Title: Fresh Brewed Murder
Author: Emmeline Duncan
Series: A Ground Rules Mystery #1
Publisher: Kensington
Release Date: March 30, 2021
Pages: 227
Book Source: Netgalley

“Portland is famous for its rain, hipsters, craft beers … and coffee. Sage Caplin has high hopes for her coffee cart, Ground Rules, which she runs with her business partner, Harley—a genius at roasting beans and devising new blends. That’s essential in a city where locals have intensely strong opinions about cappuccino versus macchiato—especially in the case of one of Sage’s very first customers… .

Sage finds the man’s body in front of her cart, a fatal slash across his neck. There’s been plenty of anger in the air, from longtime vendors annoyed at Ground Rules taking a coveted spot in the food truck lot, to protesters demonstrating against a new high-rise. But who was mad enough to commit murder? Sage is already fending off trouble in the form of her estranged, con-artist mother, who’s trying to trickle back into her life. But when Sage’s very own box cutter is discovered to be the murder weapon, she needs to focus on finding the killer fast—before her business, and her life, come to a bitter end… .” – Amazon

Kim’s Review

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Fresh Brewed Murder by Emmeline Duncan is a great start to another cozy mystery series. One of the many reasons I read is because I enjoy learning new things, and as someone who is not a coffee drinker, this book was full of interesting information… that almost makes me want to start! I love when cozies actually include the information for the hobby/place/cooking/etc… that they are using as their story hook. I’ve found some that mention it once or twice and that’s it, instead leaving it more for the cover art.

Duncan really shined in creating a small community within the coffee community with lots of characters that stand out, with her descriptions of Portland, and it’s food truck scene. We visited Portland once, about 10 years ago, and after reading Fresh Brewed Murder, I think we will be going there again in the near future since Duncan’s descriptions of the food, drinks, and town were so engaging.

Besides the great cast of food truck owners, we also get some insight into Sage’s family and business partner. Sage’s dad and brother seem like great people who’ll be there for her, the mother is a very interesting character and I can’t wait to see how she progresses and what kind of trouble she will make for Sage, and the business partner… well, let’s just say I personally would be looking for a new one. We also get a surly detective and a hunky love interest to round out the group.

Looking forward to book two in A Ground Rules Mystery series to see what happens with Sage and the gang next, as well as for more yummy food and drink descriptions and recipes.

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