MURDER A LA MODE by Lena Gregory
SERIES: Coffee & Cream Cafe Mysteries #1
GENRE: Cozy Mystery (Clean)
PUBLISHER: Gemma Halliday Publishing
RELEASE DATE: August 8, 2023
From author Lena Gregory comes a delicious new series that will warm your heart and leave you guessing until the very end…
When twenty-five-year-old Danika Delaney, black sheep of the Delaney clan, returns home to Long Island to take over Jimmie’s, her eccentric uncle’s old fashioned malt shop on eastern Long Island, she’s not exactly thrilled. But things start to look up when her uncle tells her she can do whatever she’d like with the shop, and it seems she might realize her dream of a small trendy café. That is, until she discovers the body of her ex-boyfriend’s estranged wife in a melted puddle of rocky road in the malt shop basement. With her two sidekicks, her sister and a good childhood friend, in tow, Dani searches for–or stumbles upon—one clue after another. But as she narrows down the suspect list, she realizes if she’s not careful she may end up in a puddle of her own…
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I have loved every single book I’ve read by this author, and Murder A La Mode is no exception. Right from the beginning, I was drawn in by all the things I love about Lena Gregory’s books – the engaging writing voice, the fantastic characters, the close relationships, the doses of humor, and of course the intriguing mystery.
Dani Delaney’s life hasn’t gone the way she hoped, certainly not in the recent past but honestly not since she caught her ex-boyfriend kissing someone else way back when at their high school prom. She hasn’t had anything to do with Luca since then, but that’s not what the gossip around Watchogue says. Instead of quietly running her uncle’s ice cream shop, Dani finds herself embroiled in a scandal involving rumors of adultery (not true… at least not on her part) and her ex-boyfriend’s soon-to-be ex-wife (she, of the prom debacle) dead in the basement.
I loved everything about Murder A La Mode – the layered mystery, the swoony detective (whose chemistry with Dani practically sizzles off the page), the adorable stray-no-longer kitten, the still-there feelings simmering between Dani and Luca, and Dani’s family dynamics. But my absolute favorite part of this book – and the reason for 99.9% of my laughter while reading it – is Dani’s relationship with her best friend Gwen. These two give Lucy and Ethel a run for their money, particularly a certain scene involving an impromptu stakeout complete with nightshirts, clay facial masks, pedicure toe separators (no shoes), and lots of mud that had me laughing out loud. The author wrote this scene so well that I could picture it in my mind like I was watching it play out on TV.
Bottom Line: Murder A La Mode by Lena Gregory is lots of fun and a great way to kick off a brand new series. I am firmly invested in Dani’s life – and was from the first chapter – and can’t wait to follow this series for many more books. The romantical possibilities have me all twitterpated, and I am interested to see who she ends up with as the series progresses. I genuinely like both options but I’m pulling for one more than the other, at least for now. The mystery had several layers that kept me guessing, and I really liked how the author wove several different threads together in the process. Another fabulous read from Lena Gregory, and a yummy new series to follow!
(I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book which I received from the author. All views expressed are only my honest opinion.)
My Rating: 5 stars / loved it so much!
Lena Gregory grew up in a small town on the south shore of eastern Long Island, but she recently traded in cold, damp, gray winters for the warmth and sunshine of Central Florida, where she now lives with her husband, three kids, son-in-law, and four dogs. Her hobbies include spending time with family, reading, and walking. Her love for writing developed when her youngest son was born and didn’t sleep through the night. She works full time as a writer and a freelance editor and is a member of Sisters in Crime.
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