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Death Before Decaf

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Caroline Fardig’s new mystery novel takes readers behind the counter of a seemingly run-of-the-mill coffeehouse . . . where murder is brewing. After her music career crashes and burns spectacularly, Juliet Langley is forced to turn to the only other business she knows: food service. Unfortunately, bad luck strikes yet again when her two-timing fiancé robs her blind and runs Caroline Fardig’s new mystery novel takes readers behind the counter of a seemingly run-of-the-mill coffeehouse . . . where murder is brewing. After her music career crashes and burns spectacularly, Juliet Langley is forced to turn to the only other business she knows: food service. Unfortunately, bad luck strikes yet again when her two-timing fiancé robs her blind and runs off with her best waitress. Flushing what’s left of her beloved café down the toilet with her failed engagement, Juliet packs up and moves back to her college stomping grounds in Nashville to manage an old friend’s coffeehouse. At first glance, it seems as though nothing’s changed at Java Jive. What could possibly go wrong? Only that the place is hemorrhaging money, the staff is in open revolt, and Juliet finds one unlucky employee dead in the dumpster out back before her first day is even over.   The corpse just so happens to belong to the cook who’d locked horns with Juliet over the finer points of the health code. Unimpressed with her management style, the other disgruntled employees are only too eager to spill the beans about her fiery temper to the detective on the case. Add to the mix a hunky stranger who’s asking way too many questions, and suddenly Juliet finds herself in some very hot water. If she can’t simmer down and sleuth her way to the real killer, she’s going to get burned.


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Caroline Fardig’s new mystery novel takes readers behind the counter of a seemingly run-of-the-mill coffeehouse . . . where murder is brewing. After her music career crashes and burns spectacularly, Juliet Langley is forced to turn to the only other business she knows: food service. Unfortunately, bad luck strikes yet again when her two-timing fiancé robs her blind and runs Caroline Fardig’s new mystery novel takes readers behind the counter of a seemingly run-of-the-mill coffeehouse . . . where murder is brewing. After her music career crashes and burns spectacularly, Juliet Langley is forced to turn to the only other business she knows: food service. Unfortunately, bad luck strikes yet again when her two-timing fiancé robs her blind and runs off with her best waitress. Flushing what’s left of her beloved café down the toilet with her failed engagement, Juliet packs up and moves back to her college stomping grounds in Nashville to manage an old friend’s coffeehouse. At first glance, it seems as though nothing’s changed at Java Jive. What could possibly go wrong? Only that the place is hemorrhaging money, the staff is in open revolt, and Juliet finds one unlucky employee dead in the dumpster out back before her first day is even over.   The corpse just so happens to belong to the cook who’d locked horns with Juliet over the finer points of the health code. Unimpressed with her management style, the other disgruntled employees are only too eager to spill the beans about her fiery temper to the detective on the case. Add to the mix a hunky stranger who’s asking way too many questions, and suddenly Juliet finds herself in some very hot water. If she can’t simmer down and sleuth her way to the real killer, she’s going to get burned.

30 review for Death Before Decaf

  1. 4 out of 5

    Bark

    3 ½ stars rounding up This was a cute listen on audio and kept me distracted during my mind-numbing drive to and from work. It reminded me a wee bit of the earlier Stephanie Plum novels but without the complete OTT zaniness. Juliette recently had to push the reset button on her life after her ex broke her heart and devastated her financially, forcing her to close her café. She’s accepted a management position at the café where she worked during her college years. It’s owned by her old friend and l 3 ½ stars rounding up This was a cute listen on audio and kept me distracted during my mind-numbing drive to and from work. It reminded me a wee bit of the earlier Stephanie Plum novels but without the complete OTT zaniness. Juliette recently had to push the reset button on her life after her ex broke her heart and devastated her financially, forcing her to close her café. She’s accepted a management position at the café where she worked during her college years. It’s owned by her old friend and long-time crush, Pete, who recently inherited the business and isn’t interested in keeping his wayward employees in line. Juliette comes in and immediately lets her “Red-Headed She Devil” persona take over. Her new employees are not impressed, nor very threatened by her screaming and carrying on over their slackerly ways and keep doing whatever they please. She yells at one guy twice (and he totally deserves it), in front of tons of witnesses, and when she later finds him dead in a dumpster she is horrified to learn that she is a person of interest in the investigation. Sheesh, I am soooo glad I am not a manager of insolent café employees! Anyway, the ineptitude of the local investigation team urges Juliette to do some sleuthing. This leads her into all sorts of trouble. She’s the type to jump first and never really think about it later. She’s feisty, hot-tempered and impulsive. That last quality gets her into many dangerous situations. Lucky for her, she has two sexy men who come to her rescue when things get out of control. Yep, it’s the dreaded love triangle which is better than the dreaded love-eye , I guess, but we won’t talk about that . . . This bugged me but not enough to ruin the book. It’s an entertaining little mystery, nothing too taxing on the brain and has a nice dash of sarcasm and sexy. Narration Notes: The version I read was narrated by Callie Beaulieu. She does a good job with the characters and you always know who is speaking but she does a dreadful Italian accent. The kind of Italian accent you might hear in a Super Mario game. I don’t know if this was on-purpose to get some laughs or if it was simply dreadful. Either way, I laughed. Fortunately, the Italian student is only a minor walk-on character. *I was sent a copy of this book from Tantor Media. Thanks Tantor, hope you don’t regret it!

  2. 5 out of 5

    Elaine

    What a brilliant, light hearted read this is, despite being a murder mystery! Just great for when you’ve had enough of darker reads but still want something with a great plot, humour and plenty of intrigue in a well written, page-turner story. I was impressed by how the author used flashbacks to fill in the history of the main characters, Juliet and Peter, explaining their re-connection and Juliet’s return to Nashville and his business. Gertie is another brilliantly portrayed stalwart character i What a brilliant, light hearted read this is, despite being a murder mystery! Just great for when you’ve had enough of darker reads but still want something with a great plot, humour and plenty of intrigue in a well written, page-turner story. I was impressed by how the author used flashbacks to fill in the history of the main characters, Juliet and Peter, explaining their re-connection and Juliet’s return to Nashville and his business. Gertie is another brilliantly portrayed stalwart character in the Java Jive and her ‘boyfriend’ is the third in the love triangle for Juliet and Peter, though he really is a mystery in his own right for much of the story. There are many laugh out loud moments in this story, especially (would you believe it!) at the funeral of the murdered victim. The well thought out plot carries the suspicion, danger and intrigue throughout the story and the ending and big reveal of the perpetrators was a twist I hadn’t been anticipating. I really enjoyed this great mystery with suspense, thrills and romance all encapsulated in an enthralling, laugh out loud, entertaining and well developed story. This is the first of a new series and I will certainly be looking out for further stories in the series and others by this author. I have no hesitation in highly recommending it to anyone who enjoys any of the genres. Thanks to the author, publisher and NetGalley, too, for letting me read an ARC of this book in exchange for this, an honest review.

  3. 4 out of 5

    ShoSho

    Dnf at 25% I didn't like the heroine she was dumb and whiny and the book was first POV(hers) ! The other characters weren't that interesting either!

  4. 4 out of 5

    Meg

    Not a bad mystery; I just had a hard time warming up to the characters. I just may give the second one a try but not in audio book form. That might make a difference.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Meigan

    Promising first installment in a new and cute mystery series. With Death Before Decaf, author Fardig introduces readers to a spunky and quirky heroine, Juliet Langley. After series of devastating misfortunes, Juliet finds herself back in her college town, working at the same coffeehouse she worked at in college. The coffeehouse is now run by her best friend, Pete, and she is back to take over for him so he can focus solely on his music career. Within the first few days on the job, Juliet finds on Promising first installment in a new and cute mystery series. With Death Before Decaf, author Fardig introduces readers to a spunky and quirky heroine, Juliet Langley. After series of devastating misfortunes, Juliet finds herself back in her college town, working at the same coffeehouse she worked at in college. The coffeehouse is now run by her best friend, Pete, and she is back to take over for him so he can focus solely on his music career. Within the first few days on the job, Juliet finds one of the workers dead, dumped unceremoniously in the shop's dumpster. Dumped in the center of the murder investigation, Juliet must try and solve the mystery of who dumped Dave. With a cast of shady characters, each and everyone looks guilty and suspicious. Death Before Decaf provided a fun and quick bout of mystery and entertainment. Fardig did a super job hiding the killer, while managing to cast everyone involved in a suspicious light. I wasn't able to solve it quickly, but then again, I rarely am with these types of books :) There's also a hint of romance blossoming, and Juliet has not one, but two potential suitors available to her. I'm very interested to see how that plays out in future installments of this series. Bottom Line -- cute and fun new mystery series, centering around a coffeehouse and its quirky customers. I recommend this for mystery lovers who are looking for something quick, humorous, and light. Really enjoyed the first entry into this series and will certainly be moving on to the next one when it's available. **eARC received via NetGalley in exchange for my honest opinion.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Sheri

    Death Before Decaf: A Java Jive Mystery by Caroline Fardig Juliet Langley, recently moves to Nashville after a break up with her fiance to manage an old friend’s coffeehouse, Java Jive. The Cafe is in financial difficulties and on her first day, finds one employee dead in the dumpster. The dead man is the cook who argued with Juliet over the health code, earlier that day. The other employees are not too happy with her management style, and are eager to tell the detective about her temper. Soon Ju Death Before Decaf: A Java Jive Mystery by Caroline Fardig Juliet Langley, recently moves to Nashville after a break up with her fiance to manage an old friend’s coffeehouse, Java Jive. The Cafe is in financial difficulties and on her first day, finds one employee dead in the dumpster. The dead man is the cook who argued with Juliet over the health code, earlier that day. The other employees are not too happy with her management style, and are eager to tell the detective about her temper. Soon Juliet becomes the number one suspect, and she is set on clearing her name, if she doesn't end up dead herself. A fantastic murder/mystery. I really liked Juliet, she was cheated on by her fiance, tries a fresh start at (her) life and has a snarky attitude. She definitely is not afraid to speak her mind. Her determination to prove her innocence becomes her main goal. The plots moves smooth with a great mix of drama, suspense, a bit of romance and laugh out loud moments. Death Before Decaf: A Java Jive Mystery is the perfect blend of a sweet enjoyable who-done-it. I highly recommend to those who love cozy murder/mysteries. *I received this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Anita

    ARC provided by the Publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. Fun, light, cozy mystery of the kind you get from Janet Evanovich. In fact there are a couple of characters that bear a vague resemblance to counterparts in JE books. This book is just what you want to read if you are burnt out on serial killers and mass murderers, like I am right now. Moments of TSTL mar an otherwise great cozy mystery. Juliet is back in Nashville, TN after her fiancée took off with all her money and ca ARC provided by the Publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. Fun, light, cozy mystery of the kind you get from Janet Evanovich. In fact there are a couple of characters that bear a vague resemblance to counterparts in JE books. This book is just what you want to read if you are burnt out on serial killers and mass murderers, like I am right now. Moments of TSTL mar an otherwise great cozy mystery. Juliet is back in Nashville, TN after her fiancée took off with all her money and caused the failure of her café. She is now the manager of the Java Jive where she worked during college. Pete is the owner now and he and Juliet are best friends, with a simmering emotion underneath. On her first day, Jules finds Dave, her cook, dead in the dumpster and the police are looking at Juliet as a suspect. She goes on the offensive and starts tracking down leads with Pete in tow. Also in the mix is Seth, who is not at all who he claims to be. This hot bod is after Juliet and she is intrigued, but wary of him. Especially since she learns he is not who he says he is. Why he is hanging out at Java Jive is also a question as well as what is his connection to the dead Dave.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Melissa J (Book Addicts Reviews)

    I received this book as an ARC from Random House Publishing via NetGalley in return I will give my honest review. This was a well written, funny, and have you guessing to the end book. I absolutely loved all the characters! Gertie had me laughing my butt off. The love triangle is frustrating and I am sure most people are Team Pete but I am Team Ryder and I sure do hope in the next book there is more of Ryder. I don't want to say too much and ruin the book. The funeral scene was hilarious!!! My on I received this book as an ARC from Random House Publishing via NetGalley in return I will give my honest review. This was a well written, funny, and have you guessing to the end book. I absolutely loved all the characters! Gertie had me laughing my butt off. The love triangle is frustrating and I am sure most people are Team Pete but I am Team Ryder and I sure do hope in the next book there is more of Ryder. I don't want to say too much and ruin the book. The funeral scene was hilarious!!! My only negative was that the first 1/3 of the book was just sluggish and didn't pull me in like I would have liked. But after that I couldn't put it down.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Mary Brown

    Death By Decaf A Java Jive Mystery, Book #1 Caroline Fardig Book #1 Synopsis: Perfect for fans of Janet Evanovich and Diane Mott Davidson, Caroline Fardig’s captivating new mystery novel takes readers behind the counter of a seemingly run-of-the-mill coffeehouse . . . where murder is brewing. After her music career crashes and burns spectacularly, Juliet Langley is forced to turn to the only other business she knows: food service. Unfortunately, bad luck strikes yet again when her two-timing fiancé r Death By Decaf A Java Jive Mystery, Book #1 Caroline Fardig Book #1 Synopsis: Perfect for fans of Janet Evanovich and Diane Mott Davidson, Caroline Fardig’s captivating new mystery novel takes readers behind the counter of a seemingly run-of-the-mill coffeehouse . . . where murder is brewing. After her music career crashes and burns spectacularly, Juliet Langley is forced to turn to the only other business she knows: food service. Unfortunately, bad luck strikes yet again when her two-timing fiancé robs her blind and runs off with her best waitress. Flushing what’s left of her beloved café down the toilet with her failed engagement, Juliet packs up and moves back to her college stomping grounds in Nashville to manage an old friend’s coffeehouse. At first glance, it seems as though nothing’s changed at Java Jive. What could possibly go wrong? Only that the place is hemorrhaging money, the staff is in open revolt, and Juliet finds one unlucky employee dead in the dumpster out back before her first day is even over. The corpse just so happens to belong to the cook who’d locked horns with Juliet over the finer points of the health code. Unimpressed with her management style, the other disgruntled employees are only too eager to spill the beans about her fiery temper to the detective on the case. Add to the mix a hunky stranger who’s asking way too many questions, and suddenly Juliet finds herself in some very hot water. If she can’t simmer down and sleuth her way to the real killer, she’s going to get burned. (Goodreads) Review: The characters are well rounded and well developed. Juliet is smart strong, and is not a pushover. She is also funny, loyal and caring. When she finds herself as the manager of her friend’s coffeeshop, she realizes that it is not going to be an easy job. The current employees greatly dislike her and the coffee shop is losing money hand over foot. And when one of the employees is found dead, Juliet finds herself a person of interest in the murder. With the help of her best friend, Pete, she knows she has to figure out the murderer before she is sent away for good. I just love the relationship between Juliet and Pete. They are best friends and you know they would do anything for each other. You can also tell that they should be together as a couple, but the timing is not right. But I am keeping my fingers crossed for their happily ever after. The secondary characters added a lot to the story and they all seemed realistic to me. The writing style flows smoothly and it is a quick easy read. The author is very talented in her descriptive writing and that kept pulling me into the story more and more. Actually I was hooked from the first page and I could not swipe the pages fast enough. The mystery was well plotted and there were plenty of suspects to consider and clues to sift through. I did not figure out the culprit until it was revealed at the end, which is how I like it. I highly recommend this book to anyone who enjoys a well crafted cozy mystery. I have read a couple of the other books in this series and I have loved them all. The language is a little harsher than what is found in most cozies, but it was not offensive in any way. If anything, I felt it made the book more realistic. Do yourself a favor and check this series out, you will be very happy that you did.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Carla Johnson-Hicks

    I had read the third book in this series some time ago and decided to go back to the beginning. I am glad I did. It introduced us to the characters and gave us some information about their past relationships. This was told using flashbacks and it filled in the details nicely. Juliet Langley, has returned to Nashville after losing her cafe. She is going to manage Java Jive owned by her best friend Pete. Gertie, Pete's grandmother who raised him, is a lot of the comic relief in this story, I absol I had read the third book in this series some time ago and decided to go back to the beginning. I am glad I did. It introduced us to the characters and gave us some information about their past relationships. This was told using flashbacks and it filled in the details nicely. Juliet Langley, has returned to Nashville after losing her cafe. She is going to manage Java Jive owned by her best friend Pete. Gertie, Pete's grandmother who raised him, is a lot of the comic relief in this story, I absolutely loved her character. Seth, is a regular at the cafe that seems to have fallen for Juliet, although he picked up quickly on the fact that she has deeper feelings for Pete than just friendship. The story is a cozy murder mystery, where Juliet is one of the suspects. As in any cozy, she decides that in order to clear her name, she needs to investigate on her own. What she does, and what she finds will make you laugh one minute, then worry about her the next. She seems to be alienating much of the staff at the cafe while investigating, although she is not doing it intentionally. There are many laugh out loud moments in this story, including the funeral of the murder victim. The plot is well developed and includes intrigue, suspicion and especially danger. The twist at the end was great, and I was not expecting it at all. This book has something for everyone, a mystery, humour, some romance, food and drink as well as human dynamics. I am now going to continue to read this series and see what else Juliet gets herself into.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Heidi

    Two stars: A cozy that lacks feel good with its unlikeable characters and a heroine who makes poor choices. Juliet feels like she is stepping back in time when she enters the Java Jive. Behind the counter is her long time friend, Pete, who hired her to help get Java Jive back in the black. Unfortunately, Juliet's first day on the job goes from bad to worse as she is met with hostility from the employees, especially from the cook. Juliet ends up fighting with Dave, and she threatens to fire him b Two stars: A cozy that lacks feel good with its unlikeable characters and a heroine who makes poor choices. Juliet feels like she is stepping back in time when she enters the Java Jive. Behind the counter is her long time friend, Pete, who hired her to help get Java Jive back in the black. Unfortunately, Juliet's first day on the job goes from bad to worse as she is met with hostility from the employees, especially from the cook. Juliet ends up fighting with Dave, and she threatens to fire him before stalking out. Juliet cools off and returns to finish the day. Late that night as she is taking out the trash, she finds Dave, the cook, dead in the garbage can, and she is considered a suspect since she was arguing with him before his death. Can Juliet catch the real killer and clear her name while turning the Java Jive around? What I Liked: *I went into Death Before Decaf hoping for a fun cozy with lots of humor. While I was disappointed in the lack of cozy, I found some of the humor enjoyable. *While I struggled with the majority of the characters, I found both Pete and Gertie to be a breath of fresh air. Pete is an all around good guy, who constantly looked after Juliet. Pete is kind, generous and willing to do what he can when it comes to helping out his friends and employees. Gertie is a sharp tongued old gal who is a constant fixture in Java Jive. She tells it like it is and I loved her humor and wit. She was a scene stealer, and I found myself wishing for more time with her. *I liked that the mystery was suspenseful and realistic. There were plenty of leads, suspects and motives, along with some twists and surprises. I also liked that law enforcement wasn't presented as bumbling idiots, while the heroine solves the case. Yes, Juliet tries to help solve the mystery and she digs up some helpful leads, but she isn't the one who cracks the case. For a cozy, the mystery was very well done, and it didn't stray into the unbelievable territory. *Usually with cozy mysteries, the person who is murdered is presented as a cantankerous, unlikeable person. The deceased starts out that way, but as the story progresses, Juliet learns more and more about what kind of person he really was, and her opinion changes. I liked that Dave turned out to be a nice person. *The ending draws to a satisfying close. All the questions are answered, the culprit is caught and the motives are exposed. No unfinished business as far as the main story line goes. And The Not So Much: *I think this novel faltered for me because it lacked cozy and feel good. Normally I like my cozy mysteries to have likeable characters and a pleasant atmosphere. This book had neither. I found aside from Pete and Gertie, that I really didn't like any of the characters. Juliet, the heroine shows promise, but I struggled with her romantic choices, and foolish decisions. She places herself into several dangerous situations that could have gotten her killed. The staff at the coffee shop is hostile and unfriendly, and I found that I didn't enjoy coffee shop scenes because of the employees. If you are used to your cozy mysteries having a warm, inviting atmosphere, this one will disappoint you. *The romance was a mess. To be fair, there isn't a full blown love triangle, but there are two love interests. It is apparent from the beginning that Juliet has feelings for her long, time best friend, but she has never moved the relationship beyond the friendship zone. Then she meets Seth, a regular at Java Jive. Seth starts flirting with her and asks her out. Juliet learns that Seth hasn't been truthful with her, but she still ends up sleeping with him, only after a couple of days. I never liked her relationship with Seth, and I couldn't understand how she would quickly jump into bed with someone that she didn't completely trust. By the end of the book, the love triangle seems to be resolved. Hopefully, the romance is moving in the right direction. *I found a couple of scenes that I think were included to add humor, turned out to be not so funny. The scene of the deceased's funeral was awful. Two brawls break out and it turned into a white trash throw down. I did not like that at all. Some of the other scenes with the deceased's ex wife were also unpleasant. Death Before Decaf was a book that disappointed me. I did not like the majority of the characters, and I felt the story lacked the warm, cozy vibe that I crave when reading a cozy mystery. I was also put off by the heroine and her foolish choices and the ridiculous romance. The overall mystery was good and realistic, but it wasn't solid enough to save the read for me. I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own, and I was not compensated for this review. [email protected] Day Ramblings.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Jessica Robbins

    For complete review check out my blog at https://booksaplentybookreviews.blogs... For complete review check out my blog at https://booksaplentybookreviews.blogs...

  13. 5 out of 5

    Sparkymom

    So I started off reading this book being totally unfamiliar with the author. I received an advertisement saying it was perfect for fans of Janet Evanovich, which I am. I can say I don't find it similar to the Stephanie Plum series with the exception of the two different semi love interests. Honestly, it started off a bit slow for me, and I wasn't sure I was going to like Juliet. She grew on me quickly though, and I was soon sucked into the story and the characters. Juliet is a bit off a loose ca So I started off reading this book being totally unfamiliar with the author. I received an advertisement saying it was perfect for fans of Janet Evanovich, which I am. I can say I don't find it similar to the Stephanie Plum series with the exception of the two different semi love interests. Honestly, it started off a bit slow for me, and I wasn't sure I was going to like Juliet. She grew on me quickly though, and I was soon sucked into the story and the characters. Juliet is a bit off a loose cannon. She tends to go off a bit unprepared and without much forethought at times. Her friend, Peter, is the voice of reason she tends to ignore. She has been in love with him for a very long time, but she won't risk telling him and ruining their friendship. Instead, she sits by and watches as he dates a woman who hates Juliet and then she ends up making a hookup with a sexy professor from the nearby university. Ryder looks like every woman's dream, but Juliet still finds some aspects of his behavior and background suspicious. Not surprisingly though, this does not keep her from hooking up with him. In the meantime, Juliet is trying to begin her new jib as the manner of the coffee shop owned by her friend Peter. Just as things are starting out a little rocky, they quickly become worse. As she stays late one night, Juliet discovers one of her employees murdered and left in the dumpster. The police lead her to believe she is their favored suspect. Juliet decides the best thing she can do is to investigate the murder on her own and prove that there are other viable suspects. Unfortunately, this leads Juliet into many dangerous and suspect situations. If that's not enough, more and more questions keep popping up about Ryder. Between the danger, the mixed up relationships, and the often funny situations Juliet gets her and her guys into , I really enjoyed this book, and I'm interested to see where the author takes the series in the future. I received a copy for review from Net Galley.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Lisa Morin

    I received a digital copy of this book from NetGalley.com in exchange for my fair and honest review. This is the first time I have read anything by this author. I found the story very well written and entertaining. The plot was well thought out and everything came full circle at the end. Juliet Langley is returning to Nashville, back to her college job days and back to her best friend Pete. Juliet is returning to Nashville by choice, her rotten ex-fiance stole her money and her life. Now she has t I received a digital copy of this book from NetGalley.com in exchange for my fair and honest review. This is the first time I have read anything by this author. I found the story very well written and entertaining. The plot was well thought out and everything came full circle at the end. Juliet Langley is returning to Nashville, back to her college job days and back to her best friend Pete. Juliet is returning to Nashville by choice, her rotten ex-fiance stole her money and her life. Now she has to start all over again, and when her best friend Pete offers her a job at the Java Jive, she accepts the offer without thinking. Before she can say double skim latte,she is pissing off the employees and letting her red headed she-devil attitude get the best of her. When the charming Seth Davis begins a casual flirtation with Juliet, she has no idea who he really is, but what can it hurt to flirt back? Her first day at Java Jive is a difficult one and when she finds Dave,the one employee she just fought with, bloody and dead in the dumpster, her day just got worse. Between flirting with Seth, arguing with Pete about Seth , trying to keep the annoying reporter out of her face and being a person of interest in Dave's death, Juliet can't help but think she made the wrong choice returning to Nashville. Pour yourself a cuppa joe and read this fantastic story, you will not be sorry!

  15. 4 out of 5

    Andrea

    First things first, I received this in exchange for an honest review from NetGalley. I really wanted to give this book a 4.5! In good "snobby reader" conscious I can't give a cozy mystery 5 stars. But it probably is one of the best modern mystery novels I have read. I could guess part of the solution, but I certainly did not have it all together. So I loved the surprise at the end. I loved the characters and that surprises me. I'm not one that normally falls in love with mystery novel characters. First things first, I received this in exchange for an honest review from NetGalley. I really wanted to give this book a 4.5! In good "snobby reader" conscious I can't give a cozy mystery 5 stars. But it probably is one of the best modern mystery novels I have read. I could guess part of the solution, but I certainly did not have it all together. So I loved the surprise at the end. I loved the characters and that surprises me. I'm not one that normally falls in love with mystery novel characters. I enjoyed the humor. I didn't laugh out loud, but as I said earlier I'm a book snob. I was also surprised that I liked the love triangle as much as I did. I am definitely Team Ryder! But I fear that we are supposed to be Team Pete. I never pick the winning guy. I can't wait for the next installment. I want to know what happens next with Juliet and Java Jive. Well written, interesting characters, a mystery that keeps you guessing, a bit of humor, and some romance to top it all off. I really loved this one.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Susan Foulkes

    As the first book in a new series (fingers crossed) "Death Before Decaf" is a great start. The story zips along with the occasional flashback to fill in the back story of the heroine, Juliet, and her best friend Peter. Both these characters and "Seth",the other main protagonist, are well rounded, personable and totally believable. What makes this book stand out from what is a crowded genre, "cozy", is the humour, not only the occasional wry smile but true laugh out loud moments. I can easily imagin As the first book in a new series (fingers crossed) "Death Before Decaf" is a great start. The story zips along with the occasional flashback to fill in the back story of the heroine, Juliet, and her best friend Peter. Both these characters and "Seth",the other main protagonist, are well rounded, personable and totally believable. What makes this book stand out from what is a crowded genre, "cozy", is the humour, not only the occasional wry smile but true laugh out loud moments. I can easily imagine being friends with Juliet. I had figured out the mystery (but not who the perpetrators were) before the final chapters but this did not spoil my enjoyment of the novel. I am impressed with writing style of Caroline Fardig (a new author to me) and shall be looking out for her other books. And I shall be waiting impatiently for the next book in this series. I received an ARC from the publisher via Netgalley

  17. 5 out of 5

    Jenn Ballmann

    I was sent a copy of the book for review through NetGalley, as always, all opinions are my own. Now this is was a fun read, I can’t wait to see where this series goes. There is a great cast of characters, from Juliet with her red-headed devil side that tends to pop out frequently, to the unfiltered Gertie, whom I absolutely love. I was absolutely captivated by the cringe worthy—you know this is going to be a bad idea—antics of Pete and Juliet as they try to discover the murderer.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Stormi (BMReviewsohmy)

    Death Before Decaf was a fun, laugh out loud cozy with a bit more romance than I normally see in a cozy. Juliet has had a load of bad luck starting with her fiancé taking everything she had, including her money. She had to close down her cafe and move back to her college town because her best friend is giving her a job. She has to move into a college apartment complex as it is all she can afford. Pete makes her the manager of his dad’s cafe because he is busy with his own business and doesn’t want Death Before Decaf was a fun, laugh out loud cozy with a bit more romance than I normally see in a cozy. Juliet has had a load of bad luck starting with her fiancé taking everything she had, including her money. She had to close down her cafe and move back to her college town because her best friend is giving her a job. She has to move into a college apartment complex as it is all she can afford. Pete makes her the manager of his dad’s cafe because he is busy with his own business and doesn’t want to let the cafe go downhill. Juliet is pretty sure she can turn it around that is if she doesn’t get arrested for murder. On her very first day she gets in two yelling arguments with one of the cooks and then later she finds that cook dead. The employees who are not so sure about how they like her are not afraid to tell the cops all about her heated arguments with the deceased. She thinks that the detective has it out for her so she decides to try and find out things about Dave on her own and who might wanted to kill him. Her friend Pete gets roped into helping her some times and he freaks out and thinks she should just let the police do their job. She meets Seth/Ryder as he hangs out a lot at the cafe and they have some pretty smexy moments, but she is not real sure she can trust him. There are things about him I can’t say cause I don’t want to give anything away. :) I had a lot of fun with the characters. Juliet is so down on her luck but she really tries not to let that get to her, she wants the employees to like her but it seems like things are just not going her way. She is pretty spunky and gets into some serious situations, but it doesn’t stop her from trying to sleuth. Pete is her best friend who she has pretty much been in love with since she was in college but he is dating a lady she can’t stand. He is a really great guy and has his heroic moments that shows he is not just a pretty boy softy. Seth/Ryder (you will find out why I call him that if you read it) is a hunk and very smexy and you can tell he is use to keep people safe. He does his fair share of rescuing Juliet. Favorite secondary character is Gertie who is Pete’s grandmother, she is a hoot! Death Before Decaf literally cracked me up, it was fun, snarky, and just a blast. The mystery was great because I really couldn’t figure out the killer. I had suspicion about some but I was not all together right…lol. My only draw back is that I think some lovers of cozies might get offended by Gertie who cracked me up but she had such a naughty mouth. Not really a potty mouth cause she didn’t cuss but some times I was like ooh my. I just think some might be put off by it, but if you not and it didn’t bother me much then I think you will find this one quite funny. This one also had a lot more romance than in most cozies I have read. There was kind of a love triangle going on between Juliet, Pete and Seth and it was kind of annoying. Overall, I really enjoyed it as it was a lot of fun and if you like cozies and the above things don’t bother you then give it a try! :)

  19. 4 out of 5

    Rebekah Crain

    When I first heard about this book the promo suggested it was a good fit for fans of Janet Evanovich. That coupled with the story blurb and funky, fresh cover told me I had to read it. And I'm happy to say my instincts were right on this one! When Juliet returns to manage the Java Jive, a cozy college town coffee shop, after having been away for 10 years she is a little nervous, but it's nothing she can't handle. Having owned her own cafe she's well prepared for running someone else's established When I first heard about this book the promo suggested it was a good fit for fans of Janet Evanovich. That coupled with the story blurb and funky, fresh cover told me I had to read it. And I'm happy to say my instincts were right on this one! When Juliet returns to manage the Java Jive, a cozy college town coffee shop, after having been away for 10 years she is a little nervous, but it's nothing she can't handle. Having owned her own cafe she's well prepared for running someone else's established business. Albeit what she wasn't counting on was finding herself embroiled in a murderous mystery and a love tryst. She was just looking forward to having a new place to settle in, where she could get her life back on track and put her emotional baggage behind her. Little did she know how much more complicated her life was going to get. Death Before Decaf was a fun, fast paced mystery sure to charm old and new readers alike. For me personally, this was my first time reading anything by Fardig, but I'd say it was a pleasant first introduction. I really enjoyed the dynamic between the characters and how easy it was to get to know them and settle into their well developed world. The "whodunit" aspect provided for some great action and sleuthing which kept this reader guessing. (One thing I will note is that there were a few occasions where I found the dialogue flummoxed me because of how corny it came off, yet I think leniency is due. If the author's goal was to give her characters a natural feel, which I believe it was, then it's acceptable to suggest that when all walls are down and they are being at their utmost basic and honest with each other that there will be moments of pure goofy interaction. At least, that's my take away from what was my one and only initial complaint.) Fans of the ever popular All-American Stephanie Plum series will definitely find themselves cheering over the similarities they'll quickly notice between Fardig's and Evanovich's characters. So much so, that they could easily be related! Gertie, one of the main characters found at the Java Jive, is hilariously written, and her always off the cuff attitude immediately made me think of Plum's quirky Granny Mazur. Then, of course, you have the romantic tension filled triangle of Juliet, Pete, and Ryder which Evanovich fans will find oh so reminiscent of the Stephanie, Morelli, and Ranger love triangle. A huge thanks go out to the author, publisher, and NetGalley for giving me this review opportunity. It was a really enjoyable book and I look forward to reading the next installment when it comes out. Meanwhile, I think I need to check out Fardig's other books. 4 1/2 stars out of 5!

  20. 5 out of 5

    Lis Carey

    Juliet Langley has come back to Nashville after losing her fiancé and business partner, her best waitress, and ultimately her café when the fiancé skips town with the waitress and every penny in the company's accounts. Now, days short of her thirtieth birthday, she's starting over, taking over as the manager of Java Jive, a café owned by old friend Pete Bennett. The existing staff isn't thrilled to meet her, especially Dave Hill, the head cook. Dave's been acting manager in the café Pete inherite Juliet Langley has come back to Nashville after losing her fiancé and business partner, her best waitress, and ultimately her café when the fiancé skips town with the waitress and every penny in the company's accounts. Now, days short of her thirtieth birthday, she's starting over, taking over as the manager of Java Jive, a café owned by old friend Pete Bennett. The existing staff isn't thrilled to meet her, especially Dave Hill, the head cook. Dave's been acting manager in the café Pete inherited from his father George a few months ago. Pete's been dividing his time between Java Jive and the recording studio where he's a sound engineer. Juliet's appalled to see how standards have slipped since George's death, and she has two arguments with Dave that first day. She takes a break after the second one, and returns to find Dave has left at the end of his shift. That night, at closing time, she's doing the last of the clean-up by herself, and finds Dave's body in the dumpster. Police Detective Cromwell suggests those two arguments make Juliet a great suspect. Hunky stranger Scott Davis is asking lots of questions, and what he says about his background doesn't add up. Pete's girlfriend Cecilia dislikes her, and the feeling is mutual. Pete's grandmother Gertie is a bright spot, but the adolescent angst of much of the mostly college-age staff is not. Sleazy reporter Don Wolfe wants a juicy interview, and is willing to use his lurid imagination when Juliet doesn't cooperate. Convinced she's going to get charged with murder if she doesn't find the killer herself, or at least come up with good alternate suspects, Juliet starts asking questions of her own. A new picture begins to emerge of the seemingly hostile and indifferent Dave, and Juliet meets some interesting--and scary--new people. It becomes clearer and clearer that hunky Scott isn't who he says he is, but he also acts like he really cares about her increasingly dubious safety. Meanwhile, Pete is also too interested in her safety and welfare for girlfriend Cecilia's taste. But even after some really scary experiences, Juliet keeps going, and gets into a situation where only her brains and her guts will keep her alive long enough to matter. This book is funny, without making fun of the really dangerous stuff that's going on around Java Jive. Pete is a keeper, Gertie is a treasure, and "Scott" may not be gone for good. These are likable characters trying to do the right thing, and being very entertaining while they do it. A great light read. Recommended. I received a free electronic galley of this book from the publisher via NetGalley.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Penny Marks

    This book is a first in a new series by Caroline Fardig. If you love coffee with a great murder mystery stirred in, this is your book. I must say it wasn't my typical mystery read but I was pleasantly surprised. It is a sassy rea. I will warn you there is some language and suggestive scenes but it definitely doesn't deter from the great storyline. You actually need some of it to get across some of the main characters personality. For example, Gertie is a hoot! I loved her from the start. She is This book is a first in a new series by Caroline Fardig. If you love coffee with a great murder mystery stirred in, this is your book. I must say it wasn't my typical mystery read but I was pleasantly surprised. It is a sassy rea. I will warn you there is some language and suggestive scenes but it definitely doesn't deter from the great storyline. You actually need some of it to get across some of the main characters personality. For example, Gertie is a hoot! I loved her from the start. She is Pete's grandmother and has a mouth that would put a sailor to shame. Pete is the owner of Java Jive. His father was the previous owner but he passed and Pete took over. Pete is your mild mannered good southern boy raised in Nashville. He is a sound engineer for a recording studio and knows nothing about running a coffee shop. That is where Juliet comes into play. She used to work at Java Jive in college with Pete and has been offered the job of manager. Jules is a red head with a temper to match. She tells it like it is and uses f bombs to get her point across at times. She has a great nickname that I can totally relate too being a red head myself. She is called a "Redheaded She Devil" when she gets really angry. She ends up with her hands full trying to get to know her new employees some of which are not to fond of her from the start. Dave for instance is not the neatest person and keeps doing things to push Jules buttons. They get into a few arguments and everyone hears. Then things go from bad to worse for Jules. She goes to take out the garbage only to find poor Dave dead in the dumpster out back. Of course not only does she have to deal with a detective being suspicious of her she has a reporter hounding her every minute. Since everyone seems to think she is the prime suspect instead of waiting for the police to find the killer she convinces her best friend Pete to help her find other suspects to take the heat off of her. This is where the fun begins. The adventures these two get mixed up in will have you laughing out loud. So what will happen to Jules, will she be arrested or will she find the real killer before they find her and put a stop to her snooping? I loved every character in this book. This is a great start to a new series. I can't wait to read more adventures of Java Jive's with Pete, Jules, Gertie, and friends. I received this ARC from NetGalley for an honest review.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Judy

    I was drawn to this book after reading the blurb - Music and Coffee? Set in Nashville? Okay, not something I've seen before, so count me in. I really felt for Juliet. Losing her own cafe and having to fall back on her best friend Pete, for assistance. Okay, yes, he really did need her to manage his late father's coffeehouse. But there she was, basically right back where she started, and with very little to show for her years of hard work. On her birthday no less. Oh, and she's living what in wha I was drawn to this book after reading the blurb - Music and Coffee? Set in Nashville? Okay, not something I've seen before, so count me in. I really felt for Juliet. Losing her own cafe and having to fall back on her best friend Pete, for assistance. Okay, yes, he really did need her to manage his late father's coffeehouse. But there she was, basically right back where she started, and with very little to show for her years of hard work. On her birthday no less. Oh, and she's living what in what amounts to a dorm room again. It doesn't totally excuse some of the crazy schemes that she comes up with (and talks Pete into), but it does speak to her frame of mind. Juliet blames a lot on her red haired temper, and okay, yes, that plays a part too. One of the things that I really like about this book was the realistic way running and working in food service was shown. It's long hours and a lot of work, especially when you are the boss. None of Juliet's sleuthing dramatically cut into her time at the business, and yet she still had time to sleep at night. I have seen other author's struggle with juggling the time management of the daily life in addition to their detective work. This was skillfully done. I wasn't sure how I felt about the bit of love triangle going on. Juliet states from the beginning that she has been carrying a hidden torch for Pete, but doesn't want to ruin their friendship. Plus, he is currently in a long term relationship. Juliet manages to hook up with someone, but it feels very much like just a short term hook up. Since this isn't a romance, but a cozy mystery, I feel that it isn't a spoiler to say that there is no HEA, and even a small bit of a cliffhanger concerning her love life at the very end. This book had a young vibe to it; partially due to being set near 2 college campuses, I'm sure. But also because of the mindset of Juliet and her fresh start. I can see this being a series to help bring a younger audience to the cozy mystery genre. I enjoyed the book and gave it 3 stars, though I hope to see more of the music aspect in the coming books. Thanks to Netgalley, Alibi and Great Escapes for the opportunity to read and review this book.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Yvonne

    After her fiancé cheats and steals from her, Juliet Langley pulls herself up out of despair and begins to repair her life. You have to love a heroine that doesn’t let herself stay down for long. She heads back to her hometown of Nashville and agrees to manage her old friend Pete’s coffee house, Java Jive. Pete recently lost his father and is more than happy to let Juliet take over the reins of the coffeehouse. Unfortunately, it’s not easy for Juliet as the entire staff of Java Jive seems to hate After her fiancé cheats and steals from her, Juliet Langley pulls herself up out of despair and begins to repair her life. You have to love a heroine that doesn’t let herself stay down for long. She heads back to her hometown of Nashville and agrees to manage her old friend Pete’s coffee house, Java Jive. Pete recently lost his father and is more than happy to let Juliet take over the reins of the coffeehouse. Unfortunately, it’s not easy for Juliet as the entire staff of Java Jive seems to hate her or, at the very least, have some deep resentments against her. Add that to the fact that Java Jive is losing money – Juliet has her work cut out for her. One employee in particular seems to dislike Juliet and takes every opportunity to oppose her. He’s not happy at all at having to take orders from anyone, let alone Juliet. They get into a huge fight. Later, Juliet stumbles upon his dead body. All eyes turn towards Juliet as being the prime suspect. Juliet takes it upon herself to clear her name. Juliet is a great amateur sleuth. She juggles her work with her investigation and even has a little romance on the side. However, her new romantic guy is not all he claims to be. After experiencing one bad relationship, she has no intentions of getting mixed up in another. The characters in this book are very well developed. Besides Juliet, Pete is another favorite character of mine. I hope to see more of him in the next book. The mystery took a few twists and turns along the way. I wasn’t quite sure how it would all turn out and I was surprised at the ending. This is a quick read – a real page turner filled with not only mystery, but quite a bit of humor. So many scenes had me LOL. Sort of a cross between cozy mystery and chick lit. I’ll definitely be looking for more books by this author. FTC Disclosure: NetGalley provided me with a copy of this book to review for this blog tour. This did not influence my thoughts and opinions in any way. All opinions expressed are my own.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Bookmom

    Juliet had worked her way through college at the Java Jive, along with the owner’s son, her best friend, Pete. Now, at the age of thirty she’s accepted the position of manager at the coffee shop that Pete now owns after having to close her own in another town when her fiancé, a co-owner of her shop, wiped out the accounts and stole everything from their apartment. The staff doesn’t like the idea of someone new taking over and that night, after find a body in a dumpster after hours, she’s the lea Juliet had worked her way through college at the Java Jive, along with the owner’s son, her best friend, Pete. Now, at the age of thirty she’s accepted the position of manager at the coffee shop that Pete now owns after having to close her own in another town when her fiancé, a co-owner of her shop, wiped out the accounts and stole everything from their apartment. The staff doesn’t like the idea of someone new taking over and that night, after find a body in a dumpster after hours, she’s the lead person of interest in his murder. Similar to the writings of Janet Evanovich? There is quite a bit of humor, often at another’s expense, but most of it is more subtle. There is one laugh out loud scene, though, that I don’t think I’ll ever forget. Juliet feels she needs to find the killer herself or she’ll be arrested and of course she doesn’t have any experience in doing so. She and Pete find themselves in some interesting situations. There are two other characters that could be somewhat compared to the Stephanie Plum series. Both are interesting and one is a hoot. The story had a slow start and for a chunk of it I would have just said the story was okay. Then things started to pick up and I was really enjoying it. I thought the mystery was well done with the twists and some red herrings. I was surprised at the who and why. There is sex but it’s PG with nothing explicit using more of a fade to black technique and picking up the story afterward. Other than Juliet, we learn the most about Pete. No real in depth on any of the other characters and there is definitely one that I believe a lot of readers will want to get to know better. An ARC of the book was provided by the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for a review. I liked this well enough to pick up the first book in the author’s Lizzie Hart series.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Katrina Wiese

    This was my first introduction to Caroline Fardig, and I was really interested because the book was was deemed "perfect for Janet Evanovich fans", which I am, immensely. I started this book and it took me about 1/3 of the way in the book to really get sucked in. The story started out slow and worked it's way to the great characters. However, once I hit about 1/3 of the way in I became sucked in to the story, but mostly the characters and by the last few chapters of the book I couldn't put it dow This was my first introduction to Caroline Fardig, and I was really interested because the book was was deemed "perfect for Janet Evanovich fans", which I am, immensely. I started this book and it took me about 1/3 of the way in the book to really get sucked in. The story started out slow and worked it's way to the great characters. However, once I hit about 1/3 of the way in I became sucked in to the story, but mostly the characters and by the last few chapters of the book I couldn't put it down. The story line was well written, hilarious and well-plotted and I was shocked by the "who done it" of the book, which doesn't happen often. Usually I have it pegged by the middle of the story. The characters are well-developed and believable and I have to complement the chemistry of the main characters, you can feel the love between Juliet and Pete, but you can feel the electricity and attraction between Juliet and Ryder! As far as love triangles go, this series seems to be headed that way. I know most people will probably be a Team Pete fan, but there is always something about the bad boy and I am pulling for Team Ryder! I also loved Gertie, who made me laugh out loud with her mouth! And the funeral scene was down right hysterical! This is the first book in a new series, but I can't wait for more! Overall, Death Before Decaf was a fun, fast read with good writing enhanced by an enjoyable story line and an awesome lineup of characters! I received an ARC of this book, from NetGalley, in exchange for my honest review.

  26. 4 out of 5

    RO G'ma

    This is the first book in a new series and is an exciting and hilarious mystery. Although it begins slowly, this book held my attention until the reveal. Ms. Fardig has written a hilarious and well-plotted story, with well-developed characters. This is a fun read that is full of interesting characters and crazy situations. Ms. Fardig has a unique knack for witty dialog and a sense of humor that comes alive in her written words. There is adult language in this book, but no graphic violence or exp This is the first book in a new series and is an exciting and hilarious mystery. Although it begins slowly, this book held my attention until the reveal. Ms. Fardig has written a hilarious and well-plotted story, with well-developed characters. This is a fun read that is full of interesting characters and crazy situations. Ms. Fardig has a unique knack for witty dialog and a sense of humor that comes alive in her written words. There is adult language in this book, but no graphic violence or explicit sexual situations. I am looking forward to reading more of Ms. Fardig’s books. The main character, Juliet, is likeable and believable. She is trying to rebuild her life after he fiancée broke her heart, stole her possessions, emptied her bank account, and ruined her café. Juliet moves back to Nashville and takes a position as manager of a friend's coffeehouse, Java Jive. Juliet is going to try to turnaround the failing coffeehouse, but the staff seems to dislike her and then the unthinkable happens … Juliet finds an employee dead in the dumpster on her very first day. The deceased is the cook she had confronted regarding health code issues. Juliet believes she is the chief suspect in the murder and sets out to find the person responsible. Even though she tries to be only a friend with Pete and keep their relationship professional, she has always loved him ... and now enters a mysterious, sexy man who is focusing his attentions upon her. I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Andrea Stoeckel

    [I received this book free from the publisher through NetGalley. I thank them for their generousity. In exchange, I was simply asked to write an honest review, and post it. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising] "I could almost hear George saying his famous catchphrase, “that coffee isn’t going to pour itself.” I hadn’t expected how [I received this book free from the publisher through NetGalley. I thank them for their generousity. In exchange, I was simply asked to write an honest review, and post it. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising] "I could almost hear George saying his famous catchphrase, “that coffee isn’t going to pour itself.” I hadn’t expected how empty Java Jive would feel without him." Juliet Langley has returned to Java Jive to help out her best friend Pete Bennet as manager of the coffee shop his father left him when he died. Pete works in the Nashville music scene, so when he heard Juliet was available, he hired her to return to her old job at Java Jive, but this time to run it for him. After being cleaned out by her ex fiance, Jules has little to lose by returning to Nashville. After adjusting to Java Jive's present verses her old Java Jive, she begins to figure out how to manage it, despite the cast of characters, including someone who worked with her before. Dealing with issues includes her banked feelings for Pete as well as who is or isn't actually telling the truth. The lighthearted veneer of this story actually hides very current issues that owners deal with these days: death, theft, trust and in this case Southern identity, stereotypes and reality. This is all wrapped inside a fast paced cosy mystery that I really enjoyed. I just wish the author posted the bacon scones recipe.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Sheryl

    This is the first book in Caroline Fardig's Java Jive Mysteries Series. It's off to a great start too. I found this one hard to put down. Juliet comes back to Nashville after she gets totally trashed by her double-crossing, two-timing fiance. She's lost her true love and the love of her life, her cafe that they started together. She's looking for a new start and her old friend Pete gives her the chance to come back to work at the Java Jive where she got her first job working while she was going This is the first book in Caroline Fardig's Java Jive Mysteries Series. It's off to a great start too. I found this one hard to put down. Juliet comes back to Nashville after she gets totally trashed by her double-crossing, two-timing fiance. She's lost her true love and the love of her life, her cafe that they started together. She's looking for a new start and her old friend Pete gives her the chance to come back to work at the Java Jive where she got her first job working while she was going to university. It was Pete's dad's coffee house that he inherited when his father passed away. It was a win, win situation for both parties! She couldn't have a worst first day as the new manager! She realises that she's in for more than she 's bargained for. Not only is the place in the red, she has inherited the worst employees imageable. To top it all off at the end of the day, she finds one her employees dead! While she's trying to prove her innocence she finds out that there is a lot more going on at the Jave Jive than serving coffee and stale muffins. I loved the snappy dialog and Juliet is a very loveable, strong character who isn't going to take much guff off anyone. I look forward to reading "Mug Shot" Ms. Fardig's next installment in the Jave Jive series. I would like to thank Alibi Publishing and NetGalley for providing me with an e-galley of this book for my honest review.

  29. 4 out of 5

    JoAn

    Death Before Decaf by Caroline Fardig is the first in a new series by this author and a very enjoyable read. Juliet Langley has moved back to Nashville after being cheated on by her fiance'as well as completely ripped off by him. I liked Juliet because she is filled with attitude, strong, smart, totally upfront with most people and independent. The secondary characters totally make this book work as we get to see some of Juliet's history via stories that her best friend, Pete, brings up during th Death Before Decaf by Caroline Fardig is the first in a new series by this author and a very enjoyable read. Juliet Langley has moved back to Nashville after being cheated on by her fiance'as well as completely ripped off by him. I liked Juliet because she is filled with attitude, strong, smart, totally upfront with most people and independent. The secondary characters totally make this book work as we get to see some of Juliet's history via stories that her best friend, Pete, brings up during the story and then Juliet has these flashbacks about the event. I liked Pete and I can see he would be a good friend but I didn't really feel any chemistry between him and Juliet. Now Seth/Ryder on the other hand is a whole different story. I hope he is back in the next book because I am definitely Team Ryder. Gertie, Pete's grandmother, was hilarious and I love her! The plot moved smoothly and pretty quickly once all of the characters had been introduced. The funeral scene was absolutely one of the best parts of the book. I couldn't put the book down and finished it in one day. There were twists that kept me confused enough that I had no idea who was behind the murder and mayhem until the reveal at the end. I will definitely be looking for the next one in this series. I was provided an ARC by NetGalley and Random House Publishing in exchange for an honest review.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Peggy R

    I received an ARC of this novel through Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. This is my first introduction to the author Caroline Fardig but I will be on the look-out for more books written by her. Death Before Decaf is the first in a new series and offers a promising start. I found the book to be well written, with an engaging story line and a lot of fun and interesting characters. The story does begin slowly but builds as the book progresses. I love all of the characters and the author d I received an ARC of this novel through Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. This is my first introduction to the author Caroline Fardig but I will be on the look-out for more books written by her. Death Before Decaf is the first in a new series and offers a promising start. I found the book to be well written, with an engaging story line and a lot of fun and interesting characters. The story does begin slowly but builds as the book progresses. I love all of the characters and the author does a nice job of interjecting a good does of humor along with some witty dialogue between the characters that had me laughing out loud as I read the book. I am looking forward to more books in the series as I found this to be a well written story, with fun characters that were well developed. For me, the sign of a good book is when you reach the end and you want to continue with more stories because the characters have begun to feel like old friends and you want to catch up. That is how I felt at the end of this book and I am looking forward to seeing how Ms. Fardig continues to develop these characters as well as the series.

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