A Bittersweet Mystery - Steampunk Chocolatier Series Book One
Alex LeBeau, Chocolatier and chef instructor, wants nothing more than to give her almost grown son a quiet life and a place to call home. Settling in Honfleur, Louisiana, Alex can distance herself from her chaotic romantic past and association with the clandestine group Bellicose Solanum (BelSol).
Things might be looking up for her when she takes a job at a promising cooking school. Her contentment is short-lived when a famous millionaire of Honfleur is murdered during the school’s catering event on an airship.
As the body count begins to rise in an eccentric series of mishaps, all evidence points to one of her most beloved culinary students—her son.
If word gets out about the murder, the culinary school's reputation is ruined, but most importantly Alex cannot let her son be found guilty for a crime he didn’t commit.
With the help of Josephine, the school potager and voice of reason, Alex hesitantly rallies up old friends from her checkered past to help clear her son’s name.
Armed with the fortune that might (or might not) favor the brave, Alex and Josephine race to find the killer before those nearest to Alex become the latest victims.
A tale of chocolate, love and murder.
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Heat Level: 2
Romantic Content: 2
Ending: Click here to reveal
Character Identities: Bisexual, Lesbian
Protagonist 1 Age: 26-35
Protagonist 2 Age: 26-35
Word Count: 60000
Setting: Honfleur, Louisiana
Languages Available: English
Series Type: Same Universe / Various Characters
Summer Solstice eve, 1881
If it had not been for the ice cream, Alex LeBeau would not have found herself in jail.
On the last leg of their journey from up north, Alex’s young son, Pierre, drove them along the outer road of her childhood parish of Honfleur in their steam-powered automobile. The brass and steel bonnet of the contraption gleamed in the June morning sunlight and caught stares from the many town patrons enjoying their mid-afternoon constitutional.
In the passenger’s seat, with a hand firmly grasped on her almond wafer cone, Alex used her free hand to adjust her goggle strap against the back of her humidity dampened Eembuvi-style auburn plaits.READ MORE
Despite the speed of the automobile, the breeze was stifling and caught at the back of her throat. Or was it a bug? Grimacing at the thought, she licked at the frozen concoction. The sticky caramel and sea salt blended together in her mouth, and she let out a euphoric sigh, then took another lick.
Pierre pulled the handkerchief from his breast pocket. “Here, you’ve dropped some ice cream on your skirt,” he offered, slowing the car as he waited for a pedestrian to cross. “Maman,” Pierre playfully chided, as he adjusted his own goggles.
She gave a soft Merci before taking his handkerchief and used it to swat at the two bees hovering at the hem of her skirts.
“Bon Dieu!” Alex hopped out of the mobile.
Holding her ice cream in one hand, Alex fanned her skirts with the other. She did not notice the sound of the car stopping or the quick footsteps behind her. Her focus was on the angry bee up her skirts.
Alex gathered up a fist full of material and flung her hand upward with such force her fist connected with Pierre’s jaw. He fell to the grass like a stone. Alex stopped and gasped at her unconscious son as the two bees flew from underneath her skirts. She glanced up to notice the two police officers staring at the scene with humorless eyes.
She dropped her skirts.