Welcome to Cozy Wednesday!
It is my pleasure to share my thoughts about
Grounds for Murder by Lena Gregory today!
Grounds for Murder (Coffee & Cream Cafe Mysteries)
by Lena Gregory
About Grounds for Murder
Grounds for Murder (Coffee & Cream Cafe Mysteries)
2nd in Series
Setting – Watchogue, Long Island, New York
Gemma Halliday Publishing (November 21, 2023)
Number of Pages 226
Digital ASIN : B0CCLT922F
From author Lena Gregory comes a tasty new mystery with a killer twist…
Danika Delaney is thrilled to have taken over her uncle Jimmie’s old-fashioned malt shop on eastern Long Island and is working hard to make it her own. In an effort to increase business, Danika invites a mystery writer to the Coffee & Cream Café for a discussion and book signing. Things seem to be going well, until a guest shows up and confronts the author, accusing him of plagiarizing his work. Embarrassed by the incident, Danika goes to the inn where the writer is staying the following morning, hoping to apologize and offer him another chance to return. What she finds instead is his dead body—beside a cup of poisoned coffee! Now it’s up to Danika to find out who wanted to silence the author… before the killer decides to write Danika a not-so-happy ending!
Danika Delaney’s Coffee & Cream Café, formerly her Uncle Jimmie’s old-fashioned malt shop is hosting author Fletcher Stone for a signing of his new book and a book discussion. She hopes the event will bring more people into the cafe and that they will return often. There were a few harried moments getting everything set up to the author and his assistant’s specifications but there was a line out the door when the cafe opened. Later there was a commotion when a man in a rumpled suit announced he was the real author of the book. The man was escorted out by the author’s assistant. After that, the evening went okay but Danika knew the author was upset when he walked out without even saying goodbye.
The next morning Danika goes to the B&B where the author is staying to apologize in hopes that he won’t be trashing the cafe on his blog. Instead, she finds the man dead with a poisoned cup of coffee nearby. Since Danika invited the man to town she feels she needs to find out who killed him and why. She also wants everyone to know that she nor the Coffee & Cream Café had anything to do with his death.
But the killer may have other plans . . .
All the wonderful characters from the first book return. Danika, Gwen, Meghan, Uncle Jimmy, Luca, Harry, and Jake, aka “Detective Delicious”, all continue to develop nicely and are such a great group of friends. In Grounds for Murder, they are joined by Elijah Sinclair. He convinces Danika to hire him at the cafe and he fits right in. He also helps Danika and Gwen in their amateur sleuthing with his special talents. We also meet author Fletcher Stone and his entourage and enemies. I really enjoy how Ms. Gregory crafts her characters. They have unique personalities that helps us readers as we do a little armchair sleuthing of our own.
The murder mystery was full of drama and what turned out to be a very complicated scheme. There was a small pool of suspects and some interesting clues. One that Danika thought was key. She also found herself in dire straights more than once. Thank goodness she lives so close to the fire department. Both Danika and I must have missed a vital clue because I was surprised at the big reveal. I may have been on half of the right track but I wasn’t convinced until actions were being taken in front of my eyes. Yes, Ms. Gregory’s detailed descriptions pull her readers right into the scenes.
I wish Danika’s Coffee & Cream Café really existed because I would probably spend a lot of time there. I am not a big coffee drinker but I could probably eat one of Gwen’s sundaes pretty often while getting caught up in all the interesting things that happen there, even if it’s murder.
Grounds for Murder is such a fun well-plotted story. Murder and mayhem balanced perfectly with humor, a little romance, and the ice cream make this book a must-read for cozy mystery lovers and A Perfect Escape for me. “What more could a girl ask for?”
I can’t wait to read the next book in this series. Double Scoop of Murder will be released on February 27, 2024.
Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent
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.
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December 4 – Literary Gold – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
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.”