Posted in 5 paws, Cozy, Giveaway, Review on November 17, 2015

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death before decaf
Death Before Decaf: A Java Jive Mystery
Publisher: Alibi (November 17, 2015)
Random House LLC


Perfect for fans of Janet Evanovich and Diane Mott Davidson, Caroline Fardig’s captivating new mystery novel takes readers behind the counter of a seemingly run-of-the-mill coffeehouse . . . where murder is brewing.

After her music career crashes and burns spectacularly, Juliet Langley is forced to turn to the only other business she knows: food service. Unfortunately, bad luck strikes yet again when her two-timing fiancé robs her blind and runs off with her best waitress. Flushing what’s left of her beloved café down the toilet with her failed engagement, Juliet packs up and moves back to her college stomping grounds in Nashville to manage an old friend’s coffeehouse. At first glance, it seems as though nothing’s changed at Java Jive. What could possibly go wrong? Only that the place is hemorrhaging money, the staff is in open revolt, and Juliet finds one unlucky employee dead in the dumpster out back before her first day is even over.

The corpse just so happens to belong to the cook who’d locked horns with Juliet over the finer points of the health code. Unimpressed with her management style, the other disgruntled employees are only too eager to spill the beans about her fiery temper to the detective on the case. Add to the mix a hunky stranger who’s asking way too many questions, and suddenly Juliet finds herself in some very hot water. If she can’t simmer down and sleuth her way to the real killer, she’s going to get burned.


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A great new cozy series (at least I hope it will be a series!) set in a coffeehouse and reminds a little bit of Cleo Coyle’s coffeehouse series.

This book had me hopping from murder to love interest and back to criminal activities. Juliet is spunky (could be the red hair) and does not let a little danger get in her way, although maybe she should be a bit more cautious! Then there is Pete, long time best friend and now owns the coffeehouse where Juliet is now managing. I think there are unresolved feelings between the two but I get the impression that timing has never been right. Then there is Seth, who hangs around the coffeehouse and takes an interest in Juliet. It doesn’t hurt that he has a mean right hook.

I thought the book was well written and I never would have guessed who the killer was and there weren’t really too many clues to point you in this direction. It was definitely a surprise, but since I didn’t like this character it wasn’t too much of a heartbreak for me.

I look forward to reading more and seeing if something happens between Juliet and Pete.

We give this 5 paws


About the Author

Caroline FardigCaroline Fardig is the author of Death Before Decaf and the Lizzie Hart series. She worked as a schoolteacher, church organist, insurance agent, funeral parlor associate, and stay-at-home mom before she realized that she wanted to be a writer when she grew up. Born and raised in a small town in Indiana, Fardig still lives in that same town with an understanding husband, two sweet kids, two energetic dogs, and one malevolent cat.

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