Thursday, May 5, 2016

Mug Shot: A Book Review

Former musician Juliet Langley has barely had a day off since taking over management of the coffeehouse owned by her best friend, Pete Bennett. But there’s always more to be done—such as prepping for the annual Holiday 5K Race organized by Pete’s snobby socialite girlfriend, Cecilia Hollingsworth.
This year, Java Jive has a booth right at the finish line, and since Juliet and Cecilia don’t always see eye to eye, everything has to be perfect. Nothing can go wrong. Nothing . . . like Juliet stumbling over Cecilia’s dead body on the morning of the race.

When Pete is arrested for Cecilia’s murder, Juliet sets out to clear his name. She’ll do whatever it takes—even if it means standing up to the police, her ex-boyfriend, and the grande dames of Nashville. But there isn’t enough espresso in the world for the greatest challenge in her path: infiltrating Nashville’s high society to uncover the hidden hotbed of scandal without running afoul of the law herself.

With her last dime staked on Pete’s bail bond and her staff growing jittery, the last thing Juliet needs is for her trademark temper to land her behind bars. As time drips away, Juliet needs to crack this case before the killer comes back for another shot.

I have not read very many mystery books lately because they seem to have gotten predictable and stale.  I am so thrilled to have read Mug Shot: A Java Jive Mystery because it has restored my faith in the mystery genre.

I have never read a book by Caroline Fardig before and didn't read the first book in the Java Jive Mystery series, but I thoroughly enjoyed this book.  Fardig has created fun characters with realistic persona's.  I feel like I could have sat down at the Java Jive and had a drink with Juliet and Pete and carried on a fun conversation.

I enjoyed Juliet's humor throughout the book and that made the mystery a light read that was fun to enjoy.  She also had moments of depression and being upset when everything fell apart that I felt was how a real person would act.  And her detective skills were novice level, so it wasn't as if I was reading a story where everything always went right for the character when trying to unearth the answers.

I really liked how real and enjoyable all the characters were in the book.  And I didn't see the ending coming.  With all the murder suspects, I didn't even imagine it the murderer was who it was.  That was a surprising twist.

The relationships in the novel were an extra aspect of the novel that really impressed me.

I understand Juliet and Pete's friendship and was impressed that they could keep their relationship in the "friends" zone through out the book.  I don't understand why so many books have to jump into sex and relationships so quickly without any consequences.  It's unrealistic and sometimes seems too forced.

But Juliet and Pete were friends that would do anything for each other, except ruin their friendship.  I think that's a great model in a friendship.

Overall, I was super impressed with Mug Shot: A Java Jive Mystery.  While I didn't need to read the other books in the series to understand the plot and the characters, I am pretty sure I will pick them up and enjoy more of Pete, Juliet, and Ryder's mysteries.

I received this book from NetGalley. The book was provided to me in exchange for an honest review.