Review: Tea, Tiramisu, and Tough Guys by Harper Lin

From USA TODAY Bestselling Author Harper Lin: a new cozy mystery series set in a charming beach town!

When Francesca’s old high school crush, Todd, is accused of murder, she is convinced he is innocent. The police don’t believe Todd’s story, and neither does Matty.

During the busy summer tourist season at Cape Bay, Francesca sets out to prove Todd’s innocence. Matty, however, investigates to prove Todd is guilty. Why does Matty detest Todd so much? But what if he’s right—what if Todd is a murderer?

Includes two special recipes! This is Book 2 in The Cape Bay Cafe Mysteries. The books don’t have to be read in order. (Goodreads)

Tea, Tiramisu, and Tough Guys, the second book in the Cape Bay Cafe Mystery series by Harper Lin is a delightful, cute cozy-mystery, a perfect book to pick up when you want to unwind, taking the weight off your feet. 

Overall, my impression toward this book is as favorable as the previous one. The heroine, Francesca is neither obstinate nor pushy, there was hardly anything that put me off about her. I especially identified myself with Franny for her “all-or-nothing” sort of personality. 
When the story opens up, a couple of weeks after where we left off in Book one, she has an English couple as her customers and they ordered tea, which by no means her specialty. True to form, her guests were not particularly pleased with the tea Franny served and Franny felt a bit dejected. However, determined and undisturbed, Franny asks them to give her some tips to brew tea properly. This speaks volumes how professional and committed she is to her work, always wanting to serve a good quality cup of beverage whether it be coffee or tea. She is kind, objective and open-minded, those are the quality that definitely drew me in. 

The possible romantic complication involving Todd lends a lot of intrigues to the book. I am certainly team Matty and I thought Matty and Franny became an item in the previous book so it was a bit of a surprise – a nice one of course – that that is not the case and they are still skirting around that discussion.

I personally found the mystery part was not strong in this book. If anything, I felt the side stories, the aforementioned possible love triangle kind of stole the show, making the mystery feel like an afterthought, a mere embellishment to the book. Just like the previous book, the motive of Franny’s investigation is a tad weak, although I had decided to suspend disbelief as far as cozy-mystery goes, the only time when I felt my heart palpitating with excitement and thrills was the scene when she is anxiously waiting for Michael, her friend and a detective to be available and ready to hear what Franny and Matty has discovered in the end.
The kerfuffle that Franny has with Matty which stems from a difference in their perspectives indeed adds some drama to the plot and is intriguing to witness, yet I couldn’t help expecting a bit more from this book. It felt a tad flat for my liking.

Nonetheless, despite such issues that I mentioned, I enjoyed listening to the audiobook. The ending, the very ending was so cute and sweet, it left my heart swell and melted. That was a fitting end.

I am not above picking up the next book. I have to see what kind of murder happens in Cape Bay next and how the relationship between Franny and Matty develops!

My Rating: ★★★.5~★★★3.75

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