiled person would say. The candy recipes though are good. But otherwise this book didn't leave a sweet taste in my mouth.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Karen Holman

    This series is set in Colorado, has a crazy group of characters including a bulldog, and the mystery is solved with hints of more to come in area. copy right 2005

  27. 5 out of 5

    Shala

    I enjoyed the characters and setting of this cozy mystery. I look forward to continuing the series.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Cathy

    Enjoyable cozy with a lawyer turned candy maker working to solve a murder to protect her brother. There are some yummy sounding candy recipes included.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Moonlit reads (meg)

    A really cute, simple autumn read. It didn’t completely wow me, but had enough little plot twists to keep it entertaining all the way through 🍂🍁🍂

  30. 4 out of 5

    Mary

    Abby makes an interesting heroine. I really enjoyed the mystery and Max was a nice bonus.

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