Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Death Before Decaf by Caroline Fardig

Fans of Stephanie Plum will find this novel quite entertaining. While there weren't as many laugh out loud scenes as in some of the early Plum novels, it is a fun romp through the crazy world of Juliet Langley.

The novel starts out with Juliet back at the Java Jive, where she had worked during college. She had been able to realize her dream, her own restaurant. But when her fiance had recently run off with her money and her best waitress, she'd had to close the restaurant doors. She would be managing the coffee shop, helping out her friend Pete.

Her new job got off to a bad start when she had to put a couple employees in their place and that evening one of them is found dead. Juliet, having found the body and having argued with the man earlier, is a prime suspect. She determines to find the killer herself.

And what a crazy experience she has. She gets into all kinds of unbelievable situations. A frequent Java Jive customer, Ryder, manages to rescue her several times. Soon there is a chemistry between them. That complicates Juliet's life and then her investigations turn deadly.

This series is off to a good start. It could be funnier but it is a good alternative to those, like me, who are getting tired of Plum. Juliet gets herself into some crazy situations. It's a pretty decent mystery too. There aren't the quirky characters that have made the Plum novels so entertaining. There is the love triangle, sort of.

It should be noted that there is some serious “language” in this novel. Readers of the Plum novels will be used to that, however.

My rating: 4/5 stars.

Caroline Fardig is the author of the Lizzie Hart mysteries. She's been a school teacher, church organist, insurance agent, worked in a funeral home and was a stay-at-home mom before she realized she wanted to write. She and her husband and their two children live in the same Indiana town in which she was born and raised. You can find out more about her and her books at http://www.carolinefardig.com/.

Alibi (Random House), 288 pages.

I received a complimentary egalley of this book from the publisher for the purpose of an independent and honest review.
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