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by Donna Huber For the A to Z Challenge, I discussed different book genres/categories. Each day, I gave a few details about the genre/catego...

July 31, 2023

A Fatal Groove by Olivia Blacke ~ a Review

by Donna Huber

It's the day of the Bluebonnet Festival in Cedar River. Maggie, Tansy, and Juni, as owners of Sip 'n Spin, are tasked with manning the DJ booth and serving coffee. It looks like it is going to be a beautiful day in the park where the bluebonnets flowers are in full bloom. Unfortunately, Juni's attempt at a good deed ends with her finding a dead body. And to make things worse, he's holding a Sip 'n Spin coffee cup. Can Juni find the killer before the family business is ruined?

Amazon affiliate links are used on this website. A free book was provided for an honest review.

book cover of cozy mystery A Fatal Groove by Olivia Blacke
July 2023; St. Martin's; 978-1250860101
audio, ebook, print (304 pages); cozy mystery

A Fatal Groove
 is the second book in the Olivia Blacke's Record Shop Mysteries series. I read book 1, Vinyl Resting Place (read my review), but you don't have to read it first. There are plenty of details about the characters in this book that you won't feel lost.

The murder mystery is steeped in a town bank heist mystery from the 1950s. So you really get 2 mysteries in 1 book. It was fun learning the history of the bank heist, the town, and the bluebonnets.

The characters are enjoyable though they sometimes border on being a bit cliche. I don't know if there is a such a thing as a family cozy, but I like how Juni's sisters help her solve the mysteries. It is kind of like the way Hannah's sisters help her in Joanne Fluke's series. The family dynamics add another layer to the story that is different than when it is just friends. Another similarity to Joanne Fluke's series is the love triangle. I sure hope it isn't dragged out as long as Hannah's love triangle.

One thing that I found kind of disconcerting was when the characters were described. When a character first walked on the page they were always described a white woman or a white man. One, I prefer there to be a more generic description so that I can picture the characters how I want to. Plus, I usually find specific descriptions to mean something important to the story. But that wasn't what I found disconcerting. It was the fact everyone was white. There there was the description of the mayor's home - white on white on white. It kind of made me feel uncomfortable. Is a town outside of Austin, TX really that white?

If you are a fan of coffee, I'm sure you will enjoy the descriptions of coffee drinks. I don't drink coffee but some of them didn't sound too bad and I liked the sound of the tea served at the craft night. I think a recipe for a coffee or tea drink would be a good addition to the story like you get with the culinary cozies.

I think fans of the Hannah Swensen series would like this series too. It is different enough to add variety to your cozy mystery reading, but the vibe will be familiar.

Buy A Fatal Groove at Amazon

Donna Huber is an avid reader and natural encourager. She is the founder of Girl Who Reads and the author of how-to marketing book Secrets to a Successful Blog Tour.

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