Welcome to Cozy Wednesday!
I am delighted to share my thoughts today about
Murder A La Mode by Lena Gregory!
Murder A La Mode (Coffee & Cream Cafe Mysteries)
by Lena Gregory
About Murder A La Mode
Murder A La Mode (Coffee & Cream Cafe Mysteries)
1st in Series
Setting – New York
Gemma Halliday Publishing (August 8, 2023)
Digital – Number of Pages 230
ASIN : B0C2LH144G
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…
Twenty-five-year-old Danika Delaney didn’t follow the plan her parents wanted but now her dream career in advertising is gone along with the guy she thought she was going to marry and the apartment she was subletting. So now her family has decided she is the perfect person to take over her Uncle Jimmie’s ice cream shop. Jimmie’s is an old-fashioned malt shop on Main Street in Watchague, a small town on the south shore of eastern Long Island.
While reluctantly learning the ropes from her uncle he does tell her she can make any updates she wishes to the place but when she finds her ex-high school boyfriend’s soon-to-be ex-wife’s dead body in the basement a pool of rocky road she realizes whatever changes she planned on making aren’t going to happen. Especially with the gossip running rampant around town that she and her ex were back together and she or he killed his wife so that they could be together.
Dani sets out to clear her name truly not sure of her ex’s innocence with her sister, Meghan, and her friend since childhood, Gwen. They come up with several other suspects but can they get the scoop on the killer before the killer ices Danika?
In this first Coffee & Cream Cafe Mystery we meet Danika who has really had a string of bad luck or as she thinks Karma. I liked her right away but her sleuthing skills need a lot of work. She is very genuine, kind, and funny. She hooks back up with her best friend Gwen as if no time had passed at all. Her sister Meghan, the “favored child” manages her Aunt Florence’s very successful boutique. She has always “toed the family line”, went to a local college and earned a business degree, and is all set up to find the perfect man, have perfect kids, and even the perfect dog. We also meet the hunky Detective Jake Barlow, Danika’s high school boyfriend Luca, who cheated on her at the prom, and several other members of Danika’s family and residents of the small town. All of Ms. Gregory’s characters are vividly written and get fleshed out well throughout the story. There is a romantic triangle in the making and already I am all in for Team Jake!
Well plotted and written, the mystery ties into a mystery from the past that draws readers deeper into the story. The victim was a real witch which means there were plenty of suspects and a variety of motives. Danika listened to all the gossip and she and Gwen did their best to follow all the clues. Danika and Gwen reminded me a little of Lucy and Ethel and they usually had a lot ‘splainin’ to do! But they didn’t give up. Danika wasn’t sure until the very end who the guilty party was and I was right there with her. I really enjoyed the showdown and who bought the criminal down.
Murder A La Mode was such a fun read! I mean who doesn’t love ice cream? along with an entertaining mystery with a surprising reveal? and interesting characters? I love the way Ms. Gregory tells a story! I am very happy that we don’t have to wait long for the next book in the series. Grounds for Murder is set to be released on November 21. I already have the date saved on my calendar.
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About Lena Gregory
Lena 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.
Great Escapes Praise for Murder A La Mode (Coffee & Cream Cafe Mysteries)
by Lena Gregory
I loved every single page of this book from the characters, the setting, the mystery, and the author’s writing style. I found myself totally immersed in every facet of Murder A La Mode. The pacing was perfect and once I started the book, I just couldn’t put it down.
This is my first book from Ms. Gregory, but it won’t be the last, as I loved everything about this story and how the author set everything up. I am giving five stars to Murder a la Mode by Lena Gregory and recommending it.
~Baroness’ Book Trove
The author is very talented in her descriptive writing and these descriptions added greatly to my enjoyment. I would highly recommend this book to anyone who enjoys a well-written cozy mystery. I cannot wait until the next book is released.
~ MJB Reviewers
Murder A La Mode has everything I look for in a cozy – strong characters, a good storyline, many possible suspects, and a surprise ending. It all worked well for me, and I look forward to the next book in this series.
~Socrates’ Book Reviews
Funny, charming, and filled with great characters MURDER A LA MODE is a delightful start to a new series.
~Cozy Up With Kathy
Murder A La Mode was so good! I love series with quirky characters, and this one definitely has those. The well-written characters, multiple suspects, and laugh-out-loud moments will keep you turning the pages. Cozy mystery fans are going to love it! I can’t wait to read the next book!
~Christy’s Cozy Corners
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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.”