Author: Caroline Fardig
Series: Java Jive Mystery #4
Genre: Cozy Mystery
Expected Publication Date: April 25, 2017
Description: Nashville’s perkiest private eye—coffeehouse manager Juliet Langley—goes undercover in the party-planning industry to solve a suspicious death in this thrilling cozy mystery from USA Today bestselling author Caroline Fardig.
Inspired by her past sleuthing successes, Juliet Langley has officially joined the ranks of Nashville’s licensed private investigators. Her best friend, Pete Bennett, doesn’t worry that her detective work might interfere with her full-time job running his coffeehouse, Java Jive. He just wishes she would spend her free time rejoining the local music scene instead of tailing cheating spouses. But when one of Java Jive’s baristas, Shane, asks Juliet to look into the suspicious death of his fiancée, Pete encourages her to plow full steam ahead.
Since his fiancée died on the job, Shane suspects that her party-planning colleagues are up to something criminal—and will do anything to keep it quiet. After Juliet recruits Pete to go undercover with her at a wedding showcase, she discovers that white lace and black satin have a way of hiding big, fat secrets.
If that weren’t enough to fill her plate, her latest P.I. job has her crossing paths with her ex, Detective Ryder Hamilton. They’re barely on speaking terms, but to solve the case, they might have to cooperate. No matter where Juliet goes, she’s brewing up trouble.
Author Caroline Fardig is back with the fourth installment of the Java Jive Mystery series featuring Juliet Langley and her best friend Pete. I have read each of the books in this series and have enjoyed them all to date. While I enjoyed this installment, for reasons I discuss below I did not enjoy it as much as the other three.
Juliet Langley is back and this time she is out to help one of the employees of Java Jive whose fiancee died due to an alleged overdose. What's changed? Well, Juliet is now a licensed PI working with her mentor Maya. I like Juliet, she is down to earth, feisty and a great friend. She will go to the wall for a friend who needs help. In the past, she has seemingly worked by the motto of sleuth first ask questions later. This has gotten her into trouble. With her newly minted PI license and a mentor, this has helped a bit in curbing her impetuousness and sometimes headlong flight into trouble. Her best friend Pete and the rest of the Java Jive cast make a return appearance.
My issue with this book is that Juliet's romantic life seemed to take more prominence and at times caused the mystery to get relegated to the background. I have never been a fan of the love triangle and that still holds true. In my opinion, the author needs to resolve Juliet's relationship issue relative soon. It seems like the tension between her and Pete either needs to be resolved and if they are a couple - great. If not, then it is time for Juliet to move on and find someone suitable who will last more than just one book. I don't mind the romance but when it detracts from the mystery then I begin to lose interest in a series.
The mysteries in this book, I thought, were done well. I liked how the author wove the two mysteries into one with a common thread. There were good clues and plenty of suspects, but at times I thought the mystery was overpowered by the romance. I was surprised with the ending and did not see the two twists that the author threw in with respect to each mystery.
As I said at the beginning, I am a fan of the series and have found it to be fun and entertaining. This installment wasn't a bad story. I liked it well enough when I wasn't distracted by the romance and Jules love life. I will be back to see what author has in store for the next book as the series has been enjoyable.
I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced reader copy provided to me by the publisher, Alibi, through Netgalley. This did not influence my opinion and the thoughts expressed are my own.