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Cold Brew Corpse: A Coffee Lover’s Mystery by Tara Lush #Review / #Giveaway – Great Escapes Book Tour @crookedlanebks #AlphabetSoupChallenge

Cold Brew Corpse: A Coffee Lover’s Mystery
by Tara Lush

About Cold Brew Corpse

Cold Brew Corpse: A Coffee Lover’s Mystery
Cozy 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.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

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.

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

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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January 4 – Cinnamon, Sugar, and a Little Bit of Murder – REVIEW, RECIPE
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January 6 – The Mystery Section – RECIPE
January 6 – Baroness’ Book Trove – REVIEW
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January 8 – Literary Gold – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
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January 9 – Ascroft, eh? – CHARACTER INTERVIEW
January 10 – Celticlady’s Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
January 10 – Socrates Book Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
January 11 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – REVIEW
January 11 – Sapphyria’s Book Reviews – REVIEW
January 12 – My Reading Journeys – REVIEW  
January 12 – Books a Plenty Book Reviews – REVIEW
January 13 – Mysteries with Character – REVIEW
January 14 – Novels Alive – GUEST POST
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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.”

Posted in 2020 Reviews Cozy Wednesday Craving For Cozies Cruisin Thru Cozies E-Book Challenge Giveaways New Release Challenge You Read How Many Books Challenge

Cozy Wednesday – Grounds for Murder (A Coffee Lover’s Mystery) by Tara Lush #Review / #Giveaway – Great Escapes Book Tour @crookedlanebks

Welcome to Cozy Wednesday! 

I am delighted to be part of this tour! 

About Grounds for Murder 

Grounds for Murder (A Coffee Lover’s Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
1st in Series
Setting – Florida
Publisher: Crooked Lane Books (December 8, 2020)
Hardcover: 320 pages
ISBN-10: 1643856189
ISBN-13: 978-1643856186
Digital ASIN: B0871KTTMC

When Lana Lewis’ best — and most difficult — employee abruptly quits and goes to work for the competition just days before the Sunshine State Barista Championship, her café’s chances of winning the contest are creamed. In front of a gossipy crowd in the small Florida town of Devil’s Beach, Lana’s normally calm demeanor heats to a boil when she runs into the arrogant java slinger. Of course, Fabrizio “Fab” Bellucci has a slick explanation for jumping ship. But when he’s found dead the next morning under a palm tree in the alley behind Lana’s café, she becomes the prime suspect.


Even the island’s handsome police chief isn’t quite certain of her innocence. But Lana isn’t the only one in town who was angry with Fabrizio. Jilted lovers, a shrimp boat captain, and a surfer with ties to the mob are all suspects as trouble brews on the beach.


With her stoned, hippie dad, a Shih Tzu named Stanley, and a new, curious barista sporting a punk rock aesthetic at her side, Lana’s prepared to turn up the heat to catch the real killer.


After all, she is a former award-winning reporter. As scandal hangs over her beachside café, can Lana clear her name and win the championship — or will she come to a bitter end?

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Fabrizio “Fab” Bellucci, the beach’s hottest barista is dead and former investigative journalist turned coffee shop manager Lana Lewis is at the top of the suspect list if the cause of death is indeed murder. You see Fab was her star employee until he quit without notice to work for her competitor. On top of that, they were registered as a team for the Sunshine State Barista Championship. So when she couldn’t hold in her fury any longer she confronts him in front of a crowd of people at Island Brewnette, the competing coffee shop.

The trouble is, the chief of police, who seems to have a bit of a crush on Lana, is leaning toward calling Fab’s death a suicide until the evidence proves otherwise. Lana knows Fab was a great casanova/gigolo with some shady connections so she finds plenty of other suspects and theories. She just needs to convince Chief Noah Garcia to follow her clues with her. If not, she and her new barista Erica Penmark will steam out the killer on their own.

I liked Lana Lewis right away. Divorced and unemployed she comes home to Devil’s Beach to manage Perkatory. The cafe was her mother’s dream so after her death her dad kept the business going but his heart wasn’t really into it full time. Lana takes over admitting she has a lot to learn about being a great barista but she has great employees and her dad to help her out. She is intelligent and kind and her investigative skills come in handy as she tries to catch a killer. Erika and Lana get along right away and they make a wonderful team whether it comes to sleuthing or coffee brewing. Lana’s dad is a laid back hippie kind of dude that does not seem fazed my much but supports his daughter 100%. Police Chief Noah Garica also escaped the big city to come to Devil’s Beach never expecting to have a murder case on his plate but he sure does like dropping in at Perkatory to see Lana. All of these characters developed nicely over the course of the story but there is so much more to learn. The author has done an excellent job of giving readers characters we can care about.

The mystery she has brewed up is darn good too. Personally, I wish the suicide theory would have been put to rest much earlier with more focus on the variety of people who could have been suspects in Fab’s death. He left quite a path of ladies in his wake and at least one was married. The pushy reporter in Lana came out and she just wasn’t going to give up. Her actions lead to a really exciting big reveal.

I do love the beachy small-town setting. While jumping with tourists and busy residents it still had a relaxing vibe and a place I would love to visit.

Grounds for Murder was a delightful whodunit and has set this series off to a grand start. It’s entertaining with just the right amount of humor. I am looking forward to visiting these characters again soon.

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

About Tara Lush

Tara Lush is a Rita Award finalist, an Amtrak writing fellow, and a George C. Polk Award-winning journalist. For the past decade, she’s been a reporter with the Associated Press, covering crime, alligators, natural disasters, and politics. She also writes contemporary romance set in tropical locations. A fan of vintage pulp-fiction book covers, Sinatra-era jazz, and 1980s fashion, she lives with her husband and two dogs on the Gulf coast.

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December 8 – I’m Into Books – SPOTLIGHT
December 8 – Maureen’s Musings – RECIPE POST
December 9 – The Avid Reader – REVIEW
December 9 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – REVIEW
December 10 – Ruff Drafts – GUEST POST
December 10 – Mysteries with Character – REVIEW
December 10 – Socrates Book Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
December 11 – Elizabeth McKenna – Author Blog – SPOTLIGHT 
December 11 – My Reading Journeys – REVIEW
December 12 – Diane Reviews Books – REVIEW
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December 13 – Cozy Up With Kathy – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
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December 14 – Author Elena Taylor’s Blog – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
December 14 – Sapphyria’s Book Reviews – REVIEW
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December 15 – Cinnamon, Sugar, and a Little Bit of Murder – REVIEW, RECIPE POST
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December 17 – Melina’s Book Blog – REVIEW
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