Author: Caroline Fardig
Series: Java Jive Mystery #2
Genre: Cozy Mystery
Publisher: Random House LLC
Description: Former musician Juliet Langley has barely had a day off since taking over management of the coffeehouse owned by her best friend, Pete Bennett. But there’s always more to be done—such as prepping for the annual Holiday 5K Race organized by Pete’s snobby socialite girlfriend, Cecilia Hollingsworth. This year, Java Jive has a booth right at the finish line, and since Juliet and Cecilia don’t always see eye to eye, everything has to be perfect. Nothing can go wrong. Nothing . . . like Juliet stumbling over Cecilia’s dead body on the morning of the race.
When Pete is arrested for Cecilia’s murder, Juliet sets out to clear his name. She’ll do whatever it takes—even if it means standing up to the police, her ex-boyfriend, and the grande dames of Nashville. But there isn’t enough espresso in the world for the greatest challenge in her path: infiltrating Nashville’s high society to uncover the hidden hotbed of scandal without running afoul of the law herself. With her last dime staked on Pete’s bail bond and her staff growing jittery, the last thing Juliet needs is for her trademark temper to land her behind bars. As time drips away, Juliet needs to crack this case before the killer comes back for another shot.
It is time to return to Java Jive for the second installment in this Caroline Fardig series. I was fortunate to have read an ARC of the first book and so when I was offered an opportunity to read and review an ARC of this second book I didn't hesitate. This is a fun series that is well written. It has a solid story line and a mystery that keeps you guessing until the end (at least it did for me). There are plenty of suspects to choose from and I like reading a story where I cannot easily determine the identity of the killer before the end of the book. The author does a wonderful job of casting doubt on the innocence of a number of suspects and laying out believable clues and motives.
The characters in the series are becoming some of my favorites. Juliet, or Jules as she is referred to, is smart, sassy, impetuous and very loyal to her best friend Pete. Let's just say that she is not a redhead for nothing. She has a temper and that, combined with her impetuousness gets not only her into trouble, but others as well. I like the relationship between Pete and Jules, and we get a glimpse at more of their history in this book. It is becoming easy going even though there is a hint a deeper feeling between the two, other than friendship. The characters are well written and where they should be for a second in a series. There are characters from the first book that make a return, namely Detective Cromwell and Ryder. There is a romance brewing between Ryder and Jules, albeit a rocky one. I hope that this is the path the author chooses to continue - the romance with Ryder. I am not a fan of the love triangle and would hate to see this happen in this series.
I really have enjoyed the two books in this series and will be looking for future installments. So far the series has everything I look for, which is a well written story, with great, likable characters and a solid mystery that keeps me guessing until the end.
I received an ARC of this book from the publisher through Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. This did not influence my opinion and the thoughts expressed are my own.