Blurb:

 

Fred, owner of world-famous Contessa Chocolates, has been murdered while relaxing in his Barca-lounger. As Fred’s right-hand woman, stepdaughter Candace McCready was promised she would inherit the business. 

Well, big surprise; Fred changed his mind and left it to Gabe, the son he disinherited and Candace’s first love. 

The only good news is that Fred left Candace the Recipe, the secret to the company’s billion-dollar sales. The bad news is that the Recipe has mysteriously disappeared. 

Now the race is on as bumbling detectives, Candace and Gabe, investigate the suspects who could be any one of Fred’s five ex-wives, his brother Mr. Toad, and his son, the Tadpole, or even, gasp, the butler.

Will former sweethearts Candace and Gabe find the Recipe and identify the killer before the killer finds them?

REVIEWS

2022 Maxy Awards Finalist

"When you find a romantic comedy that is hard to put down, you can be assured that you have found an author with a rare talent. The Candy Capers ticks all the right boxes." -Readers' Favorite

"Sexy, smart and charming-Candy Capers is an absolute joy to read. Katy Berritt has a flair for creating vivid characters, rapid-fire dialogue and a quirky plot that propels you along at a breakneck pace. Treat yourself to this dazzling debut!" -Lisa Kleypas, New York Times best-selling author

"Delightful, funny, sexy, who-dun-it." -LibraryThing Early Reviewer

The Candy Capers

Prologue

 

He looked so natural lying there in his ratty green Barca-Lounger, a box of Contessa’s Bourbon Cherry Chocolates sitting opened in his lap and a streak of dark chocolate smeared across his chubby cheeks.

It wasn’t until Candace McCready picked several dozen candy wrappers up off the ten-thousand-dollar Aubusson rug and tugged the mostly empty box of chocolates out of his slack hands she realized the small scarlet splotch in the middle of her stepfather’s chest wasn’t one of the trademark red foil wrappers from his candy company.  

Oh shit! What would Contessa Chocolates and Confectionery do without the Contessa?

Chapter One

Gummi Bears and Greedy Heirs

 

 

The Sweet Tooth

New York City 

 

 

The store was a carousel of eye-popping colors. Barney purple, neon green and Day-Glo orange candies filled clear Lucite bins standing sentinel on the red, white and blue polka-dotted linoleum floor. Ribbon-tied bouquets of all-day suckers in swirls of red, yellow and green adorned the corners of the counters while clear plastic bags of pink and baby-blue cotton candy hung from wires strung across the ceiling. Colorful metal buckets nailed to the wall held bags filled with a hundred different exotic sweets. The smell of sugar was enough to send a diabetic to intensive care.

But as far as Candace was concerned, even intensive care was preferable to listening to the greedy heirs who had gathered to ‘mourn’ the Contessa, aka poor Fred Jones.

On the other hand, even listening to their complaints was better than worrying if Fred had kept his promise. If he hadn’t, the alternative was ending up in the unemployment line.

Not that being in the unemployment line was shameful or anything. Heck, half her college friends were currently unemployed. But this wasn’t about her; she’d survive just fine. Contessa’s employees might not.

She bit off the thumbnail she had been nibbling. If only the attorneys would hurry.

Just then a dark shadow appeared at her side, making her jump a foot.

“How nice to see you again,” the shadow said, but the tone implied differently.

Just what she needed, more grief. “Dolan,” she responded, glancing down to find him giving her a narrow-eyed look in return. According to Law and Order, and every other TV cop showed she ever watched, police detectives were supposed to be tall, dark and handsome. Dolan was short, fat and, well…ugly.

He smirked. “That’s Sergeant Dolan to you.” He rocked back and forth on his heels, hands on his chubby hips as he casually surveyed the gathering. “So, how’s my favorite suspect?”