With a name like Fab, he has to be an Italian womanizer. But now he’s dead. He either fell or was pushed from the roof of his apartment. Were his romantic entanglements Grounds for Murder?
After being laid off her high-powered Miami journalist job and divorcing her two-timing husband, Lana has run home to touristy Devil’s Beach, an island off the gulf coast of Florida. She is making the best of it by managing her family’s coffee house, Perkatory. However, her best barista, Fab, has quit without any notice right before the island’s first annual barista competition.
Now, Fab works for the only other coffee shop on the island, Island Brownette. Or he did. Lana finds his dead body behind Perkatory, where Fab lived in an apartment over the shop. Lana’s rusty journalism skills are tingling. She must find Fab’s killer. Pronto!
Grounds for Murder is an excellent cozy mystery, the first in a new series. The characters really pull the reader in. I enjoyed the understated, kind of nerdy, relationship between Lana and Police Chief Noah. I don’t even drink coffee but it was interesting to learn so many details about its creation. And what can you say about Stanley, the enthusiastic Shih Tzu puppy?
The genuine characters, sunny beach location, engaging mystery, and sweet romance make Grounds for Murder a must-read for cozy mystery fans. 5 stars!
Thanks to Crooked Lane Books, Great Escapes Virtual Book Tours, and NetGalley for a copy in exchange for my honest review.
About Grounds for Murder
Grounds for Murder (A Coffee Lover’s Mystery)
1st in Series
Publisher: Crooked Lane Books (December 8, 2020)
Hardcover: 320 pages
Digital ASIN: B0871KTTMC
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?
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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