behind-chocolate-barsI’m Reese Everhard, your friendly neighborhood newspaper reporter. I’m up early today, doing my civic duty by providing all the news that’s important the citizens of West Riverdale, Maryland.

West Riverdale may look like the idea small town – with its colonial buildings on Main Street, cute shops like the Enchanted Forest Flower Shop, the Pampered Pet Store, and the Knit Wits Yarn Store, and rolling green hills, but we’ve had more than our fair share of crime the last few months.

I have a very important role in our community – letting everyone know what they should know. About the world, the community, and especially their neighbors. Some people call me nasty names, like a tabloid journalist, but they don’t understand the pressure we reporters are under these days to be the first to break the news.

The first thing I do each morning is check what I may have missed when I was sleeping. I don’t actually sleep much – I’m determined to get to the story before anyone else. Before I even have my coffee, I jump right on the computer and find out what happened when I was wasting time snoozing.

Yes, I peek at world stories and post them to my news website, but I pay particular attention to the Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and any other social media accounts of West Riverdale residents. That’s where I get some of my juicier gossip, I mean, news stories. Some people don’t like my digging, but that’s because they have something to hide. With all the murders that have happened here lately, my job is more important than ever!

When I’ve exhausted everything online, I head on over to the West Riverdale Diner. If nosy Iris isn’t there, I can usually sneak into a booth and listen to my fellow diners. If I’m feeling lucky, I’ll head over to Chocolates and Chapters, where they have the best gossip. I’ve been known to quietly scooch my chair closer to other tables to hear better.

It must be the scrumptious truffles that get everyone talking. Since it’s October, I’m betting that chocolatier Michelle Serrano will have my favorite Booberry whites, creamy white chocolate filled with tart blueberry-enhanced milk chocolate ganache in the shape of blue eyed ghosts. My mouth is watering just thinking about them.

Maybe I’ll have a few Screamin’ Orange milks filled with tangy orange ganache, or even some Mummy Wraps, with a biting cherry ganache covered in white icing lined to look like mummies with tiny black eyes peeking through. As yummy as they are sweet.

Not that I want to give Michelle any free publicity. She and fellow Chocolates and Chapters owner Erica Russell get enough attention solving murder mysteries in West Riverdale.

Right now they’re so busy organizing the West Riverdale Halloween Festival that they’re probably too busy to solve any murders.

But knowing them, I wouldn’t bet on it.

Behind Chocolate Bars is the third book in the Chocolate Covered mystery series, published by Penguin Random House, October 2016.


Best friends and business partners Michelle and Erica have a monstrous to-do list as they prepare for the annual West Riverdale Halloween Festival. Their shop, Chocolates and Chapters, will have a booth at the event, where Michelle will serve spooky delights while Erica displays an assortment of spine-chilling books. Thank goodness the teenagers from Erica’s comic-book club are chipping in to help. But one of their volunteers winds up in trouble after a woman’s body is found in an abandoned house—with the teen’s superhero key ring close by.

The teen swears he didn’t do it, but he’s obviously hiding something—leaving Michelle and Erica with a witch’s cauldron of questions. Soon they discover that the dead woman was tricking a whole bunch of people out of more than just treats. Now these two friends must go door-to-door if they hope to unmask a killer. . .

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About the author
Kathy Aarons is the author of the nationally bestselling Chocolate Covered Mystery series by Berkley Prime Crime. Research for the series was such a hardship: sampling chocolate, making chocolate, sampling more chocolate, and k-aaronshanging out in bookstores.

She began writing when her youngest daughter attended school five days a week and pursued publishing more seriously when her oldest daughter went off to college. Now an empty-nester, she continues to advocate for arts education for youth, serving as president of the board of directors for Playwrights Project (, advising and teaching for the Middle School Writing Series, and volunteering for the CCA Writers’ Conference (, the only free writing conference for high school students in the country.

She’s also president of Partners in Crime – the San Diego chapter of Sisters in Crime, a national mystery writers’ organization.

You can follow Kathy on Facebook or Twitter or visit her at:

All comments are welcomed.

Giveaway: Leave a comment below for your chance to win a print copy of Behind Chocolate Bars. US entries only, please. The giveaway ends October 10, 2016 at 11:59 AM EST. Good luck everyone!

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