No more cheating . . . Best friends Tallie Graver and Gina Laudermilch both seem to spend a lot of time around urns. For Tallie, they’re part and parcel of the family business, Graver’s Funeral Home. Even though she’s traded ashes for dusting with her own cleaning business, she still works part-time for her folks and lives above the funeral parlor. For Gina, they’re the vessels that contain her heavenly brew at her coffee shop, Bean There, Done That. And both women are learning that owning a business can make finding time for romance challenging. But when Gina’s new beau turns out to have a wife, who barges into the coffee shop to take him home, she can’t contain her bitterness and loudly threatens to poison his cup or boil him in vat of coffee. So when Mr. Wrong turns up dead at the bottom of a staircase inside Gina’s locked home, she finds herself at the top of the police’s suspect list. Tallie needs to sweep in to save her friend. But she’ll need to watch her step, or she may go from being a funeral home employee to becoming their next client . . .
Source: Netgalley My Rating: 4/5 stars
Tallie Graver’s best friend, Gina is about as unlucky in love as they come! She thought she had met and dated every loser in the tri-county area, but this latest guy is a special kind of loser! When his wife bursts into Gina’s coffee shop and makes a scene, Gina is certain she’s seen it all. Unfortunately, she hasn’t seen it all and what she sees next will land her in jail and in need of her best friend, Tallie.
In a small town with a limited police force, and with her best friend as the primary suspect, Tallie sees it as her duty to solve the crime at hand. To the sheriff’s continued aggravation and displeasure 😊 It doesn’t Tallie more than a hot minute to figure out the deceased was a rat bastard with at least two wives, a horde of girlfriends, and about as much business sense as a goose. He wasn’t a good person and Tallie isn’t about to let his run of awful continue by seeing Gina in jail for his murder.
As with her first case, Tallie finds herself swimming in questions and suspects. When the murder victim is a rat bastard, there a lot of people who wouldn’t mind seeing him dead. What’s more, with every new bit of evidence Tallie finds the proverbial finger pointing more strongly at Gina. With nothing left to do but dig deeper, Tallie amps up her nosiness and drags her boyfriend, Max along for the ride. Tallie isn’t afraid to ask the hard and/or awkward questions and she certainly isn’t afraid of stirring the pot. Where the police have to follow procedure, Tallie has only her instincts to follow and she will follow those instincts right on into Hell if it means saving Gina.
The Bottom Line: Grounds for Remorse is all kinds of messy from page one! Gina is in big trouble, the sheriff is none too pleased with Tallie’s involvement, and Max the boyfriend is along for the ride. Once again, Tallie just wades into the mess and at every turn she is in another bind or more trouble with the sheriff. In truth, it is Tallie’s interactions with the sheriff that really put this read over the top for me. This relationship is perhaps the funniest and most contentious which makes for a far more enjoyable experience. As with all true cozy mysteries, the plot isn’t too complicated, the big bad isn’t all that surprising, but you just don’t care because the read is so fun. Tallie is a hot mess, boyfriend Max is adorable, the sheriff is at the end of his rope, and read is worth it from start to finish. As this is only the second book in the series, there isn’t a ton of growth in the characters and their lives, but I have a sneaking suspicion big changes are coming in the very near future. 😊