I received a review copy
After her music career crashes and burns spectacularly, Juliet Langley is forced to turn to the only other business she knows: food service. Unfortunately, bad luck strikes yet again when her two-timing fiancé robs her blind and runs off with her best waitress. Flushing what’s left of her beloved café down the toilet with her failed engagement, Juliet packs up and moves back to her college stomping grounds in Nashville to manage an old friend’s coffeehouse. At first glance, it seems as though nothing’s changed at Java Jive. What could possibly go wrong? Only that the place is hemorrhaging money, the staff is in open revolt, and Juliet finds one unlucky employee dead in the dumpster out back before her first day is even over.
The corpse just so happens to belong to the cook who’d locked horns with Juliet over the finer points of the health code. Unimpressed with her management style, the other disgruntled employees are only too eager to spill the beans about her fiery temper to the detective on the case. Add to the mix a hunky stranger who’s asking way too many questions, and suddenly Juliet finds herself in some very hot water. If she can’t simmer down and sleuth her way to the real killer, she’s going to get burned.
I have read several from the Lizzie Hart mystery series from Caroline Fardig, and was quite excited to read Death Before Decaf. I love a mystery that won’t scare the pants off me or make me cry, but still challenge me to put all the pieces together along with the characters. This reeled me in from the beginning, and I tried to uncover the clues along with Juliet, while watching her get herself in a mess in the romance department. I thought I actually had one of the suspects pinned down, but was pleasantly surprised at the end “reveal” moment. Another wonderful mystery from Fardig, and I look forward to more in the Java Jive series!