S'more Trouble

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Lenora Ryan, the resident master cook at The Chocolate Shoppe Bakery, is off to visit relatives in Alabama, and that poses a two-fold problem for Jillian Green.

First, Jillian will have to turn up the heat on her baking game with her good friend and mentor out of town. Second, before leaving town Lenora asks Jillian to use the time to find the source of weird noises that emanate from the walls of her apartment, located above the kitchen. 

Jillian is ready for the first task. She has prepared for months to take on more responsibilities, working alongside Lenora and Bertie Harper, her grandmother and the owner of the bakery. But the solution to the second problem proves to be elusive, and deadly.

When contractors tear into an apartment wall, Jillian finds a journal from the 1940s, an old library book, and some bones hidden in a cubbyhole. Is Lenora's apartment haunted? Aunt Cornelia Montgomery, the eccentric twin sister of Jillian's grandmother, thinks so.

Jillian knows that's not true, but she wonders if the clues are tied to a decades-old unsolved murder in Moss Hollow, her sleepy little Georgia hometown. She and her best friend, Savannah Cantrell, set out on the cold-case trail, hoping to catch up with a killer before he catches up with them.

Will this latest mystery help Jillian make her bones in the bakery? Or instead, will she jump from the baking pan and into the deep fryer?

The Characters

At 39, Jillian is living the life she always dreamed. Using her creative talents, she's built a successful career as one of the top executives at a prestigious advertising agency in California, and she's engaged to an amazing man who showers her with love and the finer things in life. Life couldn't be more perfect.

But as quickly as a chocolate souffle can flop, Jillian's "perfect" fiance is arrested for embezzlement, putting a quick end to the engagement, and the advertising agency coincidentally "downsizes" Jillian after the scandal, leaving her without a job. But Jillian is a strong Southern woman who has learned how to endure from her feisty and iron-willed grandmother. She decides to leave California and make a fresh start where her life began, in the quaint town of Moss Hollow, Ga.

Under Grandma Bertie's roof at Belle Haven mansion and under her wing, Jillian prepares to take over the family business: The Chocolate Shoppe Bakery & Cafe. But she doesn't expect to find murder on the menu! Will returning home to reconnect with her Southern roots ultimately prove to be a blessing or a fatal mistake?

Longtime member of the Sweetie Pies baking club and grandmother extraordinaire, Lenora has managed the bakery for decades and is considered a part of the family. Since fixing a salad is Jillian's greatest culinary accomplishment on most days, she encounters a few hurdles while learning how to create the decadent treats the bakery is known for. She's grateful for Lenora's wise counsel and encouragement!

The curious and cuddly house cat keeps a close eye on the happenings at Belle Haven mansion and lends a hand -- or paw -- in helping Jillian solve the intriguing mysteries of the small town.

Savannah is one of Jillian's oldest and best friends. She's delighted Jillian moved back to town and looks forward to reconnecting with her childhood companion. But she's also keeping a secret that may be the key to unlocking the mystery of Nadine's untimely demise.

Jillian's down-to-earth and lovable grandmother is ready to retire from the hectic demands of running The Chocolate Shoppe Bakery & Café, but she refuses to sell to a complete stranger. Jillian is her last hope for keeping the business in the family, even if Jillian can barely boil water. Bertie is determined to help Jillian succeed in the business and to see her marry a good Southern man before the bloom falls completely off the rose.

Cornelia may be Bertie's twin, but she is different from her sister in every way, from her flair for the dramatic to her eccentric nature. She moved back to Belle Haven mansion to live with Bertie five years ago after the death of her husband. She claims to possess a joie de vivre that simply cannot be tamed. Bertie prefers to call it "flighty." Despite her theatrics, Cornelia has a generous heart and wants nothing but the best for her grandniece. She will do anything to see Jillian happy and settled in Moss Hollow ... even if it means bending a few rules.