Death Before Decaf by Caroline Fardig

Death Before Decaf: A Java Jive Mystery - Caroline Fardig

This was a cute listen on audio and kept me distracted during my mind-numbing drive to and from work. It reminded me a wee bit of the earlier Stephanie Plum novels but without the complete OTT zaniness.

 

Juliette recently had to push the reset button on her life after her ex broke her heart and devastated her financially, forcing her to close her café. She’s accepted a management position at the café where she worked during her college years. It’s owned by her old friend and long-time crush, Pete, who recently inherited the business and isn’t interested in keeping his wayward employees in line.

 

Juliette comes in and immediately lets her “Red-Headed She Devil” persona take over. Her new employees are not impressed, nor very threatened by her screaming and carrying on over their slackerly ways and keep doing whatever they please. She yells at one guy twice (and he totally deserves it), in front of tons of witnesses, and when she later finds him dead in a dumpster she is horrified to learn that she is a person of interest in the investigation. Sheesh, I am soooo glad I am not a manager of insolent café employees!

 

 

Anyway, the ineptitude of the local investigation team urges Juliette to do some sleuthing. This leads her into all sorts of trouble. She’s the type to jump first and never really think about it later. She’s feisty, hot-tempered and impulsive. That last quality gets her into many dangerous situations. Lucky for her, she has two sexy men who come to her rescue when things get out of control. Yep, it’s the dreaded love triangle which is better than the dreaded love-eye , I guess, but we won’t talk about that . . . This bugged me but not enough to ruin the book.

 

It’s an entertaining little mystery, nothing too taxing on the brain and has a nice dash of sarcasm and sexy.

 

Narration Notes: The version I read was narrated by Callie Beaulieu. She does a good job with the characters and you always know who is speaking but she does a dreadful Italian accent. The kind of Italian accent you might hear in a Super Mario game. I don’t know if this was on-purpose to get some laughs or if it was simply dreadful. Either way, I laughed. Fortunately, the Italian student is only a minor walk-on character.

 

*I was sent a copy of this book from Tantor Media. Thanks Tantor, hope you don’t regret it!