I read Death Is Like A Box Of Chocolates over two days and enjoyed every
page. Kathy Aarons’s main character, Michelle Serrano, a chocolatier, sells her
sweet concoctions out of Chocolates and Chapters, the store she shares with her
book-loving BFF, Erica Russell, a Fulbright scholar. If you like chocolate, the
descriptions of Michelle’s chocolates will drive you out of your chair and
straight to the Godiva store. However, the recipes at the back of the book did
not prompt me to melt up a batch of chocolates. I’ve had enough bad experiences
working with chocolate to know that it scorches easily, tempering is
temperamental, and that gray bloom occurs more often than a glossy, silky
surface. So don’t say I didn’t warn you. But, it does make me like and admire
Kathy’s main character all the more. Berkley released this first book in the
series on September 2nd. Look for it at your favorite retailer and
learn more about Kathy at her website.
Please welcome Kathy Aarons to
Kathy, would you provide our
readers with a synopsis of your plot?
Whether it’s to satisfy a craving for chocolate
or pick up the hottest new bestseller, the locals in charming West Riverdale,
Maryland, are heading to Chocolates and Chapters, where everything sold is to
Best friends Michelle Serrano and Erica Russell
are celebrating the sweet rewards of their combined bookstore and chocolate
shop by hosting the Great Fudge Cook-off during the town’s Memorial Day weekend
Arts Festival. But success turns bittersweet when Main Street’s
portrait photographer is found dead in their store, poisoned by Michelle’s
As suspicion mounts against Michelle, her sales
begin to crumble and her career seems whipped. With Erica by her side, Michelle
must pick through an assortment of suspects before the future of their
dream store melts away….
Fleur de Sel Caramel, Amaretto
Palle Darks, Mayan Warriors, Bacon-and-Smoked-Salt Truffles, Dark Passion Fruit
Truffles, Raspberry Surprise Milks, Banana Toffees, Mocha Supremes, Pistachio
Surprises, Spicy Passion Fruits, Black Forest Milks, Acai and Blueberry
Chocolate Bars, Lavender Truffles, and Applewood Bacon Truffles are some of the
chocolates Michelle makes. Are these real products? Did you gain weight
researching them all? Did you make some of them?
Yes – they are all real
products, although I may have changed their names. I definitely gained weight
but that was more to do with huddling at my computer for so long than eating
chocolate. J I did make several of them and even if they didn’t
look perfect, they tasted good!
Michelle and Erica seem like the odd couple due to
their differences in interests, education, and temperaments. Do opposites
I’m not sure about opposites
attracting, but even with their differences, they still have a lot in common –
love of family, appreciation for what they bring to their customers, and a
strong sense of justice.
Would you explain why West
Riverdale, the Maryland setting, has no river and why it is west when there
appears to be no east?
The fictional town of West Riverdale
was founded by the River family. You’ll learn more about them in Truffled to
Death, the second book in the series. There is an area called Riverdale in
Maryland, so I added West to the name.
Although Michelle and Erica
attended high school together, they only connected two years prior to the
book’s timing. Michelle doesn’t seem to know much about Erica’s past. Will you
reveal why Erica returned to their hometown and what she did as a Fulbright
Scholar in future books?
Good question! And yes, in
future books, you’ll learn more about the past of Erica and other characters.
Your plot involves computer
cracking, security code breaches, and GPS pinging. Are you a techno-geek?
I am not, but I have a computer
programmer daughter, a technical husband, and friends who know current
technology. I just like to turn my computer on and have it work!
I’m not sure which secondary
character I liked the most. If I had to pick, I’d choose the cat. How many
names does the cat have, and will “Coco” ever become Michelle’s cat?
Coco will continue to add names
as she adds friends with food. I don’t think Coco will ever belong to someone –
she’s pretty independent and has the life she prefers.
What are “covenant weapons” and
“CGI special effects?”
Covenant weapons are a gaming
term and Computer Generated? Imagery.
Why is Michelle
Because she comes from such a
small family, she’s unfamiliar with them.
Do you know any veterans
suffering from PTSD?
No. I have a very good friend
who works with them and has helped me with Leo’s character.
Michelle often refers to
Erica’s communication as “snotty talk.” Do you think readers will agree with
It’s said with affection, so I
hope that comes through.
Erica starts to reconnect with
her high-school boyfriend and now deputy, Bobby. Michelle sparks with Erica’s
brother, Bean. Will those relationships develop in future books?
Sorry – you’ll have to read them
Are you a beach or mountain
Beach! I live in Southern
California and walk the beach a few times a week for exercise and to unwind.