The Chocolate Raccoon Rigmraole-Book Notes

Break-ins where only snacks and junk food are stolen. A missing deputy. Urban raccoons running amok in a small tourist town. Then a body is found.


The Chocolate Raccoon Rigmarole

Book cover for The Chocolate Raccoon Rigmarole

by JoAnna Carl

Summary of The Chocolate Raccoon Rigmarole

In The Chocolate Raccoon Rigmarole, unexplained break-ins have plagued the town of Warner Pier, Michigan, for weeks and when Deputy Paige Timothy spots Mike Westerly, a part-time police officer for the town, in a dark alley she tries to arrest him. Paige was answering a call about a break-in at the soon-to-be-opened jewelry shop when she spotted Mike. Mike is a huge man and a relative newcomer to the town. Paige claimed she didn’t recognize him, which was odd because, as Mike later reveals, he was introduced to Paige some time earlier.

The phone call about the break-in still needs checked out, and Lee McKinney, business manager and co-owner of TenHuis Chocolade along with her friend Dolly Jolly are helping the police when loud noises start in the front of the jewelry store. Inside a storage closet is Alex Gold, hands bound behind him. He’d returned to the store after dinner and surprised two men in ski masks. They had tied him up and locked him in the closet. Like the other break-ins, nothing is stolen except snacks and junk food.

Mysterious break-ins aren’t the town’s only problem. Urban racoons have become a nuisance and Lee hires Watt Wicker to catch the racoon family living under TenHuis Chocolade’s back porch. Watt is later found sprawled in the alley with an empty trap. Someone hit him in the head with a brick and left him unconscious and bleeding.

Not long after, Deputy Paige goes missing. Her body is found in a garage across the alley. Why would someone want the deputy dead? Will solving the murder help in solving the break-ins, or are they unrelated? Lee and her husband Joe assist the Warner Pier’s police chief in solving not only the break-ins, but the murder as well. But those who’ve killed once won’t hesitate at killing again. Will Lee or her husband be next?


It took me a while to get into this story. I put it down for a short time before picking it back up again; it took a bit for the mystery-side of the story to grab me. But grab me it did, and the identity of the murderers caught me by surprise. Once I got into the story, The Chocolate Racoon Rigmarole was a quick read.

Interspersed throughout the book is chocolate trivia. The trivia inserts slowed down the book for me and were more of a distraction. But other than the placement of the trivia and the slow-for-me start, The Chocolate Racoon Rigmarole was an entertaining way to spend an evening.

The Chocolate Racoon Rigmarole is the latest in a series that spans twenty-years.

Author Information

JoAnna Carl is the pseudonym for a multi-published mystery writer and the national bestselling author of the Chocoholic Mysteries. She spent more than twenty-five years in the newspaper business as a reporter, feature writer, and columnist. JoAnna holds a degree in journalism from the University of Oklahoma. JoAnna currently lives in Oklahoma but summers in Michigan.

Other books in the series are here.

Publishing Information

Published by Berkley
Aug 03, 2021
256 Pages
5-1/2 x 8-1/4
ISBN 9780440000273

Copy provided by #netgalley