by Susan L. Fox
Is there a category for sci-fi foodie murder mystery comedy social commentary? There is now, in the hilarious Chocolate Chocolate Moons. Main character Molly Marbles takes us quickly from her college days on the Moon, a haven for the obese where her 287 Earth pounds become 47.6 in the blessed miracle of lighter gravity in a culture where “plus size” is not a curse word. Molly and her boyfriend Drew bond over favorite truffle treat “Chocolate Moons,” and are on track for a plush-sized Happily Every After until he throws her over for a thin media heiress.
Molly finds love in the musician Courtland Summers and they raise musically talented but bratty twin daughters, and eventually move to Mars for a business opportunity with Courtland’s cousin’s pizza chain. You would think this ideal for Molly except for two things: Mars has more than double the gravity of the Moon, and Mars culture has swung over to anti-obesity as the standard. The snark Molly suffers is interminable but she characteristically finds a way to make her Foodie spirit pay as a security consultant for the Culinary Institute. A mystery of poisoned candies draws Molly and a number of other memorable characters back to their college friends and foes, as hilarity ensues.
Molly solves the mystery that has three planets talking, in a chocolate-soaked solution all her own. The character names are a big highlight, mostly puns, common phrases and geographical locations. Decibel Point. Carbon Copies. Kandy Kane. Pluto Pastrami. Molly’s svelte business partner Jersey and her whole family with names based in New Jersey; husband Trenton, niece Asbury and the rest. It’s silly but somehow it works in context. Weight hate from the Mars folks set off some of my hot buttons and personal issues, but let’s face the realism, people do this.
I don’t know about you but I’m waiting to sign up for Armstrong University and a spa vacation at Ruby’s, with the next Molly mystery to read while lounging by the chocolate river.
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