The Cocoa Conspiracy
This is a story for chocolate lovers. Chocolate appears on nearly every page, whether the characters are eating it, drinking it, researching it, or gazing into each other’s chocolate-brown eyes.
The Cocoa Conspiracy is the second installment in the Lady Arianna Regency Mystery series, and Arianna is now married to Lord Saybrook. Because of the unconventional way they were married (in the first book), each is insecure about the relationship, creating a well-written, subtle tension.
After buying a birthday present for her husband (a book on chocolate), Lady Arianna discovers a coded message hidden in its binding which speaks of planned treason and murder. The Saybrooks take their knowledge to the dastardly Minister of State Security Lord Percival Grentham, with whom they tangled in the last book. Grentham convinces them to attend a Peace Conference in Vienna to solve the mystery and stop the murders.
The Cocoa Conspiracy has plenty of intrigue, thrills, history, and best of all, chocolate. Each chapter begins with a recipe from “Lady Arianna’s Chocolate Notebooks.” Though conveniently modern, these recipes seem out of place with such anachronisms as “heat oven to 325 degrees” and “with an electric mixer…” Still, I cuddled up with a cup of hot chocolate every time I sat down to read. I can’t wait for the next installment.