Death by Coffee is the first installment in the Bookstore Café Mystery series. Krissy Hancock and her friend Vicki move to the small town of Pine Hills to open a combination Bookstore/Coffee shop. They decide to name the shop Death by Coffee after the best selling mystery novel penned by Krissy's father. Krissy has serious doubts about the shop's name which prove to be well founded when on their opening day, successful businessman Brendon Lawyer drops dead in his office across the street minutes after drinking a coffee.
It appears that Brendon had a serious peanut allergy and traces of peanut dust are found in his coffee. The police seem to think it was an accidental death but Krissy knows that there was no way peanuts or peanut dust was present in the coffee. The absence of Brendon's EpiPen leads Krissy to suspect murder and she sets out to investigate and to clear the Death by Coffee name.
I love cozy mysteries especially those that involve books and cats. Krissy is the owner of Misfit, her feisty feline that has serious issues with just about everything including his litter box. Vicki is the owner of Trouble, the mischievous cat who lives up to his moniker serving as the shop's mascot. The cats were my favorite part of the story.
This cozy did not invoke the warm and fuzzy feelings for me that most cozies do. The book starts off fast paced but quickly looses appeal and I found myself struggling to keep up my interest. Krissy is very abrupt and abrasive in her questioning of suspects. As someone who is new to town and doesn't know anyone, plus a new business owner who is trying to draw customers into the shop, Krissy does nothing to try and make friends or inroads into the community.
There are only a handful of characters in this book, and the relationship between Krissy and Vicki seems to be lacking the most development. For two supposed best friends they actually spend very little time together or in conversation. Hunky Officer Paul Dalton has the potential to become Krissy's love interest but even the dynamics between these two falls flat.
I think there is a lot of potential for this series and while I wouldn't highly recommend this particular book as a must read I wouldn't discourage anyone from picking it up either. I will be looking for the next installment, Death by Tea in hopes that things will improve.
I received an Advanced Copy of this book from NetGalley via Kensington Publishing. I was not required to write a review but am more than happy to give my honest opinion.