This is the eighth book of our A to Z Mystery Tour. I will be choosing the first book of a mystery series on each shelf in this section and reviewing it here. I have added the series title list for each book to the website under Series in Order in the menu; you can also view the entire series by clicking on the series name below.
Sandra Balzo 2004
Maggy Thorsen is part owner of a brand new cafe, but the electrocuted body of her business partner is found on the very day the cafe is set to open for business. Maggy takes it upon herself to solve the crime. (No spoiler here; this happens on page 1.)
I found this story unremarkable. Having identified a big red flag before page ten, which helped me identify the killer roughly a third of the way through, I skimmed to the end where Maggy caught up with me. I don’t like to solve these mysteries before the big reveal, but in this case I was right.
Regardless, Sandra Balzo creates some entertaining characters and her depiction of cafe operations is accurate. I can confirm this as a former bookseller who sometimes worked as a barista in our store’s cafe. This book is worthy of a solid three stars. (Note that Goodreads average ranking is consirably higher.)