Coffee is Murder
Episode 9 in the McKinley Mystery Series
Author – Carolyn Arnold
Release date: May 27, 2015
Genre: Cozy mystery, private investigator
A cup a day won’t kill you, but a few might.
Their first case as private investigators have Sean, Sara, and Jimmy neck-deep in coffee beans trying to find a killer. With their client certain that her mother was poisoned through her coffee of the month club, it has them setting out to Williamsburg, Virginia. But instead of approaching matters from the traditional standpoint, Sean and Sara brew a robust plot and stir Jimmy into the blend, all to get close to their top suspect and grind out the truth.
Going undercover at Tasty Beans, the coffee company, the three of them work to expose the culprit before anyone else dies.
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THE MCKINLEY MYSTERY SERIES ventures outside of the typical crime genre, lending itself to the cozy variety with no foul language or graphic violence. The series combines romance, mystery, humor, and adventure for a lighthearted, easy read. Each episode is a standalone read, meaning it’s not necessary to have read previous instalments.
A Moment of Appreciation
FOR SARA, COFFEE WAS ONE of life’s greatest—and simplest—pleasures. Every time she took a draw of freshly brewed java, her eyelids automatically lowered in appreciation of the robust flavor. Somehow, when drinking it, life seemed less complicated, or maybe it was just how it coated the palate and calmed her nerves despite what some scientific studies might say.
She was in her home office, seated behind her desk, staring at the blinking cursor on her monitor, but it wasn’t because she had writer’s block. Her wrists needed a break. Better yet, she needed to indulge in this cup.
Leaning back in her chair, she swiveled from side to side and closed her eyes, savoring the aroma of the dark beans. While they were ground at the time she pressed the button, the only way to get it any fresher was picking the beans off the plants in Brazil. With their money, she supposed it was an option.
She let herself get caught up with the thought. It might not be a bad idea. As her daydreaming grew in scale, she laughed. She wasn’t going to board a plane to South America for a cup of coffee, even though it might be the best she’d ever had. She wasn’t that obsessed—was she?
Sean knocked, but entered without awaiting a reply. He held on to a glass of orange juice and she admired his self-restraint. For some reason, his body required only one coffee a day when he first woke up. Otherwise, he moved on to juice or water.
If Sean had his way, Sara would drink only one, but coffee was a habit she wasn’t willing to break. Maybe she was an addict, although, that word carried such a negative connotation. She wasn’t an alcoholic simply because she enjoyed an evening beverage, so her coffee indulgence shouldn’t be considered an addiction. Even her thoughts betrayed her. Indulgence.
“Good morning, darling.” Sean kissed her forehead and then her lips. “I hope I’m not interrupting.” He glanced at the screen. “I guess I’m not.”
She smirked at him, realizing only a chapter number was showing. “I’m just taking a small break. I can’t always be typing, you know. I’m not a machine.”
“The way you’ve been holed up in here lately, I’m starting to wonder.”
She pouted. “Are you feeling lonely?”
“A little bit like a writer’s widower actually.”
“Well, let me make it up to you.” She stood, cupped his face with her hands, and kissed his mouth.
When they parted, any pleasure she derived from the coffee had diluted. It was replaced by the need to hold her husband.
“Hmm. Not bad,” he said.
“You have coffee breath. I have orange juice breath. Still, the kiss, not bad.”
She narrowed her eyes and was about to say something when the phone on her desk rang.
Sean answered. “Hello…yes, Helen…all right, make the appointment for two hours from now.”
As she listened to her husband speak, she had a good idea what this was about. There was a job.
Another great installment in this novella series! This time Sean and Sara (and the rest of the team) are investigating a murder that is tied to coffee of the month (and more) company. I really like how the author is able to get in the important parts and wrap up the murder in a novella.
When I started reading this and discovered how the person was killed, let’s just say I was happy that I don’t drink coffee! I enjoy how the author takes bits and pieces from other stories and winds them into each book. She gives just enough information that if you haven’t read all of the books you aren’t totally lost in the personal side of the story. While the murder seems to point to one character, is he really the killer? Or is it someone else at the company. I will say that I didn’t expect the killer to be who it was, definitely a surprise!
If you haven’t read anything in this series, I suggest reading at least the first two to get a feel for the characters and the back story. otherwise, the books can be read as stand alone stories. We give this 4 paws up.
About the Author
CAROLYN ARNOLD is the bestselling author of the Madison Knight series, the Brandon Fisher series, and the McKinley Mysteries. Her love for writing dates back to her teen years, but her passion was reignited in 2006 when a fellow employee said “tell me a story.” Since then Carolyn has never looked back.
Her writing has since been compared to New York Times Bestsellers such as JD Robb, Mary Higgins Clark, Sue Grafton, Michael Connelly, Tess Gerritsen, and more.
Carolyn was born in 1976 in a rural town of Ontario, Canada, and she currently lives with her husband and two beagles in a city near Toronto.