Review: Expresso and Evil 






Synopsis:

The 6th book in the BESTSELLING Peridale Cafe Cozy Mystery series!

When a coffee shop opens in the village, Julia is surprised when her customers flock to the new business, leaving her café almost empty. A failed protest against the corporate chain store leaves Julia wondering if her café can survive, but she suddenly has bigger fish to fry when the owner of the coffee shop is poisoned, and she is framed for his murder.

As Julia attempts to clear her name, she is stopped in her tracks when an unwanted familiar face arrives in Peridale. Her past and present crash together, threatening to jeopardise her blossoming relationship with Barker. Julia’s history is back to haunt her, and she is forced to deal with the consequences of her actions before it is too late. Somebody is trying to frame Julia for her rival’s murder, but can she juggle her most challenging case yet with her complicated love life before she loses more than just her café?

Book 6 in the Peridale Cafe Cozy Mystery series! Can be read as a standalone but will be enjoyed more as part of the series. A light, cozy mystery read with a cat loving and cafe-owning amateur female sleuth, in a small village setting with quirky characters. Written in British English and 48,000 words long. No cliffhanger, swearing, gore or graphic scenes! 



Rating: 5-stars

Review:

Expresso and Evil: A Peridale Cafe Mystery by Agatha Frost is another brilliant mystery! I was hooked instantly. This, is the sixth book in the A Peridale Cafe Mystery series. I don’t know how Agatha Frost manages it, but she delivers a clean, hilarious, and intriguing tale every time. I haven’t found a bad book by her yet…

Inside Expresso and Evil, I followed the main character and her close knit group as another mystery tumbles literally into their own territory. In fact, it happens inside of Julia South’s bakery. Her well-know enemy is found dead in her cafe. As the facts pour forth, it looks like someone has been going to a lot of trouble to frame Julia. Her bakery is also suffering a major loss due to her customers going to her enemy’s cafe. Then, to add to the drama, mystery, and trouble, her ex husband has a surprise for her…then, there’s the technical issue with their divorce that puts Julia and Barker at a distance. So much action, mayhem, and sparks flying everywhere. Julia is my favorite sleuth. She’s kind, caring, and smart. Plus, her baking is out of this world….

Agatha Frost combines a lot of genres into one marvelous read. Her series of cozy mysteries are addictive. Once, I start a new book of hers, I can’t stop reading. Then, I wait in anticipation for the next novel to be released. Fun, charming, and plenty of laugh-out-loud moments. This book was also heartfelt in many ways. Expresso and Evil suits this novel well. Coffee and murder…overall, I recommend this book to readers everywhere. 

Coffee Anyone? by Danielle

It was work day as usual on the USS Mars Navy ship. The navy supplies us the heaviest yet darkest coffee muck to drink. It’s black than black and the bitter hot taste makes you want to spit it all out. But when it’s cold out and you need the caffeine, it’s all we got.

Some can’t handle it all all. Wusses. But for sailors like myself, we can drink it.

So, it was strange when one moment a fellow sailor was sipping his coffee and just as I turned around he was nowhere to be seen. Only a huge spot of what looked to be and smelled like the coffee I was drinking.

Strange.

“Hey, Stuart it’s time for us to..” Patrick looked down at me wiping the coffee up.

“Where’s Stuart?” Patrick asked.

“I don’t know. He was right here and then the second I turned around he was gone only this mess was left behind.”

“That’s strange..”

“What is?” I asked.

“I have been hearing rumors that sailors on board are disappearing left and right. One second they’re there the next time you look..they’re gone.”

Patrick started stepping out backwards and then ran off to who knows where.

I stood back up, tossed the dirty paper towel into the garbage pin and was about to leave.

The coffee machine was turned off. Or I could have sworn it was. I walked over to turn it off, but it wouldn’t budge. I weighed about 160 and was 6 foot 2. I worked out everyday and did many laps in the pool to stay fit. Turning the coffee switch should have been easy. But it was proving harder than one could imagine.

 Shit. Why is this damn thing stuck. 

Ping! Shit. Major shit. I just broke off the switch and now a huge mass of coffee came pouring on out of the machine. But instead of being the causal liquid…it was coming out like a glob. Just like the spot on the floor. Next thing I see is the coffee glob reaching upward forming into a human body shape..

What the f**k!

Coming to life the glob like coffee monster came walking up to me. Growing larger until it towered above my six foot frame. I stood still. Frozen on the spot just from what I was witnessing. Never in my 10 years as a US Naval Officer have I ever witnessed something like this..

The coffee killing monster.

Red came up into the mess room. Right before him he saw a huge black human like glob structure towering over his six foot friends body. It was about to…eat his friend. Not on his watch!

Running with a broom nearby, Red charged into the black glob only to disappear. The monster before Will grew larger. Running out of of the mess room his shuts the door, only to see the glob after him.

This time larger yet. Men all around were shouting, Will kept on running..

What to do? What to do?

Will turns the corner and the coffee glob follows after him. Eating fellow sailors as he walks, the monster contines after Will.

Damn it. Does this thing ever stop?

Just as Will runs down two steps at a time, the monster catches him..and Will falls.

“Is he up yet?”

“Shh.. the doctor says, he’ll be okay. But that bump on his head will take a while to heal.”

“I guess we better make some more coffee then.”

Will shot up on the lunge and screamed, “No! No coffee! Don’t turn it on!” and without further words Will got up and tossed the coffee maker on the floor where it crashed into many pieces. His fellow mates just stood in shook silence watching their long time friend.

“The monster will not attack us every again!” Will informed them. Then straightening his uniform he headed out of the mess room.

“No more coffee for that guy!”

“Yeah, no kidding. Monster?”

“Must have hit his head too hard.”

Laughing the guys left the mess room leaving the coffee flashing on…

Beep..

Beep..

Beep..

A Christmas Story for Animal and Coffee Lovers

Bulgaria’s Christmas

By

Danielle Urban

 

 

There once was a cat. A very handsome cat indeed. His coat was as black as coal. His eyes were as bright as stars. This cat’s name was Bulgaria. He was a strong and brave. He loved to hunt and play.

It happened one day, Bulgaria heard his clock chime. He looked at his clock. His very old clock. It ticked, ticked, and ticked. But soon, he realized what day it was. Oh no! He said. It was going to be Christmas in four more days. Bulgaria panicked. He wasn’t sure what to do. He knew if he wasn’t a good cat, he wouldn’t get any gifts. And he wanted his gifts. His owner was a very kind and loving owner. He made Bulgaria happy. Bulgaria loved his owner. And his owner loved Bulgaria. Bulgaria needed to start behaving. He knew his owner liked sleep at night. And so, Bulgaria knew he must let his owner sleep. But then Bulgaria would be up all night. And with nothing to do. But play, play, and play with his owner. But his owner wanted to sleep. But Bulgaria wanted to play. His owner kept ignoring Bulgaria at first. Bulgaria then decided to nudge, meow, and scratch his owner. Telling him to stay awake and play. But still Bulgaria was left alone to play. What do I do now? Bulgaria thought. He sat, and sat. Thinking what to do. Then he remembered he needed a gift to give his owner. There was only so much time let until Christmas. Bulgaria got up and ran out of the room. Searching for a gift. What to give him? Bulgaria thought. And he thought. Suddenly, he knew! His owner loved coffee. Bulgaria was a very smart cat. He could open doors with his huge paws. And so, Bulgaria left. Running as fast as his little paws could go. Soon, Bulgaria ran into mischief. Another cat much bigger than Bulgaria was blocking his path.

Bulgaria had to get through. He needed to get to the store before morning. He didn’t want his owner to know he had gone out without his permission. The bigger cat sat, and sat not moving out of Bulgaria’s way. Bulgaria then ran around in circles before rushing past the big cat. The big cat hissed but, Bulgaria was soon at the store. The store was light up. People were going in and out. How to get in? Bulgaria thought. The doors weren’t like those at home. No door knobs to turn. Sitting in front of the door feeling out done, the door opened. Bulgaria ran in and was soon inside the huge store. So many walls with boxes all over. Bulgaria being a hunter, used his nose. Sniffing his way to the coffee aisle. Finally, in aisle six. He found the walls containing the coffee bags. But Bulgaria couldn’t reach them. Oh no! He thought. Once again he sat pondering what to do. Just then a lady pushed her shopping cart close to the coffee wall. Bulgaria looked and looked. Soon he got up and climbed up the cart. At first his jump didn’t make it. So, he jumped again. He slipped. Determind to get a bag of coffee or his owner he jumped up. His jump was high. High enough to reach the cart. Then he jumped to the top of the cart. Only one more jump to the coffee bags. But then the lady was coming back to her cart. As she was about to push the cart. Bulgaria leapt out of the cart just in time. He heard a scream. And then he landed on the shelf and hid behind the coffee bags. A man came by the woman. She pointed to the shelf. But seeing nothing the man walked away. The woman took her cart and left running out of the store. She had quit a scare. Bulgaria checking the coast, peeked out from behind the bags. Splat!

Oops! Thought Bulgaria. He had dropped a bag of coffee onto the floor. Ducking behind the bags once more. Bulgaria waited. Just in-case another person came by. He waited and waited. But no one came by. Okay now it’s time. Bulgaria thought. He walked in between the coffee bags sniffing but couldn’t smell the one that his owner liked. So, Bulgaria being a naughty cat. Scratched and scratched at the bags. Until coffee poured out from the bags. Oh no! Bulgaria was soon covered with coffee grounds all over. Sneezing this way and that. Ah- ah- achoo! Bulgaria ended up knocking down another coffee bag. And then another. Oh no! He was in trouble! Bulgaria looked down but saw it was too far to jump down. What am I going to do now? Bulgaria was stuck. He could not jump. And his owner would find him gone. All his fault. Bulgaria hid on the shelf further away from the coffee. The next day, Bulgaria’s owner realized he was out of coffee. Searching he couldn’t find Bulgaria. He looked and looked. But still No sign of Bulgaria. Thinking Bulgaria hid after last night. He laid down Bulgaria’s bowl for breakfast. He then went to the store. But when he got there. People were yelling. Bulgaria’s owner went to see what was happening. And there in the coffee aisle was the store owner trying to pick up Bulgaria. Bulgaria! The owner shouted. Running to the shelf, Bulgaria meowed and rubbed his head against his owner’s hand. Bulgaria was safe for now. His owner was happy to see Bulgaria again. But was surprised to see him in the store. “What are you doing in here, you silly guy?” Looking around he found the bags of coffee ripped open and the bags knocked down on the floor. And Bulgaria was covered all over with coffee grounds. “Aw, you poor guy. You knew I was out of coffee. Didn’t you?” Bulgaria meowed and rubbed his head against his owner’s chest. Talking to the store owner, he paid for the ruined coffee and bought two bags of it to take home. Once home, Bulgaria was in need of a bath. Oh no! Sensing this, Bulgaria ran and hid from his owner. But his owner was quick on Bulgaria. He scooped Bulgaria up into his arms and took him to the bathtub. But Bulgaria didn’t want a bath. He doesn’t like getting his body wet. He hated it. He fought and fought and fought his owner. But his owner held him still in the soapy warm water. Bulgaria was soon clean of the coffee grounds. He could finally breathe better too. But looking in the mirror. Bulgaria looked like a wet black rat. He was sad. His owner rubbed his shiny coat with a towel and soon Bulgaria had an alfro. Laughing quietly his owner brushed Bulgaria’s hair back into place. And once again Bulgaria looked again. This time he looked good. He looked really good. He started to purr and purr. And his owner patted and patted Bulgaria. “See, now that wasn’t so bad? Was it?” Bulgaria was just happy it was over. He didn’t want to look like a soaking wet dripping rat. Cats hate rats. Soon, the days went by and Bulgaria still didn’t have a gift for his owner. Saddened by this thought, Bulgaria laid in his favorite box. His owner looked over at Bulgaria. “What is wrong little guy?” He patted Bulgaria and Bulgaria purred but then looked sad again.

Soon it was Christmas day. And Bulgaria still didn’t have a gift for his owner. Bulgaria was sad. Very sad. He didn’t want his gifts. He wasn’t hungry either. And then to everyone’s surprise, including Bulgaria’s. There on the counter top was a bag of Star Bucks coffee that no one bought. But then who did? Bulgaria looked around and then saw a note. For Bulgaria’s owner from Santa. No way! Thought Bulgaria. But, he hid the note away and dumped it into the trash. Bulgaria was happy. He finally did have a gift for his owner and it was all thanks to Santa helping him.

THE END