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Death by Coffee (Bookstore Cafe Mystery, #1)

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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 p 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…


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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 p 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…

30 review for Death by Coffee (Bookstore Cafe Mystery, #1)

  1. 4 out of 5

    Sallee

    I started to read this book and found myself really disliking the main character, Krissy. I kept reading, hoping this would change but it didn't. I found that I disliked how she stuck her nose in and very brashly asked people questions about the murder that happened. To them she was a stranger and I was surprised that she got any answers at all. I agreed with the victim's mother-in-law about calling the police on her. She did not go about gathering information very well and was very off-putting I started to read this book and found myself really disliking the main character, Krissy. I kept reading, hoping this would change but it didn't. I found that I disliked how she stuck her nose in and very brashly asked people questions about the murder that happened. To them she was a stranger and I was surprised that she got any answers at all. I agreed with the victim's mother-in-law about calling the police on her. She did not go about gathering information very well and was very off-putting to me. She also kept leaving her business partner in a lurch as she went off to investigate. The love interest, Police officer Dalton broke rules that would have him fired in real life. I guess my biggest complaint was the story was so unrealistic but I hung on till the end and nothing changed my mind. The book has no sophistication to it at all.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Paige Bookdragon

    Look, it was okay in the beginning. I laughed out loud with some dialogues, the characters were a hoot, the story is my cup of tea blah blah blah. Then someone died and it all went sour. Dialogues went bad, characters went stupid and the story just became boring. I'm not sure but maybe the intelligence and the sense of humor just died along with the murdered character. Look, it was okay in the beginning. I laughed out loud with some dialogues, the characters were a hoot, the story is my cup of tea blah blah blah. Then someone died and it all went sour. Dialogues went bad, characters went stupid and the story just became boring. I'm not sure but maybe the intelligence and the sense of humor just died along with the murdered character.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Sarah

    Disappointing. The lack of character development really bothered me as cozy mysteries are as much about the characters as they are about the mystery. It also bothered me that the main character didn't come up with creative reasons to talk to suspects, but asked them outright questions about the murder, and they actually answered. My biggest complaint was the amount of pages describing the bathroom habits of the main character's cat. (5/1/15) I received an ARC from NetGalley, which is great becaus Disappointing. The lack of character development really bothered me as cozy mysteries are as much about the characters as they are about the mystery. It also bothered me that the main character didn't come up with creative reasons to talk to suspects, but asked them outright questions about the murder, and they actually answered. My biggest complaint was the amount of pages describing the bathroom habits of the main character's cat. (5/1/15) I received an ARC from NetGalley, which is great because cozy mysteries have become my new happy pleasure (no reason to feel guilty about them!). (4/29/15)

  4. 4 out of 5

    Sam

    This book was given to me as a gift by my lovely and very well-intentioned husband. He appreciates my love of the cozy and I'm sure, when he came across this title, he thought, "She loves caffeine! She vaguely mentions wanting to open a bookstore cafe at least three times a year! There's a cat on the cover! This book is sure to be a winner." Unfortunately, just a few pages in, I had the sinking suspicion that Death by Coffee was...written by a man. Don't get me wrong. Men do many things well. Wri This book was given to me as a gift by my lovely and very well-intentioned husband. He appreciates my love of the cozy and I'm sure, when he came across this title, he thought, "She loves caffeine! She vaguely mentions wanting to open a bookstore cafe at least three times a year! There's a cat on the cover! This book is sure to be a winner." Unfortunately, just a few pages in, I had the sinking suspicion that Death by Coffee was...written by a man. Don't get me wrong. Men do many things well. Writing cozy mysteries is just not one of those things. Men, please, please stop trying to write cozy mysteries. Create your own niche genre--truck mysteries or libertarianism mysteries or boner mysteries, maybe--just, whatever you do, leave cozies alone. How could I tell a man wrote this? Mostly the acidic misogyny and confusing, yet obvious hatred of all the conventions of the genre. You bitches like cats? Well, how about TWO CATS who are both horrific, violent goblins, pissing wherever the wind blows them and inviting lawsuits aplenty. You want a relatable protagonist? Well, her best friend is so much hotter than her and she really kind of fucking can't stand her perfect, perfect, gorgeous fucking best friend; that's basically how all lady friendships work, right? And women are nosy, aren't they? After all, why do you all like mysteries so much if not for your inborn nosiness? Meet Krissy, a woman SO nosy that she physically assaults people to uncover the truth! How about a hot dude who works in law enforcement? You got it, sluts! Enjoy how every time he appears in the text, either Krissy or his mom make some awkward sexual innuendo about him! Will Krissy orgasm just looking at his dimples? You'll have to read on to find out! The sheer laziness of the whole thing was truly staggering. It's set in Pine Hills...Midwest? Literally, that's all we get. The Midwest. The mechanics of the murder make no fucking sense, the police are useless and clueless, even by cozy standards, and the twist at the end is just...lesbianism. We get such descriptions as "[t]he apron left my waist in a flurry of arms and hair." And hair, Krissy? Waist hair? Ooooh, or how about this: "I needed to focus here, not get lost in the man's facial features." Someone get me a fucking fan, because I might literally die from the raw sexual heat. The townspeople are all mean trolls, with the exception of the one weird guy who runs the candy store and when Krissy meets him, far from befriending him, she insults him and tells him to leave her alone. I have a feeling Krissy is going to fit in juuuuuust fine in Pine Hills. And then there's the soggy coffee cookie. The soggy coffee cookie as a symbol in Death by Coffee could really be its own Master's thesis. Approximately 475 times over the course of this 300-page book, Krissy puts a cookie in a cup of coffee, lets it sink to the bottom of her cup while she drinks the coffee, and then scrapes the mushy cookie mess out of the cup and eats it. He leaned forward and peered into my coffee cup. "What the hell is that?" By now, the chocolate chip cookie had turned into a black-and-brown lump of sugary, chocolaty goodness. It took all my self-control not to slurp it up. "A cookie." "Why do you have a cookie in your coffee?" "Because it is tasty and I like it and..." I trailed off, and gave him a helpless shrug. Sometimes there are things you just can't explain. Earlier, when Krissy's demon cat knocks a coffee mug over, she momentarily considers eating the fragments of soggy coffee cookie off the floor where same said demon cat regularly goes to the bathroom in apparent defiance of Krissy, who, to be fair, is a huge cunt and I'm on the cat's side. She eats so, so many of these soggy coffee cookies. She loves them. The only explanation I can think of for the frequency of the soggy coffee cookie reference is that Alex Erickson thinks that you, dear reader, will find this endearing because he thinks you're also a mess of a human being who might eat a mushy, coffee-soaked cookie off a nasty floor.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Becky

    I started off really liking this cozy. By the time I was finished, it was just ok. I either liked the main character and laughed or she annoyed me. I really like the idea of a coffee shop and bookstore together especially ran by best friends.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Kelly-Marie

    5 Stars 🌟 🌟🌟🌟🌟 what can I say I’m a sucker for a good cozy mystery.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Nicole Overmoyer

    The best part about this book? It taught me that bitter coffee is much improved if you put a cookie (or some Nilla wafers... it was all I had) in it. The not so best part about this book? Pretty much everything else. But I was interested and it was a fast enough read that I plowed through and finished it. Just not my thing. (I received a copy of "Death by Coffee" through NetGalley and the publisher in exchange for an honest & original review.) The best part about this book? It taught me that bitter coffee is much improved if you put a cookie (or some Nilla wafers... it was all I had) in it. The not so best part about this book? Pretty much everything else. But I was interested and it was a fast enough read that I plowed through and finished it. Just not my thing. (I received a copy of "Death by Coffee" through NetGalley and the publisher in exchange for an honest & original review.)

  8. 5 out of 5

    Cindy H.

    I'm baffled this is actually a series?!?! This was my first cozy and what a disappointment! I didn't think I'd really like a cozy but I didn't think it would be so genuinely stupid. I read this for a challenge prompt, otherwise I would have bailed immediately. And the twist?? Ridiculous This book was really a stretch, I don't care how small your town is.....UGH!! I'm baffled this is actually a series?!?! This was my first cozy and what a disappointment! I didn't think I'd really like a cozy but I didn't think it would be so genuinely stupid. I read this for a challenge prompt, otherwise I would have bailed immediately. And the twist?? Ridiculous This book was really a stretch, I don't care how small your town is.....UGH!!

  9. 5 out of 5

    Sarah Booth

    I just didn't enjoy this book. The mystery wasn't bad but the characters did weird things and there were holes and inaccuracies and I just couldn't deal with these. The characters and their action weren't believable at all to me. I just couldn't believe anyone would act this way. There were good elements to the book but not put together well. I hate giving bad reviews but I couldn't wait to be done with this book. This isn't a series I can read. I just didn't enjoy this book. The mystery wasn't bad but the characters did weird things and there were holes and inaccuracies and I just couldn't deal with these. The characters and their action weren't believable at all to me. I just couldn't believe anyone would act this way. There were good elements to the book but not put together well. I hate giving bad reviews but I couldn't wait to be done with this book. This isn't a series I can read.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Doreen Petersen

    Loved, loved, loved this book and looking forward to this series!

  11. 4 out of 5

    Barb

    Krissy and her best friend, Vickie, have given up their busy California lives and moved to the midwest to open a bookshop/coffee house. On their first day of business, a rather nasty customer turns up dead moments after taking his coffee to his office across the street from the shop. The police are calling it an accident, but there are others in town who think it's murder, including Krissy. She has always been intrigued by puzzles, which she attributes to the fact that her father is a well-known Krissy and her best friend, Vickie, have given up their busy California lives and moved to the midwest to open a bookshop/coffee house. On their first day of business, a rather nasty customer turns up dead moments after taking his coffee to his office across the street from the shop. The police are calling it an accident, but there are others in town who think it's murder, including Krissy. She has always been intrigued by puzzles, which she attributes to the fact that her father is a well-known mystery writer, and she can't help looking into the death. I really wanted to love this book, because it had all the signs of a great new cozy series, but I ended up being disappointed. We're supposed to believe that Krissy and Vickie were able to open a brand new business after being in town for only one week. They both love their cats, but said cats are nastier than any cat I've ever met. Despite this, they have adopted one of the cats as the new store mascot. But the worst offender was Krissy herself, and the way she approached people she didn't even know and started firing questions at them about their roles in the death/murder. And the people answered her questions, rather than ignoring her ... or simply walking away! Are you serious? Right now, I'm not sure whether or not I'll try to read the next book in this series if/when it's released, but by that time, maybe I'll have forgotten how frustrated I was by this installment. I received a free copy of this book from NetGalley and the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Tari

    I had been wanting to read this for some time now, and was glad when one of the online book clubs I'm in decided to use it for this month's discussion, which is next week. Krissy was a hoot! She was pushy, persistent and sometimes a bit childlike in her outbursts, but she got the job done in the end, and she tracked down the killer. What a twist toward the end! I sure never saw it coming, and I didn't guess the killer until some clues planted led to them. I loved the cats getting into mischief a I had been wanting to read this for some time now, and was glad when one of the online book clubs I'm in decided to use it for this month's discussion, which is next week. Krissy was a hoot! She was pushy, persistent and sometimes a bit childlike in her outbursts, but she got the job done in the end, and she tracked down the killer. What a twist toward the end! I sure never saw it coming, and I didn't guess the killer until some clues planted led to them. I loved the cats getting into mischief as the sort of comic relief, although it wasn't too funny when Trouble was causing huge trouble for Allergy Man at the bookshop, but it could be said that the man overreacted and the cat just did what cats do naturally. (Heck, if I liked a bookshop that had a cat in it, I'd just take some allergy meds before I shopped lol) I really enjoyed Paul and Krissy's budding friendship and hopefully romance. I'm definitely continuing this series!

  13. 4 out of 5

    Jules

    I received a complimentary copy of this book via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. Death by Coffee is a cozy mystery by new author Alex Erickson. Part of the attraction of a cozy mystery is the quaintness of the setting—generally a small town. Death by Coffee got that right! Pine Hills is the small town where Krissy and Vicki open a book and coffee house after leaving the hustle and bustle of Los Angeles. Pine Hills is filled with odd and cantankerous characters who bring some color to I received a complimentary copy of this book via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. Death by Coffee is a cozy mystery by new author Alex Erickson. Part of the attraction of a cozy mystery is the quaintness of the setting—generally a small town. Death by Coffee got that right! Pine Hills is the small town where Krissy and Vicki open a book and coffee house after leaving the hustle and bustle of Los Angeles. Pine Hills is filled with odd and cantankerous characters who bring some color to the book. The plot of Death by Coffee is straightforward, as are most cozy mysteries. There is a bit of an interesting twist at the end of the story. The pace of the story is steady although it does at times get bogged down in unnecessary details about pets. The characters are rather flat, and hopefully the author will address this as the series continues. Most of what the readers learns about the character is a physical description. The dialogue from the male characters is limited. The brusqueness of young Krissy’s approach in questioning town folk after having just arrived in town is unbelievable. I had a hard time buying that anyone would speak to her given her approach. Despite its short comings, Death by Coffee was entertaining enough to keep me reading. I would not highly recommend this book, but I also would ward people off reading it.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Quenya

    Just no – not for me I think this is the first time in a long time that I have been reading a book and thought “Who wrote this?” and not in a good way. The main character is totally annoying and her love interest (a cop) comes off as a wet blanket that lets anyone walk over them. Her best friend Vicki is a much more interesting character and I wanted to hear more about how Krissy and her became friends. I couldn’t figure out why Krissy was so interested in the victim’s death. It wasn’t an interest Just no – not for me I think this is the first time in a long time that I have been reading a book and thought “Who wrote this?” and not in a good way. The main character is totally annoying and her love interest (a cop) comes off as a wet blanket that lets anyone walk over them. Her best friend Vicki is a much more interesting character and I wanted to hear more about how Krissy and her became friends. I couldn’t figure out why Krissy was so interested in the victim’s death. It wasn’t an interesting murder to me and I really didn’t care who killed the victim. Krissy was so intrusive in her investigation that I even I found her to be annoying. I can’t believe people told her anybody. I understand in cozies the main character is usually a nosy but Krissy was so blunt and rude in her questioning I didn’t like her at all. The book was a quick read though. I finished on a flight in one setting. I was given the next two books in the series and I am not sure I want to even to attempt to read them.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Remie

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. I received a complimentary copy of this book via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.. If I could give it 3 and a Half Stars, I would because I think it is better than a 3 but not quite a 4! When I read the description of this book, I immediately wanted to read it. I love coffee and a good mystery, so combining them into a murder mystery was very appealing to me. I also wanted a break from my normally dark psychopath/deranged serial killer horror novels and this lighter non-gruesome novel I received a complimentary copy of this book via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.. If I could give it 3 and a Half Stars, I would because I think it is better than a 3 but not quite a 4! When I read the description of this book, I immediately wanted to read it. I love coffee and a good mystery, so combining them into a murder mystery was very appealing to me. I also wanted a break from my normally dark psychopath/deranged serial killer horror novels and this lighter non-gruesome novel did it for me. My initial impression of this book was, wow, I love the way this book started. City girls Krissy and Vicki move from the City to a small town for new beginnings, Krissy to escape an ex and possibly living in her dad’s shadow and Vicki to escape the life her parents want her to have. They open up a coffee shop/bookstore named after a book written by Krissy’s father. Immediately and ironically a death by what appears to be coffee, happens. It really sucked me into the novel and I thought for sure I would not be able to put this book down because everything happens so fast in the beginning. The problem I had was this book was a bit unrealistic. The main character Krissy ended up annoying me more than anything and anyone in the book because she was interfering with police business and they let her do it. She also had very low self-esteem and I feel as if the Author, Alex Erickson made it seem like everyone who was not skinny with Blonde hair and blue eyes was jealous and envious of those who are and that is certainly not the case (This is my personal opinion). Her Self-esteem was so low and yet she got the good looking guy that did not go after the supposed good looking woman (Vicki). I just think the way that all came together was just a bit strange. I also wanted the author to dive a little deeper into the relationship Krissy had with her ex-boyfriend. I did not feel as though that loose end was tied up. Lastly Krissy, the main character, kept accusing her cat of being evil and plotting against her throughout the book. Poor cats always get a bad rap. Enough with the cons, this book did have some pros. I liked Alex Erickson’s writing style. Alex did not get all fancy with the verbiage and I definitely appreciate not having to look up words I have never heard of. The character development was great as well and that is what initially caught my attention with this book. Although it was not a shocker for me who ended up being the killer, I still enjoyed meeting the new characters as we tried to solve the whodunit. I did have some negatives to say about this book, but overall I actually did enjoy it and I plan to read the next installment, Death by Tea when it comes out in December.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Jenni Schell

    I think this was a pretty good start to a new series. That said, it started out pretty quickly but then seemed to slow down for me. I loved the characters and I think there is a lot of room to grow in the story.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Dawn Frazier

    I loved it! Great start to a new series. I loved the setting, and great characters. I can't wait for the next one! I loved it! Great start to a new series. I loved the setting, and great characters. I can't wait for the next one!

  18. 4 out of 5

    Sydney (sydneysshelves) West

    So I went back and listened to to the audio of this one...It was still only a 3 stars due to lack of character development. There's a lack of community so when the MC is nosy AF it just comes off as RUDE AF and very inappropriate. And she knows she's being rude but still asks questions cause she wants to know. Not bc she's a suspect or anything. Hoping the next book is better. So I went back and listened to to the audio of this one...It was still only a 3 stars due to lack of character development. There's a lack of community so when the MC is nosy AF it just comes off as RUDE AF and very inappropriate. And she knows she's being rude but still asks questions cause she wants to know. Not bc she's a suspect or anything. Hoping the next book is better.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Alyssa White

    I enjoyed this book. Some parts were easily awkward, but I think that is what kept me wanting to read it. I cannot wait to read more in this series.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Angie

    I received an ARC through NetGalley. I love coffee and I love books, so of course I had to give Death by Coffee a read! Sadly, I didn't love it. There wasn't nearly enough coffee or books, and Krissy was a really bad amateur sleuth (and a bad barista and bookseller, to be honest). She's new in town, running a bookstore/cafe with her BFF, when one of their first customers turns up dead soon after ordering one of their coffees. Brendon Lawyer wasn't well liked, but the police have deemed it an acci I received an ARC through NetGalley. I love coffee and I love books, so of course I had to give Death by Coffee a read! Sadly, I didn't love it. There wasn't nearly enough coffee or books, and Krissy was a really bad amateur sleuth (and a bad barista and bookseller, to be honest). She's new in town, running a bookstore/cafe with her BFF, when one of their first customers turns up dead soon after ordering one of their coffees. Brendon Lawyer wasn't well liked, but the police have deemed it an accident. An accident where peanut dust somehow got into his coffee (he's highly allergic), and his EpiPen was mysteriously missing. Krissy doesn't want anyone to think his coffee had anything to do with his death, so she decides to investigate. Death by Coffee started off pretty good. Krissy is trying to start her new life away from her cheating ex and her parents. But having someone die right after serving them coffee is really dulling her mood. I also really like her cat, Misfit. He's such a little jerk! But things quickly go downhill once Krissy starts investigating the murder, even after the police tell her it was an accident and that she's not a suspect or even being held accountable. Of course, that means she believes she's a suspect and has to clear her name. Not very smart. Krissy is just downright nosy! She doesn't use any special skills and her hobbies don't help her accidentally stumble upon clues. She straight up goes to people and starts asking them questions. Even when they tell her that she better leave, and if she comes back they'll call the cops, she comes back! She pushes her way into people's homes and gets arrested! Then proceeds to stalk them on Facebook, show up at their job, and just generally be super duper invasive. She does say she's interested in mysteries because her father is an author of mystery novels, but that didn't feel genuine. It was just something she said to the police chief to avoid getting into too much trouble. Krissy needs to pick up one of her dad's books to see how investigating is actually done! I did like the conclusion of the mystery. I didn't expect that, so Death by Coffee did surprise me in that regard. It's also nice to see some diversity in this genre, since I haven't come across much at all so far. I just wish that Krissy had done things differently. There wasn't anything special about her, unless you count being ridiculously nosy as special. There should have been more subtlety in her tactics, instead of openly interrogating everyone for her own curiosity's sake. Read more of my reviews at Pinkindle Reads & Reviews.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Mark Baker

    Best friends Krissy and Vickie have moved to Pine Hills and opened a bookstore and coffee shop. They’ve even named it Death by Coffee after one of Krissy’s dad’s bestselling mystery novels. But they find themselves in a real life mystery on their first day in business when a customer buys a cup of coffee, takes it to his office across the street, and dies. Krissy will have to act fast to clear their shop of any wrong doing in the crime. The book sounded like fun, and I really wanted to like it, b Best friends Krissy and Vickie have moved to Pine Hills and opened a bookstore and coffee shop. They’ve even named it Death by Coffee after one of Krissy’s dad’s bestselling mystery novels. But they find themselves in a real life mystery on their first day in business when a customer buys a cup of coffee, takes it to his office across the street, and dies. Krissy will have to act fast to clear their shop of any wrong doing in the crime. The book sounded like fun, and I really wanted to like it, but the truth it is turned out to be average. The plot was a little uneven at times, but it still advanced to a great and logical climax. The suspects were good, but most of the series regular characters were a bit flat. Krissy did some embarrassing things that made me cringe, and her cat was annoying. Here’s hoping the series gets better as it goes along. NOTE: I was sent an ARC of this book in exchange for my honest review. Read my full review at Carstairs Considers.

  22. 4 out of 5

    AngryGreyCat

    Death by Coffee by Alex Erickson is the first cozy I have read in a while and I picked it out on impulse due to the theme. The idea is really fun, a bookstore cafe with some puzzles and cats thrown in. The side characters are a quirky lot of the comical and theatrical variety. The victim is the guy that everyone could do without, not too many tears shed here and the plot had enough clues and misdirection to make it interesting. My issue was with the protagonist, Krissy. She is beyond pushy and b Death by Coffee by Alex Erickson is the first cozy I have read in a while and I picked it out on impulse due to the theme. The idea is really fun, a bookstore cafe with some puzzles and cats thrown in. The side characters are a quirky lot of the comical and theatrical variety. The victim is the guy that everyone could do without, not too many tears shed here and the plot had enough clues and misdirection to make it interesting. My issue was with the protagonist, Krissy. She is beyond pushy and brusque dealing with her suspects, no gentle hinting or forming relationships to help her solve the case. She is also a slacker at work and comes across as entitled, leaving her friend and co-business owner Vicky holding the bag more often than not. When I read cozies, I expect to like the protagonist and be rooting for them, not wincing at their behavior.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Carolyn Injoy

    Death by Coffee by Alex Erickson I received a free kindle copy of Death by Coffee by Alex Erickson, published by Kensington Books from NetGalley in exchange for a fair review.   I gave this entertaining cozy mystery five stars. I enjoyed Krissy's attempts to solve what she believes to be a murder. Can she solve it before the killer gets to her?   "'Who'd ever heard of a book club competition? Without having to ask, I knew Rita had been the one to come up with it. No one else would have thought of so Death by Coffee by Alex Erickson I received a free kindle copy of Death by Coffee by Alex Erickson, published by Kensington Books from NetGalley in exchange for a fair review.   I gave this entertaining cozy mystery five stars. I enjoyed Krissy's attempts to solve what she believes to be a murder. Can she solve it before the killer gets to her?   "'Who'd ever heard of a book club competition? Without having to ask, I knew Rita had been the one to come up with it. No one else would have thought of something so . . . odd.'"   Link to purchase: http://www.amazon.com/Death-Coffee-Bo...

  24. 5 out of 5

    Cat Tutt

    I felt like this book was a lot less lofty than many cozies. As in, she wasted time on Facebook and wasn't a stellar cook. She seemed somehow very imperfect, and real. That's kind of a double edged sword for me, because on the one hand I felt she was really relateable... on the other hand, I like it when cozy characters motivate me to cook or bake or attempt things they are passionate about and good at. I think the thing I most have to say is that there was a huge twist I did NOT see coming, and I felt like this book was a lot less lofty than many cozies. As in, she wasted time on Facebook and wasn't a stellar cook. She seemed somehow very imperfect, and real. That's kind of a double edged sword for me, because on the one hand I felt she was really relateable... on the other hand, I like it when cozy characters motivate me to cook or bake or attempt things they are passionate about and good at. I think the thing I most have to say is that there was a huge twist I did NOT see coming, and I really loved that. Props to Mr. Erickson for catching me totally off guard! All in all, a solid 4 stars.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Karen

    I finished Death by Coffee last night I liked it. I thought the idea of the book was good. I am not sure I got a true cozy feeling from it but I did like it and am looking forward to reading the next one.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Elena

    Not the best cozy I’ve read, but I will probably read the next book in the series anyway. I found the main character to be extremely whiny and annoying. I got tired of listening to her whine about the lack of customers in her new shop. I also got tired of her pining after the police officer. She was acting like a middle school girl and it was annoying. She also whined about her cat a lot. There was a lack of character development in this book. Maybe that will improve in the next book. The premis Not the best cozy I’ve read, but I will probably read the next book in the series anyway. I found the main character to be extremely whiny and annoying. I got tired of listening to her whine about the lack of customers in her new shop. I also got tired of her pining after the police officer. She was acting like a middle school girl and it was annoying. She also whined about her cat a lot. There was a lack of character development in this book. Maybe that will improve in the next book. The premise of the book is good, so I’m going to give it another chance and read the next book in the series at some point. Not right away though. I need to read a book from a series I love first.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Paula Adams

    Just by the title you can guess what happens. But you don't know how or why or who. The co-coffeeshop owner wants to find out as she feels responsible even though no one else died. Lots of misadventures trying to get to the truth. Lots of lies being told that she and the police need to weed through. Some interesting characters. A couple of terrors of cats too. Just by the title you can guess what happens. But you don't know how or why or who. The co-coffeeshop owner wants to find out as she feels responsible even though no one else died. Lots of misadventures trying to get to the truth. Lots of lies being told that she and the police need to weed through. Some interesting characters. A couple of terrors of cats too.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Jessica Wilhoite

    I couldn't put this book down (well I had to, but very reluctantly)! It was so good. I was immersed in Krissy and Vicki's life from the get-go and throw in handsome Paul Dawson and two feisty felines and it was just about perfect! 4.8 stars I can't wait to read the next book in this series and hope it continues for a long time. Alex Erickson I couldn't put this book down (well I had to, but very reluctantly)! It was so good. I was immersed in Krissy and Vicki's life from the get-go and throw in handsome Paul Dawson and two feisty felines and it was just about perfect! 4.8 stars I can't wait to read the next book in this series and hope it continues for a long time. Alex Erickson

  29. 5 out of 5

    Sharon

    I am by no means a "mystery connoisseur", however it doesn't take Sherlock Holmes to deduce that this is a *bad* mystery. Which is a big disappointment, as I think it had potential to be a GOOD cozy mystery; the premise was promising, and I enjoyed the first two-three chapters, but I think that was before I really got to know our narrator/protagonist and before I really got a grasp of the author's writing style. This book quickly began plummeting the slippery slope and by the end, what I thought I am by no means a "mystery connoisseur", however it doesn't take Sherlock Holmes to deduce that this is a *bad* mystery. Which is a big disappointment, as I think it had potential to be a GOOD cozy mystery; the premise was promising, and I enjoyed the first two-three chapters, but I think that was before I really got to know our narrator/protagonist and before I really got a grasp of the author's writing style. This book quickly began plummeting the slippery slope and by the end, what I thought could perhaps pass with a 2 star rating, landed in the waste dump of 1 star - 1.5 stars (if we're being generous) **Beware, SPOILERS ahead** Death by Coffee is Alex Erickson's first book, or at least that's what the back cover tells me. It's certainly his first cozy mystery...and oh dear, it shows. We are introduced to our narrator/heroine Krissy Hancock, the daughter of a famed mystery writer who apparently never read any mysteries of any kind before, because if she had, she wouldn't have conducted her sleuthing in such a sloppy manner. That was the first red flag for me, the way Krissy would just run up to someone and blatantly ask "who do you think is the murderer?" Seriously, the girl doesn't understand the art of subtly. And half the time she would draw attention to herself and the suspect by shouting their name across the street to stop them so they could talk, then act all shocked and surprised when they became irritated with her. Although I suppose it's not entirely her fault, as these stupid people went ahead and ANSWERED HER QUESTIONS, when they didn't have to. Was she a cop? No. She was a nosy, busy-body hypocrite, and I say "hypocrite", because she received her own fair-share of mean-spirited gossip and grumbled about how unfair she was being treated, when she herself was every bit as guilty. I think that's the main problem: Krissy. Protagonists shouldn't be perfect, nor do they have to be likable 100% of the time. But you should like them at least a *little* bit, as readers often put themselves in the protagonist's shoes, ESPECIALLY when a book is told in first-person. But I rarely found myself liking Krissy, let alone sympathizing with her when things didn't go her way. As I said, she was a nosy hypocrite who never thought through her plans beyond "running them down and flinging them with questions". She was always surprised when various people (the smarter suspects in my opinion) tried to stop her by resorting to physical violence as that seemed to be the ONLY way to get her to leave them alone. (Seriously, there's a moment when she's told to leave someone alone but then proceeds to BARGE INTO THEIR HOUSE, and when the cops arrive because the person called them, acts hurt and moans that she's the victim even though she honestly could be charged for a serious crime). Also, the author does not write women well at all. Krissy went into this business with her best friend, Vicki, who she seems to despise, as everything Krissy "thinks" about her friend is negative, and what is meant to be a compliment (or sound like a compliment) comes across as petty-jealousy. Oh, and she abandons Vicki to run the store about 90% of the time, or so it felt. Honestly, I wanted Vicki to fire her and hire someone else. And the big "reveal" at the end wasn't as shocking as perhaps the author thought it was (view spoiler)[ So it turns out that the murderer (a woman) was *gasp* having an affair with the victim's wife. That didn't really surprise me, because it was the one scenario Krissy didn't consider, and she had been wrong about all the other scenarios, but the thing I really found insulting was how the author found this revelation of two women having an affair to be both outrageous and titillating. (hide spoiler)] The ending fell flat for me and was pretty disappointing. Can't deny it was because of this that ultimately moved my rating from 2 stars to 1. Also, Krissy nearly got herself killed by doing something really stupid when confronting the killer, but pats herself on the back and calls herself "a hero" and believes that everyone who comes to the shop/cafe is "because they all want to see her and bask in the light of a local hero". Gag and barf. I already have books 2 and 3 in this series; I don't have high hopes that things will get better as the series goes along, but I'll try them at some point. The only other big positive thing I can say is that they read fairly quickly, with roughly 8-10 page chapters. Anyway, there are much better cozy mysteries to read out there, so pick up one of those and give this a pass.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Mary Brown

    Krissy Hancock moves to Pine Hills with her best friend, Vicki, to open a coffee/bookstore. They name the store “Death By Coffee”. They picked this name because that is the name of Krissy”s fathers famous mystery book. Krissy does not really like the name because she thinks it is a little morbid. And when the name becomes a reality, Krissy is ready to rename the place. The first day that the shop is open a man comes in for a cup of coffee. He is not very pleasant and does not seem very impressed Krissy Hancock moves to Pine Hills with her best friend, Vicki, to open a coffee/bookstore. They name the store “Death By Coffee”. They picked this name because that is the name of Krissy”s fathers famous mystery book. Krissy does not really like the name because she thinks it is a little morbid. And when the name becomes a reality, Krissy is ready to rename the place. The first day that the shop is open a man comes in for a cup of coffee. He is not very pleasant and does not seem very impressed with his beverage. Not long after he arrives in the store, he receives a phone call and leaves and returns to his place of business across the street. A short time later emergency vehicles are in front of “Death By Coffee” and Krissy learns that her unfriendly customer is dead. Although it is initially believed that his death was accidental, after more investigating it is believed it may be murder. He died from anaphylactic shock and although he was extremely allergic to peanuts, no epipen was found with his body. And since Krissy was one of the last people to see him alive and her coffee was one of the last things that he drank, she is a person of interest. She knows that she has to clear her name and the reputation of the shop, so she decides to find the killer herself. Besides, she really enjoys solving puzzles, and this is a whopper of a puzzle. But the more she delves into the life of the deceased, the more she learns that he was not an ideal family man and is known for being a womanizer. This may be the one puzzle that she can not solve, but it may be the most important one of her life because her freedom might depend on it. The characters are well developed and well rounded. I thought that Krissy was very funny and I laughed at loud at some of her thoughts and ideas. I also laughed at the antics of Trouble and Misfit, two crazy cats owned by Krissy and Vicki. At times Krissy acted a lot younger than she was but that was alright with me because it just added to the humor. The mystery is carried out throughout much of the book and I thought it was well plotted. Since the victim was not the nicest man in town, there are many suspects to consider, Twists and turns made it difficult to determine the killer and I did not know who the culprit was until it was revealed at the end. I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys a well crafted cozy mystery. It is the first book in the series and I will definitely read book two. One thing that I found interesting is that this book was written by a male. I do not know if I have ever read any other cozies written by a man. I just know that he did a good job, in my opinion. I received a free copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for a honest review. I would like to thank NetGalley and Kensington for the opportunity to read and review this book.

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