This is the first book in a new cozy mystery series, Ground Rules by Emmaline Duncan who also writes YA as Kelly Garrett. From what I can see, this is her first cozy mystery venture, and I do like what I’ve read. Being from Portland, the author really painted a good picture with descriptions of the area, so for someone like me who’s only ever been to California (briefly) on the west coast, I was still able to visualize these food carts and the different people, crowds and bands. It made a big city seem more like the little communities I’m used to in cozy mysteries.
My Goodreads review:
Fresh Brewed Murder by Emmeline Duncan
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
This seemed like a nice solid start for a new series. It was very easy to picture this little area of a larger city, and the camaraderie among the different cart owners (or tension as it was with some) was well-established as the story progressed–and I’ve never even been to Portland or seen an area with food carts as opposed to food trucks. The key characters were likable, and I just loved Sage’s dad! He had the boundaries of dad and cop clearly defined and didn’t hesitate to always be a good dad and be there for Sage. Her mom was sure a piece of work, and I’m actually glad she wasn’t physically in the story. I enjoyed Uncle Jimmy, Jackson (Sage’s brother) and Miles’s (Sage’s cousin) characters a lot too! This was one bunch of guys I’d be proud to call my family.
I was surprised by who the killer was and enjoyed the showdown. It was great how there were some of the other cart owners around to help. Sage now has her pick between two guys who really seem to care for her, but I can’t blame her for just having fun and casually going out with each of them at different times. She’s young and has plenty of time! It’ll be interesting to see what Sage’s next adventure brings.
I voluntarily read and reviewed an ARC of this book provided by the publisher via NetGalley, and my opinions are my own.