Sunday, August 13, 2023

Murder a la Mode - An Interview, Review, & Giveaway

I'm happy to welcome Lena Gregory back to Cozy Up With Kathy. Among other series, Lena writes the Coffee & Cream Cafe Mysteries. MURDER A LA MODE is the first in the series and was released last week.

Kathy: You start a new series with MURDER A LA MODE. What led you to coffee and ice cream?

LG: I loved the idea of an ice cream parlor on eastern Long Island, the old fashioned mom and pop kind, but with a more trendy twist.


Kathy: Although Danika dreams of a trendy café, I love the idea of an old fashioned malt shop. A local diner near me used to offer egg creams, malts, and my favorite, a huckleberry phosphate. What would you choose to drink from a malt shop?

LG: A root beer float! I can still remember how they taste, though I haven’t had one in probably twenty years or more. Hmm. I might have to have one now.


Kathy: If you were to run an eatery, what types of things would you offer?

LG: I would love to run an ice cream shop, the kind where people come in to share a snack and hang around to chat.


Kathy: Your series are generally set in either New York state or Florida. Why choose Long Island for your Coffee and Cream Cafe Mystery series? 

LG: Although I live in Florida now, I lived most of my life on Long Island, and I was remembering days spent with my daughter when she was little—walking through Southampton town, visiting shops, going to the park. I thought it would be the perfect location for a trendy little ice cream/ coffee shop, even though the town of Watchogue is set just west of the Hamptons.


Kathy: Will you share any other upcoming books?

LG: I have completed the second Coffee and Cream Café Mystery, Grounds for Murder, which is due to release on November 21, and I am starting to plot book three in the series. I’m currently working on book seven in my All-Day Breakfast Café Mystery series, which should release in the fall or winter. 



MURDER A LA MODE by Lena Gregory
The First Coffee & Cream Cafe Mystery
Danika Delaney never intended to return to Watchogue, New York, let alone take over her Uncle Jimmie's ice cream shop, but here she is. As her uncle shows her the ropes who should come into the shop but, Luca, the boy who broke her heart on prom night, followed by his wife, Heather, who accuses Danika of having an affair with him. Brushing that aside, Danika to make plans as she's been given free reign, almost, to make whatever changes she wants to the shop. But a check of the basement leads to the discovery Heather's dead body. What was she doing in Jimmie's after hours? Who killed her? It couldn't be Luca. Could it? Danika, with the help of her sister and best friend, will not only prove Danika's innocence, but find the real killer.
A new Lena Gregory Mystery? Sign me up! One of my favorite authors has come up with a completely charming and funny new series and I couldn't be more delighted! Danika is a great protagonist. She's taken quite a few hits, but keeps on going. She's loyal, perhaps too loyal, funny, with lots of ideas. She also has a great team, with best friend Gwen and sister Meghan, who give emotional support and plenty of laughs. I'm still giggling over Danika and Gwen's unexpected tailing of a suspect. Then there's a hint of romance...with the possibility of a love triangle. I'll just say this-Danika, pick the new guy! I also love Danika's family, another source of humor. Don't cross her mom! And of course I'm enamoured with Danika's new roommate.

The mystery in the first Coffee & Cream Mystery was intriguing and I loved the fact that Danika wasn't 100% sure of Luca's innocence. Heather was a royal...well, you know what, so there were plenty of suspects with plenty of motives. I love how the relationships evolved while some remained the same and details emerged, slowly painting the picture of what happened...and why.

Funny, charming, and filled with great characters MURDER A LA MODE is a delightful start to a new series.


 Murder A La Mode (Coffee & Cream Cafe Mysteries) by Lena Gregory

About Murder A La Mode

Murder A La Mode (Coffee & Cream Cafe Mysteries)
Cozy Mystery 1st in Series
Setting - New York
Gemma Halliday Publishing (August 8, 2023)

From author Lena Gregory comes a delicious new series that will warm your heart and leave you guessing until the very end...

When twenty-five-year-old Danika Delaney, black sheep of the Delaney clan, returns home to Long Island to take over Jimmie's, her eccentric uncle’s old fashioned malt shop on eastern Long Island, she’s not exactly thrilled. But things start to look up when her uncle tells her she can do whatever she’d like with the shop, and it seems she might realize her dream of a small trendy café. That is, until she discovers the body of her ex-boyfriend’s estranged wife in a melted puddle of rocky road in the malt shop basement. With her two sidekicks, her sister and a good childhood friend, in tow, Dani searches for–or stumbles upon—one clue after another. But as she narrows down the suspect list, she realizes if she’s not careful she may end up in a puddle of her own...

About Lena Gregory

Lena grew up in a small town on the south shore of eastern Long Island, but she recently traded in cold, damp, gray winters for the warmth and sunshine of Central Florida, where she now lives with her husband, three kids, son-in-law, and four dogs. Her hobbies include spending time with family, reading, and walking. Her love for writing developed when her youngest son was born and didn’t sleep through the night. She works full time as a writer and a freelance editor and is a member of Sisters in Crime.

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  1. Thanks for the article. This sounds really good.

  2. Thank you so much for such a wonderful review, Kathy! I'm so happy you enjoyed Murder a la Mode. And thank you so much for sharing my release!

  3. It was fun to get to know a new Lena Gregory MC and her support.