Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Death By Coffee

Author:  Alex Erickson
Genre :  Mystery

Two Stars

On their very first day of business, Brendon Lawyer huffily takes his coffee...to the grave.  It seems he had a severe allergy to peanuts...but how could there have been nuts in his coffee?  And who stole his allergy medication?

Fortunately, Krissy's love of puzzles and mysteries leads her not only to Officer Paul Dalton, but also to many of her new neighbors, who aren't terribly upset that the book is closed on Brendon.  But one of them is a killer, and Krissy needs to read between the lies if she wants to save her new store-and live to see how this story ends...


Krissy and her best friend Vicki have just opened a bookstore/cafe in the small town of Pine Hills.  On their first day of business (which definitely isn't bustling, by the way) a customer orders a cup of coffee, takes it to go and dies a short time later after he returns to his place of business.

Since it is discovered that the victim had a severe peanut allergy, and there was peanut dust in the coffee, Krissy, the daughter of a famous mystery writer, is determined to find out how the dust got there...because apparently the police can't figure it out.

What we have here is the beginning of a new series, and I wish I could give it a better review.  The plot line is interesting, and the characters could be, if there were any character development at all.  We know that Vicki is drop dead gorgeous, but we know very little about the protagonist, Krissy.  Is her hair dark or light?  Short or long?  She says 'she's not fat or anything,' but does she have a little weight or is it even noticeable?  I would have liked to have known more about her; as it was, I couldn't get a description in my head, per se.  We know that Vicki is gorgeous, but for some strange reason, there isn't a single man in town who is interested in seeing her.  At least none who read books or drink coffee, from what I gather.

Since both Krissy and Vicki have opened the bookstore that morning, and don't know anyone in town, you would think they would be trying to drum up business for their shop.  But they sit around and hope people would come in.  So when the man, Brendon Lawyer, dies, Krissy does the only natural thing she can do - she walks right up to people and asks them if they had any reason to kill him...whaaat?   If a complete stranger (and I assume she is, because no one knows who she is) walked up to me and asked me that, I'd first look at them like they were insane, and then just turn and walk away.  But what do these people do?   They answer her.  And then try and throw her out.  Repeatedly.

Plus, the two main characters have cats, but both cats hate people and are mean.  Mean as in attacking.  Why?  I have cats, and they don't attack anyone.  That's something you train against when they're still kittens.  Cats are just as loyal as dogs, some even more so.  If you give them love and attention, they're all yours.  Trust me.  I have cats that grab at me as I go down the staircase, or jump at me from behind the blinds - without using their claws.  I've never had one jump under one of my dresses while I was wearing it.

Then there's Paul the cop.  (Sigh.)  He's hunky, of course.  But not very bright.  Paul's mother practically sets Krissy and him up on a date.  Afterward, they go to the crime scene because somehow Krissy has convinced him she wants to see it and investigate.  When they get caught, Paul's mother, the chief of police, hints that they should sleep together.  Creepy, right?  Then there's the fact that at times Krissy talks like a man.  Women don't call toilets "thrones."  We also are not so crude (I hope) as to say a man 'was taking a leak.'  We might say we have to go to the bathroom, but we never share the information that we actually are.

When the murderer is revealed, it comes as no surprise.  The reason behind it made sense, but we couldn't even feel sorry for the murderer at the end.  I would really have liked to have given this book a higher rating, as I enjoy cozies completely; but there just wasn't enough of feeling invested in the book to do so.  I hope that this, being the first book in the series, improves with the next one.


  1. To bad that this one isn't all that you were hoping for. I do like cozy mysteries though. They are such a great, light, entertaining read.

  2. I would really like to read this book and see how I like it. After reading another wonderful coffeehouse series, it will not be easy to equal those but I would be interested in trying to evaluate that. Sounds good and I like to give new authors a chance and when it comes to cozies, I will read them all if I have time as they are my favorite genre with a few historical mysteries included in this group. Thank you for giving us some information to check out.


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