Book Review

Vinyl Resting Place

Vinyl Resting Place

  • Author: Olivia Blacke
  • Genre: Cozy Mystery
  • Publication Date: December 27, 2022
  • Publisher: St. Martin’s Press
  • Series: Record Shop Mystery #1

Thank you to NetGalley and St. Martin’s Press for providing me with an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

CONTENT WARNING: murder, blood

When Juni Jessup and her sisters Tansy and Maggie put all their beans in one basket to open Sip & Spin Records, a record-slash-coffee shop in Cedar River, Texas, they knew there could be some scratches on the track, but no one was expecting to find a body deader than disco in the supply closet.

Family is everything to the Jessups, so when their uncle is arrested by Juni’s heartbreaking ex on suspicion of murder, the sisters don’t skip a beat putting Sip & Spin up for bail collateral. But their tune changes abruptly when Uncle Calvin disappears, leaving them in a grind. With their uncle’s freedom and the future of their small business on the line, it’s up to Juni and her sisters to get in the groove and figure out whodunit before the killer’s trail—and the coffee—goes cold.

Music and mocha seem like a blend that should be “Knockin’ On Heaven’s Door,” but caught up in a murder investigation with her family and their life savings on the line, Juni wonders if she might be on the “Highway to Hell” instead.

I’m always a sucker for a good cozy mystery, and I couldn’t resist this one with it’s punny title and music-themed story. It definitely had it’s ups and downs, but this is one that was I was really looking forward to reading.

I loved the sisters in this story. They have a fun bond, and while they don’t always see eye to eye, I enjoyed the interactions between them. It felt realistic, and I was able to identify with Juni’s feelings as a younger siblings, especially with the age gap between her and her older sisters. The Texas charm was turned up way high on this one, and I wasn’t quite sure what to make of it, especially since I’ve never been there. I did like one of the love interests, even if he was a bit wishy washy. As for the other one, I absolutely despised him. He was pushy, manipulative, and just felt like he needed a good slap across the face.

The puns in the story were outstanding. As a record store/coffee shop, they made sure to have a punny music-related coffee name that changed daily, and I absolutely adored all of them. I’d have to say that my favorite was “excuse my while I kiss the chai,” but each of them were amazing. Each time, they made me smile, and I found myself looking forward to seeing what it was going to be. 

However, there were some downsides to the book. The writing felt a little clunky and repetitive, and definitely needed some more editing, which I hope will be done before the final product goes out, since this is an ARC and is an unfinished product. It wasn’t too suspenseful, and I definitely figured out who did it well in advance of the big reveal.

Overall, I did enjoy the read and would definitely be open to reading more in this series. I’m hopeful that future books would have the kinks worked out, and I’m curious to see where it goes next. There’s some good stuff in this one that makes me want to stick with it even with the things that I didn’t like as much, and they’re not nearly enough to make me give up just yet.

People who have sat around with me while I’m reading, especially when there’s a surprising reveal, a shocking plot twist, or an unexpected event often look up in alarm when I gasp audibly. The gasp factor is directly related to the number of times I audibly gasp during a reading, and there isn’t an upper limit.

Gasp Factor: 3

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