COLD BREW CORPSE by Tara Lush
SERIES: A Coffee Lover’s Mystery #2
GENRE: Cozy Mystery
PUBLISHER: Crooked Lane Books
RELEASE DATE: December 7, 2021
Espresso bar owner Lana Lewis returns in Tara Lush’s second Coffee Lover’s mystery, a stimulating read that fans of Cleo Coyle and Laura Childs will savor to the last drop.
It’s a steamy September, and business is brisk at Perkatory, the hottest coffee shop in Devil’s Beach, FL. Much of the clientele pours in from Dante’s Inferno, the hot yoga studio next door. But the bright, sunny Gulf Coast days turn decidedly dark-roast when the body of the studio’s owner turns up in a nearby swamp.
Between running Perkatory and training Stanley, her golden Shih Tzu puppy, reporter-turned-barista Lana Lewis is too busy to go sleuthing. But when the editor of the local paper asks her to write about the murder, Lana’s dreams of getting back into journalism start to percolate.
Lana discovers that the yogi has a nefarious past and her share of mug shots, so grinding her way through the suspect list is a large task. She learns that the victim was fatally beaned by an SUV before she was dumped in the swamp. But was the killer one of her students? An envious yoga teacher? Or a local photographer who seems to know too much?
But no one tells Lana Lewis what to do. Hunting the caf-fiend who killed the yogi puts Lana and Chief Noah’s relationship–and Lana’s life–in very hot coffee.
Other Books In This Series
Cold Brew Corpse was cleverly written, with engaging characters and lots of fun! I haven’t read the first book in the series, but I couldn’t resist those cute covers twice – and it was very easy to pick up from book 2 and understand the setting & the major players.
While I don’t frequent Florida, I could totally relate to the heat & humidity that Lana faces in September – the time of year when most of us begin to look for fall temps. My husband and I spent our honeymoon at Disney World; when we walked out of the airport at 10 PM and we were still hit by a wall of 90 degree heat, we realized that maybe we didn’t choose as wisely as we had hoped for our vacation destination lol. So needless to say I had no problem empathizing with those times that poor Lana was a sweaty mess during her investigations. Behold, the attraction of the cold brew!!
I chuckled out loud more than once while reading Cold Brew Corpse. Lana’s hippie father is hilarious, and he brings a lot of heart to the story. And Lana’s reaction to that yoga class she stumbles into (you’ll know it when you get there) gave me the laugh I needed this week. There are plenty of sources of humor throughout this fun cozy, so be prepared to smile a lot. Speaking of cozy… the budding romance between Lana and swoony Police Chief Noah is positively adorable, sweet and delicious. Just the right amount of flirting and heat in the romantic tension, and their kissing (ranging from forehead to cheek to full-on lip lock) is sigh-worthy.
And oh yes! The mystery 😉 There are suspects galore, and most of them are people I can’t relate to in the least haha. That didn’t detract from my enjoyment in figuring out whodunnit, however, and while I had a teeny inkling that it may have been the person(s) it was I really was leaning in a totally different direction.
Bottom Line: Cold Brew Corpse is sweet, sassy, and smart. Lana and her friends & family are delightful characters to spend time with, and the Florida setting adds a lot of dimension to the plot. The mystery is well-crafted and keeps even the most astute amateur sleuth guessing. Break out your yoga mats and your favorite beverage and enjoy this entertaining weekend read!
(I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book which I received from the publisher. All views expressed are only my honest opinion.)
My Rating: 4 stars / loved it!
KissingBook Level: 3 / may forget to breathe on occasion
Reviewer’s Note: Readers may want to be aware that, while this is definitely a clean read, there is some innuendo.
Tara Lush is a Florida-based author and journalist. She’s an RWA Rita finalist, an Amtrak writing fellow, and the winner of the George C. Polk award for environmental journalism.
She was a reporter with The Associated Press in Florida, covering crime, alligators, natural disasters, and politics. She also writes contemporary romance set in tropical locations under the name Tamara Lush.
Tara is a fan of vintage pulp fiction book covers, Sinatra-era jazz, 1980s fashion, tropical chill, kombucha, gin, tonic, seashells, iPhones, Art Deco, telenovelas, street art, coconut anything, strong coffee, and newspapers. She lives on the Gulf Coast with her husband and two dogs.
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