Skip to product information
  • The Sugar Hit PAPERBACK cozy mystery morgana best
1 of 1

Best Cosy Books

The Sugar Hit (PAPERBACK)

Regular price
Regular price
Sale price

PAPERBACK. Book 2 in the Cocoa Narel Chocolate Shop Mysteries, cozy mystery series.

Bad news truffles fast in this cat-chy tail ...

Narel is excited about the grand opening of her Cocoa Narel Designer Chocolate Shop, but her happiness turns sour when a police officer is murdered right in the middle of proceedings. 
The detectives suspect Narel because the victim had been investigating her. Narel asks them why, but they're not in a pawsition to comment.
How can Narel’s mean cat help this time?
Will Narel end up behind bars as purr the charges?
And who is the mysterious woman in Borage's life? 


 Paperback 250 pages
 Dimensions  5 x 0.57 x 8 inches (127 x 14.5 x 203mm)
 ISBN 9781925674019
 Publication date August 13, 2018
 Publisher  Best Cosy Books

Read a Sample


The smell of warm chocolate wafted through the store. I took a deep breath, taking in the rich aroma, but there was no time to rest. This was the grand opening night of Cocoa Narel’s Designer Chocolate Shop.
I had only moments to spare before the guests arrived, so I walked along, making sure everything was just perfect. Three Belgian fondue chocolate fountains, each in turn overflowing with white chocolate, dark chocolate, and milk chocolate, stood at intervals on top of a wooden table, on which I had placed a chocolate-coloured tablecloth. Chocolate wafer sticks, marshmallows, and fresh strawberries were arranged for dipping in the fountains. I had set out golden-edged white porcelain plates laden with every manner of chocolate samples. Behind the fountains I had placed a vast array of designer chocolates, mostly in golden or pastel coloured packages, in an attractive display. It was a beautiful scene, one which exuded an air of luxury and elegance.
I was lucky to have hired the hall adjoining my store for a nominal fee. It was all the one building, and two wide doors, usually locked, separated the two rooms. It was ideal for functions.
Despite the heavenly aroma of rich chocolate, anxiety overwhelmed me. What if no one turned up? I had taken out an advertisement in the local newspaper, and had invited all and sundry. I had walked down the main street and personally invited storeowners. I had also invited my crush, Borage Fletcher, a local realtor. He was good-looking in the stereotypical way: tall, dark, and handsome. I had gone to high school with both Carl and Borage, but while I had stayed firm friends with Carl ever since, I had lost touch with Borage until his recent return to town.
Carl burst from the back room. “Narel, have you been dipping marshmallows into that fountain?”
“Only one or two,” I lied, as he eyed what was left of the marshmallows suspiciously. “Have you tried it? It’s delicious!”
Carl shot me a look of disapproval. “You have to leave some for the customers.” He put his hands on his hips and pursed his lips. “Are you sure you’re medically unable to put on weight? Because if not, you’re in trouble!”
I pulled a face at him. The cruel kids in high school had labelled me with the ironic name ‘Cocoa Narel’ as I had been the opposite of elegant and had constantly eaten an over-abundance of chocolate, so much so that I had looked like a huge ball of chocolate. I still ate a lot of chocolate, but after my serious car wreck, I’d had numerous surgeries on my face and body. Now I could eat as much as I liked, and not only was I unable to put on weight, but I also looked like a supermodel, if I do say so myself. Despite my good fortune—if you could call being in the hospital for months having countless surgeries good fortune—I was working towards a healthier lifestyle. I had taken up walking, and I was now eating low-fat chocolate, some of the time anyway. At least that was an improvement.
Carl was still talking. “Anyway, you look stressed. Are you still worried that no one will show up?”
I sighed loudly and threw up my hands. “Yes, I have to admit that I’m a little bit scared. I’ve gone to all this expense, and what if no one comes? It’s only fifteen minutes or so until the time it’s supposed to start.”
Carl looked puzzled. “But you’d be annoyed if anyone came early.”
I took a deep breath and tried to force myself to stay calm. “People always come early to events,” I told him. “Haven’t you ever gone to a yard sale that’s supposed to start at eight in the morning, and when you get there at eight, half the stuff’s already gone?”
Before Carl could answer, some people walked through the door. I didn’t recognise them, but I walked over to greet them warmly. My first potential customers! Excited flutters ran through the pit of my stomach.
I did know the next man through the door. Leo Lawford was the representative for one of Australia’s best chocolate wholesaler companies specialising in exotic, handmade chocolates. He had been an enormous help to me, and we had a good working relationship. “Wow, the fragrance of chocolate is so strong in here,” he exclaimed.
I beamed. “That’s what I wanted!”
The next few minutes brought a flurry of arrivals. I greeted people I knew and the people I didn’t know. Some of the arrivals had children with them, but thankfully the children were all on their best behaviour. The kids all seemed to be fixated on the chocolate fountains as well as the fudge. I soon saw that all the chocolate peanut butter fudge had disappeared.
I tapped Carl’s arm. “Carl, there’s no fudge left. I’m just going to pop out the back to cut some more.”
“I’ll do it,” Leo said. “You stay with your guests.”
I showed him into the kitchen and handed him the large serrated knife I used for cutting fudge. “Thanks so much! I appreciate it.” I popped back into the store, and to my delight saw Borage. My delight turned to dismay when I saw him talking to a tall, well-groomed woman. Were they here together? They seemed to know each other well. Their heads were together and they were sharing a smile.
I caught Carl’s eye and he shrugged, and then made his way through the crowd to me. “Who is she?” he hissed.
“Your guess is as good as mine.” I had gone from elated to unhappy in a split second. “He did say he had a girlfriend.”
“But that was only because I asked him out for a drink,” Carl said. “You said that yourself.”
I watched as the woman patted Borage’s arm. They seemed very cosy together. She was tall, with short black hair cut in a trendy style, far too trendy for a country town. Her make-up was impeccable, as was her dress. To my horror, Borage looked up and saw me staring. He smiled and walked over to us.
“Don’t look now, but he’s coming our way,” Carl said loudly.
I shushed him.
“Congratulations on your opening, Narel!” Borage looked pleased for me, but I felt embarrassed, mortified even. I was sure I had shown my feelings for him in recent weeks, and all this time he’d had a girlfriend. I gave myself a mental slap. Don’t be so silly, Narel, I thought. Focus on your opening night. A chocolate shop has been your dream for ages. I stopped talking silently to myself and looked up to see Borage staring at me with a strange look on his face.
“Are you all right?”
“She’s just overwhelmed with the opening night,” Carl said, not at all convincingly.
Borage nodded. “It’s going very well. It seems as if everyone in town’s here.”
As Carl engaged him in conversation, I studied the woman. She was walking along next to the long table with the chocolates, looking at the samples. I wondered why she hadn’t accompanied Borage when he had come over to speak to me. I had never seen her around town, so I could only assume that his girlfriend lived elsewhere, Sydney most likely. How could I have been so stupid? I shook myself from my moment of self-pity and forced myself to focus on my opening night.
The crowd parted like the Red Sea as a man with a self-important manner stepped into the store. He was short and rather portly and was bald, apart from about five hairs that comprised his combover. “The mayor,” Carl hissed my ear.
I hurried over to greet the mayor. He looked rather bored, so I thanked him effusively. My sucking up seemed to pay off, because he took my arm and asked me to show him the samples.
I soon realised that the mayor might become my best customer as he devoured one sample after the other. Thank goodness it would all be a tax deduction. Luckily for me, the mayor was soon accosted by a woman who complained that he had sent her a card for her fiftieth birthday and demanded to have some privacy about her age. I took the opportunity to make my escape.
Everyone seemed to be having a wonderful time. Even if I gained half these people as regular customers, my little store was sure to be a success. I hurried back into the crowd to introduce myself to everyone. So far, the feedback was all positive, even glowing in some instances. Everyone seemed pleased to have a chocolate shop in town. Most people I spoke to lamented the closing of the last chocolate shop, and said what Carl had already told me, that the lady opened odd hours and would sometimes close for weeks at a time. Even people who said they did not like chocolates—surely they were lying!—said that they loved to buy chocolates for gifts. There were teenagers through to elderly people, and all were delighted with my chocolates. It was amazingly positive feedback.
I turned around, elated, looking for Carl, when I saw the woman whispering in Borage’s ear. I forced myself to look away and focus my attention back on the chocolate fountain. I grabbed the nearest marshmallow and dunked it in the milk chocolate fountain. Chocolate always made me feel better. I had made plans for my chocolate store while lying in the hospital bed for all those months, and here it was. It had finally come to fruition, and I couldn’t be happier. Well, I would be happier if Borage didn’t have a girlfriend, but I couldn’t worry about that. It looked as if my chocolate shop would be a success.
“Yes, this is gluten-free, pure Belgian chocolate, and available in white, milk, or dark chocolate,” I said to a woman who was interested in buying a large order of hot chocolate. “Please come back on Monday and have a good look through everything in the store.”
The woman thanked me profusely. “I usually have to buy gluten-free chocolate online!” she explained with delight. “Is your Rocky Road gluten-free as well?”
“Yes,” I said. “I carry a large range of gluten-free chocolates, including Rocky Road, fudge, peanut clusters, and loose chocolates.” I indicated the area where all the gluten free samples were. The woman smiled at me and hurried away to sample them. Carl suppressed a chuckle, but I could understand the woman’s passion for chocolate. After all, I was exactly the same. I looked around at the fudge that I’d left out for the children, and caught Leo’s eye.
“Would you like me to get more fudge?” he asked me.
I smiled. “Yes, please!”
“This is going much better than I even thought it would,” Carl said. “Now you’ll be able to keep Mongrel in the lifestyle to which he has become accustomed.”
I laughed. Mongrel was a gift from Carl, a rescued cat from the shelter. Carl had gone to the shelter to buy me a kitten, but had felt sorry for an old grumpy cat. The cat’s last owner had named him ‘Mongrel’ and Mongrel had some personality quirks, not the least of which was viciously attacking anyone who carried anything that looked like rope on their person. Apart from that one quirk, he was becoming more sociable and had recently started to come out of his cat carrier basket.
The local vet had told me that Mongrel would soon look like a happy healthy cat. I didn’t believe him at the time, but it was amazing just how fast Mongrel was transforming. His coat was already much shinier and he looked far less unkempt. His personality still left a lot to be desired, but he’d had a very hard life, so could hardly be blamed for that. Still, I was always careful to make sure I never carried a bag with straps that looked like rope.
I was lost in thought, thinking about my quirky cat, when the lights went out. I clutched Carl’s arm—at least, I hoped it was Carl’s arm—and called out, “Please be still, everybody!” I was concerned that people would crash into my chocolate fountains and knock them over. I had hired them and would be responsible for any damage.
My second thought was to wonder why the lights had gone out. There was no thunderstorm, and I hadn’t had any trouble with the power previously. I let go of Carl’s arm and tried to feel my way to the back room. If I could find my iPhone, I could use the torch app to find the fuse box.
As I gingerly made my way in the direction of what I hoped was the back room, the lights came back on without warning. I sighed with relief, but even before I turned around, people started screaming. I swung around.
There was the body of a man sprawled over my table of chocolate samples. Protruding from his back was a jagged knife.

Series Order