Death by Café Mocha
Bookstore Café Mystery, Book #7
By Alex Erickson
Author Website: alexericksonbooks(.)com
Brought to you by OBS Reviewer Daniele
Krissy Hancock and her pals are taking a coffee break–leaving their bookstore-cafe in Pine Hills, Ohio, and heading to a convention. But this road trip will be more dangerous than they expected.
Coffee lovers are gathering from far and wide at the hotel, and Krissy, Rita, and Vicki are excited. But some of the attendees may need to switch to decaf, as a public argument breaks out soon after they check in and then a flavor competition leads to bitter feelings.
When the winner of the contest is beaned with a carafe full of cafe mocha, suspicions swirl–along with accusations of bribery. Was the dead man offering perks to the judges–or was something sinister going on in his personal life? This case is going to keep Krissy up all night long. (Goodreads)
In Death by Café Mocha, bookstore café owners Krissy and Vicki, along with their friend Rita, find themselves outside of Pine Hills at a coffee convention. When one of the attendees is murdered, Krissy cannot help but investigate.
I have not read a book in this series for quite some time so I had a hard time getting back into Krissy and Vicki’s world. Being away from their shop and hometown also took me a while to get into, but the coffee convention setting feels fresh and full of possibilities. What I do not understand is why Krissy needed to get involved with the investigation at all. She, nor anyone close to her, was accused of the crime. She comes across as simply a nosy busybody, butting in where she shouldn’t for no reason. She also seems pretty immature, acting more like a somewhat lovesick teenager than an independent business owner in her thirties. In addition, I did not find any good reason for Rita to be there. Perhaps she was meant to provide comic relief, but she was annoying.
The mystery itself is fairly well executed (hence my rating of three stars instead of two). The victim is sufficiently unlikable and seemingly worthy of his fate. There are plenty of suspects with valid motives. It was a little confusing in the beginning of the story trying to keep these new characters, many with very similar names, straight, but they all eventually fell into place. There are lots of clues and red herrings, and I did not figure out whodunit until Krissy did.
Fans of the Bookstore Café Mystery series should be happy with this seventh installment, but it fell flat for me.