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Review: Brew or Die by Caroline Fardig

Nashville’s perkiest private eye—coffeehouse manager Juliet Langley—goes undercover in the party-planning industry to solve a suspicious death in this thrilling cozy mystery from USA Today bestselling author Caroline Fardig.
Inspired by her past sleuthing successes, Juliet Langley has officially joined the ranks of Nashville’s licensed private investigators. Her best friend, Pete Bennett, doesn’t worry that her detective work might interfere with her full-time job running his coffeehouse, Java Jive. He just wishes she would spend her free time rejoining the local music scene instead of tailing cheating spouses. But when one of Java Jive’s baristas, Shane, asks Juliet to look into the suspicious death of his fiancée, Pete encourages her to plow full steam ahead.
Since his fiancée died on the job, Shane suspects that her party-planning colleagues are up to something criminal—and will do anything to keep it quiet. After Juliet recruits Pete to go undercover with her at a wedding showcase, she discovers that white lace and black satin have a way of hiding big, fat secrets.
If that weren’t enough to fill her plate, her latest P.I. job has her crossing paths with her ex, Detective Ryder Hamilton. They’re barely on speaking terms, but to solve the case, they might have to cooperate. No matter where Juliet goes, she’s brewing up trouble.

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I’ve been a fan of this series for awhile now.  But I have to say that I was highly disappointed with this particular book.  Before I start, I should point out that my least favorite type of cozy mysteries are those that deal with drugs.  I just feel that there are so many creative ways to kill someone in a story and drugs is just not an interesting one.  I felt as if the drug aspect of this story pulled the story away from the humor and lightheartedness that I had once come to enjoy from these books.

Juliet continues to get herself wrapped up in a slew of trouble and drama.  Now that she’s a private investigator, it seems as if it’s only bound to get worse.  At this point, her job at the Java Jive is just part of the background scenery.  She’s so busy trying to juggle two jobs and two men, that it’s surprising that she didn’t just pass out from exhaustion.

Speaking of men, Juliet’s love life is just as messy as it was in book one.  She’s dating a new cop, while dealing with her resentment of Ryder, and her underlying interest in her best friend, Pete.  John, the new guy, seems like a nice enough guy, but it’s clear that he’s not the one for Juliet.  Meanwhile, I feel that Ryder’s actions in the last book has proven that he’s not worthy of this red-headed dynamo.  That leaves Pete.  Good ole Pete.  Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy Pete’s and Juliet’s banter.  But Pete is clearly not the one for Juliet.  Sure, he’s in most of the funny scenes and he and Juliet always seem to find themselves in way over their heads.  But I think the sexual tension between them is about as far as these two should ever go.

I hate that my disinterest in drug storylines clouded my view of this book.  There’s nothing actually wrong with how the book is written.  But for me, this just wasn’t my cup of tea.  Hopefully the next book will get back to the funny Juliet I have come to love to read about.


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About Kristine

As an aspiring author, avid bookworm, fitness fanatic and dedicated mother, there just aren't enough hours in the day. I write or post about things I'm passionate about and spend my time trying to make the most of every day. Life may be a tough journey, but I have my ruby red slippers and am content on skipping along this yellow brick road until the end of the line.

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