Penny Warner, columnist for Bay Area News Group. Photographed in Pleasanton, Calif. on Thursday, Oct. 31, 2013.  (Jim Stevens/Bay Area News Group)

Penny Warner, columnist for Bay Area News Group. Photographed in Pleasanton, Calif. on Thursday, Oct. 31, 2013. (Jim Stevens/Bay Area News Group)

By Penny Pike AKA Penny Warner

Darcy Burnett, the amateur sleuth in my new mystery, DEATH OF A CHOCOLATE CHEATER, has had her share of unhappy romances. After breaking up with her cheating boyfriend,  losing her position as a restaurant critic at the San Francisco Chronicle, and taking a job working in a food truck for her Aunt Abby, Darcy thinks life is pretty much doomed.

So when she meets Jake Miller, the dream puff from the nearby cream puff food truck, she’s reluctant to get involved too quickly, not wanting to get burned, chewed up, and spit out again. And like many women, she’s finding chocolate almost as satisfying as relationship.

Here are nine reasons Darcy claims chocolate is better than romance—that is, until Jake Miller melts her heart and turns her insides into liquid chocolate.

  1. You don’t have to wait for chocolate to call. It’s always there for you.
  2. Chocolate doesn’t care if you haven’t washed your hair or shaved your legs – it will still melt in your mouth.
  3. You don’t have to be exclusive with chocolate. Feel free to shop around.
  4. You don’t have to brush your teeth before you eat chocolate. (But you probably should afterward to avoid cavities.)
  5. You can eat two pieces of chocolate at the same time and not worry about your reputation.
  6. No matter how many wrinkles you have or gray hair you’re hiding, you never age-out of chocolate.
  7. With chocolate, size doesn’t matter (although most agree, more is better.)
  8. Chocolate doesn’t make you pregnant. (You can diet those extra pounds away, if absolutely necessary.)
  9. Even if you’re allergic to chocolate, you can read a good mystery novel like DEATH OF A CHOCOLATE CHEATER and get almost the same effects.

9780451467829So take heart, if your heart has been broken, and get yourself a box of Sees dark chocolates, a bag of Ghirardelli chocolate squares or a pillowcase full of leftover Halloween chocolate, then curl up with a cat, a book, and a glass of red wine. As Darcy will tell you, chocolate fixes just about everything. Until a dream puff like Jake Miller enters your life….

Penny Pike aka Penny Warner is the author of the food truck mystery series, including DEATH OF A CRABBY BOOK and DEATH OF A CHOCOLATE CHEATER, based in San Francisco, and featuring amateur sleuth and chocolate lover, Darcy Burnett. Coming soon: DEATH OF A BAD APPLE…



Death of A Chocolate Cheater

A Food Festival Mystery by Penny Pike

Obsidian Mass Market Paperback

June 2, 2015, $7.99.

From the author of “Death of a Crabby Cook” comes the second book in this series where food truck vendor Darcy Burnett unwraps a murder at the San Francisco Chocolate Festival.

At this year’s chocolate festival, Darcy and her Aunt Abby hope to win the $10,000 prize in the chocolate contest with Aunt Abby’s taste sensation:  the chocolate raspberry whoopee pie. A little friendly competition from Darcy’s sometime-beau Jake Miller, who plans to enter with his chocolate cream puff delight, only sweetens the deal. But things get sticky when one of the judges, Polly Montgomery, is taken out of commission – permanently.

The suspects include every contestant with reason to believe Polly wasn’t too sweet on their sweets, including Aunt Abby’s high school friend. Now Darcy must pick through an assortment of secrets to catch a killer before someone else gets a bittersweet finish.