When I go to the bookstore and browse the cozy mysteries, I feel like I'm choosing between these different concepts and hobbies: so this series, about a woman who runs a coffee-book-shop in a small coastal town looked like a slam dunk.
But I don't like it. I didn't like the first one either!
So why the hell did I read the second one? Because about 9 months after I was so underwhelmed by the first installment, I got booksick for the setting and scenery in this series and decided to give it another shot.
In a nutshell, our MC Jill is the owner of a bookshop/cafe in a small, coastal tourist town where she moved after leaving her big-city-life. She's still viewed as a newcomer by the other townspeople, but they're beginning to accept her.
In book one, she inherited a big old house (#goals) from her old lady friend Miss Emily, and she discovered the ruins of the old Spanish mission on the property. As she's working to get it certified as a historical site, she's butting heads with the Local Jackass, who runs "The Castle," a historical tourist destination in town. He doesn't want to share funding and other bureaucratic nonsense, so he's trying to bar her from doing that. She goes to ream him out (which the small-town-peeps send up the grapevine mad fast) and the next day he winds up dead. Oopsies! Now, Jill has to clear her name.
This isn't a bad set up by any means, but I found that it had all the same issues as the first one.
(@ me with recommendations for a setting read-a-like, I beg of you.)