Stars: 4 out of 5
Pros: Fun characters, mystery, and setting
Cons: Mystery a little slow to get started
The Bottom Line:
Opening night death
In charming debut
Body on Opening Night
Movie theaters can be fun. As convenient as watching a movie at home is (and it really is), there is something about sharing the experience of a movie with others who are enjoying it just as much as you are. That explains the appeal of the revival movie theater that Halley Greer is opening in My Fair Latte. I wishing I could have been there to enjoy it as well. Minus the dead body, of course.
Halley is surprised when she inherits an Art Deco movie palace in the tourist town of Utopia Springs, Arkansas. She just happens to be between jobs at the moment, so she decides to put some work into it and open it as a movie theater specializing in classics. And, since she happens to be a coffee expert, she’s going to emphasize coffee and wine in the snack bar over the traditional theater snacks.
After several weeks of hard work, Halley is ready to reopen, and she’s chosen the musical My Fair Lady as the first film. However, opening night ends at intermission when one of the customers is found slumped in his seat dead. Even though Halley’s only been in town a few weeks, the police think she killed the man. Afraid of being arrested for a crime she didn’t commit, she begins to try to find the killer. Can she do it?
Since Halley has just moved to down, we are meeting the residents right along with her. And what a wonderful group they are. There’s a wide range of characters here, and they all come to life. I loved hanging out with them, and look forward to doing it again.
Unfortunately, meeting everyone meant the book got off to a bit of a slower start than I would like. However, once the murder takes place, Halley is out gathering clues and being stumped by red herrings. Her friends are there with her every step of the way, and I appreciated the teamwork. It was also realistic since Halley doesn’t know that many people in town yet, so these friends were able to provide some insight into what was happening. I did have a couple of things figured out early – or at least I thought I did. There were still a few twists I hadn’t seen coming, and I was enjoying the ride so much that I never wanted to stop reading.
Which means the suspects were just as strong as the series characters. They did a good job of confusing the truth until Halley pieced things together.
In addition to the coffee and wine (which don’t appeal to me), there is near constant talk of sweets, treats, and other delicious sounding food. I’m afraid I must have gained a few pounds just from reading this book. (Do you think my doctor would believe that?) And the town sounds like a wonderful place to vacation.
My Fair Latte is a fun debut that leaves some tantalizing things to be explored in future books. I can’t wait until I get to visit Halley again.
NOTE: I received an ARC of this book.