Title: Death by Espresso

Series: Bookstore Cafe Mystery

By:   Alex Erickson 

ISBN: 149670889X (ISBN13: 9781496708892)

Author’s Website:

Brought to you by OBS reviewer Andra                  


Bookstore-cafe owner Krissy Hancock has plenty to keep her occupied outside business hours, like preparing for her best friend’s wedding and solving a murder . . .

Krissy is meeting Vicki’s parents at the Pine Hills, Ohio, airport–it’s the least she can do as maid of honor, even if her relationship with Mr. and Mrs. Patterson is a bit strained. Besides, her own dad is coming in on the same flight. But there are a few additional arrivals, too. Her father’s brought a date–and the Pattersons, both actors, seem to have an entire entourage trailing behind them.

Uninvited guests are a headache–especially when one turns out to be, allegedly at least, the most important wedding planner in all the world. Though Vicki and Krissy have already made arrangements for a small, simple party, Vicki’s snobby drama queen mother has her own ideas. Cathy the wedding planner is raring to go, possibly energized by the chocolate-covered espresso beans she compulsively munches. But while the caffeine keeps her awake, it doesn’t keep her alive–and after Cathy chokes on an espresso bean after being hit in the head, Krissy has to find out who ended her supposedly stellar career (Goodreads)


Death by Espresso is the sixth book in the Bookstore Cafe Mystery series by Alex Erickson. I did read the first book in the series, Death by Coffee. Now having read the sixth book, I will most definitely be going back and reading books 2 through 5 as well But make no mistake, this book can be read as a stand alone, after all – I missed all that happened to Krissy between book 1 and 6 to no detriment to my appreciation and enjoyment of Death by Espresso.

What starts off as a simple trip for Krissy to the Levington airport to greet her dad (James Hancock) and his girlfriend (Laura Dresden) and Vicki’s parents (Gina and Frederick Patterson), seems to quickly turn in to a gong show.  There are several more people travelling with the Patterson’s (8 to be exact). And one of these guests is a wedding planner to the stars (Cathy Carr) who eats chocolate covered espresso beans constantly. The remaining additional people are “second rate” actors, all with a story to tell both with respect to their successes (and failures) in the acting business and their relationships between each other. A veritable tangled web. But the journey to untangle this web made for an engaging read.

The murder happens fairly quickly in the story. I was disappointed that our amateur sleuth tainted the crime scene – by handling the candlestick that was on the floor by the body. Okay, I do realize Krissy was scared that the killer might still be in the house and come after her, but with a number of murders behind her, I would hope she would be more aware of a crime scene.

Well there is definitely no shortage of potential suspects. It was a pleasant journey to read how each of the out of town guests knew the victim. Krissy’s process to convince herself that each one was a viable suspect or not was interesting and at times made me laugh. I was more than surprised that Krissy could handle the sleuthing as well as her duties as maid of honour for Vicki’s wedding… and trying to keep the peace with Vicki and her fiancé and the soon-to-be in-laws – Gina and Frederick.  

One thing that was bothersome was how Gina and Frederick did not seem to have any respect or thoughtfulness towards their daughter. Or Mason’s parents wanting the wedding to be cancelled so they can introduce Mason to someone they think is more suited to him…. If I had been Vicki or Mason – I would have asked all the parents to kindly and firmly but out and let them have the wedding of their dreams with the man/woman of their dreams. But we all know – everyone’s relationship with their parents is complicated. So that did add drama and giggles to the read.

I really liked the name of Vicki’s cat…. Trouble.  All I have to say, aren’t all cats trouble in their own way?

I look forward to the future books in this series as I really feel this reader needs to see more of a romantic future development between Krissy and Paul Dalton perhaps? And of course – future sleuthing with respect to the future murders that are bound to happen in Pine Hills.

If you enjoy a good cozy mystery with a colourful cast of characters and a pet or two thrown in for good measure, then you will enjoy Alex Erickson’s sixth book the in Bookstore Cafe Mystery series – Death by Espresso.

*OBS would like to thank the publisher for supplying a free copy of this title in exchange for an honest review*