Wednesday, June 26, 2019

Live and Let Chai by Bree Baker

I'm a little late in reviewing Bree Baker's first book in the Seaside Cafe mystery series, but I do already have the next two, including the September release. And, I enjoyed the characters so much, I will be moving on with the books that follow Live and Let Chai.

Everly Swan followed a cowboy and her heart, and left Charm, North Carolina for the rodeo circuit and culinary school. Now, she's back home with a broken heart.  However, she bought the house of her dreams on the island, and fought a council member to open an iced tea shop and cafe in the space below her seaside home. Mr. Paine is still a "pain", coming in every day to ask what's in each one of her sweet teas. He drives her nuts, but she's still shocked when she discovers his body and one of her signature jars from her tea. It doesn't help her shop when Detective Grady Hays, the new police detective in town, announces that he was killed by her poisoned tea.

Detective Hays couldn't have said anything worse. Everly's business dries up, and even her great-aunts' business suffers. The local island blog is filled with rumors and innuendos, and it's avidly followed by the islanders. With no business, Everly has the time to ask questions and look for the killer whose plans seem to include closing down the cafe. Actually, if Everly persists in ignoring Detective Hays' request to butt out of the investigation, it might be her life that's closed down. Someone is certainly trying, attacking her on the boardwalk, and then moving closer.

Baker's debut mystery is filled with delightful characters. Everly is impulsive, determined, and under a lot of pressure. Her great-aunts, Fran and Clara, are beekeepers and shop owners. They are also marvelous storytellers who spin magic about the three hundred years of Swan women in Charm. Everly's friend, Amelia, is a bookstore owner who tends Little Libraries on the island. There's also that hot new detective who seems to want to ruin Everly's business and her life. It's worth picking up the book just for the cast of characters.

However, there's so much more. Everly is not a knowledgeable amateur sleuth. She knows and admits it, but she just wants to prove her innocence. The seaside town of Charm is welcoming to visitors, even if it's a visit in a book. Danger, mystery, a touch of possible romance. And, of course, there's nothing as wonderful as sweet tea. Bree Baker's Live and Let Chai, like Charm itself, is charming.

Bree Baker's website is

Live and Let Chai by Bree Baker. Sourcebooks Landmark, 2018. ISBN 9781492664758 (paperback), 288p.

FTC Full Disclosure - I received the book to review for a journal.


SandyG265 said...

I enjoyed this book

Lesa said...

I did, too, Sandy. I'm glad I already have the second and third.

Netteanne said...

I have read both of them and totally enjoy the characters and the location. Glad you liked it and am happy one is coming out in September.

Gram said...

Sounds good, but the only edition at my library is a paperback. I will wait for large print, or have to let it go.

Lesa said...

I have so many choices when I'm not on deadline, Netteanne, and I want to read them all! That means, I want to read the second book, but I have some library books as well.

Lesa said...

Darn. I'm sorry, Gram. It did come out in paperback. I hope it comes out in large print as well.