Review: Death by Coffee by Alex Erickson

Review: Death by Coffee by Alex Erickson
Death by Coffee by Alex Erickson

Published by Kensington on May 26, 2015
Series: Bookstore Cafe Mystery #1
Genre: Cozy Mystery, Mystery
Format: Audiobook
Source: Library

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When Krissy Hancock and her best friend Vicki decide to open a bookstore café in their new town of Pine Hills, they decide to call it "Death by Coffee," after Krissy’s father’s most famous mystery novel. Little do they know how well the name fits…

On their very first day of business, Brendon Lawyer huffily takes his coffee…to the grave. It seems he had a severe allergy to peanuts…but how could there have been nuts in his coffee? And who stole his emergency allergy medication?

Fortunately, Krissy’s love of puzzles and mysteries leads her not only to Officer Paul Dalton, but also to many of her new neighbors, who aren’t terribly upset that the book is closed on Brendon. But one of them is a killer, and Krissy needs to read between the lies if she wants to save her new store—and live to see how this story ends…

Death by Coffee by Alex Erickson is the first book in the Bookstore Cafe series. As a cozy mystery reader, I understand that these books are formulaic by nature. That’s what I like about them. However, I also need something else–a fun sense of humor, memorable characters, something–to set them apart from all the rest. In this case, Death by Coffee was just an okay read for me.

Krissy and her best friend Vicki open a bookstore cafe they call Death by Coffee (an homage to a novel by Krissy’s author father). They’re barely open for one day when customer Brendon winds up dead. It turns out that the deceased had a severe peanut allergy, but Krissy is certain there were no peanuts in his coffee. The investigation leads Krissy to Officer Paul (who’s just doing his job but you know he’s a potential love interest here). Krissy dives into her own investigation and learns that many residents of small-town Pine Hills are glad that Brendon’s dead. That’s good news for Krissy, but now she’s made her mind up to find the real killer.

This book was…fine? I listened to the audio and found myself getting bored at times, to be honest. It’s an enjoyable cozy with a little bit of romance, but to me there’s not enough to make it a stand-out read and I’m not sure if I’ll continue with the series.

Rating: 3 stars


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