Grounds for Murder
by Tara Lush
Expected publication: December 8th 2020 by Crooked Lane Books
Barista Lana Lewis's sleuthing may land her in a latte trouble as Tara Lush launches her new Coffee Shop mysteries.
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?
This is the first book in the A Coffee Lovers’ mystery series by Tara Lush.
Lana used to be a reporter until she got laid off and is now helping to run her parents coffee bar. All seems to be going well. Lana is learning how to make foam images on the surface of the coffee in order to compete with her barista Fab in the Sunshine State Barista Championship. Then Fab quits without notice and then ends up dead, but not before Lana gave him a good tongue lashing for abandoning her and the coffee shop leaving her in the lurch.
I really enjoyed this story. The mystery was captivating and it kept my attention. Loved all the characters to, even the victim was a standout. I hope that Lana goes back to her reporting roots and lands a job at the local town newspaper just to keep her doing the thing that she so loves.
This is one of those mysteries where everyone is a suspect. And it makes it even harder to figure out since this is the first book in a series and you don’t know who the recurring characters are that you can leave out of the suspect line up.
Definitely a winner and a series I am putting on my must read list for sure!
If you like cozy mysteries, definitely check this one out. You won’t be disappointed.
I received this as an ARC (Advanced Reader Copy) in return for an honest review. I thank NetGalley, the publisher and the author for allowing me to read this title.