Summary- Krissy and her friend have just moved to town and opened a coffee shop book store combo. On their first day, a customer comes in for a cup of coffee and dies shortly afterwards. The cause of death is determined to be a peanut allergy and initially Krissy and her coffee shop are investigated. Once they are cleared, Krissy just can’t let the mystery go and starts sleuthing around to determine if the death was an accident or murder.
My rating C-
I have really mixed feelings about this book.
Let me start with the things that I liked:
Krissy is the daughter of a mystery writer and so there is a good reason she is interested in and good at solving mysteries. I also love the coffee shop and book store combo as the setting even if it is fairly common. The fact that she named the shop for one of her dads books is fun. I also like her struggles as a new business owner and worries about whether she and her friend will make it in their business venture or if they will have to move home to their parents.
The mystery itself was interesting enough, at least in the beginning. Peanuts is an unusual way to murder someone and the fact that he got coffee at Krissy’s right before it happened was a nice touch by the author. The murdered man had an interesting back story and many of the clues given as Krissy hunts for the truth were intriguing.
I also really enjoyed some of the secondary characters. Rita is a woman obsessed with Krissy’s novelist father. She can be annoying at times but overall she was a fun somewhat eccentric character. I also liked Jules Phan who is a quirky candy store owner.
The above are really the best points of the book and I think it had many downsides. I almost stopped reading it several times.
I didn’t really care for Krissy who is not only the main character but also the narrator as the book is told in first person but some of the things Krissy notices about others borders on offensive. She often comments on things such as “the skin under her arm flapped alarmingly” (describing her first meeting with Rita). If you read the About the Author you learn he is a man and I feel like at times it really shows. Many of the things Krissy does and says don’t feel authentic to me.
Krissy is extremely nosy and she has no tact whatsoever. She goes around asking people she barely knows invasive questions and expects to get answers. Overall, she is rude to the people she meets and just uses them to get info.
Krissy also owns the worlds nastiest cat who seems to be in the story for no real reason. The cat tears everything up, scratches her, and won’t pee in the litter box. There are no sweet moments between Krissy and the cat and no reason for the cat to be such a jerk. His being in the story at all annoyed me, though I realize this was book one in a series so he may play many important roles later.
Krissy’s mystery writer father had almost no role in the book other than to give Krissy fame with Rita and a passion for puzzles. She calls him once to consult on her problem and his advice is just to wait until she knows more. I felt like that was very underplayed.
I also don’t care for the budding romance between Krissy and Paul, a police officer on the case. I felt like the only thing I took away from the book about him was that he was hot, so pathetic that his mom had to find him dates, and not smart enough to find obvious clues. He also shows poor judgement again and again such as giving in to Krissy on their first date and breaking into the scene of the unexplained death.
My final complaint is about how the story ended. I was okay with who did it but her reasons for doing it didn’t really jive with me well. I suspected her early in the book and she did have a reasonable motive but it was almost like it had to be taken a step further into something that didn’t feel hinted at adequately enough and overall was kinda weird.
I do plan to give this author another chance as some elements of the book have potential. When I looked up his author page it seems as if he just has 2 books out and this one is his first. I will read book #2 once my library gets it in to see if the series improves once he finds his groove.
I can’t really recommend this book but I will say that the series might have potential so if you are a mystery fan looking for a new series, keep your eyes opened for book 2 and if it gets favorable reviews consider giving it a try.