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Archive: Other Books > [Poll Ballot] Death by Coffee, by Alex Erickson (1 star)

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message 1: by KateNZ (new)

KateNZ | 2504 comments File this under 'things we do for team reading challenges'...

I like cosy mysteries. I can suspend disbelief with the best of us. I love coffee, and cats (though I prefer dogs... just saying) and bookshops. The combo is a dream. So when the library gave me this, I thought I was in for a few gentle hours of happiness.


Two young women, best friends, set up a bookstore/cafe in a small town far from home because one (Vicky) is escaping from being pushed into an acting career and can't say no to her parents without fleeing the jurisdiction. And one (Krissie, the narrator) is escaping from a toxic relationship and her dad happens to be a mystery writer. They each have a seriously badly behaved cat.

On day 1, an unpleasant customer (whom everyone conveniently hates) dies from a peanut allergy after leaving the cafe. Accident or murder? Of course, Krissie just has to get involved and find out because she loves puzzles and she wants to impress her dad even though she pretends she doesn't care a fig. Which means sloping off work every five minutes (and whining when this isn't possible) and leaving everything to her long-suffering and Pollyanna-ish best friend while the cafe starts to fail, snooping around asking questions and distressing family members of the not-so-dear departed, shouting at her (admittedly intolerable) cat, and randomly accusing half the town of murder until she just happens to hit on the right answer. She is so lazy that unpacking, or doing any variety of work whatsoever seems too much of an ask. Plus nearly every person she meets in the town is completely over the top, usually by being either histrionic and/or seriously unpleasant. And the local police are ridiculous and incompetent - not an uncommon trope, but this lot were beyond silly.

The actual writing was pretty decent - there were some funny turns of phrase - but I hope to goodness the characters are better drawn in the later books. I won't be finding out, though.

message 2: by Tien (new)

Tien (tiensblurb) | 723 comments oops! ha ha ha, thanks for suffering through this, Kate, you're a legend!

message 3: by Theresa (new)

Theresa | 7445 comments You definitely took one for the team! Now you can go off and lick your wounds with something you know will be good!

I don't like coffee - so I tend to avoid these anyway - why who knows?? Perhaps I'm afraid the scent of coffee (which I loathe) will waft from the pages?? Just one of my more charming idiosyncrasies.

message 4: by Karin (new)

Karin | 7206 comments Thanks for taking one for the team!

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