Friday, June 16, 2017

Scene of the Grind: A Killer Coffee Mystery

It's Friday!  Leave It To Cleaver by Victoria Hamilton will be released on June 23.  It is the sixth book in A Vintage Kitchen Mystery series.  I just love the descriptions of the vintage kitchen items in the books (I grew up with many of the items described). The books in the series are A Deadly Grind, Bowled Over, Freezer I'll Shoot, No Mallets Intended, and White Colander Crime.  If you have no read any of the books in A Vintage Kitchen Mystery series, you are missing out.

Scene of the Grind by Tonya Kappes is the first book in A Killer Coffee Mystery series.  Roxanne “Roxy” Bloom has recently moved to Honey Springs, Kentucky after her divorce.  Roxy has decided to pursue her passion and open The Bean Hive (a coffeehouse) on the newly renovated boardwalk.  The opening of the shops on the boardwalk coincides with the annual Honey Festival.  Roxy can thank Aunt Maxi for making this happen.  She has many fond summer memories of spending time with her aunt and uncle (before he passed away) and enjoyable hours at Crooked Cat Bookstore.  Alexis Roarke owns the bookstore, but is unhappy with Aunt Maxi who is raising the rent on the building.  Early one morning, Roxy decides to take coffee and a treat over to Alexis (cute scary music).  The door to the shop is unlocked, the lights are on, and the banned book section is in a disarray.  Roxy’s dog, Pepper goes through a private door, and Roxy follows to find Alexis dead on the floor.  Someone murdered Alexis and Aunt Maxi is at the top of the police’s suspect list (there was also a very public argument).  Roxy sets out to prove her aunt’s innocence and find Alexis’ killer.  Alexis’ contentious daughter, Leslie does not help matters by causing public scenes and insisting that Aunt Maxi be arrested.  Roxy has assistance in her quest from Patrick Cane.  Patrick and Roxy dated in high school until a misunderstanding separated them.  This is a second chance for their relationship if Roxy is willing to grab it.  But first she has to get Alexis’ murderer behind bars!

Scene of the Grind is a light cozy mystery.  It is nicely written and easy to read.  Scene of the Grind is just the right length for the storyline.  Thanks to Tonya Kappes descriptive writing, I could visualize the town and the boardwalk with all its new shops in my head.  In this first book in A Killer Coffee Mystery series, we are provided the background details on Roxy and what ruined her relationship with Patrick.  As the series progresses, I am sure the characters will flesh out more.  We are introduced to quite a few characters and businesses in the beginning (which is confusing), but it then levels out as the book progresses (thank heavens).  I give Scene of the Grind 3.5 out of 5 stars.  The mystery was not at the forefront of this book.  It kept getting eclipsed by Roxy’s attraction to Patrick and her flirting with Spencer Shepard (in charge of the murder investigation).  I hope in the next novel that the mystery will be more complex (i.e.—hard to solve) and prevalent.  I wanted more sleuthing and less drooling over Patrick.  I appreciated the cute animals in the story.  Animals always enhance a story.  The ending was sweet and romantic.  Mocha and Murder is the second book in this series and will be published on June 16 (today)!

I hope you have a fun Friday!  I will be reviewing The Marsh King's Daughter by Karen Dionne next time.  Take care and Happy Reading!

The Avid Reader

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