Death By Coffee, by Alex Erickson (@AEricksonbooks) #review @NetGalley

About the book Death by Coffee Death by Coffee

  • Series: Bookstore Cafe Mysteries
  • Mass Market Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Kensington (May 26, 2015)

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…

Buy, read, and discuss Death by Coffee

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About the author, Alex Erickson

Alex Erickson has always wanted to write, even at a young, impressionable age. He’s always had an interest in the motive behind murder, which has led him down his current path. He’s always ready with a witty—at least in his opinion—quip, and tries to keep every conversation light and friendly. Alex lives in Ohio with his family and resident felines, who provide endless amounts of inspiration.

Connect with Alex

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My Thoughts

Every so often, I search NetGalley for books with ‘beach’ or ‘coffee’ in the titles or descriptions, because when I’m looking for escapist reading, that’s what I like to read about most.

Last month, such a search led me to Death by Coffee, the first entry in the Bookstore Cafe Mystery series by Alex Erickson, and it was as if this book had been written for me. The only thing that would have made it better is if Krissy’s pet was a stubborn dog instead of an evil cat, but what’s a fictional pet among friends, right?

I didn’t have a chance to dive into the novel until last weekend, but it was the perfect thing to read on a weekend when it was too hot to do anything but move from one air conditioned room to the next and maybe out to the pool and back. (Actually, it would also be the perfect thing to read on a rainy weekend, or a humid Thursday afternoon, or even a slow Tuesday night, but…I digress.)

I loved the concept of two women opening a bookstore/cafe as a way to escape from their existing lives and also make a living. I was immediately engaged in Krissy’s story – daughter of a famous mystery novelist, reeling from a romance gone wrong – these are common tropes that could feel cliche in another writer’s hands, but author Alex Erickson makes his main character so real, so vulnerable, that I couldn’t help but root for her. I wanted her business to do well. I wanted her to fall for the hunky cop (and have him fall for her as well.) More importantly, I wanted her to solve the murder of Brendon Lawyer.

While there was an element of Death by Coffee that was obviously setting up an entire series of books, I knew that going in, so it didn’t feel like there was too much backstory, or too much exposition. Erickson did a masterful job in creating a small town and the citizens who live in it, some apparently normal, others decidedly not, and I was strongly reminded of many of the small towns I’ve either lived in or visited over the years.

If you love books, coffee, and cozy mysteries, you will, as I did, find yourself hooked on Death by Coffee.

Goes well with: a grande flat white and a chocolate chip cookie. Obviously.