Review and Excerpt: Scone Cold Killer (Book #1: All-Day Breakfast Café Mystery Series) by Lena Gregory

 

Scone Cold Killer
by Lena Gregory
Series: All Day Breakfast Café Mystery, #1
Genre: Cozy Mystery
Publisher: Lyrical Press
Release Date: January 23, 2018

 

For Florida diner owner Gia Morelli, there’s no such thing as too much breakfast—unless it kills you . . .

When Gia Morelli’s marriage falls apart, she knows it’s time to get out of New York. Her husband was a scam artist who swindled half the millionaires in town, and she doesn’t want to be there when they decide to take revenge. On the spur of the moment, she follows her best friend to a small town in Central Florida, where she braves snakes, bears, and giant spiders to open a cheery little diner called the All-Day Breakfast Café. Owning a restaurant has been her lifelong dream, but it turns into a nightmare the morning she opens her dumpster and finds her ex-husband crammed inside. As the suspect du jour, Gia will have to scramble fast to prove her innocence before a killer orders another cup of murder . . .

 

Gia nodded as she held the door for Savannah to reenter the shop, then hurried through after her. “I want to make sure everything is perfect for tomorrow. I’ll probably do a lot of the prep tonight.”“So we should swing by the shelter on the way to the house.”

“Shelter?” The glass-domed cake dishes lining the counter distracted her from whatever Savannah was going on about. They’d be perfect to display quiche and breakfast pies, a variety of muffins, and scones. A row of stools allowed for counter seating, which would give her room for an extra ten or twelve customers. She started counting the stools.

“Yeah. Can you believe they just shut down a pet store last week? The animal shelter is overloaded with puppies.”

Her concentration faltered, and she lost count. “Puppies?”

“Yeah.” Savannah grinned.

“You’re getting a puppy?”

“No, you are.”

“Why in the world would I do that?” The thought of a pet was appealing. She’d never had one before, not even as a kid, and the company would be nice, but she’d probably choose something less…intense. Like a fish, or maybe a parakeet.

“For protection.”

Hmm… She hadn’t thought of that. Her ex had left some very angry former clients in his wake, some of whom had pounded on her apartment door and others who had gone into the deli where she worked looking for her on more than one occasion.  But surely they wouldn’t find her over a thousand miles away. And, hopefully, whoever had sent the death threats wouldn’t follow through on his promise to hunt her down. Okay…a dog might not be a totally bad idea. “I doubt any of Bradley’s…” The name left a sour taste in her mouth. “Victims would follow me to Florida.”

“Well, you never know. And you’ll be living out at the edge of the forest alone, so you’ll get a dog, because it’ll make me feel better.” She grabbed her bright orange canvas bag from the counter, fished out her car keys, and opened the front door. “Besides, a dog will warn you if there’re any bears around.”

Wait. What! “Bears?”

“Coming?” she tossed over her shoulder with an innocent smile as she walked out.

“Hey,” Gia called, running after her. “You’re kidding about the bears, right?”

 

 

Source: Netgalley          My Rating: 4/5 stars

Gia Morelli’s ex-husband is a slimy rat bastard who lies, steals, cheats, and has zero remorse for his actions.  What’s more, Gia knew nothing of his antics and shenanigans until they all came to light in open court and the victims of his crime began verbally attacking her.  Getting free of her ex was of the utmost importance, and her new life and new career in Florida, far, far away from New York was meant to be a fresh start/clean break post-divorce.  Unfortunately, the rat bastard has turned up dead in her newly opened café’s dumpster.  Can’t a girl catch a break?

As it turns out, no!  Just a day after her new café opens, Gia must shut down her café thanks to her rat bastard ex being dead in the dumpster.  What’s more, she already needs a new cook and she has no idea what the hell a grit is or how to make one.  As luck would have it, a new, perfectly qualified and skilled cook shows up just as Gia is getting truly desperate.  As a bonus, he knows exactly what a grit is and how to properly prepare them.  With the cook situation sorted, Gia just has to hope local residents will be willing to overlook the tiny issue of the murder victim and give her café a chance.  Of course, it would be just like Gia’s ex to tank her hopes and dreams even after he’s dead ☹

As fate would have it, only Gia’s best friend a few loyal locals are willing to give her the benefit of the doubt.  Gia’s past, and more importantly, her ex-past has come a callin’ and Gia just hasn’t had enough time to establish her own reputation in her new home.  With the café lagging, Gia has time to sort out the mess her ex has brought to her front doorstep (or back dumpster as the case may be) and what she digs up is as disturbing as his previous activities.  Despite the hot detective’s warnings against becoming more involved and putting herself in danger, Gia continues with dogged determination to clear her name and solve the mystery of her wretched ex and his plots and schemes. 

The Bottom Line: Quite frankly, I was going to read any book that involves an all-day breakfast café, it’s just a bonus that the plot and characters were quite good too.  Gia is simply at her whit’s end when she arrives in Florida.  She is beyond ready for the past to be well and truly in the past and to start her new life as a successful single woman.  When her past shows up in a most unpleasant way, Gia realizes she won’t be done with the past until she closes the book herself.  She digs and dives into every lead despite her fear which makes her all the more interesting.  Her best-friend is a fiery delight, “her” hot detective is going to be a mountain of sexy fun in the future, and the café is going to be a wonderful hub for all Gia’s future sleuthing. 

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Coming June 19
Pre-Order Now!
Book 2: Murder Made to Order

 

Lena lives in a small town on the south shore of eastern Long Island with her husband and three children.  When she was growing up, she spent many lazy afternoons on the beach, in the yard, anywhere she could find to curl up with a good book. She loves reading as much now as she did then, but she now enjoys the added pleasure of creating her own stories.

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