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Death by Vanilla Latte (Bookstore Cafe Mystery, #4)

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Ever since café owner Krissy Hancock settled into a relationship and—mostly—forgot about old flames, life has become surprisingly serene. Too bad her father, famed mystery writer James Hancock, had to pay an unexpected visit to Death by Coffee and brew up a batch of trouble... While caught off-guard by her dad’s presence, Krissy never dreamed he’d become the biggest murder Ever since café owner Krissy Hancock settled into a relationship and—mostly—forgot about old flames, life has become surprisingly serene. Too bad her father, famed mystery writer James Hancock, had to pay an unexpected visit to Death by Coffee and brew up a batch of trouble... While caught off-guard by her dad’s presence, Krissy never dreamed he’d become the biggest murder suspect in town. But that’s exactly what happens when James’s boorish agent—a man he allegedly fired just hours earlier—is found cold and lifeless, a still-warm vanilla latte resting by his hand... With Pine Hills divided over her father’s innocence and a fanatical fan keen on locking the author away for safe keeping, Krissy must end the madness and identify the real criminal—even if that means meeting an ex or two along the way. But as her social life becomes increasingly chaotic, Krissy may be caught in a case that’s far too hot to handle...


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Ever since café owner Krissy Hancock settled into a relationship and—mostly—forgot about old flames, life has become surprisingly serene. Too bad her father, famed mystery writer James Hancock, had to pay an unexpected visit to Death by Coffee and brew up a batch of trouble... While caught off-guard by her dad’s presence, Krissy never dreamed he’d become the biggest murder Ever since café owner Krissy Hancock settled into a relationship and—mostly—forgot about old flames, life has become surprisingly serene. Too bad her father, famed mystery writer James Hancock, had to pay an unexpected visit to Death by Coffee and brew up a batch of trouble... While caught off-guard by her dad’s presence, Krissy never dreamed he’d become the biggest murder suspect in town. But that’s exactly what happens when James’s boorish agent—a man he allegedly fired just hours earlier—is found cold and lifeless, a still-warm vanilla latte resting by his hand... With Pine Hills divided over her father’s innocence and a fanatical fan keen on locking the author away for safe keeping, Krissy must end the madness and identify the real criminal—even if that means meeting an ex or two along the way. But as her social life becomes increasingly chaotic, Krissy may be caught in a case that’s far too hot to handle...

30 review for Death by Vanilla Latte (Bookstore Cafe Mystery, #4)

  1. 4 out of 5

    Tracey

    Here it is again – the sign of something I think is either a really good or a really bad book: I made 140 highlights and comments on this book. Hint: I didn't love it. There were so many cozy mystery tropes done less than well… Like shops with punny names: Ted and Bettfast for a bed & breakfast run by Ted and Betty. Phantastic Candies for a candy shop run by a guy named Phan. Et cetera. Such things really do exist. There's a shop around the last page of the corner from me called "Lucky Ewe". But Here it is again – the sign of something I think is either a really good or a really bad book: I made 140 highlights and comments on this book. Hint: I didn't love it. There were so many cozy mystery tropes done less than well… Like shops with punny names: Ted and Bettfast for a bed & breakfast run by Ted and Betty. Phantastic Candies for a candy shop run by a guy named Phan. Et cetera. Such things really do exist. There's a shop around the last page of the corner from me called "Lucky Ewe". But not every single shop has to be punny. And it all just points up the fact that the name of the shop owned by the heroine of the story, "Death by Coffee" is hardly original or clever. Which leads me to the next trope: said heroine does indeed own a shop, and has employees (plural). I've said it before – I have never seen a small business-type shop like this which was able to support even one full-time employee. My mother and aunt owned a craft supply shop for a while when I was a kid, and they certainly could never have hired anyone. I briefly worked for two independently owned bookshops, and in one was paid in books, in the other less than minimum wage, and in neither could I ever expect more than a few hours a week. As I'm sure I've also said before – I get why cozy heroines have to be self-employed (because otherwise they'd be fired). But it's always so wildly improbable. Third: quirky and unreliable employees (upon whom shop owner relies entirely while she's off playing Nancy Drew). There's a line between "quirky" and "weird". "Weird" can be really annoying. (So can quirky, honestly.) Trope the Fourth: "I mean, how many people could die near me before it started to become a fatal pattern doomed to repeat over and over again until I packed my bags and left?" First off, that's a terrible sentence – and it's representative. Secondly: You know that it's implausible that a book shop owner will encounter corpses on a regular basis. That doesn't mean that you ought to have her comment on how implausible it is – unless you can find a more original way to do so. Fifth Trope: Obviously, a book seller and coffee-vendor has absolutely no business going anywhere near a murder – but she does, of course (or there would be no book. Books.) And then she spends a great deal of time fretting about this and making excuses for it. "I was going to be a good girl this time. I swear I heard someone snicker on my left shoulder". This alternates with a deluded smug cockiness over how magnificent an investigator she is. "… My special brand of investigative genius" indeed. " My usual method of investigation was to walk up to someone and bluntly ask them whatever I wanted to know." Yup. Poirot's got nothing on you, honey. I have absolutely zero patience for a civilian who is specifically told to butt out by the authorities, and who comes up with wildly creative justifications to ignore the orders. Even better, everyone around her waits with bated breath for her investigation to turn things up, even when she claims to be trying to obey the law and butt out. Well – she can't let her fans down, can she? And – and – her father! Yes, he father wants to see her solve a mystery! Yes, that's another great excuse. She can't let him down! And I have even less patience (we're in the negatives now) for someone who not only ignores direct orders from the police, but actively breaks into a crime scene and touches everything. If there were any justice in the world, or at least the book, crime scene investigators would go back for a second look, find her hair and fingerprints and epithelial all over the place, and get her locked up. Things like "What harm could a few minutes of poking around really do?" just make me growl softly, under my breath. (The fact that the door to the room of the crime scene was left unlocked comes under the next paragraph's umbrella.) I had issues with the storytelling. An author signing is advertised the day it's happening, and not before. Someone at the B&B claims it was much too busy for them to have noticed what was going on the night of the murder – but from the sound of it two customers would make for a busy night in this place – how could there be such a hectic rush that night that the desk person couldn't give an answer? How could it be that "The door to [the murder victim's] room was unlocked"? "I screamed as I tripped, falling hard on the floor" – how can you trip over a single sheet of paper on the floor, and how do you not control yourself when you're supposed to be being stealthy? It didn't take long for me to start making snarky comments on the Kindle. The main character, a first-person narrator, was whingeing from the very beginning. She had a sleepless night. "My life always seemed to revolve around someone dying, and my having to deal with it. This kind of thing didn't happen to normal people, so why me?" "Of course, when was the last time something happened just like I wanted?" Stop whining. "But darn it, it wasn't my fault!" Whatever. And again "Why did this kind of thing always happen to me?" *slap* Nobody likes a whiny narrator, stop it. The writing … it was coherent, but sometimes I wished it wasn't. The narrator's crush is nauseating – "He had that creamer-rich coffee skin tone that made me want to lap him right up." The hard copy of the book should be packaged with air-sickness bags. In the same queasy-making vein, the whole chipped mug thing was absurd. It was supposed to be a sweet moment for the main character and her father – but all I could think was that anyone who purposely chips her coffee mugs is a moron. Not only is a chipped mug uncomfortable to drink from if it's damaged in an awkward place, but it makes it a lot more likely you'll find yourself holding a former mug one day, with hot coffee all down your front. And it's unsanitary. (Well, that's what I was always taught.) There was the ... coincidence? that the murder involves a guy being stabbed with a pen … and then a little while later the narrator has to snatch a pen away from a cat "Before he could stab himself in the roof of the mouth". No comment about the connection there is made. And honestly, I got tired of the narrator's father kissing her on the forehead or the top of her head. I'm not sure how you can write something that repetitive without it being noticed by someone. And why on earth is the fact that someone is exactly three minutes late cause for deep terror? A dog barks up a storm; someone talks a million miles a minute; someone's mouth was running nonstop; lots of people babble (another annoying repetition); someone "elect[s]" an article of clothing (for what office?)… One more incredibly obnoxious cozy trope this indulged in to the hilt: surrounding the main character with morons. (To make her look smarter without actually making her smart, I suppose?) Here, a friend of the narrator tries (unsuccessfully) to hide a new romance – but it was so obvious that it took her explaining that she was trying to keep it on the down-low for me to know that. Most unbearable, though, was "Rita", a fan of the narrator's father who makes Kathy Bates's character in "Misery" look sane and tranquil. It was actually hard to read the last scene she was in. I gave this book two stars initially, but I'm looking at the sheer number of times I actually swore at the book, its characters, and/or its author in my notes, and … yeah. One star is more reasonable. I wouldn't read anything else from this series at gunpoint. The usual disclaimer: I received this book via Netgalley for review.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Carla Johnson-Hicks

    Death by Vanilla Latte is the fourth book Alex Erickson’s "Bookstore Cafe Mystery" series. It can be read as a standalone book, but it will help with the character development if you read them in order. Krissy Hancock and her best friend, Vickie Patterson, own Death by Coffee, a combination coffee shop and bookstore, in Pine Hills, Ohio. Krissy’s father, James Hancock, is a successful author of Mystery novels. He shows up at the store with his agent Rick Wiseman and Rick's assisstant Cameron Litt Death by Vanilla Latte is the fourth book Alex Erickson’s "Bookstore Cafe Mystery" series. It can be read as a standalone book, but it will help with the character development if you read them in order. Krissy Hancock and her best friend, Vickie Patterson, own Death by Coffee, a combination coffee shop and bookstore, in Pine Hills, Ohio. Krissy’s father, James Hancock, is a successful author of Mystery novels. He shows up at the store with his agent Rick Wiseman and Rick's assisstant Cameron Little, for an unannounced book signing. With a new book coming out, Rick thought it would be a good idea to get some publicity for the upcoming book. The town has an author's group and the president, Rita Jablonski invited James to speak to the group. Little does he know they all have manuscripts they want him to read. Because it is never a good idea for an author to read unsolicited manuscripts, he passes them all off to the miserable, unlikable Rick. Meanwhile, Rick makes rude remarks and advances to Krissy. When James finds out, he and Rick get into a shouting match and he fires him on the spot. This is not good, because the next morning, Rick is found dead in his room and James is the main suspect. Krissy tries to restrain herself from investigating but, despite Officer Paul Dalton’s warnings to stay out of the case, she can’t resist a good mystery, especially when her father is a suspect. This story is pretty much about Krissy and her dad. The secondary characters do not have much involvement except for an occasional comment that gives Krissy a good idea. It is nice to see Krissy and her dad work together. He seems to enjoy investigating a real crime, especially working with his daughter. Krissy does not hesitate to admit she loves to solve mysteries and she does not fall into the investigation by mistake. She is quite well known by the townspeople for solving mysteries, in fact most of the town think the police are rather inept. The story is a bit slower than the others I have read in the series and I did not enjoy this one as much as the others. I am still going to continue to read this series as I have enjoyed others immensely. The publisher generously provided me with a copy of this book via Netgalley.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Alex Knipp

    These books are terrible and I love them.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Janet Robel

    I received a free copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. Solid writing and a great mystery! This is my favorite of the series so far. It took me time with the other books to get to know the characters. Krissy Hancock, along with help from her mystery author dad, are at it again in working to solve the murder of her dad's agent. There are many suspects to choose from, so this is not an easy case to solve. The cats in here have personality which make it even more enjoyab I received a free copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. Solid writing and a great mystery! This is my favorite of the series so far. It took me time with the other books to get to know the characters. Krissy Hancock, along with help from her mystery author dad, are at it again in working to solve the murder of her dad's agent. There are many suspects to choose from, so this is not an easy case to solve. The cats in here have personality which make it even more enjoyable. I love seeing more of Krissy's dating life revealed as the series progresses. There's sure to be lots more to come that you won't want to miss.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Karen

    This series is a hit or a miss for me. Unfortunately this latest offering is more of a miss. Although I enjoyed the fact that we saw more of the main character's father in this story, the book just underwhelmed me. I voluntarily read an Advance Reader Copy of this book. This series is a hit or a miss for me. Unfortunately this latest offering is more of a miss. Although I enjoyed the fact that we saw more of the main character's father in this story, the book just underwhelmed me. I voluntarily read an Advance Reader Copy of this book.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Cozy Reads

    Love this series.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Heidi Burkhart

    I like this series but feel that it's target audience is for young people. I like this series but feel that it's target audience is for young people.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Maria

    Maybe it's because I listened to this one and was busy doing other things but Krissy wasn't as annoying in this one as she usually is. Maybe it's because I listened to this one and was busy doing other things but Krissy wasn't as annoying in this one as she usually is.

  9. 5 out of 5

    LilBib’Phile

    This book typifies everything I dislike about cozy mysteries. They can be done well - this one wasn’t.

  10. 5 out of 5

    RO G'ma

    Death by Vanilla Latte is the fourth book Alex Erickson’s Bookstore Cafe Mystery series. The writing flows smoothly, most of the characters are down to earth, normal, relatable people, and the book is an easy read. The book flows at a steady pace and the mystery is interesting. There are plenty of suspects and twists and turns to make it difficult to figure out who the killer is. There are lots of suspects, clues, and surprises that kept me guessing as to who did it and why until the reveal. I r Death by Vanilla Latte is the fourth book Alex Erickson’s Bookstore Cafe Mystery series. The writing flows smoothly, most of the characters are down to earth, normal, relatable people, and the book is an easy read. The book flows at a steady pace and the mystery is interesting. There are plenty of suspects and twists and turns to make it difficult to figure out who the killer is. There are lots of suspects, clues, and surprises that kept me guessing as to who did it and why until the reveal. I recommend this book to anyone who enjoys reading well-crafted cozy mysteries. Krissy Hancock and her best friend, Vickie Patterson, are the owners of a combination coffee shop and bookstore, Death by Coffee, in the quaint town of Pine Hills, Ohio. Krissy’s father, James Hancock, is a successful author who is in town for a book reading and signing in her shop, along with Rick Wiseman, his literary agent, and Cameron Little, Rick’s assistant. Krissy’s a little worried she might not be able to spend much quality time with her dad because Rita Jablonski, who wants to be an author and is a huge fan of James (she even has a life-size cardboard cutout of him in her bedroom) throws herself at him every chance she gets. When Krissy’s dad learned Rick had approached her and made unsolicited advances, he confronted Rick at the B&B where he was staying, punched him in the nose, and fired him on the spot. When Rick doesn’t show up at the bookstore the next day, Krissy offers to go to the B&B to make sure he’s okay but discovers him lying in a pool of coffee and blood on the floor of his room. Because of their confrontation, James becomes a person of interest in James’ death. Krissy tries to restrain herself from investigating but, despite Officer Paul Dalton’s warnings to stay out of the case, she can’t resist a good mystery. She loves snooping and investigating and even though he’s a mystery writer, her dad has never investigated, and she thinks he wants to share that experience with her. After talking to people and overhearing what others were saying, she discovered there is no shortage of suspects because Rick had the tendency to rub people the wrong way. Krissy is dating Will Foster, a handsome local physician, but there’s still chemistry between her and Paul. I received an Advance Reader Copy of this book from NetGalley and voluntarily reviewed it.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Kirsty ❤️

    This is one of those charming, quirky stories where a shop owner of some description solves murders. This time, for a nice change of the ones I've read in this style, the sleuth openly admits she likes solving the murders and participating in the apprehension of a criminal instead of oh I don't know how these things keep happening to me! Krissy Hancock likes being in the thick of it. I read this in a day. I'm not a real fan of romancey/chick lit types of books. This style of writing is the closes This is one of those charming, quirky stories where a shop owner of some description solves murders. This time, for a nice change of the ones I've read in this style, the sleuth openly admits she likes solving the murders and participating in the apprehension of a criminal instead of oh I don't know how these things keep happening to me! Krissy Hancock likes being in the thick of it. I read this in a day. I'm not a real fan of romancey/chick lit types of books. This style of writing is the closest I get and I find them perfect for the beach (except I'm in rainy England). Krissy is happily trying to not solve a murder this time whilst sort of, definitely trying to solve it while building on her relationship with hunky doctor Will, wondering if she should be with hunky cop Paul and running her own business. This is one busy woman! The secondary characters don't really have much to do with the book, even the love interests. I couldn't really connect with any of them except Rita, the local writers club nosey parker. She just got on my nerves. Even the 2 hunks didn't really do much. It's pretty much all about Krissy. I would like more interaction with her work colleagues, friends and so on. Otherwise it gets a bit boring. In this her dad is along for the ride. Having not read the previous three I don't know if she has a sidekick but maybe she should. It's fun, frothy and enjoyable. Thumbs up Free arc from netgalley

  12. 4 out of 5

    Judith von Kirchbach

    This is a cute, simple, murder mystery. It takes place in a small town. The murder isn’t explicitly explained. There’s no sex, profanity or violence. It is the fourth installment of the Death by Coffee series. The detective, Krissy Hancock, owns a small bookstore and all the suspects know each other, so it fits the category of “cozy mystery” perfectly. Krissy is bringing her father, who is a well-known author, to her bookstore to do an author’s signing. She gets to see her father, help his book This is a cute, simple, murder mystery. It takes place in a small town. The murder isn’t explicitly explained. There’s no sex, profanity or violence. It is the fourth installment of the Death by Coffee series. The detective, Krissy Hancock, owns a small bookstore and all the suspects know each other, so it fits the category of “cozy mystery” perfectly. Krissy is bringing her father, who is a well-known author, to her bookstore to do an author’s signing. She gets to see her father, help his book sales, and promote her bookstore all at the same time. Before the day of the book-signing, however, her father’s agent is killed. Krissy has solved other murders in the past, but here everyone tells her to stay safe and keep her nose out of this mystery, but she can’t do it, since the victim was her father’s agent. This time, her father helps her to solve the mystery. This is a pleasant, fast read.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Betty

    Krissy Hancock owns of a combination coffee/library store, Death By Coffee with her BFR, Vicky. This is the best book In this easy and relaxing story. Perfect for the beach or to curl up on a stormy day. In the fourth book we find James Hancock, a noted mystery writer visiting his daughter, Krissy. He is accompanied by his agent, Rick Wiseman. The Writers group invites James to their meeting. The writers all have manuscript they want James to read. Rick steps out of line and James fired him. The Krissy Hancock owns of a combination coffee/library store, Death By Coffee with her BFR, Vicky. This is the best book In this easy and relaxing story. Perfect for the beach or to curl up on a stormy day. In the fourth book we find James Hancock, a noted mystery writer visiting his daughter, Krissy. He is accompanied by his agent, Rick Wiseman. The Writers group invites James to their meeting. The writers all have manuscript they want James to read. Rick steps out of line and James fired him. The next morning Rick is found dead and Krissy' s father becomes a suspect in the killing. Kristy decides to look into the murder. Will she be able to clear her Father's before he is arrested. Disclosure: I received a free copy from Kensington Books through NetGalley for an honest review. I would like to thank them for this opportunity to read and review the book. The opinions expressed are my own

  14. 5 out of 5

    Autumn

    This is the second book I've read within this series, the first being Death by Coffee which I liked decently more than this one. With that being said I really enjoyed this cozy mystery and will continue picking up books within this series. There were two big things I did not enjoy about this book; the first being that I guessed the killer kind of early on in the book, and the next is that our main character would walk right onto crime scenes and insert herself into every mystery even though she This is the second book I've read within this series, the first being Death by Coffee which I liked decently more than this one. With that being said I really enjoyed this cozy mystery and will continue picking up books within this series. There were two big things I did not enjoy about this book; the first being that I guessed the killer kind of early on in the book, and the next is that our main character would walk right onto crime scenes and insert herself into every mystery even though she is no detective. Surprisingly, neither of these issues hindered my enjoyment of this novel too majorly.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Diana

    Book received from NetGalley. This fourth book in the series starts out with a surprise visit by the main character's father and ends up with both Krissy Hancock and her father involved in a murder investigation. It was a fun quick read, I did have some issues keeping up with backstories due to it being the fourth book in the series. I figured out "whodunnit" a little over half way through the book. So it was very well plotted out and it kept me interested to the end. It was a quick read and a go Book received from NetGalley. This fourth book in the series starts out with a surprise visit by the main character's father and ends up with both Krissy Hancock and her father involved in a murder investigation. It was a fun quick read, I did have some issues keeping up with backstories due to it being the fourth book in the series. I figured out "whodunnit" a little over half way through the book. So it was very well plotted out and it kept me interested to the end. It was a quick read and a good way to escape for a few hours.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Hilary (A Wytch's Book Review)

    Number 4 in this great series and this time Krissy's Dad (a best selling author) is in town along with his agent (who is seriously creepy) and his agent's intern (who is trying to strike out on his own), a couple of days after they arrive the agent is found dead - seriously dead, and Krissy's Dad could be in the frame - so they band together to find our who could want this man dead! Number 4 in this great series and this time Krissy's Dad (a best selling author) is in town along with his agent (who is seriously creepy) and his agent's intern (who is trying to strike out on his own), a couple of days after they arrive the agent is found dead - seriously dead, and Krissy's Dad could be in the frame - so they band together to find our who could want this man dead!

  17. 4 out of 5

    Nancy H

    This is a really good entry in the Bookstore Café Mystery Series. In this one, a famous literary agent is murdered when he comes to town, and Krissy's dad, who is an author and has been represented by this agent, is the main suspect. Through lots of twists and turns, Krissy and the police officer that she thinks is hot (despite her dating someone else) work together to solve the mystery. This is a really good entry in the Bookstore Café Mystery Series. In this one, a famous literary agent is murdered when he comes to town, and Krissy's dad, who is an author and has been represented by this agent, is the main suspect. Through lots of twists and turns, Krissy and the police officer that she thinks is hot (despite her dating someone else) work together to solve the mystery.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Sheila

    Death by Vanilla Latte is the fourth book in the Bookstore Cafe mystery series. When her father, who is a famous mystery writer,comes for a visit, Krissy is stunned to find her father is now the prime suspect in a murder. Will Krissy put herself in danger by doing some investigating on her own? You'll need to read this cozy mystery to find out. Definitely recommend! Death by Vanilla Latte is the fourth book in the Bookstore Cafe mystery series. When her father, who is a famous mystery writer,comes for a visit, Krissy is stunned to find her father is now the prime suspect in a murder. Will Krissy put herself in danger by doing some investigating on her own? You'll need to read this cozy mystery to find out. Definitely recommend!

  19. 5 out of 5

    Kelly

    **I voluntarily reviewed this ARC** Oh my gosh, Krissy's dad needs to visit more often! I loved how his character was written, and he added a lot to the story. The mystery was great, with lots of suspects and a personal connection to Krissy. **I voluntarily reviewed this ARC** Oh my gosh, Krissy's dad needs to visit more often! I loved how his character was written, and he added a lot to the story. The mystery was great, with lots of suspects and a personal connection to Krissy.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Anthony Llewellyn

    I thoroughly enjoyed this book but there were some glaring follies. Here’s my in depth analysis and of positives and negatives I took while reading: For starters, I thought the resolution could have been more creative and less predictable. I thought a great resolution to the crime would have been to have Amy Goldstein’s husband to have committed the murder. It would leave the reader more thrown for a loop since he was not even present much and only mentioned minimally, such as when he answered t I thoroughly enjoyed this book but there were some glaring follies. Here’s my in depth analysis and of positives and negatives I took while reading: For starters, I thought the resolution could have been more creative and less predictable. I thought a great resolution to the crime would have been to have Amy Goldstein’s husband to have committed the murder. It would leave the reader more thrown for a loop since he was not even present much and only mentioned minimally, such as when he answered the phone when Krissy tried to reach Amy. Amy said she got upset that Rick wouldn’t pay her work any mind, so she went home and wrote a scathing letter. The murder could have been explained as a protective husband taking up for his wife and delivering the letter for her. In delivering the letter, there was a scuffle and he murdered Wiseman. Another note of mine was on the hypocrisy oozing out of this book. Not that I condone murder in any way, shape or form but a lot of Erickson’s books make you take pity on the murderer far more so than the victim and this one is no exception. I found myself hoping the murderer would somehow get off scot-free considering the vile behaviors and actions of the victim, at one point even suggested to be some sort of child sexual predator. Not to mention our amateur sleuth Krissy and even her father casually break laws and make criminal menaces out of themselves and while trying to solve someone else’s crime, adding further sympathy for the murderer. Over the course of the book, between Krissy and her dad, there’s slews of crimes from breaking and entering, breaking countless traffic laws, slander, krissy’s dad’s physical assault which could have just as easily killed the victim as what the murderer did. Yet for some reason, we’re supposed to be on Krissy’s side as she tries to make the murderer face justice. Loved the humorous touches with Rita fawning all over Krissy’s Dad, at one point sprawled all over the floor screaming after him. I next to fell out of my seat in laughter. I thought the portion of the book where father joined forces with daughter in a detective misadventure to be absolutely fun and engaging. I nearly had a spasm cracking up to the foul ups and cheeky interactions between Krissy and her dad in scheming together. Krissy’s poor work ethic and employment-based negligence and hypocrisy is so disturbing I almost wanted to rip the book to shreds at points. At one point, she mentally whines about her best friend Vicki being late for the first time—Vicki, the character who has picked up Krissy’s slack at work throughout this whole series while Krissy often doesn’t even bother to show for work. That Krissy whined and moaned about her father offering Cameron a job for him was shocking considering it was in the middle of Cameron catching Krissy and her Dad breaking and entering into his hotel room. Cameron should have rejected the offer that Krissy’s Dad gave him and reported them to the cops so they could both sit next to the murderer in jail since Krissy likes to whine and moan. I think SOME of Krissy’s investigation skills were clever, such as in how she handled the call to Amy Goldstein’s house, ending up getting her husband on the phone. She pretended to be with the literary agency of Agent Rick Wiseman, making sure to keep her father’s name out of it. Though it would have been a lot smarter to instead of using her own name “Krissy Hancock,” to come up with an alias in combination of pretending to be teamed with Mr. Wiseman’s literary agency. Pretty risky of her to spread her name all over town and to possible murderers, especially when the small town knows her for being a murder code cracker and daughter of renowned author. She should have been smart enough to give an alias name. Instead of showing up at Amy’s job, Krissy should have handled her investigation with a phone call now that the small town recognizes her from past murder mystery solving through headline news stories. This character needs to remember that everyone recognizes her now so she has to be a lot craftier and less blatant in her investigation tactics. I quite liked how the author addressed complaints and criticisms of his past books of the series, such as of Krissy’s investigative approach. A lot of readers have criticized Krissy’s blunt third degree approach in feedback of Erickson’s books. But in this book, Erickson addressed it in the part where Krissy questions her usual blunt tactics before speaking with Amy and contemplating a more tactful manner of approach that won’t be so off-putting. Like the way that instead of randomly altering the character’s personality for the sake of reader feedback, he makes said character question some of her usual approaches and reconsider new ones. Nice touch! All the commentary from Dr. Paige was appalling. Giving out any kind of personal information about another patient to Krissy, even if not directly about her medical history is a huge no-no and a serious act of malpractice. That’s rule one of the medical industry and given how casually Dr. Paige broke this law, it was hard for me to believe she is a practicing doctor. She let Krissy know that Amy is one of her patients which is a violation of HIPAA. She also discussed what was intended to be private matters of other patients with another, a huge confidentiality misconduct strike. What with how serious HIPAA and confidentiality laws are in the medical field, I was appalled at how freely and openly the character discussed personal matters of another patient. One of the biggest criticisms of Author Erickson’s writing is in how he has these characters unrealistically spill their guts and hidden info to Krissy and with lack of effort from Krissy at that (Krissy barely even had to question this doctor for her to give up all this private info), so this moment did not look good on Erickson’s writing. Dr. Paige should be stripped of her medical license. And I won’t even get into Dr. Paige’s horrid patient services and the way she scolded Krissy like a elementary school child for being late to her appointment. Generally, you don’t speak to paying customers like that even if they are late. You give them polite reminders to be on time and leave it at that. To tell a paying customer that your time is valuable and how you won’t tolerate lateness like a sixth grade teacher to her students was enough to get a doctor fired. I found it hard to believe this lady was a practicing doctor of all things. Krissy’s behavior at the doctor was no better, not only arriving late but in bumbling, clumsy fashion devoid of all tact. Couldn’t believe upon being late to her appointment, she demanded the receptionist to get her Will because “they are dating.” What a way to make your boyfriend’s work colleagues like you. The first thing I would say to Will if I were his co-worker is how he can do 100 times better than a girl with no sense of timeliness who is also willing to embarrass him at work. Not only that but her attempted hug out in the lobby in front of another patient. Will was very classy about it though. Thought Krissy was entirely rude and contemptuous towards Will’s family at the dinner date. Some of her responses to Maire, Will’s mom, lacked all decorum. You’d think she’d be on her politest behavior for her boyfriend’s family. Instead she barely reacted to the warmth and kindness sent her way. Her external behavior was bad enough but her mental notes were altogether egregious. She had the most offensive things running through her head about Will’s family. She was entirely rude and disdainful towards Will’s mother and father and mentally sneered over the sister’s hugs. She ended the night by jumping up from the table upon receiving a compliment and in leaving to take a call as her response. Didn’t care for the way Krissy badmouthed Rita behind her back. At one point, Krissy receives a comment—this is outside of Rita’s presence—that someone doesn’t like Rita and Krissy states how she can understand that. Real classy considering Rita has helped her earn her reputation as a crime solver and helped her father’s book sells. The entirety of Krissy’s behavior towards Rita when her father was in town was disgusting. Again, disdain is not how you treat one of your father’s biggest fans. The whole scene between Amy Goldstein and Krissy didn’t make much sense. In their interaction, Amy is sulking about how she is out of options on getting her book publicized because of Rick’s death. Hello?! You’re talking to the daughter of an apparently big time author’s father. She doesn’t even mention Krissy’s father which threw me off or getting her work seen through Krissy somehow. Related to this is Harland’s verbal abuse towards Krissy with her dad in the room. Didn’t make much sense if he idolized her Dad or even if he was just intending to use her Dad to get his work noticed. Insulting said person’s daughter would be a really dumb, unrealistic move. I think the appearances of the ex-boyfriend, Robert, are pretty futile and should be left out. They just waste time. That he up and relocated his entire living situation to Pine Hills for mediocre Krissy is pretty unrealistic.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Elizabeth

    As a cozy mystery, this is entertaining, cute, and a quick read. The storyline was interesting enough to keep me interested, and I felt like I got to know the characters...although there were a LOT of them. This is the first book I've ready by Alex Erickson, and I do not know much about the other books in the series. The previous books/storylines were mentioned to tie everything together and help you get to understand the character's past. Unfortunately for me, I could not get over how cheesy thi As a cozy mystery, this is entertaining, cute, and a quick read. The storyline was interesting enough to keep me interested, and I felt like I got to know the characters...although there were a LOT of them. This is the first book I've ready by Alex Erickson, and I do not know much about the other books in the series. The previous books/storylines were mentioned to tie everything together and help you get to understand the character's past. Unfortunately for me, I could not get over how cheesy this was. The writing, Krissy's thoughts, and everything were just cringe/eye-roll worthy at times. The fact that she just openly and unabashedly meddles in police investigations really bothered me. I'll admit, I was rushing to get through it, but I felt like this could've been edited down more. There was a lot of "fluff" and random comments throughout. *Thank You to NetGalley and Kensington Books for which I given an honest and unbiased review*

  22. 4 out of 5

    Toni

    4 stars Krissy Hancock owns the coffee house/book store named Death by Coffee. This also happens to be the name of her father’s popular book. He is an author and is a pretty famous one. He shows up unexpectedly one day in her shop and she had no idea he was coming. He is putting out a new book and he is having his book release party at her bookstore/cafe. Then Dad becomes suspect #1 when his agent is found dead. This book had a lot of twists and turns. I had a hard time trying to figure out whodu 4 stars Krissy Hancock owns the coffee house/book store named Death by Coffee. This also happens to be the name of her father’s popular book. He is an author and is a pretty famous one. He shows up unexpectedly one day in her shop and she had no idea he was coming. He is putting out a new book and he is having his book release party at her bookstore/cafe. Then Dad becomes suspect #1 when his agent is found dead. This book had a lot of twists and turns. I had a hard time trying to figure out whodunit because there were so many good suspects. I love this series because it always surprises me and keeps me guessing. Definitely check out all the books in this series. Very worth the read. I received this as an ARC (Advanced Reader Copy) in return for an honest review. I thank Net Galley, the publisher and the author for allowing me to read this title.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Dawn

    I received an electronic copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for a fair review. A so-so cozy mystery. Nothing new here. Forgettable characters and a yawn worthy plot. The novel does follow the formula of a cozy novel, but is so much written to formula as to lack any sense of sincerity on the author's part. If you are look for a quick, easy read to simply de-stress this novel is fine for that purpose. I received an electronic copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for a fair review. A so-so cozy mystery. Nothing new here. Forgettable characters and a yawn worthy plot. The novel does follow the formula of a cozy novel, but is so much written to formula as to lack any sense of sincerity on the author's part. If you are look for a quick, easy read to simply de-stress this novel is fine for that purpose.

  24. 5 out of 5

    The Cozy Review

    Death by Vanilla Latte: A Bookstore Cafe Mystery Author: Alex Erickson Publisher: Kensington Krissy Hancock has a way of getting involved with murder. Ever since she moved to Pine Hills and opened her cafe, Death by Coffee, she has come across too many killers. Sooner or later, no matter how hard she tries, she steps right in the middle of trouble. When her father, famed mystery writer James Hancock, decides to pay a visit there is no way murder is not going to follow. Krissy is surprised by her fat Death by Vanilla Latte: A Bookstore Cafe Mystery Author: Alex Erickson Publisher: Kensington Krissy Hancock has a way of getting involved with murder. Ever since she moved to Pine Hills and opened her cafe, Death by Coffee, she has come across too many killers. Sooner or later, no matter how hard she tries, she steps right in the middle of trouble. When her father, famed mystery writer James Hancock, decides to pay a visit there is no way murder is not going to follow. Krissy is surprised by her father's sudden visit, she'd missed him and although elated to see him she is worried that with a new book, and a book signing tour he might be endangering his health. The fact that he brought his longtime agent with him, a man Krissy has never liked or trusted worry’s her even more. But in her wildest nightmares, she never thought that her father would become the main suspect in the agent's death. -- Krissy Hancock is always sticking her nose where is doesn’t belong, she keeps stepping into murder investigations and stepping on the local police officers toes in the process. Many people in the small town are not fond of her and fear that whenever she shows up, murder is soon to follow. So when her father comes to town with his literary agent, there is bound to be trouble. The agent ends up dead, and her father may be the killer. It becomes apparent that the police are at a loss, they have no clues and no other suspects. Krissy tells herself to stay out of it, let the cops figure it out but… their suspect is her father, and she uses this fact to justify getting involved and solving the murder before the police blow the investigation and arrest her dad. Although this is a cute, fast-paced cozy with nice characters and settings, it is more of a romance based story than an actual mystery. The main character, Krissy is supposed to be a business owner, yet she acts and is treated more as an employee. She seems to be needy when she is meant to be a strong independent woman. The other characters in this story are unremarkable and lack any depth, except Krissy’s father. James Hancock is an excellent character that deserves far more attention and should be more involved in the plot and investigation. The ending is almost predictable. However, the character revealed as the killer is not plausible in the sense that the character is barely mentioned in the book at all. The agent is a colorful and unlikeable character which is the perfect victim that no one will actually mourn. Readers may be disappointed with the love triangle in this story as it plays a bigger part than is warranted. Overall this book has some good qualities and is well written and will appeal to those readers who are looking for something lite and easy to read. I received an ARC of this book.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Tiffany Michele (BookAndCoffeeAddict)

    Death By Vanilla Latte is the 4th book in the Bookstore Cafe Mystery series following the adventures of Krissy Hancock, the quirky and inquisitive owner of a small town bookstore café, as she finds herself again and again tangled up in puzzling murder investigations. In this installment of the series, Krissy’s father, famed mystery writer James Hancock, comes to town for a surprise visit/book launch, bringing along his ill-mannered literary agent Rick Wiseman and his agent’s assistant, sending al Death By Vanilla Latte is the 4th book in the Bookstore Cafe Mystery series following the adventures of Krissy Hancock, the quirky and inquisitive owner of a small town bookstore café, as she finds herself again and again tangled up in puzzling murder investigations. In this installment of the series, Krissy’s father, famed mystery writer James Hancock, comes to town for a surprise visit/book launch, bringing along his ill-mannered literary agent Rick Wiseman and his agent’s assistant, sending all the local writers with unpublished manuscripts into a frenzy. When Wiseman is found dead and it looks like Hancock is the main suspect, Krissy becomes determined to prove her father’s innocence by finding the real killer, much to the aggravation of local law enforcement. Death By Vanilla is the first book in this series that I’ve read, but the author does a great job of catching you up in such a way that it almost feels like a friend bringing you up to date on what’s been going down why you’ve been a way – there’s a warm familiar tone to this book that’s very inviting. Of course that could have been all the mentions of coffee and books and cuddly pets that made me feel right at home within the pages. There is death and dead body imagery in the book, pretty much a given since this is a murder mystery, but it’s not explicit – although the way the guy was killed was bit squicky to me. While Krissy has a pretty full plate in the romance department – she’s dating a doctor, has a lingering connection with a local cop, and a stalkerish ex who just won’t take a hint – the romance in this book is extremely sweet – the most contact seen is a sweet little kiss Krissy receives on her forehead. I ended up really liking Death By Vanilla Latte. I enjoyed how the mystery was presented, giving you enough clues in the course of the investigation to figure out the killer on your own, but also plenty of red herrings to keep things interesting. I thought I had it figured out early on and was pleasantly surprised to be proven wrong. I’m actually pretty excited for the next book in the series, Death By Eggnog, which looks like a cute holiday mystery and I also might look into some of the other books in the series as well. *I received an ARC of this book to review. You can find this review and others like it at BookAndCoffeeAddict.com, along with recommendations for a fantastic cup of coffee.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Brenda

    Death by Vanilla Latte is the fourth installment in the Bookstore Café Mystery series featuring coffee shop/book store co-owner Kristina "Krissy" Hancock set in the small town of Pine Hills, Ohio. Things at the shop have finally settled down and the newly established Death by Coffee sees to be picking up a following especially amongst the local book lovers. Pesky busybody and local gossip Rita Jablonski is beside herself with glee that her idol, James Hancock, famed mystery author and Krissy's fa Death by Vanilla Latte is the fourth installment in the Bookstore Café Mystery series featuring coffee shop/book store co-owner Kristina "Krissy" Hancock set in the small town of Pine Hills, Ohio. Things at the shop have finally settled down and the newly established Death by Coffee sees to be picking up a following especially amongst the local book lovers. Pesky busybody and local gossip Rita Jablonski is beside herself with glee that her idol, James Hancock, famed mystery author and Krissy's father is in town for a book signing. James is accompanied by his literary agent, Rick Wiseman and the man's assistant Cameron Little. Rick has always given Krissy the creeps as he's shown an unhealthy interest in her ever since she was a little girl. The local mystery group offers up their novels to the agent and are both astonished and angry when the rude man laughs in their faces. Not deterred, the group descends on his hotel later that evening and when he won't answer the door leave their manuscripts at his door. James witnesses one of Rick's unwanted advances on Krissy and he arrives at the hotel for a confrontation with the agent resulting in Rick's bloody nose. It's really no surprise when the agent doesn't appear at Death by Coffee the next morning, Krissy volunteers to go look for him and finds him dead in his hotel room. Obviously first on nemesis Officer John Buchannan's suspect list are Krissy and her father. Determined to clear both their names, Krissy sets out to find the real killer. Things about this series continue to annoy me, mostly the fact that Krissy does little work at her shop instead relying on Vicki and the two shop employees to pick up her slack. Krissy still seems to have no friends in the local community and the dreaded love triangle seems to be coming to the forefront in the series. I was happy to see Krissy's father come to town and hope that we will be seeing more of him in the future. I received an advanced copy of this book from NetGalley via Kensington Publishing. While not required to write a review I am more than happy to offer my honest opinion.

  27. 4 out of 5

    DelAnne Frazee

    Title: Death by Vanilla Latte - Bookstore Café Mystery Book 4 Author: Alex Erickson Publisher: Kensington Books Published: 5-30-2017 Pages: 320 Genre: Mystery, Thrillers & Suspense Sub-Genre: Amateur Sleuths; Cozy, Women Sleuths, Family ISBN: 9781496708854 ASIN: B01LJKQH3I Reviewed For NetGalley and Kensington Books Reviewer: DelAnne Rating: 4.25 Stars Krissy Hancock's father unexpectedly arrives in Pine Hills for a visit. Shortly after firing his churlish and rude agent, the man is found murdered. James Ha Title: Death by Vanilla Latte - Bookstore Café Mystery Book 4 Author: Alex Erickson Publisher: Kensington Books Published: 5-30-2017 Pages: 320 Genre: Mystery, Thrillers & Suspense Sub-Genre: Amateur Sleuths; Cozy, Women Sleuths, Family ISBN: 9781496708854 ASIN: B01LJKQH3I Reviewed For NetGalley and Kensington Books Reviewer: DelAnne Rating: 4.25 Stars Krissy Hancock's father unexpectedly arrives in Pine Hills for a visit. Shortly after firing his churlish and rude agent, the man is found murdered. James Hancock, according to the police is the prime suspect. Chrissy jumps right in to clear her father and find the real killer before her father winds up spending his days out in prison. Well developed characters and a planned out plot that flows smoothly and quickly. Pine Hills is brought to life through Alex Erickson's words. She paints a word picture for her readers to bring the town and its residents to life. My rating of "Death by Vanilla Latte - Bookstore Café Mystery Book 5" is 4.25 out of 5 stars. Amazon Link: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01LJKQH3I/... B&N Link: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/deat... Books-A-Million Link: http://www.booksamillion.com/p/Death-... Google Play Link: https://play.google.com/store/books/d... GoodReads Link: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/3... Indigo Link: https://www.chapters.indigo.ca/en-ca/... Kobo Link: https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/deat... The Reading Room Link: https://www.facebook.com/permalink.ph... Twitter Link: https://twitter.com/DelAnne531/status...

  28. 4 out of 5

    Karen Wright

    In return for an honest review, I was able to get an ARC from NetGalley. I am so grateful to NetGalley through which I have been able to read so many wonderful books. This one was really good too, and a nice surprise for me was that I had previously read a book in the series. Once I started reading and saw things like it took place in a coffe shop with a bookstore upstairs, and Krissy drank coffee with a cookie in it, I knew that It was more than a feeling of familiarity. I really enjoyed the fi In return for an honest review, I was able to get an ARC from NetGalley. I am so grateful to NetGalley through which I have been able to read so many wonderful books. This one was really good too, and a nice surprise for me was that I had previously read a book in the series. Once I started reading and saw things like it took place in a coffe shop with a bookstore upstairs, and Krissy drank coffee with a cookie in it, I knew that It was more than a feeling of familiarity. I really enjoyed the first book in the series so I was really happy to read this one, and one of the things I really liked was that Krissy's fatherwas in this story, and made a surprise visit and book signing tour. The story is good but I think I really like the characters more, including Jules Phan, her flamboyant neighbor. Krissy is a good main character and it was hard to not like her dad as well. One of the best things about Krissy is that she is a regular woman who does things like everyone would, then in retrospect thinks it may not have been the best thing to do. She really wants to see justice done though and doesn't want the bad guy to get away so she does have good intentions even if things don't work out the way they were planned. This is a nice series that I would really love to read more of.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Crittermom

    Krissy Hancock’s father is a famous mystery author.  Her bookstore cafe is named for him, but she is the last to know about his surprise visit.  James Hancock’s visit to Pine Hills is a major event, bringing out both amateur authors and fans in droves.  Unfortunately for Krissy, it also means the presence of his slimy agent, and to make matters even worse, her father’s agent is murdered.  With her father as the primary suspect, Krissy knows she must dig up the truth before he is arrested.  James Krissy Hancock’s father is a famous mystery author.  Her bookstore cafe is named for him, but she is the last to know about his surprise visit.  James Hancock’s visit to Pine Hills is a major event, bringing out both amateur authors and fans in droves.  Unfortunately for Krissy, it also means the presence of his slimy agent, and to make matters even worse, her father’s agent is murdered.  With her father as the primary suspect, Krissy knows she must dig up the truth before he is arrested.  James, like his daughter, loves a good mystery, and sees it as a great opportunity, Krissy isn’t so sure… Death by Vanilla Latte is a good addition to Alex Erickson’s series.   Krissy is more whiny and abrasive than in previous novels (which did at times irritate me), but she is also more confident in her mystery solving skills.  While she is bombastic and highly anxious, her father, James Hancock is laid-back, almost relaxed about the entire situation.  It was nice seeing the two together, especially after hearing so much about her father in previous novels.  They make quite a team. 4 / 5 I received a copy of Death by Vanilla Latte from the publisher and Netgalley.com in exchange for an honest review. --Crittermom

  30. 5 out of 5

    SM

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. Krissy is still asking blunt questions and accusing people with no evidence. Having her dad show up added some warmth to the story. Told from inside her head and her head is a mess. Library paperback book. Hooked by the title. ========================= Ever since cafe owner Krissy Hancock settled into a relationship and mostly forgot about old flames, life has become surprisingly serene. Too bad her father, famed mystery writer James Hancock, had to pay an unexpected visit to Death by Coffee and br Krissy is still asking blunt questions and accusing people with no evidence. Having her dad show up added some warmth to the story. Told from inside her head and her head is a mess. Library paperback book. Hooked by the title. ========================= Ever since cafe owner Krissy Hancock settled into a relationship and mostly forgot about old flames, life has become surprisingly serene. Too bad her father, famed mystery writer James Hancock, had to pay an unexpected visit to Death by Coffee and brew up a batch of trouble... While caught off-guard by her dad's presence, Krissy never dreamed he'd become the biggest murder suspect in town. But that's exactly what happens when James's boorish agent a man he allegedly fired just hours earlier is found cold and lifeless, a still-warm vanilla latte resting by his hand... With Pine Hills divided over her father's innocence and a fanatical fan keen on locking the author away for safe keeping, Krissy must end the madness and identify the real criminal even if that means meeting an ex or two along the way. But as her social life becomes increasingly chaotic, Krissy may be caught in a case that's far too hot to handle..."

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