Review & Giveaway: Grand Openings Can Be Murder by Amber Royer

Bean to Bar Mysteries Book 1
Categories: Cozy Mystery / Woman Sleuth / Romance
Publisher: Golden Tip Press
Date of Publication: February 2, 2021
Number of Pages: 266 pages
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Felicity Koerber has had a rough year. She’s moving back to Galveston Island and opening a bean to bar chocolate factory, fulfilling a dream she and her late husband, Kevin, had shared. Craft chocolate means a chance to travel the world, meeting with farmers and bringing back beans she can turn into little blocks of happiness, right close to home and family. She thinks trouble has walked into her carefully re-built world when puddle-jump pilot Logan Hanlon shows up at her grand opening to order custom chocolates. Then one of her employees drops dead at the party, and Felicity’s one-who-got-away ex-boyfriend – who’s now a cop – thinks Felicity is a suspect.
As the murder victim’s life becomes more and more of a mystery, Felicity realizes that if she’s going to clear her name in time to save her business, she might need Logan’s help. Though she’s not sure if she’s ready to let anyone into her life – even if it is to protect her from being the killer’s next victim. For Felicity, Galveston is all about history, and a love-hate relationship with the ocean, which keeps threatening to deliver another hurricane – right into the middle of her investigation. Can she figure it out before all the clues get washed away? FIRST IN A NEW SERIES!


“With as many unpredictable twists and turns as the hurricane approaching Galveston, Grand Openings Can Be Murder is an intriguing cozy mystery set in a new chocolate shop along the island’s historic Strand. Readers will love learning about the bean-to-bar chocolate-making process while the store’s owner, Felicity, pursues truth, justice, and the perfect chocolate bar.”

— Diane Kelly, Award-winning author of the Death & Taxes, Paw Enforcement, House Flipper, and Busted mystery series.



Grand Openings Can Be Murder by Amber Royer is a fun whodunnit written by an author who clearly did her research on Galveston, hurricanes, and (most importantly) chocolate. As a Houston native who regularly goes to the island, I really enjoyed walking the Strand and enjoying the historical buildings through Felicity’s eyes. 

It is difficult to put into words why Felicity quickly won my heart. Maybe it is because she is clearly talented, smart, and beautiful, yet is self deprecating and just a wonderfully kind human being. The little details that add up to this interesting person makes me believe that if she wasn’t based on Royer, she must be based on someone the author knows very well. There is an intimacy between the author and this character, and I found that to be the best part of this book.

I found the mystery exciting with little twists here and there, and the added danger of a looming hurricane definitely added an urgency that pushed the pace in a normally sleepy town. Although I figured out early on who the killer was, I just could not wrap my brain around the why. As Felicity works through the clues with her murder mystery book and TV show education (her admitting that was fantastic!), I enjoyed getting to know the other characters and their obvious love and respect for their small town.

I don’t know much about the people who live in Galveston, but this book gives me the impression that tourists visit and fall in love to the extent that they relocate. That Galveston natives might feel their need to spread their wings and move away at some point, but that there’s a likelihood that they will be back. Like birds who travel afar searching for better opportunities to flourish, the islanders find themselves migrating back home to the south when winter approaches. Royer gives us just the right amount of backstory about each of the characters to drive home this concept.

While there were a few typos here and there, Royer’s skill at crafting complex characters, a transportive setting, and thrilling scenes shines through brilliantly. She clearly saw each piece of this story in her mind and was able to translate it in a way that only good storytellers know how. I am excited to read the next installment of this series. I hope that each book will let us get to know more about Felicity’s friends and introduce us to places we have not yet discovered in Galveston.

Amber Royer writes the CHOCOVERSE comic telenovela-style foodie-inspired space opera series, and the BEAN TO BAR MYSTERIES. She is also the author of STORY LIKE A JOURNALIST: A WORKBOOK FOR NOVELISTS, which boils down her writing knowledge into an actionable plan involving over 100 worksheets to build a comprehensive story plan for your novel. She blogs about creative writing technique and all things chocolate at She also teaches creative writing for both UT Arlington Continuing Education and Writing Workshops Dallas. If you are very nice to her, she might make you cupcakes.
and a $25 Gift Card to Dandelion Chocolate
(US only. Ends Midnight, CST, February 19, 2021)
or visit the blogs directly:
2/9/21 Excerpt Texas Book Lover
2/9/21 BONUS Guest Post Hall Ways Blog
2/9/21 BONUS Promo LSBBT Blog
2/10/21 Top Ten That’s What She’s Reading
2/11/21 Review Missus Gonzo
2/12/21 Playlist All the Ups and Downs
2/13/21 Review StoreyBook Reviews
2/14/21 Author Interview Rebecca R. Cahill, Author
2/15/21 Review Forgotten Winds
2/16/21 Scrapbook Page KayBee’s Book Shelf
2/17/21 Review The Page Unbound
2/18/21 Review It’s Not All Gravy
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Filed under Book Reviews, Giveaway, Lone Star Book Blog Tours

4 responses to “Review & Giveaway: Grand Openings Can Be Murder by Amber Royer

  1. It’s awesome when a reader can feel the connection an author has to her characters and place — this sounds like such a fun and exciting story. Can’t wait to dive in! Thanks for a great review!

  2. Thank you for such a lovely review! So glad you enjoyed the book.

    One note: (Hopefully all) of the type-o’s were corrected just prior to release date. If you have the book in Kindle form, updating the file should correct these.

  3. mcm0704

    What a terrific review. I’ve enjoyed the book, too.

  4. Pingback: Grand Openings Can Be Murder Roundup Post – Amber Royer

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