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.