|Cafe & bookshop based murder!|
August 2015, Lyrical Underground (Kensington Books), 198 pages, Ebook, Review copy from NetGalley
Content: murder, some danger filled scenes, lots of humour,
Summary from Kensington Books
Jill Gardner—owner of Coffee, Books, and More—has somehow been talked into sponsoring a 5k race along the beautiful California coast. The race is a fundraiser for the local preservation society—but not everyone is feeling so charitable…
The day of the race, everyone hits the ground running…until a local business owner stumbles over a very stationary body. The deceased is the vicious wife of the husband-and-wife team hired to promote the event—and the husband turns to Jill for help in clearing his name. But did he do it? Jill will have to be very careful, because this killer is ready to put her out of the running…forever!
I've yet to find a cozy mystery lead which I don't like. I was attracted by Jill being a coffee and bookshop owner – tea and books = amazing! I loved discovering the details behind her daily life in her business, with highs and lows (including the murder but also local drama which is hard to escape in a tight knit community). It's not just Jill who is likeable, her family and friends are amusing and made me laugh a lot, even among the grimmer moments (discovering a body is never pleasant).
I love the closeness of the community - ok, and the distance that some members try to keep from others. The scenarios that certain characters endure are realistic and ones many readers will be able to relate to. I didn't know there was so much involved with setting up a run, so I learnt something new. I liked that mistakes were made by both individuals and the community as a whole, some which were easier to bounce back from than others, which added to the realism of the tale.
As for who the murderer was...it took a while before I could narrow it down, but once I knew who it was the tension mounted every time that Jill went near them. While there is a lot of humour I do advise reading this in daylight if you're like me and are easily spooked, as the murder made my spine tingle despite having family around me.
As the tension mounted while the mystery thickened, I early turned the pages to find out what happened next. While I'm sure there are some issues and story arcs which have started in earlier books, I didn't feel like I was missing out on anything by this being the first Tourist Trap Mystery that I've ever read. I'm certainly eager to read other books in the series as I fully expect them to be as drama and humour filled as this one, plus I'll get a bit of background on Jill's life.
Find out more on Lynn's website.
For another great cosy mystery involving baking and murder check out Easy Bake Coven by J. D. Shaw (Cosy Mystery, 10E/10E)