A note about The Cuddlywumps Chronicles

This blog is written and maintained by Miss Cuddlywumps, a fluffy-tailed calico cat who is both classically educated and familiar with mysteries. She receives creative input from the Real Cats and clerical assistance from She of Little Talent (old SoLT, a.k.a. Roby Sweet). Comments or complaints should be addressed to Miss C rather than to old SoLt (Ms. Sweet). Ms. Sweet accepts no responsibility for Miss C's opinions.

Monday, October 9, 2017

Book Review: Witch Chocolate Bites

Mysterious Monday

On this Mysterious Monday, we bring you a short review of H. Y. Hanna’s Witch Chocolate Bites, the fourth book in her Bewitched by Chocolate mystery series. This is the first book we have read in the series, and we enjoyed it a lot even without knowing the background from the first three books.

The plot

Witch Chocolate Bites, by H. Y. Hanna
Caitlyn Le Fey has only recently learned that she comes from a long line of witches, and she has powers that she doesn’t entirely understand and can’t control. But she’s learning from her grandmother, the Widow Mags, an experienced witch who owns a chocolate shop called Bewitched by Chocolate in the Cotswolds village of Tillyhenge. Oh, and I should mention that the witches in Caitlyn’s family have certain special powers when it comes to chocolate. One of Caitlyn’s powers is the ability to turn things to chocolate, which we think would be a pretty handy skill.

The book begins on the opening night of the Tillyhenge Open-Air Cinema, held at the manor home of Lord James Fitzroy. James is, as they say, the area’s most eligible bachelor—and he seems to have an eye for Caitlyn, although he does not know yet that she is a witch. Of course Caitlyn is there to see the outdoor movie, along with her cousin Pomona. Her vampire uncle, Viktor, is there as well—“protecting her.” Viktor is probably the most unique vampire we’ve ever met (in print of course; we’ve never met a vampire in the flesh, as far as we know). He is a fruitarian. This means that he feeds only on fruit and, instead of a vampire bat, he transforms into a fruit bat. When Viktor is around, you don’t need to fear for your life, but you should keep a close eye on your bananas.

Back to the opening night.… Everyone is just settling in to watch the movie when a scream is heard (not part of the show, folks!), and moments later a body is discovered. The dead man has two puncture marks in his neck, exactly as the victim of a vampire would. Conveniently, a man with fangs and with red liquid dripping from his mouth is found nearby (Viktor, who’d been feasting on raspberries). The crowd goes wild, as they say, for Viktor’s capture. Just try explaining that you’re a fruitarian in that situation.  Nobody is listening, and Viktor is hauled off by the police.

Now it’s up to Caitlyn and Pomona to prove his innocence and find the real killer. Could the murder be connected to a ring of jewel thieves, and if so, which of the newly arrived people in the village could be the thieving mastermind?

The cat

Yes, there is a cat in this story. Nibs is a cute black kitten whom Caitlyn and James discovered together. They have sort of a joint custody arrangement, whereby Nibs spends equal amounts of time at the manor and with Caitlyn. Nibs shows up in some fun scenes in the book, and we especially like the one in which he stands up to an obnoxious dog. That said, Nibs isn’t a major presence in the book and does not play a pivotal role in the plot. Normally we’d deduct a paw in our “paws up” rating for that (we are a cat blog, after all). Not this time, though, because … fruit bat! Viktor in his fruit bat form is hilarious—and valiant—and we simply loved him.

Our verdict

Witch Chocolate Bites is great fun. Start with the book’s cover, which is designed to look like a partially unwrapped chocolate bar with a small bite taken out of it (what chocolate lover wouldn’t want to open that up?). Then meet the characters, so many of whom are delightfully quirky. Dive into the plot, which is pure cozy.… Okay, yes, we figured out who the culprit was, but we did not figure out the whole story—not by a long shot—and we tend to think that this was the author’s intention. The climactic scene had us on the edge of our seat with worry for Caitlyn. Then, notice the fun touches, such as the flying eyeglasses. Put it all together, and you have a delightful read, which is exactly what we’ve come to expect of H. Y. Hanna’s work.


Two Paws Up--A Great Read!

A note on the "Paws Up" system: Miss C gives either one or two paws up. One paw is for a good read; two paws is for a great read. She never gives three or four paws because that would require her to lie on her back...and Miss C does not do that!

The link below is an Amazon Associates link. If you purchase the book through this link, old SoLT and I could get some coin for our kibble account. Thank you!


  1. Hmmm, interesting! Thanks for the reveiw!


    I must get this book!!!

  3. I read the first book in this series and then for some reason lost track. I need to catch up!