Book Review: Brewing Up Murder (Coffee Cup Mysteries #1) by Neila Young

BrewingUpMurderAbout the Book

As the owner of Mystery Cup Café in Wilton, Missouri, a town made famous by a string of long-ago murders, Blake Harper is used to the mysterious. When her barista is found strangled in a mound of coffee beans, Blake vows to find the killer, even though her sister, the town’s lead police detective, tells her to stay out of it.  Blake finds plenty of suspects, like the owners of a rival coffee shop and the handsome new bookstore owner. But when new threats are made, she soon realizes the danger is centered around Mystery Cup and someone is targeting her personally.

Will Blake be able to solve the murder, find a new barista, and perfect her recipe for espresso brownies before she becomes the next victim?

Format: ebook, paperback (205 pp.) Publisher: Red Adept Publishing
Published: 19th July 2017                     Genre: Mystery

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Find Brewing Up Murder on Goodreads

My Review

Look, please don’t hate me, but I read this book lying on a sun lounger by the pool in Barbados and it was the perfect holiday read – light, frothy and refreshing.  (Barman, another mango smoothie, please.)

When Blake’s barista is murdered in her coffee shop, she soon discovers no shortage of people who knew the victim and, as far as Blake is concerned, have a possible motive for wanting her out of the way. Although Blake’s sister, Kyle, is the detective in charge of the investigation, Blake can’t resist getting involved and embarking on her own enquiries which soon land her in hot water.  Thankfully, the town is generously populated with handsome single men (including a dishy doctor) to come to her rescue when she gets a little too close for comfort to finding out the perpetrator.

The small town setting of Wilton is reminiscent of Jessica Fletcher’s hometown in the TV series Murder, She Wrote.  Because of a series of murders committed in Wilton in the past, many of the town’s business owners have chosen names to appeal to tourists.  For example, The Final Destination (hotel), Sliced (restaurant), Killer Tomatoes (pizza place) and Macabre Reads (bookshop).  I got a few curious looks from the occupants of nearby sun loungers when I laughed out loud at the fact the town’s book club, which meets in Blake’s café, is called Murder, She Read.

Although not my usual genre, I really enjoyed Brewing Up Murder and would recommend it for readers who like their mysteries on the sweet side with a light dusting of romance…or for caffeine addicts.   Warning: You may crave brownies after (or even during) reading this book but luckily Neila has provided some recipes at the end.  If your interest has been piqued by my review – and I hope it has – then why not read my Q&A with Neila for more information about the book, what makes a good cozy mystery and, most importantly, her favourite coffee.

I received a review copy courtesy of the author and Red Adept Publishing in return for an honest and unbiased review.  I’d like to thank Neila for her patience in waiting for her book to reach the top of my review pile.

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In three words: Engaging, cozy, mystery

Try something similar…Death at Glacier Lake by Pam Stucky (click here to read my review)

NeilaYoungAbout the Author

Neila Young is a Midwestern girl and a lover of coffee, live music, and horror movies, not necessarily in that order.  Writing (and reading) mysteries are Neila’s passion, and she approaches each day by thinking, “everything is a story.” She has been writing all her life and can’t remember a time when she wanted to do anything else. She loves to take notes and spin tales about the quirky characters she meets, and she has found that she can create some great stories by asking “what if” and “suppose that…”

Neila studied journalism at the University of Kansas and then spent many years suffering the trials of corporate America, writing about everything from financial risk management to software user manuals to website copy about radiators (sadly, that’s not a joke). She finally decided to take the plunge and write the cozy mysteries she loves so much, complete with recipes!

When Neila is not writing, she’s probably hanging out at a coffee shop or fighting evil with the help of her very supportive husband, two awesome children who constantly ask to have characters named after them, and the most lovable dog in the world, Dizzy.

Neila also writes romance novels under the pen name, N J Young.

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