As a newly minted private eye, Juliet Langley has sworn to leave homicide to the authorities, limiting the scope of her investigations to cheating spouses and dirty business partners . . . like her ex-fiancé, Scott O’Malley. When Scott shows up unannounced at her coffeehouse, Java Jive, Juliet’s first instinct is to punch him in the nose. Her second is to turn down his desperate plea for help with a case that’s way too dangerous for her liking. But when Scott drops dead before her eyes, Juliet isn’t going to wait around for someone else to clear her name.
It’s only a matter of time before her tumultuous past with her ex-fiancé comes out, so Juliet teams up with her ex-boyfriend, police detective Ryder Hamilton, to figure out who poisoned Scott. They soon confirm that Scott was involved in an illegal scheme that’s definitely grounds for concern.
Just as romance is finally beginning to percolate for Juliet and her best friend, Pete Bennett, she has no choice but to head back to her hometown to seek out the truth. And she’ll need help from the locals to find the real killer—otherwise her happily ever after could easily end up including an actual ball and chain.
Worldbuilding: God, I missed Java Jive and good old Nashville. The world of intrigue of Java Jive is full of tension as ever, with secrets waiting to be revealed.
Characters: Juliet as lively and snarky as ever. Now a PI and having one of her exes dating her boss – Jesus! – while flirting with her best guy friend and sleeping with young meet. You gotta love Juliet, hahaha. I mean, Cooper – nice nab, Jules! She’s such a riot. But the whole thing made me enjoy her a tinsy bit less. There’s no rhyme or reason to her personal life, I feel, and I generally find that annoying. Because I liked her already, it just made me take her less seriously. And the Peter thing didn’t really change my mind. If anything, it made me take them both less seriously in fact. Might be mean of me, but her, I am a self-declared evil readers, so…*shrugs*
Plot: The death of Scott is probably the most unlikely thing I might have ever imagined Juliet to investigate, so kudos on that. The tempo was nice and tense, and I enjoyed all the drama around solving this one. Plus, there’s a good serving of romance to go with the investigation – if you can take anything remotely romantic related to Juliet seriously, which I can’t tbh. But it’s entertaining as hell, I’ll tell you that.
Writing: First person, past tense narrative, Juliet’s POV. I’m irrevocably in love with her voice. Pete’s voice isn’t bad at all, but with Juliet in the story, nobody else stands a chance at becoming my fav.
Curb Appeal: Still iffy about these covers, but hooking blurb and autobuy series for my PI slash romantic mystery moods.
I had a lot of fun reading Murder over Mochas, and I love Juliet’s voice to no ends even when her actions as far as personal life goes sort of put me in an eye-rolling mood. These novels are very fun, and if you love irreverent snarky voices I totally recommend the series as a whole.
I recommend this baby to fans of PI mysteries, slow burn romances with sweet endings, and awesomely smarky MCs who get into almost as much trouble as they manage to get to the bottom of xD