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by Sandra Balzo

Pub Date: Dec. 1st, 2007
ISBN: 978-0-7278-6549-6
Publisher: Severn House

Can too much caffeine lead to murder?

Though she still has bitter thoughts about her dentist husband dumping her for his 20-something hygienist, attractive divorcée Maggy Thorsen has channeled her energies into making her coffeehouse a success after the untimely murder of her partner (Uncommon Grounds, 2004). Now she faces serious competition from Marvin LaRoche, owner of HotWired, a big chain of coffee shops, one of which has recently muscled into her territory. While Maggy’s up to her eyeballs working on the creative contest she’s running for baristas at Java Ho, Milwaukee’s competitive coffee trade show, her partner Caron asks her to steal Amy, the talented barista who manages the shop run by Marvin’s wife, Janalee. Despite her budding relationship with Sheriff Jake Pavlik, Maggy feels like a suspect after someone burns down Janalee’s Place, and even more vulnerable when she discovers Marvin’s body under a table at her mega-caffeinated contest, bashed to death with the first-prize trophy. Marvin’s opening speech alienated a lot of people, and his tough business practices earned him plenty of enemies. It’s up to Maggy and Jake to figure out who did the deed.

Bright and breezy Maggy makes a charmingly down-to-earth sleuth. A bit of romance and coffee lore provide the froth on top.