Thursday 1 April 2021

Fresh Brewed Murder (A Ground Rules Mystery #1) by Emmeline Duncan, Kelly Garrett

Portland is famous for its rain, hipsters, craft beers . . . and coffee. Sage Caplin has high hopes for her coffee cart, Ground Rules, which she runs with her business partner, Harley—a genius at roasting beans and devising new blends. That’s essential in a city where locals have intensely strong opinions about cappuccino versus macchiato—especially in the case of one of Sage’s very first customers. . . .

Sage finds the man’s body in front of her cart, a fatal slash across his neck. There’s been plenty of anger in the air, from longtime vendors annoyed at Ground Rules taking a coveted spot in the food truck lot, to protesters demonstrating against a new high-rise. But who was mad enough to commit murder? Sage is already fending off trouble in the form of her estranged, con-artist mother, who’s trying to trickle back into her life. But when Sage’s very own box cutter is discovered to be the murder weapon, she needs to focus on finding the killer fast—before her business, and her life, come to a bitter end. . . .  (Summary via Goodreads)

Before you start reading Fresh Brewed Murder by Emmeline Duncan, jump to the recipes in the back and make yourself a are going to want to have a nice tasty coffee while you read this book !!  Fresh Brewed Murder is the first book in this caffeine packed series and Duncan knows how to put the words to paper to keep the reader plugging along.....

In Fresh Brewed Murder main character Sage Caplin and her business partner and friend, Harley, are opening up Ground Rules, a food truck specializing in tasty coffee related drinks that Harley roasts the beans herself.  They are opening up their food cart in the Rail Yard, a lot owned by Sage's great-uncle Jimmy.  There are a handful of other food carts there and the people seem to welcome Sage and Harley into their little group.  Unfortunately a few days after they moved into the Rail Yard Sage shows up to work and finds a dead body in front of her cart.....and it is a guy that has been getting coffee from her.  It turns out that the man killed is the developer of the construction sight across the street from the Rail Yard and he had a bad experience with Sage's mother who Sage hasn't seen in over 10 years.   Sage also learns that Gabby, a homeless teenager that has been coming around the Rail Yard was the daughter of the deceased.

Sage has her hands full trying to make Ground Rules a success and now she has to prove to the detectives that she had nothing to do with the murder even if something from her food truck was the murder weapon.  She also wants to find the real killer to help Gabby have some closure.

Readers cannot help but love Fresh Brewed Murder !!  As soon as I started reading it I had no problem picturing everything in my head.  I could see the Rail Yard, Sage's house, Uncle Jimmy's bar, The Tav, and everything else as clear as a cloudless sunny day.  And the friendships and relationships will keep the reader turning the page....especially the love triangle Sage gets herself into.  And Duncan has set the stage quite nicely for future books in the series....there are so many directions Duncan can take the story and I, for one, cannot wait to see where the road leads Sage and her group......

Review by Missi M.

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