Review: The Blackmail Blend by Livia Day

BlackmailBlendSeries: Café La Femme #1.5
Published by: Deadlines
ISBN 13: 9781922101266
Published: 2015
Pages: 50
Format reviewed: eCopy while proofing
Site: Author Site
Goodreads: Book Page
Stars: Five out of Five
Lists: Favourites and Recommended
Related Reviews: A Trifle Dead (Café La Femme, #1) / Drowned Vanilla (Café La Femme, #2)

Set in-between A Trifle Dead and Drowned Vanilla we come back to our favourite characters for a novelette, where Tabitha finds herself thrown into a crime scene yet again. She still runs the café we know from the first book, and it’s through this (and her amazing cooking) that she’s commissioned for a Regency-themed high tea for a fancy book launch – except, someone tries to poison the famous snobby author, right in Tabitha’s own café.

The attitude of the horrid author aside, this is a personal hit for Tabitha – it’s not exactly good for the café’s reputation after all, even when it’s clear it’s attempted murder. Tabitha’s pretty safe in all this – the author isn’t exactly picky with who she’s awful to and as previously said in my review of the first book, the entire police force has known Tabitha all her life and they practically live in her café – they know how careful she is with her food.

From here, Tabitha starts investigating, going up to the author’s ‘build your career’ writing workshop in a fancy log cabin to have a chat with those enrolled in the course. It’s here we meet the suspects, and it’s exactly like a murder weekend ‘whodunit’, having them all in the one location as Tabitha sniffs around, putting all the pieces together, armed with her trusty sidekick – Stewart.

And that’s what I love about this series, Tabitha may have a Senior Constable close at hand to use, however he’s firmly against her getting involved in solving crimes and so it’s a bone of contention between them. This I feel is utterly plausible – aside from the fact police are legally required to attempt to keep the public from doing exactly what Tabitha does, he’s also concerned for her safety but utterly aware she’s excellent at what she does.

This novelette is short and perfect, utterly fun because of Livia’s Day wit and way with words, with a dash of romance thrown in. The crime is excellent in such a geeky way, thanks to the ‘whodunit’ aspect and all in all this is a perfect bridge between the first and second book. The only issue with this book, as is always the case with anything Livia Day/Tansy Rayner Roberts writes, is that it always leaves you needing more!

For those still unsure, you can head on over to the publisher website to read an excerpt.

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