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Death Before Decaf is a delicious concoction

Death Before Decaf: A Java Jive Mystery

By Caroline Fardig


Mystery & Thrillers

Pub Date: November 17


Perfect for fans of Janet Evanovich and Diane Mott Davidson, Caroline Fardig's captivating new mystery novel takes readers behind the counter of a seemingly run-of-the-mill coffeehouse . . . where murder is brewing.

After her music career crashes and burns spectacularly, Juliet Langley is forced to turn to the only other business she knows: food service. Unfortunately, bad luck strikes yet again when her two-timing fiancé robs her blind and runs off with her best waitress. Flushing what's left of her beloved café down the toilet with her failed engagement, Juliet packs up and moves back to her college stomping grounds in Nashville to manage an old friend's coffeehouse. At first glance, it seems as though nothing's changed at Java Jive. What could possibly go wrong? Only that the place is hemorrhaging money, the staff is in open revolt, and Juliet finds one unlucky employee dead in the dumpster out back before her first day is even over.

The corpse just so happens to belong to the cook who'd locked horns with Juliet over the finer points of the health code. Unimpressed with her management style, the other disgruntled employees are only too eager to spill the beans about her fiery temper to the detective on the case. Add to the mix a hunky stranger who's asking way too many questions, and suddenly Juliet finds herself in some very hot water. If she can't simmer down and sleuth her way to the real killer, she's going to get burned.


Cozy mysteries are always fun to read, and Death Before Decaf is a terrific addition to the genre. Light and sweet, it's as satisfying as an afternoon latte but without all the calories. It even has a touch of romance. While Death Before Decaf isn't groundbreaking, it is a fun read that will fans of the genre will enjoy.

Juliet Langley has known her share of disappointment. Her music career ended spectacularly after a severe case of stage fright. Her cafe closed after her ex robbed her blind and ran off with her best waitress. Now, she is starting over as manager to her best friend's coffeehouse - and from the looks of things it won't be easy. Java Jive is losing money, the employees don't want to make changes, and the kitchen is a health risk. On her first day she has a loud confrontation with the head cook over health code violations. Worst of all, she discovers his body in a dumpster after closing. With the staff eager to point fingers at their tempestuous new manager and the lead detective eyeing her as his chief suspect, Juliet knows that she is going to have to prove her innocence. Throw in a hot professor who asks a suspicious number of questions and Pete, her longtime BFF and reluctant partner in her investigation efforts, you have a winning recipe.


I received Death Before Decaf from the publisher and in exchange for an honest review.


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