Monday, August 24, 2020

Hot Chocolate: Book 1 of the Alcott Family Adventures by Dawn Greenfield Ireland

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Hot Chocolate by Dawn Greenfield Ireland is the first book in The Alcott Family Adventures series.

Meet the middle-aged, eccentric Alcott sisters: Madge, Lila Mae and Dorothea, heiresses to the Alcott Chocolate fortune and mavens of Houston’s elite River Oaks.

Madge ambushes Lila Mae with Dorothea’s manipulative plea: she can’t care for Bernie, their 92-year old father, any longer. Lila Mae explodes in a hissy fit—she had warned Dorothea years ago that they should put Bernie in an assisted living center.

Robert, Lila Mae’s astrologer, warns of impending problems and he’s rarely wrong.

The sisters call a meeting with Walter Branson, their solicitor. They discuss Bernie’s nurse Bambi Chaline, a blonde bombshell who looks more like a hooker than a nurse. The sisters fear that Bambi has her sights on being the next Mrs. Alcott and the need to separate her from their father is at critical mass.

Arrangements are made for Bernie to be transferred over to Lake Sides Assisted Living Center in the Uptown Galleria area and a severance package is drawn up for Bambi. Out from under the ever watchful eye of Dorothea, Bernie takes to the Lake Sides social scene like a butterfly to sugar-water. He’s the best dressed senior and chases the nurses relentlessly. He may be 92, but he’s a handful.

Jimmy Ray Chaline, Bambi’s bowling alley husband, is enraged that Bambi was let go. He hires ambulance chaser Mark Slade to file a lawsuit for wrongful termination. Bambi had been more than satisfied with her bonus, letters of recommendation and praise from the Alcott clan. She does not want to sue her former employer and the Alcott chocolate empire.
Jimmy Ray’s eyes dazzle as Mark Slade convinces him that the court will award Bambi millions. The judge dismisses the suit as frivolous and it is thrown out of court further fueling Jimmy Ray’s rage. He’s shocked when the callous attorney demands his bill be paid upon receipt.

When Jimmy Ray fails to return home from the bowling alley that night, a series of events unfold that shocks the entire Alcott family and their extended members.

Who killed Jimmy Ray Chaline? Was it Bambi, his innocent looking wife? Could it have been Tilly, Walter Branson’s half-looped niece who had a mysterious relationship with Jimmy Ray? Or was it Dorothea Divine – the weapon came from her house where Bambi worked for three years.

The Alcott clan is in turmoil and no amount of chocolate will soothe their nerves until they solve the mystery and Dorothea is off the hook.

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