Cover Image: Live and Let Grind

Live and Let Grind

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date:

Member Reviews

This was a fun and engaging mystery.  This was the first Lana Lewis mystery book I've read, and I look forward to reading many more. Lana's neighbor, Gus , is killed when his leaf blower explodes.  Lana and her friend, Erica, try to find out who killed Gus.  They also try to find out who poisoned a business associate, Julian, in Lana''s coffee shop, Perkatory.  The book has plenty of suspense and intrigue as well as comic moments ,thanks to Lana's pot smoking, old hippie, animal rights protesting father, Peter Lewis.  I highly recommend this book to other cozy mystery readers.  I received an ARC of this book from Net Galley, and the opinion expressed is strictly my own.
Was this review helpful?
This is another enjoyable cozy mystery set on an island of the Florida Gulf Coast. I like some of the quirky people Lush adds to the scene, like a disco roller skating social media star. Even Lana's dad is a crazy character. I like the unusual murder method of death by leaf blower. 

Lana investigates the murder, hoping to prove Erica, her friend and a suspect, innocent of the murder. That means she has some tense times with her boyfriend and police chief, like him trying to foil her attempt to write an article about the murder. Relationship drama and poisoned coffee spice up the plot a bit. 

This is a good cozy mystery for coffee lovers. Lana and Erica come up with some interesting coffee combinations, like with mushrooms and oranges. (I'll just have a cup of drip, thank you.) I was not happy with how the murder investigation went and was not surprised at the killer. Nonetheless, for a cozy mystery, the plot is good enough.

I received a complimentary egalley of this book from the publisher. My comments are an independent and honest review.
Was this review helpful?
I really enjoyed the first two books in the Coffee Lover's series, however, I admit that it took me a couple of tries to read this one.  I think it's because one of Lana's friends wasn't exactly truthful with Lana.  The other reason is her dad is really too far out there.  I'll read the next one and hope it's back up to the level that I thought books 1 and 2 were.
Was this review helpful?
Live and Let Grind:  A Coffee Lover’s Mystery
By Tara Lush
Crooked Lane Books
October 2022

Review by Cynthia Chow

Despite an unexpected career turn that forced laid-off journalist to pivot into becoming the owner of her family’s Perkatory coffee shop in Devil’s Beach, Florida, Lana Lewis is thriving.  She is dating Police Chief Noah Garcia, works and lives near her best friend Erica, and their innovative flavor twists have perked up business tremendously.  The fly in the ointment is neighbor Gus Bailey, who insists on running his leaf blower at the crack of dawn and on weekends.  He is the embodiment of the old man yelling at kids to get off his lawn, except that Gus is surprisingly fit and barely middle-aged.  After an unfortunate screaming fight with Erica that ends up him turning and giving them more of a blowout than they would have ever wanted, Erica immediately becomes the primary suspect when Gus is found dead with a tampered leaf blower.  Lana’s dormant journalism instincts kick in and have her more than ready to investigate, something Noah not only forbids, he asks the local paper editor to intervene and not assign her the story.

Infuriated and not about to allow her friend to be unjustly railroaded, Lana begins tracking down Gus’s ex-wife and resentful business partners.  Lana and Erica strap on skates in an attempt to interrogate Insta-famous roller-skating Honey Bailey, with them later checking out more than just books as they track down Gus’s new librarian girlfriend.  The arrival of a barista trainer has Lana juggling business with her checklist of suspects, which seems to be growing longer by the minute.  When a poisoning at Perkatory leads to them being temporarily shut down until Noah can complete his investigation, tensions are high and Lana is as determined to solve the mysteries as she is to discover why her boyfriend is so reluctant to introduce him to his family.

This third in the series introduces an abundance of quirky and entertaining characters, along with happenings that could only occur in Florida.  Pirate-themed booze cruises, Lana’s father protesting on behalf of monkey rights, roller rink discos, and of course a death-by-leaf-blower all make this an undeniably Floridian mystery.  Lana is conflicted between needing the approval from the men in her life while also wanting to be a very independent, successful (freelance) investigative journalist.  Erica gets Lana into as much trouble as she also helps them to get out of, making for fun and surprising adventures.  An adorable Shih Tzu, delicious coffee flavorings, and romance that would benefit from some honest conversations make this a must-read for those looking for a cozy mystery that celebrates all of the quirks that make Florida so unique.
Was this review helpful?
I absolutely love this series, and this book did not disappoint! I loved the mystery and thought the plot was well paced and very engaging. The characters are endearing and fun to follow. I cannot wait for the next one!
Was this review helpful?
Live & Let Grind (Coffee Lover’s 3)
Tara Lush

I wanted so badly to love this book! Friends recommended her and I even read a review by someone comparing her to Ms. Burdette, who is on my list of favorite authors. Alas, I did not find this to be true. I have forced myself to read this twice now and I’m still just not into it. I’m a coffee lover. No seriously, I drink coffee from morning to night, but no cold brew or overly fancy types like those described in this book. For those who do enjoy wild coffee, Ms. Lush has you covered! Descriptively, I think she’s great. When she described Honey the victims' wife and her impromptu skate. I was picturing Jill Monroe (Farrah Fawcett) from Charlie’s Angels. The murder on the other hand is not nearly so descriptive. I would say even with a boyfriend, the author never lets this stray into romance territory. I will see if my library has her first book in the series Grounds for Murder. But as for now, Gus’s murder is only 2.5 stars generously. My opinion may change with more backstory, in which case I will update this review. This book had promise but sadly for me fell short.
Was this review helpful?
Another fun installment in the Coffee Lover's Mystery series. I love Lana and Noah's relationship and that Noah doesn't immediately shut down Lana's suggestions and ideas about the current crime. I also love the supporting characters in this series, the characters are flushed out and whole and thoroughly enhance the stories. 

Looking forward to reading book #4 in the Coffee Lover's Mystery series.
Was this review helpful?
This cozy mystery series is so much fun! Live and Let Grind is the third book in a series set on an island off Florida’s Gulf Coast (possibly modeled after Sanibel?). The main character, Lana, has a journalism background which makes for a believable sleuth, even though she’s now running a coffee shop in her home town, after having been laid off from a big Miami paper. (Love the shop’s name: Perkatory) The population of Devil’s Beach is quite a mixture of people: some she’s known all her life and some newcomers. I enjoyed revisiting the people who have become series regulars, including Lana’s aging hippie dad, the local police chief, Noah Garcia, who is Lana’s love interest, and Erica, the talented barista who has become Lana’s great friend. Another recurring “character” is Lana’s puppy Stanley This works as a standalone, but of course, as with any series, if you read them in order, you get more backstory. 

Once again, there are two mysteries - Gus is Lana’s newish neighbor who has been driving everyone crazy with his noisy leaf blowing. His death is rather suspicious. Then Julian, a trainer from Lana’s favorite coffee supplier, seems to have been poisoned in Lana’s coffee shop. Are the two incidents connected?

Thank you to NetGalley and Crooked Lane Books for the opportunity to read an advance readers copy of this book. All opinions are my own.
Was this review helpful?
Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for an electronic copy to read in exchange for an honest review. 

I am really enjoying this series. Lana and Erica are fun friends, Noah is mysterious but honest, and there is coffee! Stanley and Lana's dad are super fun side characters that always bring a laugh. Can't wait for the next book in the series!
Was this review helpful?
This has the best murder weapon ever and don't tell me you've never thought about it yourself! I do so enjoy these coffee lovers mysteries and wish I could try the orange blossom drink. Sounds so good! Ms. Lush weaves a good story that doesn't lag and her characters are energetic and fun. I especially appreciate that Lana's character was a reporter, so she is obviously super nosy and it doesn't seem weird that she is digging into other people's business. Hope for many, many more in this series
Was this review helpful?
3.5/5 stars.

Thank you to Netgalley, the publishers, and Tara Lush

I have enjoyed this book along with all the others in this series. The characters in this series are lovable and you really do get to know them, especially throughout the series. You don't have to read the series in order to read this book and understand it, but it does help you get to know the background and the characters. 

The mysteries are interesting and fun to try and solve along with the characters. The mysteries are not predictable, at least not in my opinion. I love the atmosphere of cozy mysteries, especially in the fall seasons. This series is a well written series set in Florida that will make you feel warm and part of a close-knit community.
Was this review helpful?
Release Date: October 11, 2022


Lana is the owner of Perkigtory, a local coffee shop. 

I am a sucker for puns, the coffee shop name gets 5 stars on its own. This is the third book in the #coffeeloversmystery series. Lana is a fun heroine and I like that she is an ex journalist (even if not by choice) because it shows in her research when she’s investigating. He father is a character that I can imagine is a dream to write. Even Erica is well written. @authortaralush created a wonderfully rich town in Devils Beach. I would recommend this book and look forward to the next! (I’ll be starting book one soon!)

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. All opinions and thoughts are my own.

#liveandletgrind #perkigtory #coffeelovers #coffeshop #cozymystery #bookstagram #cozymysteryseries #netgalleyreads #bookstagram #instareads #crookedlanebooks
Was this review helpful?
Live and Let Grind is the wonderful third book in the Coffee Lover's mystery series. Book three finds Erica temporarily staying with Lana. When their obnoxious, leaf-blowing-obsessed neighbor finally goes too far, Erica takes it upon herself to do what everyone else was thinking - she takes her complaints directly to Gus. When their little tiff gets a bit out of hand, Lana's boyfriend, Noah, the chief of police, winds up in the middle of the confrontation. With boundaries discussed, both sides go back home. All bets are off when Gus is found dead and Erica is the prime suspect.

I really enjoyed Live or Let Grind. The set-up of the mystery was carefully planned out, the number of suspects kept me guessing, and the sleuthing done in a way I would expect a former journalist to be able execute. Lana is a wonderful heroine, her father quirky, and the rest of characters all well-developed. I loved the setting and the way the author described everything from the inside of the coffeeshop to the beach. Being able to envision the story as I read along is paramount to my total enjoyment and Live and Let Grind by Tara Lush knocked it out of the park.
Was this review helpful?
Live and Let Grind takes readers back to Devil’s Beach with our favorite barista Lana Lewis and her fun yet quirky friends for another fun filled mystery adventure.

It’s no secret that I love coffee and coffee related cozy mysteries are what got me started reading the genre. I have been fortunate enough to read every book in the Coffee Lover’s Mystery series. I am happy to say each one gets better as we go.  Live and Let Grind has Lana and Erica rooming together, while repairs are happening on Erica‘s houseboat.  Things that purgatory are fine and Stanley is as cute as ever. However, things get shaken up when Lana’s neighbor, Gus is found dead. Gus has made a reputation for himself for being a nuisance amongst the neighborhood. Erica recently, having had a confrontation with Gus finds herself in the hot seat as a suspect. Lana does all she can to help clear Erica’s name and discover more suspects are popping up then she realizes.  

Oh my latte. Live and Let Grind is a fun and entertaining, cozy history. With each book in the series is just getting better and better. Lana is a natural snoop; it comes with being a reporter. It’s kind of funny when she gets upset that she can’t do more than what she does. The cast of characters for the series is top notch. With a hippie father and a Goth for best friend it says it all right there. Tara Lash gives us another fast paced, caffeine infused entertaining read
Was this review helpful?
This is the third book in the series and my first.  I was able to read the book as a standalone.  I  enjoyed the characters so much. I will definitely go back to the beginning and read the rest of the series. 

Lana Lewis works at a coffee shop in Devil's Beach, Florida.  She was a  journalist for the Miami  Herald until she was let go. She is still coming to terms with not being a journalist. Her boyfriend Noah is the chief of police for Devils Beach. Her father lives on the island and is a pot-smoking hippie.
Her best friend Erica is staying with her while her boat has repairs done. Her next-door neighbor Gus loves to use his leafblower. All the time. Finally, Erica has had enough and decides to ask him to stop.  It ends up being an altercation and the police are called. Then the neighbor's body is found due to an explosion from his leaf blower.  Erica is the main suspect because of their altercation and no alibi. So Lana has to investigate to help her friend. 

I loved the mystery of the case and following the clues.  I had no clue who was the killer until the end.  I love when mysteries stump me.  I can't wait to see what happens next for Lana.
Was this review helpful?
Live and Let Grind by Tara Lush is the third in the Coffee Lover’s Mystery series.  Lana is coming into her own as the manager of Perkatory, her family coffee shop in Devil’s Beach.  Now if her neighbor Gus would just stop using his leaf blower incessantly and driving her friend Erica crazy in the process.  The good news is that he does stop, the bad news is he stops because his leaf blower explodes killing him.  Even more unfortunate is the fact that Erica is suspect number one.

I love the quirky cast of characters, especially Lana’s pot smoking father.  This is a feel good (no pun intended) mystery that kept me engaged from the first page to the last.  The mystery is well-plotted with clues and twists aplenty.  (I voluntarily reviewed an advance reader copy and all opinions are my own.). I really enjoyed this mystery and can’t wait for the next one.
Was this review helpful?
I have had a love-hate relationship with this series. Even though Live and Let Grind is only the third book, it felt as though there had been a few more. Lana, the main character, is hard to like. She is pushy and demanding; at other times, she is too worried about what her father and boyfriend think, and still, at other times, she is single-minded and walks around with blinders on. In this installment, with an exploding leaf blower, roller skating widows, and a best friend accused of murder, Lana has her hands full. 

Unfortunately, the suspects all revolve around Gus; and the victim’s terrible relationships. His famous roller-skating wife, his angry neighbors, disgruntled business people, and a few others had it out for him. But when the police zero in on Erica, Lana’s best friend, readers shake their heads in wonder. Why would she become the number one suspect simply because she had an argument with the victim the day he was killed? There is no motive or evidence for the police to suspect Erica, and Lana’s involvement just makes things worse. Then someone else dies after drinking coffee that Erica served to them, but this doesn’t seem to cause as much suspicion as when the leaf blower exploded. Why is that, exactly? Why does Lana think that the two murders aren’t connected, and why is no one else taking it seriously? 

The first victim, Gus, was not a great guy, and no one will really miss him. His widow is famous because of her roller-skating videos and doesn’t mourn him or pretend to. No one in the neighborhood really cares that people are dead, but it gives some of them their moment in the spotlight, which it seems is all they care about. The evidence, what there is of it, doesn’t narrow down the suspect list or help readers understand how someone killed Gus with a leaf blower. Once Lana starts investigating, the waters get even muddier.

The romance angle of this story left a lot to be desired. Honestly, if my partner pulled the stunts that Lana’s boyfriend did, there would be no relationship to work on. In turn, if a police officer’s girlfriend stuck her nose into a police investigation like Lana does, again, there would be no relationship at all. Even in a small town, you can’t get away with interfering with the police. I had hoped for more in Live and Let Grind. I enjoyed the uniqueness of the leaf blower being used as a weapon, and I actually liked the victim’s widow, Honey. The roller skating was funny but also unusual and gave the story an original flare. I had no trouble figuring out who the killer was, but I felt the motive was shaky at best. Unfortunately, I am still not crazy about Lana; I can only hope she grows up sooner rather than later.
Was this review helpful?
I have enjoyed this series with the island setting in the Gulf Coast off the coast of Tampa.  The coffee shop is a fun meeting place for locals and tourists.  Lana, owner, sort of since her dad is the actual owner, and her best friend Erica have fun with the coffee concoctions.  Lana and Erica also cannot resist sleuthing, much to Lana's boyfriend, Police Chief Noah Garcia's frustration.  This time they are trying to prove that Erica did not tamper with their neighbor's leaf blower to make it explode and kill him, but Erica had a public argument with Gus because of his constant leaf blowing at early hours and numerous times.  Then she is accused of poisoning a coffee bean rep.  This is another fun mystery to unravel with a pool of suspects to investigate.  Thankfully, Noah is on hand to keep them in line.  Kind of.  Wacky characters, like Lana's hippie dad, round out the list of characters. Lana picks up a new hobby from one of the suspects, roller skating.  And romance is still in the air.  I recommend for coffee loving cozy mystery readers.  
I received a copy for the purpose of an honest review.  All thoughts are mine only
Was this review helpful?
Great addition to the series!  I love Lana’s inquisitive mind and her approach to investigating.  Her roommate and her dad are also very talented and useful to the investigations so they flow smoothly and a lot of information can be gathered without following all the characters around while they do so.  It moves the story at a much better pace.  The mystery itself was intriguing and I liked the creativity with the murder weapon.  Well written, easy to get lost in mystery with great characters – highly recommended!
Was this review helpful?
Who wouldn't get annoyed at the neighbor who never stops blowing his leaves? But most people wouldn't resort to murder. When Lana and Erica's neighbor is blown up by his leaf blower, Erica becomes the main suspect.

I like that the characters deal with their problems and disagreements (mostly) in a mature manner. Noah, Lana's love interest and police chief, doesn't want her involved in investigating for her safety, but he does not put her abilities down. While the characters make mistakes, there is not a bunch of drama when it happens. The characters are quirky and fun. And the mystery kept me guessing and never got too suspenseful for me. And there's coffee. And dogs. Two of my favorite things.

I will add a caveat, for those that read cozy mysteries because they tend to be clean, this book is maybe a bit more than most cozies. There is nothing explicit, but there are references to how much characters are attracted to each other, sleeping over, etc. It didn't affect my enjoyment of the book, but might be relevant to some readers.

Thank you to the publisher and to Net Galley for providing me with an ARC in exchange for my honest review.
Was this review helpful?