Friday, January 26, 2018

Scone Cold Killer (An All-Day Breakfast Cafe Mystery)

Author:  Lena Gregory
Genre:  Mystery

Trade Paperback; Digital Book
ISBN #:  9781516104659
Lyrical Underground Publishing
192 Pages
$15.99; $3.99 Amazon
January 23, 2018

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For Florida Diner owner Gia Morelli, there's no such thing as too much breakfast - unless it kills you...

When Gia Morelli's marriage falls apart, she knows it's time to get out of New York.  Her husband was a scam artist who swindled half the millionaires in town, and she doesn't want to be there when they decide to take revenge.  On the spur of the moment, she follows her best friend to a small town in Central Florida, where she braves snakes, bears, and giant spiders to open a cheery little diner called the All-Day Breakfast Cafe.  Owning a restaurant has been her lifelong dream, but it turns into a nightmare the morning she opens her dumpster and finds her ex-husband crammed inside.  As the suspect du jour, Gia will have to scramble fast to prove her innocence before a killer orders another cup of murder...

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Gia Morelli's life has fallen apart.  Her ex-husband was convicted of swindling people out of millions, and everyone thought she knew about it, hounding her constantly.  So she moved to Florida to be near her best friend Savannah and open a breakfast cafe.  She hoped that she'd be far enough away that no one would have ever heard of Bradley Remington.

But on her first days' opening, she she finds something in the dumpster...her ex-husband.  After calling the police, she not only discovers that her past has followed her, but that the detective in charge of the case, Hunter Quinn, is Savannah's cousin.  Shaken and demoralized,  she reluctantly accepts the help of those around her, but then things start to escalate.  Both her garage and cafe are broken into, and a mysterious woman confronts her about Bradley.  It seems people are after something Bradley left with her, but she hasn't a clue as to what they're talking about.  She left with only what she could take, and a paltry settlement from her divorce.  Yet someone wants something, and they'll stop at nothing to get it, even if it costs Gia her life...

This is a wonderful beginning to a new series.  Gia is a delightful character - she's tough yet vulnerable, and it shows in her thoughts and actions.  She's torn at the thought of her attraction to Hunt and yet not trusting men.  Her friendship with Savannah is strong, and she's torn at keeping her near or wanting to see her safe.  She's wary of anyone she meets but doesn't know if she'll ever be free of her past.  She's complex; but who wouldn't be, having gone through what she has?

The mystery was extremely well done, the characters well drawn.  Each one had a definite personality and it was very nice to see some backstory involved - a bit of history to all so that we can truly understand who they are.  I took an immediate liking to most of them, which is a very good thing in a book.

While I also wanted to know what it was that Bradley left with her, I defied my curiosity and carried through to the end of the book instead of peeking at it.  It made the story more enjoyable to discover along with Gia what everyone was looking for, and gave a nice bit of tension to the tale.

I believe that Ms. Gregory has found her niche with this new series.  The characters are animated, the scenery vivid, the mystery believable.  When we come to the end and the killer is revealed, it was both satisfying and convincing.  I only wish the sequel was at hand, since I didn't want it to end.  I look forward to the next in the series.  Highly recommended.

https://www.amazon.com/Scone-Cold-Killer-Lena-Gregory/dp/151610465X/

Goodreads:  https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/2273141930

More on Lena Gregory's Books:  https://www.fantasticfiction.com/g/lena-gregory/

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