Death by Peppermint Cappuccino by Alex Erickson

Krissy Hancock and her friend, Rita, are busy decorating the room in the church that houses their writer’s group. Christmas is almost here and the small town of Pine Hills, Ohio is flush with plenty of holiday decorations and Christmas spirit. Krissy is the owner of the Death by Coffee Bookstore and Cafe, and Rita is one of her employees, as well a good friend.

But there’s trouble brewing. A few of the local women seem to feel that it’s blasphemous to host a writer’s group or any other group inside the church. The ringleaders, Doris and Agnes, are also claiming the local shop owners are only celebrating the season so they can turn a quick buck! Accusations are flying faster than Santa’s reindeer!

But then one of the shop owners turns up quite dead after receiving a mysterious package. Krissy had been in that shop shortly before the murder was committed and soon she starts putting her own pieces of the puzzle together.

She wonders if this has something to do with Doris and Agnes – or with a heated argument she witnessed while in the shop? Perhaps it has something to do with the quiet widow that seemed to appear almost out of thin air? But as she gets closer to finishing the puzzle, someone may be out to finish her!

This is an endearing and well-done holiday cozy mystery. Brimming with holiday festivities, lovable characters, a dash of romance and a handful of despicable characters, it fits the bill for cozy holiday entertainment.

I love James Hancock, Krissy’s widowed dad, the mystery writer. James has come to town with his new girlfriend, Laura, to visit Krissy for the holidays. These characters and their relationship are not only interesting, but add a down-to-earth feel when it comes to family. Even the bed and breakfast (home to a previous murder) where James and Laura are staying has it’s own backstory.

But Alex Erickson, doesn’t stop there. The author skillfully intertwines the return of a previous employee, Lena, who is now back in town and harboring some secrets of her own. You’ll find yourself wanting to know if Lena is hiding “something” or hiding “from” someone?

I have to admit, this delightful cozy had me running out to the store to grab a box of peppermint sticks for my morning latte. Death by Peppermint Cappuccino is part of the Bookstore Cafe Mystery series and was released in fall by Kensington Publishing.

A copy of this book and cover photo were provided by Kensington Publishing.

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