Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Aloha to Krista Davis, Old Town Alexandria, and the Domestic Diva Mystery Series


I recently discovered Krista Davis' Domestic Diva Mystery Series.  From her website (link),

Krista Davis lives and writes in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia. She resided in Northern Virginia for many years and lived for a time in Old Town, Alexandria.

She really does have a gregarious Ocicat named Mochie who can open cabinets and leap to amazing heights. Her dogs, including a Golden Retriever who isn’t golden and won’t retrieve, consider Krista’s writing career a convenient second job that allows her to be available for her primary job as door opener, canine cuisine chef, and walking assistant.

Krista’s fascination with mysteries was fueled by Nancy Drew, The Hardy Boys, and Agatha Christie. Like her protagonist, Sophie Winston, Krista loves to entertain friends and family, but would just as soon leave cleaning to someone else.


The Domestic Diva Mystery series is set in Old Town Alexandria - across the river from Washington, DC.  When I worked at the Pentagon (a long time ago), hubby and I frequently enjoyed a Metro ride to Old Town to soak up its Colonial charm.

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Book 1 is THE DIVA RUNS OUT OF THYME:

Few can compete with Natasha Smith when it comes to entertaining, but her childhood rival, Sophie Winston, certainly tries. Natasha may have stolen the spotlight, and Sophie's husband, but Sophie is determined to rob her of the prize for the Stupendous Stuffing Shakedown. She just needs the right ingredient.


But Sophie's search for the perfect turkey takes a basting when she stumbles across a corpse. And when the police find her name and photo inside the victim's car, Sophie will have to set her trussing aside to solve the murder, or she'll be serving up prison grub.



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Book 9 is THE DIVA STEALS A CHOCOLATE KISS:

Domestic Diva Sophie Winston is in charge of the sweetest event in Old Town this summer. Amore Chocolates is celebrating its fiftieth anniversary with a chocolate tasting at the mansion of the company’s CEO, Joe Merano—and Sophie is running the show. With cookies, candy, and five kinds of chocolate cake, it’s a chocolate lover’s dream! But when Joe goes missing, the celebration becomes bittersweet. And when Sophie discovers the body of a competing chocolatier in the guesthouse, the event turns downright deadly.

As if that wasn’t enough, Sophie’s been receiving daily boxes of sweet treats. After ruling out her new beau and her exes, Sophie wonders if someone’s trying to send her a message—and if she’s next on a chocoholic’s hit list…


The heroine, Sophie, and her archenemy (but sometimes friend) Natasha, each have an online column to answer readers' questions.  Davis opens each chapter in both books with letters addressed to Sophie or Natasha (swapping throughout the book).  The letters hint at the action to come. Davis adds humor when Natasha answers a question from a wife ... and Sophie then responds to a letter from the husband based on the advice of Natasha.

Both books follow the typical cozy mystery pattern of the heroine finding the body, becoming a suspect, sleuthing on her own, and encountering a few red herrings.  Sophie is aided (and abetted) by her nosy neighbor (and best friend) Nina. 
Rounding out the cast of characters is Natasha, Mars (Sophie's ex husband and Natasha's current live in beau), Bernie (British restaurateur), and a handful of animals owned (or fostered) by the characters. Davis takes the mystery one step further by adding large families, friends, employees, and enemies integrated into the murder mystery.  To some degree, it becomes a soap opera - I found it entertaining in both books (but may not appeal to other readers).

Finally, I enjoyed Sophie's adventures around Old Town Alexandria.



I am giving away a book choice from my convention stash to one randomly selected commenter. To enter the giveaway,

1. Leave a comment about chocolate - the subject of Book 9.  Do you have a favorite brand?  Have you made any chocolate from scratch?  What's you favorite way to eat chocolate?

My husband enjoys Ghirardelli truffles and brownie mixes.  I love chocolate chip cookies!

2. Comments are open through Sunday, January 1, 10 pm in Baltimore. 

3. I'll post the winner on Monday, January 2.

Mahalo,

Kim in Baltimore
Aloha Spirit in Charm City

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More books in the series ...

19 comments:

  1. I found some Lindt chocolate balls beneath the Christmas tree. Super creamy & smooth - my new favourite.

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  2. My favorite brand is definitely Lindt chocolate balls - they have so many different flavors to try although I do admit, I always go back to milk chocolate. Also love Laura Secord chocolates but I don't those very often.

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  3. I love all things dark chocolate... Lindt is always good!

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  4. I learned to like dark chocolate (because it was better for you) and now I prefer it. I like anything covered in chocolate except coconut lol.

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  5. My daughter used to live in Old Town. It is beautiful. I love chocolate all on its own. I think Dove is my favorite, but that changes.

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  6. I adore most all chocolate, but dark is my favorite. Mixed with caramel - even better!!

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  7. I love the choolate in the Girl Scout thinmint cookies, andthe chocolate raspberry from Lindts. Dove & Magnum ice cream chocolate bars are soooo delicious.
    Carol L
    Lucky4750 (at) aol (dot) com

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  8. Like Cadbury and Lindt chocolate.

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  9. Any chocolate is my fav........but I really do love Dove Chocolate!

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  10. I love dark chocolate! My favorite is a solid piece, but I wouldn't turn it down if it had nuts or a cream center (especially raspberry).

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  11. I'm not a big chocolate lover but I do love Dove Chocolates & Kit Kat's. I also love Chocolate Chip cookies & Chocolate covered Macadamia Nuts but I have to be in the mood for it. Also Love Dove Chocolate Ice Cream Bars.

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  12. MMMMMMM, Chocolate! ;-) Some of my favorite fancy chocolate brands are See's, Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory, and Lamb's. Lamb's is a local Austin area brand that has the world's best chocolate dipped strawberries -- only available a few times a year. People reserve these chocolate covered strawberries and they Always sell out. ALways.

    Subcategory of favorite chocolates is pretty much any Caramel & Nut combination. Favorite M&Ms are the almond ones. Also Almond Snickers are awesome. I could list more but. . .

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  13. Way too many to have a fave. Yes I have made things from scratch with chocolate. way too many fave ways to eat it.

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  14. I like caramel and chocolate and love Ghirardelli 😊

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  15. I enjoy chocolate, but my favorites seem to be changing. You can't beat a good home made chocolate chip cookie.
    My mom used to make chocolate fudge from the recipe on the Hershey's Powdered Cocoa can. I made it following the recipe a few times when I was young. Now if I get the urge to have some, I just throw ingredients into a pan and make a very small batch. I never measure anything, just throw it in until it looks right. Depending on how long I cook it, I can have syrup for ice cream, gooey chocolate blobs, or hard fudge. That way I have a little treat a d not a big batch to eat.

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  16. I make my own chocolates sometimes. I took a class with my mom when I was a teen.

    denise

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  17. Love it
    Snickers, mars bar
    Kimh

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  18. I love Snickers,Cadbury,Milka :)

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  19. I love pretty much all chocolate. Ice cream, cake, cookies, candy, hot cocoa....love it all. I have never made it from scratch though.

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