If you enjoy Coffee House Mysteries, there’s a new series for you to check out. Death Before Decaf is the first in the Java Jive Series by Caroline Fardig.
Today Caroline joins us to give us a little insight into Pete, the owner of Java Jive and Juliet’s long time best friend.
Q&A with Pete Bennett from DEATH BEFORE DECAF
CF: Hi, Pete. Thanks for sitting down with me today.
Pete: No problem. I thought it wouldn’t hurt to have a little positive exposure for Java Jive.
CF: Right. Your coffeehouse has been in the spotlight a lot lately.
Pete: You can say that again. I’m ready for things to get back to normal.
CF: I’ve heard business is thriving because of the press Java Jive has received for being the scene of a murder.
Pete: Yeah, business has been a lot better, but I still hate the reason for it.
CF: I’d heard Java Jive was struggling for a while, especially after your father, the owner, passed away. What made you decide to take the reins and keep the coffeehouse going instead of selling it?
Pete: The place meant the world to my pop, and I grew up here. There was no way I could let it go.
CF: What about your other job? I hear you’re a pretty successful audio engineer on Music Row. How do you balance working two jobs and still have time for a life?
Pete: *laughs* I’m lucky to have two jobs I absolutely love, so none of it feels like work to me. Java Jive has always been my second home, and the people there are my family.
CF: How much time have you spent there over the years?
Pete: Hmm. Twenty years times several hours per day times… That’s way too much math for a musician.
CF: I totally understand. I hear your new manager is doing a great job with the place.
Pete: *smiles* Yeah, Jules is the best.
CF: When you met Juliet at Java Jive during college, did you ever expect she’d be running the place for you?
Pete: No, I thought I’d be watching her singing sold-out concerts all over the world. She has an amazing voice.
CF: What happened? Why is she working in a coffeehouse instead?
Pete: Aw, you know, that’s kind of personal. Let’s just say I’m working on trying to persuade her to give performing another chance.
CF: Fair enough. Did you ever dream she’d be a person of interest in a murder investigation?
Pete: *laughs* Jules may have a hot temper, but she’d never hurt a fly. The fact that the police were looking at her for this was ridiculous, so I wasn’t really that worried.
CF: You and Juliet seem pretty close. Did you two ever date?
Pete: *blushes* Now you’re getting really personal. No comment.
CF: Now I’m even more intrigued. Since she’s back in town, do you see the two of you giving a romantic relationship a chance in the future?
Pete: Would you stop saying that? You’re going to get me in trouble with my girlfriend. I’m sorry, but I gotta bounce. Thanks for the interview…I think.
Thanks Caroline. It’s always nice to learn more about a character. I don’t know about the rest of you, but I think Pete should explore his true feelings about Juliet.
Death Before Decaf:
A Java Jive Mystery
Publisher: Alibi (November 17, 2015)
Random House LLC
Perfect for fans of Janet Evanovich and Diane Mott Davidson, Caroline Fardig’s captivating new mystery novel takes readers behind the counter of a seemingly run-of-the-mill coffeehouse . . . where murder is brewing.
After her music career crashes and burns spectacularly, Juliet Langley is forced to turn to the only other business she knows: food service. Unfortunately, bad luck strikes yet again when her two-timing fiancé robs her blind and runs off with her best waitress. Flushing what’s left of her beloved café down the toilet with her failed engagement, Juliet packs up and moves back to her college stomping grounds in Nashville to manage an old friend’s coffeehouse. At first glance, it seems as though nothing’s changed at Java Jive. What could possibly go wrong? Only that the place is hemorrhaging money, the staff is in open revolt, and Juliet finds one unlucky employee dead in the dumpster out back before her first day is even over.
The corpse just so happens to belong to the cook who’d locked horns with Juliet over the finer points of the health code. Unimpressed with her management style, the other disgruntled employees are only too eager to spill the beans about her fiery temper to the detective on the case. Add to the mix a hunky stranger who’s asking way too many questions, and suddenly Juliet finds herself in some very hot water. If she can’t simmer down and sleuth her way to the real killer, she’s going to get burned.
Caroline Fardig is the author of Death Before Decaf and the Lizzie Hart series. She worked as a schoolteacher, church organist, insurance agent, funeral parlor associate, and stay-at-home mom before she realized that she wanted to be a writer when she grew up. Born and raised in a small town in Indiana, Fardig still lives in that same town with an understanding husband, two sweet kids, two energetic dogs, and one malevolent cat.
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