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Fresh Brewed Murder (A Ground Rules Mystery)

by Emmeline Duncan

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545482,399 (3.47)1
Fiction. Mystery. Master barista Sage Caplin is opening a new coffee cart in Portland, Oregon, but a killer is brewing up a world of trouble . . . Portland is famous for its rain, hipsters, craft beers . . . and coffee. Sage Caplin has high hopes for her coffee cart, Ground Rules, which she runs with her business partner, Harley-a genius at roasting beans and devising new blends. That's essential in a city where locals have intensely strong opinions about cappuccino versus macchiato-especially in the case of one of Sage's very first customers . . . Sage finds the man's body in front of her cart, a fatal slash across his neck. There's been plenty of anger in the air, from longtime vendors annoyed at Ground Rules taking a coveted spot in the food truck lot, to protesters demonstrating against a new high-rise. But who was mad enough to commit murder? Sage is already fending off trouble in the form of her estranged, con artist mother, who's trying to trickle back into her life. But when Sage's very own box cutter is discovered to be the murder weapon, she needs to focus on finding the killer fast-before her business, and her life, come to a bitter end . . .… (more)
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Showing 5 of 5
I found this read to be okay. I found the plot to be slow and didn’t connect with the main character. ( )
  wallace2012 | Nov 4, 2023 |
Delightful read! Duncan's first in a new series takes two of Portland's signature businesses--coffee brewing and food carts--adds murder and stirs up trouble. ( )
  cfk | Dec 3, 2021 |
Fresh Brewed Murder by Emmeline Duncan is the debut of A Ground Rules Mystery series. Sage Caplin is twenty-seven with a unique childhood. She is opening a coffee cart with Harley in Portland, Oregon. Sage’s backstory is revealed slowly throughout this first book. We get to meet her friends and family. There are vivid descriptions of Portland that really brought the city alive for me. I did feel that this book was a little all over the place. The focus never stayed on the mystery for long. It felt like more time is spent discussing coffee than the whodunit. I had no idea there were so many varieties of coffee nor ways to make it. The book discusses roasting coffee beans and the flavors it brings out too. I know more about coffee than I ever wanted to know (sorry, but I do not like the beverage). Sage has family drama that dominates the story plus the book delves into the plights of runaway teens who are homeless. We follow Sage about her daily routine which is boring to read. The book needed more action which would have improved the pacing. The mystery of the dead developer is straightforward. There are several viable suspects along with misdirection. Avid cozy mystery readers will have no problem discerning the guilty party before the reveal. I could not get into Fresh Brewed Murder. A Ground Rules Mystery series is not the right fit for me. I believe it will appeal to a younger audience. There are recipes for items mentioned in the book at the end. Fresh Brewed Murder is a lighthearted cozy mystery with scrumptious coffees, a dead developer, cart chaos, a runaway teenager, a determined detective, and a parental predicament. ( )
  Kris_Anderson | Apr 29, 2021 |
Fresh Brewed Murder by Emmeline Duncan is a great start to another cozy mystery series. One of the many reasons I read is because I enjoy learning new things, and as someone who is not a coffee drinker, this book was full of interesting information… that almost makes me want to start! I love when cozies actually include the information for the hobby/place/cooking/etc… that they are using as their story hook. I’ve found some that mention it once or twice and that’s it, instead leaving it more for the cover art.

Duncan really shined in creating a small community within the coffee community with lots of characters that stand out, with her descriptions of Portland, and it’s food truck scene. We visited Portland once, about 10 years ago, and after reading Fresh Brewed Murder, I think we will be going there again in the near future since Duncan’s descriptions of the food, drinks, and town were so engaging.

Besides the great cast of food truck owners, we also get some insight into Sage’s family and business partner. Sage’s dad and brother seem like great people who’ll be there for her, the mother is a very interesting character and I can’t wait to see how she progresses and what kind of trouble she will make for Sage, and the business partner… well, let’s just say I personally would be looking for a new one. We also get a surly detective and a hunky love interest to round out the group.

Looking forward to book two in A Ground Rules Mystery series to see what happens with Sage and the gang next, as well as for more yummy food and drink descriptions and recipes. ( )
  KimHeniadis | Mar 30, 2021 |
A fun, quick read. A body is found in front of a coffee cart in Portland. So many people had reasons to not like this guy, who’s guilty?! I need to dust off my investigation skills because I didn’t figure it out.

As much as this was a cozy mystery it also seemed an ode to Portland and the quirky food truck world. Although I only spent one day in Portland on a West Coast road trip, this book has me wanting to go back and enjoy a coffee and culinary tour! ( )
  julesbailey9 | Mar 18, 2021 |
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I'm still waiting for the day when I magically turn into an adult.
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Fiction. Mystery. Master barista Sage Caplin is opening a new coffee cart in Portland, Oregon, but a killer is brewing up a world of trouble . . . Portland is famous for its rain, hipsters, craft beers . . . and coffee. Sage Caplin has high hopes for her coffee cart, Ground Rules, which she runs with her business partner, Harley-a genius at roasting beans and devising new blends. That's essential in a city where locals have intensely strong opinions about cappuccino versus macchiato-especially in the case of one of Sage's very first customers . . . Sage finds the man's body in front of her cart, a fatal slash across his neck. There's been plenty of anger in the air, from longtime vendors annoyed at Ground Rules taking a coveted spot in the food truck lot, to protesters demonstrating against a new high-rise. But who was mad enough to commit murder? Sage is already fending off trouble in the form of her estranged, con artist mother, who's trying to trickle back into her life. But when Sage's very own box cutter is discovered to be the murder weapon, she needs to focus on finding the killer fast-before her business, and her life, come to a bitter end . . .

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