Harper Lin returns to the blog today with the second in her Cape Bay Café Mystery series, again narrated by Marguerite Gavin. One of those cozies that is lighthearted, clever and fun, perfect for a relaxing afternoon. Please read on for my review of
Tea, Tiramisu and Tough Guys
Last month, just as Francesca returned to her old hometown, she was helpful in solving the murder of her best friend Matty’s father. Now, just as she’s thinking that things will return to normal and she can focus on expanding her café’s menu to add tea and tiramisu to the menu – something she’s wanted to experiment with since taking over the shop. But, not all is smooth. She’s still got a great relationship with Matty, but when her high school crush and manager/owner of the gym is accused of murdering the victim found in his facility, she’s determined to help prove that he, Doug, is not the murderer. Much to Matty’s disbelief and poorly concealed jealousy.
Not a fast moving or action packed read, this is a story that feels more like the character-driven stories from the old BBC productions: heavy on the characters and side stories, dropping small clues along the way as they wait to be picked up. Still, this format and feel lends itself perfectly to the story and keeps readers engaged. More of a lighter feel, like the first book, the formula and plotting help to slightly downplay Franny’s more annoying moments where she again is more a creature driven by the mood of the moment, her self-deprecating humor is still in place, but she isn’t one to tread carefully into any situation, despite her apparent lack of focus. She does show backbone and strength, and above all, a loyalty to her own convictions and beliefs, all in favor of Doug’s innocence despite Matty’s challenges. There are wonderful moments of small town atmosphere woven throughout, allowing the place to come forward and highlight different secondary characters in their natural state, good and bad.
Narration is again provided by Marguerite Gavin and she manages to capture Franny’s attitude and moods confidently, bringing moments of confusion and self-doubt to the fore when required without over-reaching for either emotion or tone. Each character again was presented clearly and consistently: you know who is speaking and where they ‘fit in’ to the story by their tempo and tenor, and the variation in patois, accents, phrasing and emphasis keep the reader engaged and intrigued. While it’s not required that you read this series in order, if you are a fan of lighter, easy to solve mysteries with plenty of local flavor, food and drink references and want the occasional recipe for something new and different – this is the series for you.
Stars: Overall 4 Narration 4 Story 4
Title: Tea, Tiramisu, and Tough Guys
Author: Harper Lin
Series: Cape Bay Cafe Mystery #2
Also in this series: Lattes, Ladyfingers, and Lies, Cremas, Christmas Cookies, and Crooks
Genre: Contemporary Cozy Mystery
Narrator: Marguerite Gavin
Published by: Self-Published, Tantor Audio
Published on: 14 March, 2017
Source: Tantor Audio
Audio Length: 4 Hours: 50 minutes
Get Your Copy: Amazon ♦ Barnes&Noble ♦ iTunes ♦ Kobo ♦ IndieBound ♦ Book Depository ♦ Google ♦Audible ♦Tantor Audio
From "USA TODAY" Bestselling Author Harper Lin: a new cozy mystery series set in a charming beach town! When Francesca's old high school crush, Todd, is accused of murder, she is convinced he is innocent. The police don't believe Todd's story, and neither does Matty.
During the busy summer tourist season at Cape Bay, Francesca sets out to prove Todd's innocence. Matty, however, investigates to prove Todd is guilty. Why does Matty detest Todd so much? But what if he's right-what if Todd is a murderer?
Includes two special recipes! This is Book 2 in The Cape Bay Cafe Mysteries. The books don't have to be read in order.
A copy of this title was provided via Tantor Audio for purpose of honest review. I was not compensated for this review: all conclusions are my own responsibility.
Reading this book contributed to these challenges: