Cover Image: A Bean to Die For

A Bean to Die For

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Member Reviews

Tara Lush’s fourth book in A Coffee Lover’s Mystery series finds Lana once again caught up in a murder investigation on Devil’s Beach. After finding an elderly gardener, murdered near the same place she and her father hope to grow coffee plants, Lana is drawn into the case. Her curiosity keeps her investigating even when her police chief boyfriend encourages her to stop sleuthing because he fears for her safety.

This installment is not without the comic relief provided by Lana’s father, who owns the coffee house. He continues to provide laughs and moments when readers will just shake their heads.

This cozy murder mystery is great for anyone who likes a light read with a twist of mystery.

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Awesome book! Fantastic ending! I didn't see it coming, but I loved the wrap up to the case. Excited for more Lana and Noah!!!

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While I used to be a lover or cozy mysteries I think I am finally getting burnt out on them. On paper this sounded like a read that was right up my alley as a coffee lover and cozy mystery lover, but this one just did not do it for me. I really enjoyed the setting in Florida and the coffee references; however, the main character and the rest of the book annoyed me.

I think if you normally enjoy a good cozy mystery that you will like this book, and sadly for this book I think I have just read too many at this point and need to step away.

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I really enjoyed the 4th installment in this series. When a body is discovered in the local community garden, Lana can’t help but try to solve the mystery with the help of her dad and friend; all while she prepares to meet her boyfriend’s family.

The characters are likable and quirky, and it was such a fun and fast storyline.

I can’t wait to read what Lana gets up to next. Thanks to #NetGalley and #CrookedLaneBooks for an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

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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!

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Another enjoyable installment in A Coffee Lover's mystery series. Lana co-owns a coffee shop called Perkatory in Devil's Beach with her quirky father. Her boyfriend, Noah, is the local police chief. She is not supposed to investigate murders but of course she does. I thought the mystery in this one wasn't the strongest but I really like this cast of characters hat I didn't mind. I will for sure continue with the series.

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From the first page, I found myself captivated by the charming characters and the cozy setting of the coffee shop. Tara Lush weaved a delightful tale that combines mystery, romance, and the aromatic allure of freshly brewed coffee. The protagonist's journey is not just about solving a mystery but also about self-discovery and the pursuit of passion. The author skillfully blends humor and heart, making the story feel both light-hearted and deeply resonant. The vivid descriptions of the coffee blends and the bustling cafe atmosphere made me feel like I was right there, sipping a cup of the protagonist's expertly crafted brew. Recommending it to anyone in need of a feel-good read. I received a complimentary copy of this book from Crooked Lane Books through NetGalley. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own. Thank you so much!

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Book Review: A Bean to Die For: A Fun and Engaging Mystery

⭐⭐⭐⭐/5 Stars

I just finished reading "A Bean to Die For" by Tara Lush, and it was a delightful read! This installment takes us back into the world of reporter-turned-barista Lana Lewis as she finds herself in the middle of another intriguing mystery.

The story follows Lana as she embarks on a new adventure – growing her own coffee in the community garden. However, her plans take an unexpected turn when she discovers the body of Jack Daggett among the gardening plots. Jack, an environmental activist with a history of clashes with the garden's owner, Darla, becomes the center of a murder investigation. Lana, determined to clear Darla's name, can't resist the urge to dig deeper into the case.

What I loved most about this book is the writing. Tara Lush has a way with words that keeps you engaged from start to finish. The pacing is just right, with enough twists and turns to keep you guessing. While the mystery may have been a bit predictable at times, it didn't take away from the overall enjoyment of the story.

The setting of Devil's Beach adds an extra layer of charm to the narrative. Lush's vivid descriptions make you feel like you're right there, sipping coffee at Perkatory and exploring the community garden alongside Lana. It's a world you won't want to leave.

And let's not forget the characters. Lana Lewis is a fantastic protagonist – smart, witty, and relatable. The supporting cast is equally delightful, each with their own quirks and secrets that add depth to the story.

I must also mention the cover of this book. It's eye-catching and perfectly captures the essence of the story inside. Kudos to the designer!

Overall, "A Bean to Die For" is a fun and engaging mystery that will keep you entertained from beginning to end. While the mystery may not be the most complex, it's still a satisfying read. If you enjoyed the previous book in this series, you won't be disappointed with this installment. I, for one, am eagerly awaiting the next adventure with Lana Lewis.

So grab a cup of your favorite brew and dive into "A Bean to Die For" – you won't regret it!!

⚠️This review was written based on personal opinions and experiences with the book. Individual preferences may vary⚠️

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Another fun mystery in the Coffee Lover's Mystery series. I love all of the coffee knowledge that Tara Lush shares in her books. Being a tea drinker, it is interesting learning how the drinks are made, beans are chosen, and how the latte printer works.
I love how close the coffee shop staff are with one another and how well they work together to solve the mysteries.

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This was a fantastic cozy mystery. I liked the plot and the characters were a lot of fun. Very much recommend this book.

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Dollycas's Thoughts

Lana Lewis wants to try to grow her own coffee beans to add to the offerings at Perkatory, her café in Devil’s Beach. With her dad's help, she is taking over a plot at the popular community garden, Peas on Earth, when another man has been banned for breaking the rules. She is a little concerned about all the rules but excited about her new venture. Funny, for all the rules, there isn't one about leaving a dead body in the garden but the previously banned Jack Daggett is in the garden and he is dead.

Darla Ippolito, the president of the garden is high on the suspect list because of her many disagreements with Jack. Noah begs Lana to stay out of his case and she really tries even when Darla asks for her help. She doesn't know Darla well but she does do a little digging. Then Darla is killed and Lana finds herself snooping more than serving coffee. Can she get the bean on the killer? or will she have brewed her last Americano?

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Ms. Lush has created such fun characters for this series. Lana and Erica's friendship continues to grow. Both women are strong, smart, and funny. They come up with new ideas for Perkatory almost every day. A cool new idea is presented in this story but the person presenting it causes a little drama. Growing coffee beans in Florida may be interesting too. Lana's relationship with Noah hits a milestone as his mother and sister come to town to meet her. Lana's dad, Peter is such a cool cat and he has a big announcement in this story too. Beware, Lana's dog Stanley will steal your heart.

The mystery is perplexing. Jack had made more than a few enemies and Darla had a bit of a shady past. Darla also had a unique way of remembering things and that leads to a major clue. Lana, Erica, and Peter try to do a little amateur sleuthing on the sly without telling Noah but you know he knows what they are doing. He loves Lana and wants to protect her. He also knows she is going to be asking questions, it's her reporter instincts that she can let go of. He also knows they make a good team when they put their heads together. After many twists and turns the case comes to a head in an unexpected place. Oh, the way the takedown played out was priceless. I loved it!

I really enjoyed all the subplots the author blended in with the main mystery. No spoilers but something happened during the dinner with Noah's mom, sister, and other guests that has happened to us at our home and I didn't handle it as well as Lana. But when not happening to me it made me laugh out loud.

A Bean To Die For was definitely A Perfect Escape. I escaped right into the pages and was completely entertained. Well-developed characters and a well-plotted story had me so captivated I read it all in one evening. Coffee, a community garden, murders, romance, drama, comedy, lasagna, lubbers and more. What more could you ask for? Cozy mystery lovers you will love this book and this series.

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Another great installment featuring Lana, Noah, and of course Stanley (not the cup). Lana tries to figure out who murdered two locals while getting ready to meet Noah’s mom and sister. Let’s just say, if it can go wrong it will.

There is a surprise ending that has me wondering.

I did listen to a bit of the audiobook but was not a fan. I realize Lana’s dad is a bit quirky but the audiobook made him seem more stupid than quirky. When I read his character I picture a laid back person who loves life. When he lost his wife he understood how short life can be and decided to live it the way he wants.

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I loved this cozy mystery! It had a little romance in it also that I just loved. I will be looking for other books in this series and by this author. I would recommend this book.

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A Bean to Die For is book #4 in the Coffee Shop Mystery series by Tara Lush.

I enjoyed this story. The characters are entertaining. I don’t think I’ve read a cozy with a character quite like Lana’s dad. You know that Lana won’t listen to Noah and stay out of the investigation. It was fun following along as Lana investigated the murder and juggling getting ready for Noah’s mother and sister’s visit. I recommend this book and series.

Thank you to the author, Crooked Lane Books, and NetGalley for the Advanced Reader Copy (ARC) copy of this book and I am voluntarily leaving an honest review.

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Lana found herself involved in the murder investigations by choice and as a favor for a friend. Now, that friend has become victim number two, and Lana feels the need to help solve the murder mystery in honor of her friend.

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This fourth title in the Coffee Lovers cozy mystery series is my introduction to the author’s work. It’s narrated in first person, past tense by the protagonist, one Lana Lewis, formerly a crime reporter in Miami.

I was happy at first to learn that Lana is in her mid-thirties, as I expected a more mature view of, well, everything; however, I struggled with the writing voice a lot, because the language choices sound strange to me.

So, the language issue. Do people in their mid-thirties actually talk like this? Lana and a friend are having coffee at the friend’s place (a boat, because of course), and she thinks to herself “the java went down nice and smooth”. Then there’s “I almost ran into the chest of (male minor character)” and “flip flops adorned his feet”. Or when recapping a council meeting where Noah is present in his official capacity, Lana narrates it like this: “When my boyfriend…” rather than using his name, and it struck me as a strange way to put it. Like, we know he’s her boyfriend–it’s been repeated a couple dozen times so far, including three times in this chapter already

Reading those and similar sentences, I would stop and try to imagine people outside of a genre romance cutesy small town (or the equivalent tv show) saying them, and I failed every time. It feels like a lot of effort to sound “hip” (or whatever the equivalent is today–boy, do I feel old and cranky right now).

A larger issue is the sheer volume of repetition of details, from Lana’s own backstory, to her fathers’s, to the victim of the first murder she investigated, and so on. Little details about a number of characters are repeated, in almost the same way, throughout, and sometimes in the same page–and all from Lana’s point of view, not as dialogue, mind. And if I took a swig of something every time she thinks about her past as a crime reporter in Miami–or just Miami, occasionally twice in the same paragraph–I would have been drunk by the 20% mark into the book. Only slightly less frequent are the mentions of her dad’s “monkey activism” and the previous murder investigations–with “slightly” being the operative word there.

Speaking of cutesy small towns, the fictional Devil’s Beach is a town (also an island?) that’s simultaneously so small that Lana can walk everywhere and knows everyone, but also so large she had never met Jack, the first victim, or the boyfriend of one of her long time friends, or half the people who are lobbying to relocate the local monkey colony off-island.

It’s a small town that can’t exist outside a cozy mystery–especially if you set it in Florida. Only in such a universe can a retail worker buy a designer drink every morning before work, and still afford to eat and a place to sleep; never mind having a “thriving” candy store that sells only saltwater taffy.

At any rate, such is the setting of the story, in which an elderly resident is found murdered (someone injected fentanyl–because of course–on his shoulder blade), by Lana, her father and her best friend, and everyone assumes on the spot that she’ll investigate the murder; which of course she does, after paying some lip-service to staying out of it, because she doesn’t want to annoy Noah.

Aside: why someone writing a cozy mystery where the main character’s romantic relationship is brought up every other page, would bother to take a swipe at genre romance is beyond me, but there it is: “I didn’t want, or need, to know about anyone’s sex life. If I desired that, I could read a romance novel.” (Chapter 8)

By the time I hit 60% I was skimming. All the characters felt cartoony, a collection of quirks piled together in lieu of characterization, and while I can deal with that if the mystery is interesting, that was not the case here either. The narrative is cluttered–even without the repetition–by sidebars and digressions that lead nowhere, and I finally realized that I don’t care, about anyone or anything in the story.

A Bean to Die For is a DNF

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Lana did not spend as much time as I would have liked at Perkatory in this one, but we did get a good explanation of the whole building. I didn't know it was 3 stories tall! There were some big changes by the end of the book, so I am ready for book 5, so I can see what happens next. The murderer and the big clue were used in unexpected ways, so I couldn't have guessed the murderer. It was a good visit to Devil's Beach, but not my favorite.

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We are back in Devil's Beach, Florida with A Bean to Die For, book four in the Coffee Lover's Mystery series!

A Bean to Die For is a wonderful fourth book in this series. Lana is moving into harvesting her own Florida-grown coffee beans, and she knows the perfect place. The community garden is a strictly enforced farmer's market type growing area. Lana manages to secure a plot with the help of her father and the garden president, Darla. Upon arrival to view and assess her plot, the body of Jack Daggett, local citizen and fight instigator, is found dead among the previous tenant's tomato plants. Darla is the number one suspect due to a past that still haunts her. Lana gets involved to help keep Darla from going to prison. What Lana finds is a laundry list of people with grievances against Jack.

I really enjoyed A Bean to Die For. 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 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 A Bean to Die For by Tara Lush knocked it out of the park.

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Thank you NetGalley and Crooked Lane Books for providing me with an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review. A Bean to Die For is the fourth book in the Coffee Lover's Mystery series. I usually enjoy cozy mysteries involving coffee and cafes. A Bean to Die For is my introduction to this series and I was not disappointed. The storyline is interesting and the main character, Lana, is fun. Lana's father added a nice touch to the story. Also of interest is Lana's meeting with her boyfriend's mother. I will definitely go back and read the series from the beginning in order to better appreciate this book.

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This is a very entertaining series! It has all the elements we love in a cozy - a great setting, family, friendship, a cute pet, a little romance and murder! The characters are well developed and some of them are lovably quirky! The bits of information about coffee that are included in each book add a unique element to the series. The mystery itself is interesting, offers plenty of suspects and keeps you guessing.

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