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Cafe au Lait

A Zion Sawyer Cozy Mystery, Book 2
Narrated by: Kelley Hazen
Series: A Zion Sawyer Cozy Mystery , Book 2
Length: 10 hrs and 2 mins
5 out of 5 stars (5 ratings)

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Summary

Zion has settled into her new routine in Sequoia. She runs her coffee shop, spends her evenings on dinner dates with her lawyer boyfriend, and enjoys the calm, quiet of her little cottage. However, summer tourist season begins, and the Sequoia Chamber of Commerce decides to hold Redwood Stock.

The rock festival brings a whole new clientele to sleepy Sequoia - loud music, tattoos, and late night parties - but it also brings revenue...until a young woman drops dead after the concert, and everyone becomes a suspect. Once again, Zion teams up with ex-cop Tate Mercer to find the murderer before anyone else is killed.

©2017 ML Hamilton (P)2018 ML Hamilton

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Zion Sawyer's adventures continue...

There are certain combinations you can count on. Like sausages and mash; hot chocolate and marshmallows; and curry and rice. Books written by ML Hamilton and narrated by Kelley Hazen are just such a stellar combination. This is the second book from the Zion Sawyer series and it certainly met and exceeded my expectations.

For a city-turned-small-town woman who is a coffee shop owner, Zion has a surprisingly exciting life. Her peace-loving barista is a suspect in a murder and Zion finds herself helping with the investigation. Meanwhile she is dating the perfect man for her city-self which would be great if she was still her city-self. So she finds herself dating one man while thinking of another. To top it off, while her barista is taking a break while the murder is being solved, an arrogant celebrity rockstar is filling in for him. Life certainly isn't boring in Sequoia.

This book is fast-paced, interesting and surprising. Things never are quite as they seem in Sequoia.

This book was given to me for free at my request and I provided this voluntary review.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Probably a briefs kind of guy.

The Sequoia small town is used to tourists: the quaintly named shops depend upon them for survival. But they were ill prepared for, and not overly delighted by, the enormous surge of increased visitors which accompanied Redwoodstock, the first rock music festival held on the fairground venue. And even more young people flocked to meet Jaguar, lead singer of the headliner group, who elected to stay on with his two body guards, working in Zjon's cafe after the concert was over. He'd grown up in the town and wanted to be close to his sick mother as well as, hlpefully, write something to revive his group's flagging stardom.
Jaguar's help was very welcome, apart from the crowds he attracted. He was an expert with the recalcitrant espresso coffee machine and the shop was understaffed,: the usual barrister, Dimos, was under unofficial house arrest following the death of his girlfriend. Once again, retired police officer Tate was seconded to help the local force investigate, with Zion helping him.

This second book in the Zion Sawyer series is even better than the first, filled with quirky well developed protagonists and ongoing decisions of romance. The rock singer Jaguar, is a delight, despite his tats and piercings, and the mystery is pretty good, too. A fun book and an easy listen,, with narrator Kelly Hazen giving excellent voicing to all of the story's inhabitants, bringing them still further to life, as well as reading the intervening text with delicious tone and good inflection. A good performance of a fun cozy mystery.
Recommended.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Mac
  • York
  • 04-04-19

Fabulous

Another fantastic book. This is another amazing series from
M. L. Hamilton, I can not wait to read the next one.
Amazing characters and brill storylines.
And the narrator as always is perfect. 😻🤩🙀

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  • Beatrice
  • 09-12-18

Really Good

This is the second book in a very good series. I enjoy the characters and how they interact with each other. The mystery is isn't complex but it's not obvious. The romance is light and doesn't take over the story. I look forward to the next book.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Lidia Chymkowska
  • 21-01-19

Zion and Tate team up again...

The second installment in the Zion Sawyer series is as good as the first one.

Zion has finally found her place in Sequoia, with the coffeee house to run and friends she can talk to - that's her comfort zone. But when a new murder lands at her door, she must team up with Tate again to prove one of her friend's innocent...

Zion is all for getting herself involved in the case, Tate unwilling to go back to the police work he left behind when he moved to Sequoia - but once a cop, always a cop, and so he can't refuse when he's needed... And he gets to work with Zion, a huge advantage for him... Or not? Will his feelings for her get in the way of a professional investigation? Well, you have to read or listen to the book to find out:)

This is a very entertaining cozy mystery, with a well thought-out plot, many leads that lead nowhere (pun intended:)), many suspects who don't really have any motives for killing a girl everyone liked and a whole bunch of colourful old and new background characters. There is also a lot of humour in the book, with Zion's mother taking up yoga (oh, her smoothies:)), with a rock star working as a barista and with Zion questioning her life choices and decisions almost every step of the way...

Narration by Ms Hazen is very good; although some of the male voices may sound strange to you if this is your first in her interpretation, you quickly get used to them and stop noticing the strangeness (well, I did:)). Other than that, as always, the emotions are conveyed clearly, the characters' personalities really shine and the whole experience is a pleasure.

DISCLAIMER: I was given this free review copy audiobook at my request and have voluntarily left this review.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Catrina P
  • 08-01-19

Cafe au Lait

Zion is settling in to her new life in Sequoia. She’s come to the realization that running her little coffee shop is exactly what she wants to do. When her barista is the primary suspect in a murder at the local music festival, Zion joins forces with Tate, an ex-cop, to try and get to the bottom of things.

M.L. Hamilton has written another great cozy mystery. I loved the details and twists and turns. I enjoy it when I’m kept guessing til the end.

Kelley Hazen is quickly becoming one on my favorite narrators. Her use of different voices for so many characters is impressive. I really feel like I’ve gotten to know each of the characters.

I was given this free review copy audiobook at my request and I have voluntarily left this review.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • lynda
  • 26-12-18

An Awesome Listen

I was voluntarily provided this free review copy audiobook by the narrator and found it very entertaining. Zion is settling in nicely to small town life. She likes both her house and her business as well as the people in town. Until a music festival changes all that when her barista becomes a prime suspect to a murder. As she and Tate work to solve the case, her life gets more mixed up when a rock star wants to make coffee at her shop and her mother comes to town. The characters and the story line is so enthralling you just keep listening wondering what will happen next. This combination of author and narrator never fails to draw you into their world. Hopefully Book 3 will be ready soon.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Victoria J. Mejia-Gewe
  • 04-06-19

Murder at a rock concert

Cafe Au Lait by M.L. Hamilton, Zion Sawyer has lived in the small town of Sequoia, CA for two months now and has settled in as the new owner of the Caffinator well. To bring income to their town, the locals stage a rock concert they call Redwood Stock and which is headlined by the popular Anaconda Glee Club. But the night of the Anaconda concert, Zion gets a call at 4 a.m. from her employee, 20- something hippy Deimos, that he has been arrested for murdering Marilee Whitmire, the young woman who went with him to the concert, probably by putting arsenic in the weed they smoked.

The situation of Deimos and the inexperience of the Sequoia sheriff in regards to murder cases persuades local hardware store owner Tate Mercer to come out of retirement from having been an LAPD detective. Getting talked by Zion into letting her help with his interviews, Tate finds himself entangled in the case far more deeply than he ever wanted. Then, Anaconda’s lead singer, a local young man who calls himself Jaguar, walks into the Caffinator, trailed by two bodyguards and asking for a job as a barista. Life in Sequoia never gets dull.

I thoroughly enjoyed getting to listen to Cafe Au Lait, as it has a dramatic story and compelling characters. I already felt connected to Zion and the others of Sequoia from listening to Cappuccino, but Cafe Au Lait enhanced my appreciation for them and investment in their lives. I really hoped that Tate would find a way to clear Deimos, and I found myself cheering for one man over the other in the love triangle.

On a technical note, in my review of Cappuccino, I noted the fact that the book kept referring to the trip from San Francisco to Sequoia as going “up” when Sequoia is south of San Francisco. In Cafe Au Lait, it refers to Fresno as “down” from Sequoia, when in reality, Fresno is north of Sequoia. I also had to laugh at the fact that when Tate plans to go to Los Angeles, he plans to drive to Fresno to catch a plane to LAX. However, doing so would not actually have saved him any time. Google Maps offers an estimated time of one hour and three minutes from Sequoia to the Fresno Air Terminal, and the flight to LAX takes about 45 minutes. With the amount of time needed to check in early to a flight and then get a rental car, Tate would take longer to fly than to drive the three hours and 23 minutes Google Maps indicates it takes to drive to Los Angeles from Sequoia. If an author is going to set a book in an actual location, then she needs to get such details accurate. These issues are very basic, simple points that just a glance at a map would have shown the accurate way for things to be described.

I really appreciate the performance of Kelley Hazen in the audio version of this book. Hazen has a highly pleasant voice that took me to the town of Sequoia as I enjoyed the book. With vivid voices that fit the various characters, she creates a whole community whom we feel we are visiting with her.

I highly appreciated listening to Cafe Au Lait, which came alive in its setting, making the people of the town seem real. I found it a real delight, and despite my concerns that the author didn’t do her proper homework on the location where her books are set, I don’t believe this harms the book in general, and only readers well familiar with the area would even notice these issues in the first place. So I give the book five stars.

Disclaimer: I received this book for free, but that had no influence upon the content of my review.

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  • LOYL-00
  • 28-02-19

Book 2 is even better then Book 1

I was looking for a new Cozy Mystery. This one caught my eye and I'm very happy it did. Kelley Hazen does an excellent job and is like whipped cream on top of my favorite pie. Book 1 got me attracted me to the series and Book 2 has hooked me. Characters are growing and love the small village Zion has moved to. I'd move there too. Looking forward to the Book 3.

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  • Ashley Hedden
  • 19-02-19

Great Read

Cafe au Lait was another great read by M.L. Hamilton. This is the second book in A Zion Sawyer Cozy Mystery Series. Zion is getting settled into her new life in Sequoia. Her life is much different than it was back home in San Fran. It is summer tourist season and a rock festival brings many tourists. At the festival a young woman turns up dead. Zion teams up with Tate again to find out who the killer is. I loved reading Zion’s story and cant wait to read the rest of this series.

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  • Lisarami
  • 03-01-19

Great 2nd book

This 2nd book was even better. I love cozy mysteries and this one did not disappoint. I think Zion's mother is a little over the top with her health food kick if it is making her husband sick. I didn't quite guess who the killer was but I did figure out early on who fathered whom. I love this narrators voice range of distinguishing the individual characters. I hope there will be more in this series because I'm not ready to have it finished. I was given this free review copy audiobook at my request and have voluntarily left this review.

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  • willee
  • 31-12-18

Fun Mystery

I have to admit I do enjoy a good cozy mystery once in a while and enjoyed this one especially the narration and characters even more than the 1st. The main character of Zion Sawyer now owner of the coffee shop in Sequoia CA and is dating lawyer David while working on a murder case with Tate as her worker Deimos is the lead suspect all while the café is super busy due to music festival going on. It has great character development and a new character of Jaguar and liked her parents Gabi and Joe, Logan and her kitten Cleo. The book has a totally unexpected ending. Wonder if she end her relationship with David and go with Tate. I was given this free review copy audiobook at my request and have voluntarily left this review. Thank you

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  • Jan M
  • 23-12-18

Great Listen!

Cafe Au Lait by ML Hamilton is a wonderful cozy mystery that has some romance involved. I really enjoy the characters of Zion and Tate. I hadn't expected some of the twists in this book, and really enjoyed them. The imagery in the story is wonderful too! I can envision so much of what is going on. The performance by Kelley Hazen was spot on. She gives various characters distinguishable voices, so I know exactly who is speaking. She conveys the right emotions to fit the scene. This book is both a standalone listen and part of a series. I will definitely listen to more books by this author and narrator.