Book Review: Murder over Mochas (Java Jive) by Caroline Fardig

Murder over Mochas is the fifth book in the Java Jive series by Caroline Fardig. I have read all of the books in this series, and think it is extremely helpful in figuring out the character relationships, but the mystery itself can stand on its own.

As a newly minted private eye, Juliet Langley has sworn to leave homicide to the authorities, limiting the scope of her investigations to cheating spouses and dirty business partners, like her ex-fiancĂ©, Scott O’Malley. When Scott shows up unannounced at her coffeehouse, Java Jive, Juliet’s first instinct is to punch him in the nose. Her second is to turn down his desperate plea for help with a case that’s way too dangerous for her liking. But when Scott drops dead before her eyes, Juliet isn’t going to wait around for someone else to clear her name. It’s only a matter of time before her tumultuous past with her ex-fiance comes out, so Juliet teams up with her ex-boyfriend, police detective Ryder Hamilton, to figure out who poisoned Scott. They soon confirm that Scott was involved in an illegal scheme that’s definitely grounds for concern. Just as romance is finally beginning to percolate for Juliet and her best friend, Pete Bennett, she has no choice but to head back to her hometown to seek out the truth. And she’ll need help from the locals to find the real killer—otherwise her happily ever after could easily end up including an actual ball and chain.

Murder over Mochas is a well crafted mystery with plenty of wacky characters, some funny moments, and plenty of tension. I like the depth of the mystery, and how complicated the mystery became with the variety of characters that readers met through the read. I was a little annoyed with the amount of ex boyfriends and whatnot of Juliet's crept into the story, but I was glad to see many of the relationship issues resolved by the end of the book. I liked the tangled nature of the mystery- it is not just murder and cheating- there are kickbacks and desperate people doing good and bad for different reasons. I kind of wanted more of the why's surrounding the bad guys decent and how he ended up where he was and how the people ended up so connected in unexpected ways. I admit that I suspected who the big bad was after awhile, since the track of suspects got to be too predictable, but the way everything came together made the read a lot of fun.

Murder over Mochas is what feels like the last book of this series, although I could be wrong. I love that I got a wrap up of so many long standing questions, and that fans of Fardig's other mystery series, Lizzie Hart Mysteries, will get a kick out of seeing their favorite characters make an appearance. Now I just need to find the time to read the other series because I want to see more.
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