Mug Shot by Caroline Fardig is the second book in the Java Jive series. It is currently scheduled for release on April 19 2016. The first book was Death Before Decaf. While the character and relationship set up from the first book was important, I think new readers could catch up quickly. However, I enjoyed the first book quite a bit and highly recommend reading it, and then the series as it is published.
Former musician Juliet Langley has barely had a day off since taking over management of the coffeehouse owned by her best friend, Pete Bennett. But there's always more to be done; like prepping for the annual Holiday 5K Race organized by Pete's snobby socialite girlfriend, Cecilia Hollingsworth. This year, Java Jive has a booth right at the finish line, and since Juliet and Cecilia don't always see eye to eye, everything has to be perfect. Nothing can go wrong. Nothing, like Juliet stumbling over Cecilia's dead body on the morning of the race. When Pete is arrested for Cecilia's murder, Juliet sets out to clear his name. She'll do whatever it takes, even if it means standing up to the police, her ex-boyfriend, and the grande dames of Nashville. But there isn't enough espresso in the world for the greatest challenge in her path: infiltrating Nashville's high society to uncover the hidden hotbed of scandal without running afoul of the law herself. With her last dime staked on Pete's bail bond and her staff growing jittery, the last thing Juliet needs is for her trademark temper to land her behind bars. As time drips away, Juliet needs to crack this case before the killer comes back for another shot.
Mug Shot is just as much fun as the first book in this series. Juliet is a tough cookie with more going on in her head than those around her expect. I like how much she cares about her friends, even when it gets her into trouble. I like her character for the most part, really like Ryder and the complications with the other police detective. I even like Pete and Stan’s character, for what they are. I will admit that the book surprised me a couple times, and had me guessing through the whole read. My only issue with the series is the constant love triangle stuff. Either give the awkward moments and hints that romance between Juliet and Pete might happen a rest, or have something happen. Not every romance need the treat of a possible other partner. I love the characters, the action, the well done mystery, and everything else, except the Pete/Juliet/Ryder questions.
Mug Shot is a solid cozy mystery, with plenty of character development and action. I like actually being surprised by the ‘who-done-it’ and Fardig does that very well here. A solid series that I will keep on reading as I am glad to see that a third book, A Whole Latte Murder, is planned for release in November of 2016.