Grounds for Murder

· A Coffee Lover's Mystery Book 1 · Crooked Lane Books
7 reviews

About this ebook

Barista Lana Lewis's sleuthing may land her in a latte trouble as Tara Lush launches her new Coffee Shop mysteries.

When Lana Lewis' best -- and most difficult -- employee abruptly quits and goes to work for the competition just days before the Sunshine State Barista Championship, her café's chances of winning the contest are creamed. In front of a gossipy crowd in the small Florida town of Devil's Beach, Lana's normally calm demeanor heats to a boil when she runs into the arrogant java slinger. Of course, Fabrizio "Fab" Bellucci has a slick explanation for jumping ship. But when he's found dead the next morning under a palm tree in the alley behind Lana's café, she becomes the prime suspect.

Even the island's handsome police chief isn't quite certain of her innocence. But Lana isn't the only one in town who was angry with Fabrizio. Jilted lovers, a shrimp boat captain, and a surfer with ties to the mob are all suspects as trouble brews on the beach.

With her stoned, hippie dad, a Shih Tzu named Stanley, and a new, curious barista sporting a punk rock aesthetic at her side, Lana's prepared to turn up the heat to catch the real killer. After all, she is a former award-winning reporter. As scandal hangs over her beachside café, can Lana clear her name and win the championship -- or will she come to a bitter end?

Ratings and reviews

7 reviews
Kristina Anderson
December 11, 2020
Grounds for Murder by Tara Lush has Lana Lewis back home in Devil’s Beach, Florida after a series of setbacks. She is now the manager of the family coffee shop, Perkatory. Lana has entered herself and employee Fabrizio “Fab” Bellucci in the Sunshine State Barista Championship. With Fab at the helm, Lana is sure Perkatory will take home the prize. Then Fab quits and goes to work for the competition leaving Lana high and dry. Lana takes out her anger out on Fab at Island Brewnette in front of a crowd. The next day, Lana finds Fab dead behind Perkatory. The forensics point to suicide. Lana knows that Fab would not harm himself and wants to prove he was murdered. Lana puts her investigative journalist skills to work tracking down Fab’s killer. Can Lana find the guilty party, or will she end up the next victim? Grounds for Murder is the debut of A Coffee Lover’s Mystery series. I like that the author took the time to establish the town and our main character. I enjoyed the vivid descriptions of Devil’s Beach (I want to visit). The words describing the coffee will have you heading to your local coffee shop for a caffeine fix. The mystery was interesting with multiple suspects and few clues (best type of mystery to solve). We follow Lana as sets out to prove Fab was murdered and find out who killed him. I could have done with less of Lana’s thoughts regarding Noah Garcia (how handsome he is, his big muscles, how good he smells). I prefer a more subtle romance that plays out over the course of the series. I do like the chemistry between Noah and Lana. I am curious to see how their relationship will progress. Grounds for Murder is an entertaining start to A Coffee Lover’s Mystery series. Grounds for Murder is a fun lighthearted cozy mystery with creative coffee art, a precious puppy, a laid-back dad, an eye-catching police chief, a curious crime, and jaded journalist.
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Kristen Lewendon
December 8, 2020
This book was fun. It’s a little bit slapstick and a whole lot crazy. There were times that this felt like I was reading a text version of the Keystone Cops. It seemed like there was lots of fuss and bother with not a lot of forward motion. I adored Stanley, but I’m still on the fence about Lana. There were times I really admired her spunk and sarcasm, yet there were the other times when I was left wondering how she could have been an award-winning journalist for a prestigious newspaper considering the absolute flights of fancy she comes up with and calls “clues”. I also have to admire Chief Garcia’s patience with her, because I was left shaking my head multiple times during this book. By the end, Lana had started to grow on me, along with the rest of her quirky, zany tribe, and now I’m looking forward to seeing where the series will take us next. I received a complimentary advanced copy of this book through NetGalley.
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About the author

Tara Lush is a Florida-based novelist and journalist. She's an RWA Rita finalist, an Amtrak writing fellow and the winner of the George C. Polk award for environmental journalism. For the past decade, she's been a reporter with The Associated Press, covering crime, alligators, natural disasters and politics. She also writes contemporary romance set in tropical locations. Tara is a fan of vintage pulp fiction book covers, Sinatra-era jazz, 1980s fashion, tropical chill, kombucha, gin, tonic, seashells, true crime podcasts, Art Deco, telenovelas, street art, coconut anything, strong coffee and newspapers. She lives on the Gulf coast with her husband and two dogs.

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