Author: Caroline Fardig
Publisher: Random House
Publication Date: April 19, 2016
About the book: Former musician Juliet Langley has barely had a day off since taking over management of the coffeehouse owned by her best friend, Pete Bennett. But there's always more to be done—such as prepping for the annual Holiday 5K Race organized by Pete's snobby socialite girlfriend, Cecilia Hollingsworth. This year, Java Jive has a booth right at the finish line, and since Juliet and Cecilia don't always see eye to eye, everything has to be perfect. Nothing can go wrong. Nothing . . . like Juliet stumbling over Cecilia's dead body on the morning of the race.
When Pete is arrested for Cecilia's murder, Juliet sets out to clear his name. She'll do whatever it takes—even if it means standing up to the police, her ex-boyfriend, and the grande dames of Nashville. But there isn't enough espresso in the world for the greatest challenge in her path: infiltrating Nashville's high society to uncover the hidden hotbed of scandal without running afoul of the law herself. With her last dime staked on Pete's bail bond and her staff growing jittery, the last thing Juliet needs is for her trademark temper to land her behind bars. As time drips away, Juliet needs to crack this case before the killer comes back for another shot.
My thoughts: This was such a fun read. I really like Juliet - spunky, mouthy, smart (though not always wise), loyal - really puts herself out there for her friends. She is the kind of girlfriend that every girl (and boy) needs at least one of! Especially if you have been arrested for murder! She really puts everything on the line trying to prove that Pete didn't kill his girlfriend. Pete seems like a good guy, though seems a little wishy washy at times. Seems like he and Juliet are half in love with each other, but are afraid that if they have a relationship that they will lose the friendship - and the friendship seems to be more important to them.
As Juliet runs all over town doing her own "investigating" and dating most of the suspects, her on-again, off-again cop boyfriend Ryder tries to keep up with her and keep her out of jail. They seem like they are going to be a fun couple, as he seems content to put up with her sometimes reckless behavior (remember how I said she was smart, but not always wise?) As for keeping the identity of the murderer a secret, I can say that I didn't see this one coming. It wasn't until Juliet started to figure it out that I did as well. I think the author did a good job of keeping the waters muddied enough to not make it obvious who the killer was.
I did not read the first book in the series, and do not think that it detracted from this story. I would definitely pick up another book by Caroline Fardig though.
~I received a complimentary e-copy of Mug Shot through the Random House Chatterbox program by House Party from Net Galley.~