Cold Brew Corpse: A Coffee Lover’s Mystery
by Tara Lush
About Cold Brew Corpse
Cold Brew Corpse: A Coffee Lover’s Mystery
2nd in Series
Setting – Florida
Crooked Lane Books (December 7, 2021)
Hardcover : 320 pages
ISBN-10 : 1643857886
ISBN-13 : 978-1643857886
Kindle ASIN : B08Y8DJVGJ
Other Digital ISBN-13: 9781643857893
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.
While Lana Lewis serves up her Cold Brew her neighbor at Dante’s Inferno takes her clients through the movements of Hot Yoga. That is until the yogi goes missing and is later found dead floating in a nearby swamp.
Lana is swamped herself with managing Perkatory and training her new puppy Stanley but when the editor of the local paper asks her to get the scoop on the woman’s murder and write about it for the paper Lana can’t say no. This story could be the big break she needs to get her journalism career back on track.
With her connection to the police chief, she is right on the scene when the body is removed from its watery grave. Then with a little bit of old-fashioned legwork and her trusty investigation skills, she learns Raina Rose had quite a checkered past. This opens up the suspect pool she will have to brew through as she tries to steam out the killer while not becoming a victim herself or ruining her relationship with Chief Noah.
I was very happy to visit these characters again. Lana has grown more comfortable in her barista skills but does have an issue with her new Cold Brew that she can’t seem to remedy. She doesn’t lose her cool though, and she doesn’t give up, even when another murder investigation takes over a majority of her time. Thankfully she has Erika and her dad to take up the slack at Perkatory. She and Erika are much more comfortable with each other and make a great team. Her dad is great too, stepping in when needed. I really love the calm he can bring to a situation. I wish he played a larger role in this story. He is a definite fave for me.
I was thrilled to see the relationship between Noah and Lana growing but there are a couple of obstacles in their way. Lana does make a mistake that could blow them miles apart and I enjoyed the way this played out quickly without being drawn out for pages and pages or even into the next book. All the characters have noticeable growth and continue to pull me into their lives very easily.
The mystery was a real conundrum. Following each clue along with Lana was very captivating. The suspects were pretty clear until WHAM! Twist! Turn! I was totally flabbergasted! Oh, Miss Lush, you got me good! Lana too!
There was a subplot that I felt was important that was left open from Lana’s past. I hope that it will develop and Lana is allowed to get to the bottom of it in a future story.
I just have to share that little Stanley is so adorable even when his training has a hiccup or two or three. Also, there is a hilarious moment between Lana and Noah. I almost snorted soda all over my Kindle.
Cold Brew Corpse was a Perfect Escape. It tested me, surprised me, and tickled my funny bone. I am looking forward to my next visit to Devil’s Beach and catching up for a coffee or two with everyone at Perkatory.
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About Tara Lush
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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Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. Receiving a complimentary copy in no way reflected my review of this book. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”