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The Blackmail Blend

(Café La Femme #1.5)

3.88  ·  Rating details ·  81 ratings  ·  21 reviews
Six romance writers
Five secrets
Four poison pen letters
Three stolen manuscripts
Two undercover journalists
One over-complicated love life
Way too many teacups and tiny sandwiches

This shouldn't be a recipe for mayhem and murder, but Tabitha Darling has been burned once before and she knows the signs that she's about to fall into another crime scene.At least she doesn't have to
ebook, 101 pages
Published June 12th 2015 by Deadlines
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3.88  · 
Rating details
 ·  81 ratings  ·  21 reviews

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Jun 15, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: mysteries
The Cafe la Femme series is my favorite mystery series right now - really cozy in the best way, funny, quirky, charming and delightful, with fabulous characters. This is a standalone novella set between Books 1 and 2, a mystery set around high tea with a truly wicked Regency romance author, and I just loved it. Tabitha is such an endearing heroine, the quirkiness is just exactly my cup of tea, and this was one of my favorite entries in the series so far. (It's a sign of just how good the series ...more
Katharine (Ventureadlaxre)
Set in-between A Trifle Dead and Drowned Vanilla we come back to our favourite characters for a novelette, where Tabitha finds herself thrown into a crime scene yet again. She still runs the café we know from the first book, and it's through this (and her amazing cooking) that she's commissioned for a Regency-themed high tea for a fancy book launch - except, someone tries to poison the famous snobby author, right in Tabitha's own café.

The attitude of the horrid author aside, this is a personal h
Elizabeth Fitzgerald
May 10, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: aww2016
Saying I like a good cup of tea is rather like saying the sun rises in the east. So there was no way I was going to be able to resist a crime novella that comes with its own blend of tea--especially not when the crime novella in question belongs to Livia Day's Café La Femme series.

Sandwiched between A Trifle Dead and Drowned Vanilla, The Blackmail Blend gives a taste of all the important elements of the series. After being somewhat scarred by the events of A Trifle Dead, Tabitha is doing her bes
Aug 14, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: australian, crime
Sprightly, clever, funny, delightful and perfect!

This novella continues the pizzazz and humour of the A Trifle Dead, with Tabitha, her splendidly individual array of friends, her gorgeous fashion sense, her dedication to good food, her complicated love life and her astonishing capacity to fall face first into attempted murder – this time of a famous (or possibly notorious) romance writer who is having a huge and fancy high tea at Tabitha’s cafe.

There’s a charming hilarity in the details of the w
Jun 12, 2015 rated it really liked it
Sandwiched between A Trifle Dead and Drowned Vanilla (I'm yet to read the latter), this snack in the Cafe La Femme series is just enough of a temptation to remind me how much I loved the first book. Featuring romance! So much romance! (No spoilers.) Also sleuthing. And food. Best enjoyed with a cup of tea and a slice of cake, to avert food FOMO.
Alis Franklin
Jun 12, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: read-2015
A cute, fun mystery combining two of my favourite things: food... and author politics.
Anna Hepworth
This story, as well as being shorter than Livia Day's other murder mysteries, is tonally a bit different. And in no way that I can point to, it just wasn't as engaging. A pleasant enough read, but not one I'm going to plan to reread unless it is part of a full reread of the series.

However, the essay at the end, which talks about some of the motivations in Day's mystery fiction, was fascinating. I'm not familiar with the authorial team that Day talks at length about, but I'm almost tempted to go
Jul 07, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: aww2018
I read the first book in this series years ago. I think it is a sign of how good the characters are in that it took me no time at all to remember who was who.

Short, funny, bitesized morsel of a novella
Feb 06, 2017 rated it it was ok
Shelves: ebook, scribd
I don't think this was worth the hour I put into it... It didn't quite flow enough but maybe that was because I was flipping through it pretty quick?
Feb 28, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: australian, crime, ebook
There is so much to like about the Café La Femme series (of which THE BLACKMAIL BLEND is #1.5), that a novella drizzled into the middle of existing novels, A TRIFLE DEAD and DROWNED VANILLA is a lovely treat - dare one suggest the icing on the cake? It seems that there is a third book in the series KEEP CALM & KILL THE CHEF on it's way now as well.

For those that haven't come across these books before they are funny, clever and charming cosies with recipes, vintage clothes, spendidly elaborat
Tsana Dolichva
May 07, 2015 rated it it was amazing
The Blackmail Blend by Livia Day is a novelette set in between the novels A Trifle Dead and Drowned Vanilla. For maximum enjoyment it's probably best read after A Trifle Dead although it doesn't really contain any significant spoilers.

The Blackmail Blend features our favourite desert-making amateur detective, Tabitha, as she organises and caters a regency high tea for a romance book launch. But of course something has to go horribly wrong and it may or may not have something to do with Stewart's
Jun 14, 2015 rated it it was amazing
This series needs to come with a warning: desire to consume gorgeous food will ensue. You also may feel the need to visit the small city of Hobart and submerse yourself in cozy cafe culture, and maybe solve a crime or two with the help of a sexy Scotsman or charming cop.

The Blackmail Blend is a clever bridge between Livia Day's A Trifle Dead and Drowned Vanilla. It can certainly be read as a standalone piece, but the wonderful banter and snark between the characters may not have quite the same
Ju Transcendancing
I was so bereft with the ending of the first book – you know that feeling, where the book has ended and there’s no more story left to read! I very nearly went back to the beginning again, but this novella staved off this need and provided that extra helping (of dessert of course) to get me through. Gosh I love these books! Also, how can I not love books that make me want to review them using as many dessert references as I possibly can?!

I was so amused at the whole idea of a romance writers retr
The Blackmail Blend is a mini-mystery set between A Trifle Dead and Drowned Vanilla. We can still feel the tension in Tabitha, who maintains that she never intended to get involved in detective work, and definitely never intended to put herself in danger. There’s also tension lingering within her relationships – she’s not quite sure if she and Leo are going too fast or too slow or both at the same time and who knows what’s going on with Steward.

Meanwhile, a highly admired, yet deeply toxic roman
Feb 23, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: mystery
Tabitha is all finished with sleuthing. She just wants to run her bakery and enjoy her romance and friendships. When she agrees to host a reading for a popular romance writer who who wants a regency tea party, she has a great time doing the research. However she soon realizes this writer is a prima donna. Tabitha is willing to work around the many allergies, the specially brewed teas, and the many demands, but after watching the way Beatrice treats her fans she becomes convinced somebody will tr ...more
Jun 08, 2015 rated it really liked it
Set between A Trifle Dead and Drowned Vanilla, Tabitha once again has complicated boy issues, complicated food issues, and complicated I'm-not-a-detective issues, not necessarily in that order of importance. This time Livia Day has gone suspiciously meta on us, by having the victim of an attempted crime be a glamorous author; the situation is a writers' retreat. I can't help but wonder whether she is channelling her own experiences, or vengeful dreams....

As always there is excellent food, altho
Dec 27, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: mystery
I bought this book quite a while ago, because I loved the two books in the series. Knowing it would be a bit of a wait until another book came out, I tried to hold off reading The Blackmail Blend as long as I could. I'm so glad I caved and picked it up today! I'm stuck home with a chest cold and a cough and this was exactly what I needed. This novella is a cup of calm tea and slice of my favorite cake on a cold, rainy day. I cannot squee enough about this series and am so glad that The Blackmail ...more
Dec 01, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: twelve-planets
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jenn Estepp
Quite fun, but very slight. Which I knew going in, kind of, but even shorter than I expected. As such, everything happens super duper quickly, which doesn't necessarily add to the credibility of things. I mean, how much mystery is there really in a case that is almost instantly solved? Fortunately, I am very fond of the characters. And it certainly whetted my appetite for the second full-length. And also for cherries jubilee shooters.
Kate Gordon
Jun 06, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I love this story. I love this series. I want some Tabitha tea.
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Christy Wright
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Livia Day fell in love with crime fiction at an early age. Her first heroes were Miss Jane Marple and Mrs Emma Peel, and not a lot has changed since then!

She has lived in Hobart, Tasmania for most of her life, and now spends far too much time planning which picturesque tourist spot will get the next fictional corpse. You can find her online at http://tabithadarlingsbedroomfloor.tu... and http://ww

Other books in the series

Café La Femme (3 books)
  • A Trifle Dead (Cafe La Femme, #1)
  • Drowned Vanilla (Café La Femme, #2)
  • Keep Calm & Kill the Chef (Café La Femme, #3)
“There are few hours in life more agreeable than the hour dedicated to the ceremony known as afternoon tea. The Portrait of a Lady, by Henry James” 1 likes
“I shouldn’t think even millionaires could eat anything nicer than new bread and real butter and honey for tea.” 0 likes
More quotes…