Posted in 2022 Reviews Cozy Wednesday Craving For Cozies Cruisin Thru Cozies Giveaways New Release Challenge You Read How Many Books Challenge

Cozy Wednesday featuring Double Shot Death (A Ground Rules Mystery) by Emmeline Duncan #Review / #Giveaway @DuncanEmmeline

Welcome to Cozy Wednesday! 

I am happy to share my thoughts about Double Shot Death today!


Double Shot Death (A Ground Rules Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
2nd in Series
Setting – Oregon
Kensington Cozies (April 26, 2022)
Paperback ‏ : ‎ 240 pages
ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 149673341X
ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1496733412
Kindle ASIN ‏ : ‎ B09BKB73V7

Sage Caplin is taking her Portland coffee cart on the road to a sustainable music festival, but murder is an unwanted special guest . . .

At Campathon, an annual eco-friendly festival held on a farm outside of Portland, fans celebrate the Pacific Northwest’s music scene in quintessential PDX style—with gourmet food carts, reusable utensils . . . and lots of coffee. How else to get through three days of nonstop entertainment? Sage has scored a coveted place for her Ground Rules coffee cart thanks to her new-ish boyfriend, Bax, who’s friendly with Maya, one of the musicians performing.

The festivities begin with a stream of customers, friends, and acquaintances stopping by for Ground Rules’ world-class blends, expertly brewed by Sage and her newest barista. But there are tensions between Maya and her former bandmates, who are on the cusp of making it big, and with Ian, the band’s manager. When Sage stumbles upon Ian’s dead body in the nearby woods—his hand still clutching one of her coffee mugs—it’s clear that someone’s grudge boiled over into murder. Can Sage work out who’s responsible before another innocent life fades out, and the curtain falls on Campathon, and maybe her own future, for good?

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Sage Caplin is thrilled to receive a prime spot for her Ground Rules coffee cart at Campathon, an annual eco-friendly music festival just outside of Portland. It is her chance to show they made the right decision buying the second cart as they wait for their brick-and-mortar shop to open. She is also looking forward to spending her downtime with her boyfriend Bax listening to the bands, who just happens to know one of the musicians performing.

While Sage is selling a lot of coffee in all varieties there is an undercurrent of tension between some of the performers. Bax’s friend Maya has started a new group of her own after splitting with another one. Band manager Ian does his best to keep civil control between all of his clients but he must have pushed someone too far. Sage finds his dead body at the edge of the nearby woods. Things get personal because he is holding one of her coffee mugs and the detective on the case decides that and her discovery of the body puts Sage at the top of the suspect list. One other vendor tries to use that information to their advantage by spreading that news to anyone that will listen.

Will Sage be able to clear her name and a profit before everybody packs up and goes home? Or will the killer strike again? even taking aim at Sage? She’s going to need a double shot or two as she chases the clues and pours the coffee. Hopefully, the next death won’t be her own.


I really enjoyed the music festival setting for this second Ground Rules Mystery. It draws in a wide variety of people like one woman who was going to get everything out of her VIP pass by drinking as much coffee as possible. Coming back every hour to try something different. We also meet a pushy blogger/podcaster that is willing to do almost anything to get a scoop. Then of course there are the singers, musicians, camp staff, and other vendors. Most end up visiting Sage’s coffee cart, many more than once.

And our protagonist Sage Caplin knows how to keep her eyes and ears open. While she does need to leave the cart to follow some of the clues she quickly realizes that she can learn a lot by doing what she does best, serving her customers. I really enjoyed her multitasking and keen observations. I also loved that Bax was there to support her. Their relationship is comfortable for the most part. Our amateur sleuth read some signals completely wrong and I was happy to see that the whole thing was straightened out quickly and wasn’t drawn out over several chapters. I also liked that her brother was at the festival trying to keep her safe while throwing in his own two cents whenever he could.

The mystery ended up having several suspects due to the sheer amount of people at the festival and another death adds even more twists. Detective Adams seemed hyperfocused on Sage but Sage just worked harder to give her other options. I will say I had a revolving group of my own suspects until all was revealed. I was in awe of the way Sage pulled everything together and loved the way the reveal played out. I was riveted like I was right there witnessing in person.

Double Shot Death was a captivating read. Sage is a very engaging protagonist and I appreciated the way she interacted with everyone. The dialogues were very well-written. I was sorry that Harley, Sage’s business partner, was working the other cart and only mentioned a few times in the story. Sage’s dad and Uncle Jimmy were also only involved through phone calls and text messages. I wish all three were more featured but it truly didn’t take away how much I was entertained by this story. I just hope they are all back in book three.

Pour yourself a nice cup of coffee and sit back and enjoy this latest story from Emmeline Duncan. I am excited to see where she takes her characters next!



Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

About the Author

Emmeline Duncan is a mystery writer based out of Portland, Oregon. Her novels include the Ground Rules series, starting with 2021’s Fresh Brewed Murder.

Emmeline also writes YA novels as Kelly Garrett. Her debut YA, The Last To Die, was an Oregon Book Awards finalist and was re-issued by Sourcebooks Fire in November 2019. Kelly is also a 2020 Oregon Literary Fellow.

Emmeline/Kelly is a board member of the Northwest Chapter of the Mystery Writers of America and co-organizes Friends of Mystery’s Bloody Thursday lecture series. She’s also a member of Sisters-In-Crime, Willamette Writers, and SCBWI.

WebsiteFacebookTwitterInstagram – 

Thanks to the publisher I have 1 copy to give away!

The contest is open to anyone over 18 years old
with a US or Canadian mailing address.

Duplicate entries will be deleted. Void where prohibited.

You do not have to be a follower to enter but I hope you will find
something you like here and become a follower.

Followers Will Receive 2 Bonus Entries For Each Way They Follow.
Plus 2 Bonus Entries For Following My Facebook Fan Page.

Add this book to your WANT TO READ shelf on GoodReads
for 3 Bonus Entries.

Follow Kensington Books on Twitter for 2 Bonus Entries!

LIKE Kensington Publishing on Facebook for 2 Bonus Entries!

Pin this giveaway to Pinterest for 3 Bonus Entries.

If you share the giveaway on Twitter or Facebook or anywhere you will receive 5 Bonus Entries For Each Link.

Contest Will End May 11, 2022, at 11:59 PM CST
Winner Will Be Chosen By Random.org
The Winner Will Be Notified By Email
and Will Be Posted Here In The Sidebar.

Click Here For the Entry Form

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.”

Posted in 2021 Reviews Alphabet Soup A -Z Author Edition Challenge Cozy Wednesday Craving For Cozies Cruisin Thru Cozies E-Book Challenge Giveaways New Release Challenge You Read How Many Books Challenge

Cozy Wednesday featuring Fresh Brewed Murder (A Ground Rules Mystery) by Emmeline Duncan #Review / #Giveaway @DuncanEmmeline

Welcome to Cozy Wednesday! 

I am happy to share with you my thoughts about
Fresh Brewed Murder today! 


Fresh Brewed Murder (A Ground Rules Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
1st in Series
Setting – Oregon
Publisher: Kensington (March 30, 2021)
Paperback: 240 pages
ISBN-10: 1496733398
ISBN-13: 978-1496733399
Kindle ASIN: B08CBP43VZ

Master barista Sage Caplin is opening a new coffee cart in Portland, Oregon, but a killer is brewing up a world of trouble. . . .

Portland is famous for its rain, hipsters, craft beers . . . and coffee. Sage Caplin has high hopes for her coffee cart, Ground Rules, which she runs with her business partner, Harley—a genius at roasting beans and devising new blends. That’s essential in a city where locals have intensely strong opinions about cappuccino versus macchiato—especially in the case of one of Sage’s very first customers. . . .

Sage finds the man’s body in front of her cart, a fatal slash across his neck. There’s been plenty of anger in the air, from longtime vendors annoyed at Ground Rules taking a coveted spot in the food truck lot, to protesters demonstrating against a new high-rise. But who was mad enough to commit murder? Sage is already fending off trouble in the form of her estranged, con-artist mother, who’s trying to trickle back into her life. But when Sage’s very own box cutter is discovered to be the murder weapon, she needs to focus on finding the killer fast—before her business, and her life, come to a bitter end. . . .

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Sage Caplin and her partner Harley have opened a coffee food truck in a local lot. Sage is a people person and Harley is a master coffee bean roaster. Together they are hoping their business takes off and that they will soon move from their food cart to a brick-and-mortar store. The food truck lot is not without drama. There are protestors walking in opposition to a new high rise and some of the other food truck vendors wonder how Sage and Harley got such a coveted spot especially when other vendors lost their spots due to the proposed construction of the high rise.

After just a couple of days serving coffee savvy customers, Sage finds one of those customers dead right in front of her cart and the murder weapon appears to be the box cutter she borrowed from one of the other vendors. The detective assigned to the case believes Sage is guilty especially when he finds out who her mother is. Strange this is happening right after her mother reaches out to her after years of absence. Sage doesn’t have time to worry about her mother, she needs to find the real killer now and get the detective off her back before she ends up behind bars.


In this first Ground Rules Mystery, we meet barista Sage Caplin. She has had a very interesting life which gives her a unique perspective regarding some of the people she meets over the course of this story. I was intrigued by the way she handled the homeless population camping out nearby. She was very empathic and willing to help even volunteering to hand out hygiene and food packages to them.  As this is the first book in the series I feel we have just scratched the surface of this character. We are also introduced to her partner Harley, her great uncle Jimmy, her police detective dad, her lawyer brother Jackson and her cousin Miles. Her mother makes an appearance via a phone call. All the characters are cleverly written with plenty of room left for growth.

The author sets the scene of Portland and everywhere Sage visits very well. I could easily see each location come to life. We are also given quite an education about coffee beans and their brewing. I am not much of a coffee drinker but thought I knew every way it could be brewed but I was wrong. I learned some new things from Sage. I loved the way they came up with original custom drinks, some with alcohol for one of their new customers.

This time the protagonist isn’t actively searching full boar for the killer. She keeps her eyes and ears open and has some keen observations. There are several suspects and surprising ties between the deceased and another character. I am pleased to say the guilty party was on my list of top three suspects early on in the story but I was still surprised at the big reveal as to the true motive. Ms. Duncan served up some nice twists to divert the reader’s attention but I held strong to my own theories.  I was concerned about the relaxed pacing of the book and while the ending was exciting I would have liked a faster pace. I was engaged by the characters and that did keep the pages turning.

The author has set off this series to a fine start with Fresh Brewed Murder. I am looking forward to the next installment to see these characters evolve and to get to know them better. Coffee connoisseurs will love the drink descriptions and may want to brew a cup or two to enjoy while reading the book.

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

About the Author

Emmeline Duncan is a mystery writer based out of Portland, Oregon. Her novels include the Ground Rules series, starting with 2021’s Fresh Brewed Murder.

Emmeline also writes YA novels as Kelly Garrett. Her debut YA, The Last To Die, was an Oregon Book Awards finalist and was re-issued by Sourcebooks Fire in November 2019. Kelly is also a 2020 Oregon Literary Fellow.

Emmeline/Kelly is a board member of the Northwest Chapter of the Mystery Writers of America and co-organizes Friends of Mystery’s Bloody Thursday lecture series. She’s also a member of Sisters-In-Crime, Willamette Writers, and SCBWI.

WebsiteFacebookTwitterInstagram – 


Thanks to the publisher I have 1 copy to give away!

I am giving away my review copy!
The contest is open to anyone over 18 years old
with a US or Canadian mailing address.

Duplicate entries will be deleted. Void where prohibited.

You do not have to be a follower to enter but I hope you will find
something you like here and become a follower.

Followers Will Receive 2 Bonus Entries For Each Way They Follow.
Plus 2 Bonus Entries For Following My Facebook Fan Page.

Add this book to your WANT TO READ shelf on GoodReads
for 3 Bonus Entries.

Follow Kensington Books on Twitter for 2 Bonus Entries!

LIKE Kensington Publishing on Facebook for 2 Bonus Entries!

Pin this giveaway to Pinterest for 3 Bonus Entries.

If you share the giveaway on Twitter or Facebook or anywhere you will receive 5 Bonus Entries For Each Link.

Contest Will End April 28, 2021, at 11:59 PM CST
Winner Will Be Chosen By Random.org
The Winner Will Be Notified By Email
and Will Be Posted Here In The Sidebar.

Click Here For Entry Form

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.”