Title: Scene of the Grind
Series: Killer Coffee
By: Tonya Kappes
Author’s Website: http://www.tonyakappes.com/
Brought to you by OBS reviewer Andra
After a bitter divorce, Roxanne Davis (her friends, though few call her Roxie) has moved back home to Honey Springs, Kentucky where she’s opened the tourist lakefront town’s first coffee house, The Beanhive.
With the excitement of the Beanhive opening and rush of business, Roxie is moving on with her life until she finds that one of her best customers was found dead after eating one of Roxie’s best-selling doughnuts.
Gossip in Honey Springs is as hot at the coffee served at the Beanhive and Roxie has to uncover who is behind the murder not only to save her shop, but her life.
Scene of the Grind is the first book in the Killer Coffee series by Tonya Kappes. I am happy to write that this cozy mystery grabbed me and would not let me go until the very end. I found the crucial elements for a cozy mystery all there… murder, intrigue, interesting characters and suspects and a “whodunit” that is not revealed until the end.
Roxie (Roxanne Davis) has recently moved to Honey Springs, Kentucky after her bitter divorce. Roxie was a frequent visitor to Honey Springs during her childhood – spending her summers there with her Aunt Maxine (Maxi for short). Roxie has changed career paths (she practiced law previously) but has now opened “The Bean Hive” – a coffee shop upon her return to Honey Springs and it is located in the middle of the boardwalk in town. Definitely an ideal place right across from the pier. From the descriptions that were plentiful of the town and surrounding area, I felt like I was in this small town in Kentucky (or what I imagined was a small town in Kentucky since I have never been to Kentucky). Most of the shops along the boardwalk had unusually cute names such as The Bean Hive, Honey Comb Salon & Spa, The Buzz In and Out Diner, Queen For The Day or Odd Ink which provided a brief chuckle for this reader. At the very end of the boardwalk was the Crooked Cat Bookstore – an independent bookstore in which Roxie had spent much of her time at during her summer visits to Honey Springs and Aunt Maxi.
Before the grand opening of the shops on the boardwalk during the annual Honey Festival, Roxie discovers while delivering coffee and treats, the owner of the bookstore, Alexis Roarke, dead! Oh my…this could be very bad for the grand opening and the festival! And wouldn’t you know it, Alexis and Aunt Maxi were not on the best of terms! This leads to Roxie wanting to get involved to find out who the murderer is before her aunt is arrested for the murder, especially since Alexis was found dead with one of Roxie’s doughnuts.
I really enjoyed the story-line involving the Pet Palace – an establishment that tries to match an animal with a suitable owner. Loved the sign at the entrance:
“All creatures welcomed and loved.”
No surprise – Roxie ends up with an adorable Schnauzer named Pepper. You knew it was meant to be when Louise Carleton (Pet Palace Manager) said:
“That’s amazing.” “He’s never been this calm when someone asked to see him.”
I love how Roxie and the Pet Palace teamed up for a great adoption event during the Honey Festival.
As Roxie unofficially “investigates” her leads as to who could have killed Alexis, we meet many of the residents of Honey Springs. They are a varied group and I suspect some of these residents will be featured more prominently in future books in this series. Were some of these residents red herrings? I think so. But that added to the enjoyment of the mystery as I sifted through the clues and possible suspects right along with Roxie. Enough of a mystery to keep me guessing until the end. Just the way I like my cozy mystery!
And of course – a romance. Well – time will tell its depth and fortitude. In the mean time – Roxie reconnects with Patrick Kane (local contractor / businessman) – local heartthrob. And Roxie’s heart goes pitter patter. Slowly throughout the book we discover their history. An interesting and potentially “hot” romance. I am actually happy for once that it is not the local constabulary ☺ as it so frequently is in cozy mysteries.
In summary – the characters were interesting, the solving of the mystery was sufficiently interesting and at times convoluted. Additionally, the inclusion of pets, coffee and books – always a winner for me! I cannot wait to read the next title in the series Mocha and Murder. Tonya Kappes has captured my interest and I foresee my reading many more of her titles!