Skip to main content
You have permission to edit this article.
Review: 'Grounds for Murder' by Tara Lush

Review: 'Grounds for Murder' by Tara Lush

  • 0
"Grounds for Murder" by Tara Lush.

"Grounds for Murder" by Tara Lush. (Penguin Random House/TNS)

Downsized from her dream job as a crime reporter for the Miami newspaper and dumped by her cheating dreamboat husband, 30-year-old Lana Lewis, the protagonist of "Grounds for Murder" by Tara Lush, returned to her cross-state hometown of Devil's Beach to run the family coffee shop.

Back home, she's recovering from the dual heartbreaks of losing her career and marriage, learning how to run the café and preparing to compete in the state barista contest with the aim of burnishing the shop's bona fides and boosting business. Then her star employee, a young hottie named Fab with an Instagram following and an active love life, ends up dead after he tumbles off the roof.

Lana is left with lots of questions about Fab's life and death that she sets about answering as she slips back into her familiar reporting mode by accepting a freelance assignment to write about Fab's life for the local paper. She takes in Fab's adorable orphaned puppy and hires a new barista who eerily shows up looking for work at the right time. She mixes with an array of characters, including her sweet stoner dad, a sketchy shrimp boat captain and a potentially reformed mobster.

Author Lush is a veteran Florida-based Associated Press reporter and romance novelist. Her experience in both genres is evidenced in this 320-page mystery debut. She gets the details right about reporting while mixing in an attractive new police chief who grudgingly gets Lana's attention.

As she unravels the mystery of Fab's life, Lana comes to terms with the altered course of her own. Lush has written a light, lively story about love, loss, family and friendship brimming with details about café coffee and Florida culture. It was a pleasurable read that left me feeling like I'd relaxed over coffee with a trusted friend while on vacation in a smallish Florida town, an especially welcome feeling right now.

Grounds for Murder

By Tara Lush. (Crooked Lane Books, 320 pages, $26.99.)

You must be logged in to react.
Click any reaction to login.

Stay up-to-date on what's happening

* I understand and agree that registration on or use of this site constitutes agreement to its user agreement and privacy policy.

Related to this story

Most Popular

Rickie Lee Jones cuts right to the chase on the first page of the introduction to "Last Chance Texaco: Chronicles of an American Troubadour," her well-crafted and intensely candid new memoir. Its second paragraph reads: "When I was twenty-three years old I drove around L.A. with Tom Waits. We'd cruise along Highway 1 in his new 1963 Thunderbird. With my blonde hair flying out the window and ...

Sgt. Jonathan Mattingly, one of the three Louisville, Kentucky, police officers who burst into Breonna Taylor’s apartment in March 2020 in a raid that left her dead, is writing book about his experience of that night — but the distributor announced Thursday night it is puling out of the project. Mattingly, 48, has a book deal with the Post Hill Press, a Tennessee-based outfit that specializes in ...

“Eleanor in the Village: Eleanor Roosevelt’s Search for Freedom and Identity in New York’s Greenwich Village,” by Jan Jarboe Russell; Scribner (240 pages, $28) ——— Eleanor Roosevelt’s greatest invention was herself. Born into a society family at the height of the Victorian age, she was expected to be polite, subservient, and silent. Initially, she was. Until she decided to be blunt, ...

Who better to explain the Florida Man phenomenon than a Florida man? Not that Tyler Gillespie fits that viral profile. He has never, so far as I know, thrown an alligator into a drive-thru window. Indeed, as he makes clear in his new book, "The Thing About Florida: Exploring a Misunderstood State," he really, really, really doesn’t want to touch any alligators at all. And when he finally does ...

"Beeswing" by Richard Thompson, written with Scott Timberg; Algonquin Books (304 pages, $27.95) ——— Musician Richard Thompson mentions a lot of names in his new memoir, but you never get the feeling that he's name dropping. It's just that he's been around for a long time and he's worked with just about everyone. "Beeswing" (Algonquin Books, 304 pages, $27.95, written with Scott Timberg) is a ...

Here are the bestsellers for the week that ended Saturday, April 3, compiled from data from independent and chain bookstores, book wholesalers and independent distributors nationwide, powered by NPD BookScan © 2021 NPD Group. (Reprinted from Publishers Weekly, published by PWxyz LLC. © 2021, PWxyz LLC.) HARDCOVER FICTION 1. "The Red Book" by James Patterson and David Ellis (Little, Brown) Last ...

Romeo and Juliet had it easy compared with Jacob and Laynie, the contemporary lovers who thrash their way through early marriage in Steven Wingate's absorbing novel "The Leave-Takers." Jacob, a sculptor and jack of many trades from Boston, grieves and rages over his parents' murder-suicide, which happened when he was 14, and the subsequent heroin overdose death of his only sibling. He has ...

Get up-to-the-minute news sent straight to your device.


News Alert

Breaking News