Friday 18 December 2020

Grounds for Murder (A Coffee Lover´s Mystery #1) by Tara Lush


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?  (Summary via Goodreads)

After losing her job and finding out her husband is cheating on her with someone a lot younger, Lana Lewis moves back home to Devil's Beach in Florida and takes over running the family coffeehouse in Grounds for Murder by Tara Lush.  While Lana is getting use to leading a slower lifestyle, she finds her employee and friend Fab dead in the alley behind the store.  Her old journalistic lifestyle kicks in and she finds herself looking into Fab's death.  Even though the police may be leaning towards suicide or an accidental death, Lana is not totally convinced.

Due to Fab's being a playboy and sleeping with practically every single woman in Devil's Beach and even some that aren't single, Lana has a long list of likely suspects.... starting with Fab's current girlfriend, Paige.  Paige and Lana went to high school together but were never friends and with Paige and her father owning the only other coffeehouse in town, there is a lot of tension between them.  Unfortunately there is a very long list of likely candidates that would have wanted Fab out of the picture.

Lana is determined to find out the story behind Fab's death especially seeing as they had a very heated and public argument earlier in the day.....and she is determined to prove to Police Chief Noah Garcia that she is innocent.

Lush will captures readers attention immediately and you will feel like you were swept away and are in Devil's Beach enjoying the weather and the company.  Readers will be just as interested in solving the case as Lana is.  And you will be powerless to stop rooting for Lana and Noah to hook up.  Readers will love the relationships among Lana and her father as well as with Erica.  You will feel like you are also drinking a nice latte or espresso and sitting and enjoying the sun.....the setting is written so well and quite believable !!

I thoroughly enjoyed escaping to Devil's Beach....even if it were only in my mind and I look forward to the next time I can open the next book in the Coffee Lover's Mystery series.

Review by Missi M.

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