Sunday, December 3, 2023

Grounds for Murder - A Guest Post, Review, & Giveaway

I'm pleased to welcome Gwen Rothberg to Cozy Up With Kathy today. You can find Gwen on the pages of the Coffee & Cream Cafe Mystery series. GROUNDS FOR MURDER is the second book in the series and was released last month.

A Day in My Life
By Gwen Rothberg

Until recently, my days were spent styling hair and engaging in gossip at the only salon in Watchogue, New York. I dressed the part, with long blonde hair waving around my shoulders and a fringe of bangs framing my big blue eyes, conforming to Watchogue’s expectations. But it’s all a lie. Beneath my demure exterior lies the truth—I haven’t changed much since high school when I’d varied my hair color and style just about every other week, ranging anywhere from long pink curls to a short blue pixie cut, and my wardrobe choices mostly consisted of miniskirts and spandex that hugged my Amazonian stature. To be honest, I was content but a little bored.

Then, my best friend from school, Danika Delaney, returned home. Of course, before I even ran into her, the rumors were flying. Danika had fled Long Island amid gossip about her catching her boyfriend, Luca, cheating on her at prom with Heather Teague, whom he later married. Upon her return, rumor had it, Heather caught Luca and Danika together in Jimmie’s Ice Cream Shop. My first thought was, “you go girl.” But then Heather turned up dead in Jimmie’s basement, and the gossip turned ugly. In my heart, I knew Danika would never have killed anyone. So, then I spent my days trying to help her prove her innocence—and maybe giving her a not so gently nudge toward the steamy detective handling the case.

I thought solving murders would be a one-time experience. I was wrong. When Danika asked if I’d take a few days off to help her ready the newly converted Coffee & Cream Café for its grand reopening, I was all for it. Then she said she was going to have an author event and book signing. Okay, sounds easy enough. Except it’s not. The evening starts with the author’s assistant insisting we rearrange all of the furniture we just finished arranging, moves onto another author showing up and accusing him of plagiarism, a super-stalker fan, and somehow ends in murder. So much for my life being boring.
The Second Coffee & Cream Cafe Mystery

After a few bumps in the road Danika Delaney is ready for the grand opening of her Coffee & Cream Cafe, formerly her Uncle Jimmie's ice cream shop. With an updated look, Dani decided to branch out and have best selling author, Fletcher Stone, autograph books at the opening event. Unfortunately, the mystery author brings nothing but drama. With an over exacting assistant, stalkery superfan, and a writer claiming Fletcher plagiarized his novel, the opening wasn't exactly what Dani was hoping for. Deciding to apologize for the fracas of the previous night, Dani goes to his inn only to find the author dead. With missing suspects and lots of questions Dani finds herself involved in murder once more. 
There are lots of thrills and chills in the second Coffee & Cream Cafe Mystery-enough to make Dani decide not to investigate. That is, until she's pushed too far and becomes even more determined to get to the bottom of things. I love the simmering heat between Dani and Jake and hope she forgets about starting over with Luca and concentrates on the dishy detective. I absolutely love the addition of Eli to the series. What a great fun guy and an amazing new friend.
The mystery was complex, the danger higher than usual, but the laughs were still there in spades making a fun page turning read. Nasty characters make a great juxtaposition to our good friends and family and there is more than one surprise to be found.
With a devious mystery, wonderful friendships, and a good many laughs GROUNDS FOR MURDER is an absolute delight.

 Grounds for Murder (Coffee & Cream Cafe Mysteries) by Lena Gregory

About Grounds for Murder 

Grounds for Murder (Coffee & Cream Cafe Mysteries)
Cozy Mystery 2nd in Series
Setting - Watchogue, Long Island, New York
Gemma Halliday Publishing (November 21, 2023)
Number of Pages: 226

From author Lena Gregory comes a tasty new mystery with a killer twist...

Danika Delaney is thrilled to have taken over her uncle Jimmie's old fashioned malt shop on eastern Long Island and is working hard to make it her own. In an effort to increase business, Danika invites a mystery writer to the Coffee & Cream Café for a discussion and book signing. Things seem to be going well, until a guest shows up and confronts the author, accusing him of plagiarizing his work. Embarrassed by the incident, Danika goes to the inn where the writer is staying the following morning, hoping to apologize and offer him another chance to return. What she finds instead is his dead body—beside a cup of poisoned coffee! Now it's up to Danika to find out who wanted to silence the author... before the killer decides to write Danika a not-so-happy ending!

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.

Author Links

Purchase Links Amazon - B&N - Kobo 

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