JoAnna Carl books in order
JoAnna Carl is the pseudonym of American author Eve K. Sandstrom.
She uses her pseudonym when writing cozy mysteries and her real name when writing mysteries and thrillers.
Born in Oklahoman, the birthplace of five previous generations of her maternal family, JoAnna attended University of Oklahoma, just like several of her immediate family members, where she received her degree in journalism.
She also attended the Open University Creative Writing Program alongside Carolyn G. Hart and Jack Bickham.
Prior to going for early retirement in order to focus on full-time fiction writing, JoAnna worked as a reporter, editor, and columnist at The Lawton Constitution in Lawton, Oklahoma for over twenty-five years.
A wife, mother and grandmother, JoAnna lives with her husband, David F. Sandstrom, in their homes in Oklahoma and Michigan.
Genres: Cozy Mystery, Mystery
Pseudonym: JoAnna Carl
- The Chocolate Cat Caper (2002)
- The Chocolate Bear Burglary (2002)
- The Chocolate Frog Frame-Up (2003)
- The Chocolate Puppy Puzzle (2004)
- The Chocolate Mouse Trap (2005)
- The Chocolate Bridal Bash (2006)
- The Chocolate Jewel Case (2007)
- The Chocolate Snowman Murders (2008)
- The Chocolate Cupid Killings (2009)
- The Chocolate Pirate Plot (2010)
- The Chocolate Castle Clue (2011)
- The Chocolate Moose Motive (2012)
- The Chocolate Book Bandit (2013)
- The Chocolate Clown Corpse (2014)
- The Chocolate Falcon Fraud (2015)
- The Chocolate Bunny Brouhaha (2016)
- The Chocolate Shark Shenanigans (2019)
- The Chocolate Raccoon Rigmarole (2021)
Detailed book overview
After giving up her career as a Texas trophy wife, 28-year-old Lee McKinney finds herself in a Michigan resort town, keeping the books for her Aunt Nettie’s luxury chocolate business. But she soon finds that her new life isn’t all truffles and bonbons...
Clementine Ripley, the defense attorney everyone loves to hate, is throwing a party that calls for several thousand dollars worth of custom chocolates—some made in the image of her champion cat. Lee jumps at the job, but sweet success takes a bitter turn when someone adds and extra ingrediant—cyanide—to one of their delicious chocolates and it finds its way into Ms. Ripley’s mouth. Now it’s up to Lee to figure out who tampered with Aunt Nettie’s recipe before they find themselves behind not-so-chocolate bars.
CONFESSIONS OF A CONFECTIONER
After leaving her bad-news husband back in Texas, Lee McKinney moved up north to a quaint resort town. Now she keeps the books for her aunt’s luxury-chocolate shop. But Lee soon finds that Michigan winters can be murder....
Lee and Aunt Nettie can’t believe their luck. A teddy bear promotion will have tourists flocking to Warner Pier, which could mean skyrocketing sales for TenHuis Chocolade. To help decorate the scrumptious store, their friend Gail, an antique dealer, lends them a collection of valuable chocolate molds. But after a burglary at the shop, Gail meets with a grisly fate—and the main suspect in her murder is Lee’s troubled teenage stepson. Lee sets out to clear his name, but awakening long-hibernating family secrets might be more than this daring crime solver can bear…
For the Fourth of July, Lee McKinney and her aunt debut their latest confections-chocolate frogs-at TenHuis Chocolade. The first customer to buy a croaker is the town crank. But when he later disappears and police suspect foul play, it's a chocolate clue that leads Lee to the killer.
Hollywood comes to Michigan when a film producer decides to turn a local author's romance novel into a blockbuster. Although the movie mogul's chocolate labrador is charming, Lee McKinney thinks the producer's talk is a bunch of sweet nothings-and she grows even more suspicious when she stumbles upon a dead body.
Chocolate-shop manager Lee McKinney has had enough of party planner Julie Singletree's cutesy e-mails. Then somebody actually kills the woman, putting everyone on her mailing list on edge. As their connections to the murder emerge, so do more attacks. Lee smells a rat-and it's not made of chocolate. And if she doesn't want to be permanently deleted, it's up to her to trap it.
Caught up in a whirl of champagne and china patterns, bride-to-be Lee McKinney has butted heads with her future mother-in-law over every detail of the wedding bash. The last thing she needs is trouble with her own mother. But this is bigger than the hot versus cold hors d’oeuvres debate: Sally McKinney doesn’t even want to be at the wedding if it takes place in Warner Pier, her hometown.
Irked that her mom might be MIA on the Big Day, Lee heads to her aunt’s chocolate shop, TenHuis Chocolade, for advice. There, the bride is shocked to learn that years earlier, her mother ran away on what would have been her own wedding day—hours before her fiancé was found dead, an apparent suicide. Now, to smooth things over with her mother—and ease her own way down the aisle—Lee must untangle a mystery older than she is....
In her rare free time, newlywed Lee McKinney Woodyard works on TenHuis Chocolade's newest offerings, chocolate jewels. But soon the town of Warner Pier has its very own jewel heist, and then a body is found in the lake. Lee can't help but wonder if the crimes are related. Maybe if she digs up some dirt, she'll hit the mother lode.
The much anticipated Winter Arts festival is here, and as treasurer of Winterfest, Lee is up to her elbows in mix-ups behind the scenes. When the art show's guest juror shows up drunk, Lee lets him sleep it off, only to find out later that someone's put the visiting dignitary into a permanent state of repose.
Lee and Joe were the last people spotted near the crime scene. In a seriously sticky situation, it's up to them to find the real killer before someone else comes to a bitter end...
It's Valentine's Day at TenHuis Chocolade, but Lee is getting no love from detective Derrick Valentine. He's looking for one of their new employees-an abused woman who Lee and her Aunt Nettie have been hiding. But when Valentine meets his own sticky end, it's Aunt Nettie who is suspect. Now, Lee has to free Nettie of guilt without exposing their innocent guest-and find a killer with a heart that's definitely not made of chocolate...
Ever since Young Blackbeard became a hit movie, everyone has caught pirate fever, including the residents of Warner Pier. TenHuis Chocolate is selling out of chocolate treasure chests, pirate hats and ships.
When Lee McKinney Woodyard and her husband take their boat out on Lake Michigan, they're stunned when a mischievous band of pirates hops on board. Lee's is the first boat boarded that summer, and the town couldn't be more amused by the mysterious buccaneers. But when a body washes up on shore, the pirates' antics stop being so entertaining...
After Lee McKinney goes rummaging in a locked file cabinet, a forty-five-year-old cold case starts to heat up the town of Warner Pier.
When Lee discovers a dusty trophy hidden away inside TenHuis Chocolade, she is eager to share it with her aunt Nettie. The timing couldn’t be better—Nettie is hosting a reunion for her old high school singing group, the Pier-O-Ettes.
Unfortunately, the trophy brings back terrible memories of the night of the group’s trophy-winning performance at the Castle Ballroom. The ballroom’s owner was found shot to death. The insurance company called it suicide; his wife insisted it must have been an accident; the town whispered, Murder. Now Lee has a mystery to solve.
Before she can take aim at the events of the past, someone turns up murdered in the here and now. Lee needs to keep her eye on the prize and hope the trophy will be the clue to finding the killer—before she ends up as a target herself….
When Lee hires a free-spirited employee with a tie-dyed, troubled past, she discovers that even the counterculture can conceal a killer....
As much as the chocolate concoctions at TenHuis Chocolade can tantalize people’s tongues, Lee’s newest hire is more likely to make them wag. Forsythia “Sissy” Smith is the granddaughter of Warner Pier’s resident hippie, but the fact that Sissy is a third-generation flower child is the least of Lee’s concerns. The previous winter, Sissy’s husband, Buzz, was found dead, and even though her alibi was airtight, the gossips are still pointing their fingers at her.
Then the chief gossip is found dead, with Sissy on the scene. Was she lured there? Or is she the killer? Lee has a sneaking suspicion that someone is out to keep a dark secret from coming to light. And they would have no problem killing a certain clever chocolatier who might uncover the truth....
When it turns out a member of Warner Pier’s library board has been living on borrowed time, Lee is determined to discover who wrote the victim’s final chapter…
Running TenHuis Chocolade keeps Lee McKinney Woodyard busy enough, but now she’s been offered two different positions in the town of Warner Pier—one on the tourism committee and another on the library board. To decide between the two, she goes to Warner Pier’s historic library to check out the board’s monthly meeting.
As usual, rumors are flying through the small town—this time, they’re about the rugged new library director, Henry “Butch” Cassidy, and the changes he allegedly plans to make. Butch is indeed attractive—but Lee doesn’t get a chance to find out about his proposed changes. A few minutes into the meeting, the discussion is interrupted by the terrified screams of the library clerk.
She has discovered the lifeless body of Abigail VanRoostock, a prim and proper retiring member of the board, crumpled in a heap at the bottom of the basement stairs. Suddenly, everyone in attendance, including Lee, is suspected in her murder. And as Lee finds out, they’ve all got something to hide…
Revenge is sweet for a killer on the loose—and it all started with the murder of Warner Pier’s most hated clown....
Everyone who knew the bozo wanted him dead. Odd, then, that a complete stranger was accused of bursting Moe Davidson’s balloons. But it’s been a month since the miserable shop owner of Clowning Around was killed, and everybody’s moving on, including Lee Woodyard. Her chocolate shop, TenHuis Chocolade, is next door to Moe’s shuttered tourist trap, and it’s giving her delicious ideas to expand. But over whose dead body?
Moe’s widow, Emma, and her two stepchildren list the property for sale, but when Lee tours the building, she finds Emma unconscious. Now Lee wonders whether Moe’s real killer is still at large and is taking care of unfinished business. Unfortunately, since the town is celebrating Clown Week, there are so many potential suspects in grease paint and floppy shoes it’s not even funny.
For Lee, protecting Emma, freeing an innocent man, and rolling out hundreds of her clown-themed chocolates is a pretty tall order. But so is staying alive long enough to find out which one of her neighbors is a killer in disguise.
A chocolatier whose love of old crime films plunges her into a real-life murder where the motives aren’t so black and white…
The Warner Pier tourism board is kicking off its Tough Guys and Private Eyes film festival with The Maltese Falcon, and Lee Woodyard and her Aunt Nettie are preparing a delicious chocolate noir tie-in at TenHuis Chocolade. What Lee isn’t prepared for is a face from the past: Jeff Godfrey, her former stepson. The last time Jeff showed up in town, he wound up being accused of murder. Now he says he’s only in Warner Pier to see Bogart on the big screen. Honest.
Jeff may now be a college grad, but that doesn’t mean he’s any less naïve than the kid Lee had to bail out of trouble earlier. There are all those strange phone calls, a girlfriend who’s secretly on Jeff’s tail, and a pack of suspicious-sounding acquaintances right out of Dashiell Hammett. Then Jeff goes missing, the Falcon theme is haunting everyone, and a body falls at Lee’s feet when she opens the front door – just like in the movie.
Now Lee is under deadline to rewrite the ending of a cunning killer’s increasingly convincing murder plot…
The approach of Easter means a rush of business at TenHuis Chocolade, and Lee and her Aunt Nettie need all the help they can get to make their famous chocolate bunnies. Unfortunately, new hire Bunny Birdsong is a clutzy basketcase dropping everything she picks up. But to Lee’s surprise, she’s a whiz with computers and fixing the store’s website so they decide to keep her.
However, Bunny receives a few visitors they could do without: her soon to be ex-husband Beau, his wealthy aunt Abigail, and his new girlfriend and her brother all descend on the shop one day and have a bitter argument. Lee hopes they can find a peaceful way to settle their dispute and not bring any more trouble to TenHuis. But when Abigail’s body is discovered in the vacant store next door, it’s clear to Lee there’s a bad egg in her midst. Now she’s on the hunt to find out who it is...
When a house near Lee and Joe's home goes up for sale, the couple teams up with Lee's aunt and uncle, Nettie and Hogan, to buy it, remodel it, and resell it for a sweet profit. But after the owners of the house, the Baileys, accept their offer, a local developer, Richard "Spud" Dirk, suddenly swoops in with a higher one, and it seems their dreams might be snatched away.
Lee, never as passionate about the plan as her husband and uncle, is anxious to get back to focusing on managing TenHuis Chocolade. But when a long-hidden gun is found behind a pipe in the Baileys' basement, she begins to suspect a mystery is afoot. And when Spud turns up dead in the Baileys' carport a few days later, it becomes clear there's something rotten at the foundation....
To solve the murder, Lee will have to strip away layers of secrets--that is, if someone doesn't level her first....
A frantic late-night phone call from her right-hand woman Dolly Jolly brings Lee Woodyard to the scene of a break-in at the Warner Pier jewelry store next door to TenHuis Chocolade. To her shock, the suspect being held at gunpoint by police is Dolly's boyfriend, Mike Westerly, who was recently hired as a night watchman specifically to prevent break-ins. Dolly hopes Lee can help straighten out the crazy misunderstanding.
Even crazier? The thieves took nothing of value from the jewelry store, only swiping some snacks. It's another in a series of break-ins by burglars the media has dubbed the Cookie Monsters. They've been hitting shops selling everything from sunglasses to shoes but stealing only sweets: lollipops, cookies, even chewing gum!
It all seems pretty funny--until the discovery of a dead body. With her friends and community in danger, Lee must stop one very sour killer before someone else comes to a bitter end.