Monday, December 14, 2020

Review & #Giveaway ~ Grounds for Murder (A Coffee Lover's Mystery, Book 1) by Tara Lush


Grounds for Murder (A Coffee Lover's Mystery) by Tara Lush

Grounds for Murder (A Coffee Lover's Mystery) Cozy Mystery 1st in Series Publisher: Crooked Lane Books (December 8, 2020) Hardcover: 320 pages ISBN-10: 1643856189 ISBN-13: 978-1643856186 Digital ASIN: B0871KTTMC

About Grounds for Murder:

When Lana Lewis' best -- and most difficult -- employee abruptly quits and goes to work for the competition just days before the Sunshine State Barista Championship, her café's chances of winning the contest are creamed. In front of a gossipy crowd in the small Florida town of Devil's Beach, Lana's normally calm demeanor heats to a boil when she runs into the arrogant java slinger. Of course, Fabrizio "Fab" Bellucci has a slick explanation for jumping ship. But when he's found dead the next morning under a palm tree in the alley behind Lana's café, she becomes the prime suspect. 

Even the island's handsome police chief isn't quite certain of her innocence. But Lana isn't the only one in town who was angry with Fabrizio. Jilted lovers, a shrimp boat captain, and a surfer with ties to the mob are all suspects as trouble brews on the beach. 

With her stoned, hippie dad, a Shih Tzu named Stanley, and a new, curious barista sporting a punk rock aesthetic at her side, Lana's prepared to turn up the heat to catch the real killer. 

After all, she is a former award-winning reporter. As scandal hangs over her beachside café, can Lana clear her name and win the championship -- or will she come to a bitter end?

My Review:

Grounds for Murder is a great first book in the new Coffee Lover's Mystery series. Lana Lewis is back in Devil's Beach, Florida after losing her job as a reporter and divorcing her husband. She's taken over management of her family's coffeeshop. When her barista and man she thought of as a friend, Fab quits without notice and begins working for the competition, Lana gives him a piece of her mind, in public. Later, Fab is found dead and Fab's on-again-off-again girlfriend accuses Lana. Together, Lana and Fab's puppy, Stanley must piece together who Fab is and what happened before her new life in Devil's Beach crashes and burns.

I really enjoyed Grounds for Murder. The set-up of the mystery was carefully planned out, the number of suspects kept me guessing, and the sleuthing done in a way I would expect a former journalist to be able execute. Lana is a wonderful heroine, her father quirky, and the rest of characters all well-developed. I loved the setting and the way the author described everything from the inside of the coffeeshop to the beach as the characters visited. Being able to envision the story as I really along is paramount to my total enjoyment and Grounds for Murder by Tara Lush knocked it out of the park. I am so excited to see where the author takes Lana and the whole crew in the next book.

I was provided a copy of this book to read. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

My Rating:

About Tara Lush:

Tara Lush is a Rita Award finalist, an Amtrak writing fellow, and a George C. Polk Award-winning journalist. For the past decade, she's been a reporter with the Associated Press, covering crime, alligators, natural disasters, and politics. She also writes contemporary romance set in tropical locations. A fan of vintage pulp-fiction book covers, Sinatra-era jazz, and 1980s fashion, she lives with her husband and two dogs on the Gulf coast.

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  1. What a beautiful review! Thank you for featuring my book — I really appreciate it!

  2. Nice to meet you, Tara! Your book sounds like a great book to read while all snuggled up! Thanks for sharing! Thanks Sapphyria for sharing your review!