by Wendy Roberts
Series: Latte, Espresso, Cappuccino & Murder Mystery #1
Genres: Cozy Mystery
Barista Jen Hanby's coworkers give her a hard time for bringing coffee and pastries to a homeless man who sits outside her café—but she has a secret. The scruffy man is her father.
She's also hiding the little matter of why her palm itches. But how can she explain that her hand has a mind of its own and writes messages from the beyond? Right. That'll get her Employee of the Month.
When she finds herself scrawling your boyfriend is cheating on you! to herself on the bathroom mirror, she immediately dumps the guy. But then his little fling—who just happens to be her half sister—turns up dead, and suddenly Jen's homeless father is the prime suspect.
Jen knows he is being framed and must take matters into her own hands to protect him. But will anyone believe that the crazy old man is innocent? Or that his spirit-writing daughter holds the truth?
GROUNDS TO KILL by Wendy Roberts has been on my TBR pile forever. How could I resist a cozy mystery with a coffee theme? This novel is the first book in the Latte, Espresso, Cappuccino & Murder Mystery series featuring Barista Jen Hanby. Entertaining with a light swish of paranormal Roberts delivered a solid murder mystery with banter, suspense, and coffee!!!
Jen Hanby is a thirty-something Barista worker in a Seattle coffeehouse who has a few secrets. First, there is a reason she gives coffee and muffins to the homeless man hanging around the Barista and second when her palm itches it means there is a message from the beyond.
The tale opens with Jen’s palm itching and a message from beyond that her boyfriend is sleeping with her nemesis and half-sister Misty. Things get complicated when not only Jen and her father end up suspects in a murder investigation.
I liked Jen, who at times was a little flighty, but she made me giggle. I appreciated how she tried to protect those she loves and unravel the murder mystery. Good friends surround her, and her co-worker was someone I enjoyed. He was witty, and the teasing between them felt genuine and added humor. Jen’s pooch is adorable and has some good instincts regarding folks. Too bad it takes Jen so much time to figure things out.
Quick paced, with fun characters from the nosy older neighbor to the many suspects I slipped in rather easily and enjoyed this little cozy. There is a romance, but it is light and sweet. It looks like one that will develop as the series does. Of course, all the references to coffee had me drooling!
GROUNDS TO KILL was a fun beginning to this series. I enjoyed how the mystery wrapped up and while I figured out who fairly early the reveal shared the why. I thought Roberts did a great job with the red herrings and leads.
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