I received this book for free from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.Death Before Decaf (A Java Jive Mystery, #1) by Caroline Fardig
Published by Alibi on November 17th 2015
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Also by this author: Mug Shot, A Whole Latte Murder, Brew or Die
Perfect for fans of Janet Evanovich and Diane Mott Davidson, Caroline Fardig’s captivating new mystery novel takes readers behind the counter of a seemingly run-of-the-mill coffeehouse . . . where murder is brewing. 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.
The moment I set foot inside Java Jive, I felt like I was home.
What I thought of this book
Death Before Decaf was a fun, laugh out loud cozy with a bit more romance than I normally see in a cozy.
Juliet has had a load of bad luck starting with her fiancé taking everything she had, including her money. She had to close down her cafe and move back to her college town because her best friend is giving her a job. She has to move into a college apartment complex as it is all she can afford.
Pete makes her the manager of his dad’s cafe because he is busy with his own business and doesn’t want to let the cafe go downhill. Juliet is pretty sure she can turn it around that is if she doesn’t get arrested for murder. On her very first day she gets in two yelling arguments with one of the cooks and then later she finds that cook dead. The employees who are not so sure about how they like her are not afraid to tell the cops all about her heated arguments with the deceased.
She thinks that the detective has it out for her so she decides to try and find out things about Dave on her own and who might wanted to kill him. Her friend Pete gets roped into helping her some times and he freaks out and thinks she should just let the police do their job.
She meets Seth/Ryder as he hangs out a lot at the cafe and they have some pretty smexy moments, but she is not real sure she can trust him. There are things about him I can’t say cause I don’t want to give anything away. 🙂
I had a lot of fun with the characters. Juliet is so down on her luck but she really tries not to let that get to her, she wants the employees to like her but it seems like things are just not going her way. She is pretty spunky and gets into some serious situations, but it doesn’t stop her from trying to sleuth. Pete is her best friend who she has pretty much been in love with since she was in college but he is dating a lady she can’t stand. He is a really great guy and has his heroic moments that shows he is not just a pretty boy softy. Seth/Ryder (you will find out why I call him that if you read it) is a hunk and very smexy and you can tell he is use to keep people safe. He does his fair share of rescuing Juliet.
Favorite secondary character is Gertie who is Pete’s grandmother, she is a hoot!
Death Before Decaf literally cracked me up, it was fun, snarky, and just a blast. The mystery was great because I really couldn’t figure out the killer. I had suspicion about some but I was not all together right…lol. My only draw back is that I think some lovers of cozies might get offended by Gertie who cracked me up but she had such a naughty mouth. Not really a potty mouth cause she didn’t cuss but some times I was like ooh my. I just think some might be put off by it, but if you not and it didn’t bother me much then I think you will find this one quite funny.
This one also had a lot more romance than in most cozies I have read. There was kind of a love triangle going on between Juliet, Pete and Seth and it was kind of annoying.
Overall, I really enjoyed it as it was a lot of fun and if you like cozies and the above things don’t bother you then give it a try! 🙂