Title: Cuppa Chaos (Cream and Sugar Cozy Mystery series #1)
Author: Melinda Craig
Published on: 17 March 2021
Genre: Cozy Mystery
Cuppa Chaos is the first book in a brand new cozy mystery series by Melinda Craig.
Newly-divorced forty-four year old Grace Hill is looking forward to restarting her life. She’s moved away from the town where her ex-husband and his currently twenty-year-old girlfriend live. Grace loves coffee and dreams to own a coffee-truck. She purchases an old and rusty truck that would soon become her coffee-truck. She’s also purchased a lovely house and cannot wait to move in.
She meets the real-estate agent at the post office – Beverly; Bev manages the post office and is also a realtor. When Bev takes Grace to her brand new home, Grace feels like the ground below her has caved in. Grace only saw the interiors before signing the deal online. Nobody told her the ‘house’ was a shipping crate. Bev and Grace are welcomed by a rotten smell as they enter the house. Grace manages to have a look around (in spite of the unbearable stench) and finds a dead body in the bathroom.
The first thing I noticed about this story is the writing. Storytelling plays a major role in deciding whether the story is a hit or a miss. I absolutely loved Melinda Craig’s writing style. This book is 134 pages long and it took me an hour to read. I loved the setting and the character introduction.
The spotlight is on Grace, a mid-forties woman restarting her life. As an only child and no family left behind, Grace feels all alone. She married her high-school sweetheart and things were going fine until it wasn’t. Jim fell for a twenty-year-old girl next door and when Grace found out, she was devastated. It’s been five months since the divorce now and Grace is coming to terms with living life as a single woman.
She quit her job and moved away from the town where she spent most of her married life. What she did not expect is her new house to be shipping crate. ‘Icing on top’ was finding a dead body in the bat-tub of her ‘new house’. Bev is friendly and caring, she asks Grace to stay with her until the crime scene officers clear up the house. When Grace moves back, she learns her new neighbor Spence might actually be sharing a part of her property – the realtors have sold the plot twice.
Things are still not back to normal. Someone threatens Grace repeatedly and she does not know why. Meanwhile, she meets Rachel and her dad Jaren at the local bakery. The father-daughter duo are very friendly and ask Grace to set up a coffee counter in their bakery. Things start on a shaky note but there is one thing that Grace has realized – things go wrong only when Spence is around.
The mystery behind the murder and attempts on Grace’s life kept me guessing till the end. The ending seemed a little abrupt. A tad longer than 134 pages and the events adding up to the revelation of the perp’s identity would have made the story more interesting. Nevertheless, this was an entertaining and charming cozy mystery. I really loved the character introduction and the series plot. If you love bite-sized cozy mysteries, do give this book a try.