Thursday, August 13, 2020

Book Review: No Good Tea Goes Unpunished (Seaside Cafe Mystery #2)

No Good Tea Goes Unpunished (Seaside Café Mystery, #2) No Good Tea Goes Unpunished (Seaside Cafe Mystery #2)

Author:  Bree Baker

Publisher:  Poisoned Pen Press (2019)

330 pages

Genre:  Cozy Mystery

First Lines:  "Congratulations, Mrs. Miller," I said, embracing my childhood friend, Judy, who was still glowing from her recent exchange of wedding vows."

Summary:  Everly Swan, owner of Sun, Sand, and Tea, is hosting a wedding reception on the beach outside her cafe.  Everly not only catered the reception, she also acted as a liaison between the bride and the town council.  The wedding was held on the beach, with the reception being right in front of Everly's cafe.  Everything went perfectly until the groom received a phone call in the middle of a photo session.  He said the call was from his business partner and excused himself to take the call.  A short while later the photographer was looking for the couple to get some last pictures before the light fades.  No one knew where they had gone and many guests started to look for them.  Everly noticed something floating in the surf.  As she took a closer look, she discovered it was a body.  She yelled for help and then drug the body in.  It was the groom.  Everly and her friend, Amelia, prepared to give mouth-to-mouth resuscitation.  That is when they noticed blood on the victim's shirt and on their hands.  It was too late.  The groom was dead.  Where is the bride?  Has she met with the same fate? Who would want to kill the groom on his wedding day?

My thoughts:  I really enjoyed this story, even more than the first one in the series.  The setting is Charm, North Carolina.  A town along the beach full of cute shops and interesting people.  

"Charm is part of North Carolina's barrier islands, the long narrow strips of land separated from the mainland by channels, also known as the Outer Banks.  The sun rose over the Atlantic outside my back door and set over the bay.  The lighthouse-like tower that rose from the top of my old Victorian made views of both possible - and perfect."

Everly's best friend, Amelia, owns a bookstore along the beach and keeps the Little Libraries along the beach supplied with reading material.  Everly's aunts run Blessed Bee, a shop that sells everything made from honey taken from their personal hives.  The aunts are so funny and so opposite of one another.  They love Everly and always know what she needs.  

Detective Grady Hays is back.  In the four or so months between the first story and this one, there has not been much communication between Grady and Everly.  Everly realizes she has missed him and his friendship.  Once again, he insists that Everly should stay out of the investigation.  She says she will, but talking to people isn't really investigating, is it?  As the story progresses, Everly realizes that maybe she cares for him more than she realized.

The mystery was well plotted.  There are plenty of people who had motives for murder.  Everly does her best to try and talk to the suspects, but she tends to think the best about people and is sometimes led astray.  There are several other fun story lines as well.  The town is hosting it's annual Summer Splash which brings lots of people to town, including a cowboy who once broke Everly's heart.  The grieving bride stays with Everly while the investigation is being conducted along with a man they went to school with who won't leave the bride's side.  A wedding columnist shows up hoping to get the story of a lifetime starring the "young powerhouse millionaire" groom.  He has to stay in town while the investigation is conducted.  

Everly has a thing for cowboys.  One of my favorite quotes was:

"Cowboys were loyal and true.  They appreciated hard work and natural beauty.  They were patriots and animal lovers.  What wasn't to love? "The rodeo part I could live without," I admitted.  "It's not about the performance.  I've just always loved what cowboys stand for, if that makes any sense."

This was a great summer read that helped me feel like I had been at the beach.  I am eager to read the next book in the series.

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