A Fresh Brew by Verena DeLuca (Hill Country Mysteries Book 1)
English | 2020 | Mystery & Thriller | ePUB | 2.6 MB
Welcome to Aconite Café, where dragons, coffee, and snark, are today’s special.
Hailey Morton has just become the sole owner of Aconite Café. Upon her aunt’s death, Hailey also inherited her cat.
Only Azure is no cat. He is actually a dragon, and Hailey has just inherited the position of Dragon Protector alongside the deed to the café.
If her world turning upside down wasn’t enough, Azure is convinced Hailey’s aunt was actually murdered. The sheriff and his deputy are oblivious, which means it’s up to her to solve the mystery. All while running the café.
Will Hailey bring her aunt’s murderer to justice? Can she learn to run Aconite Café? Does she have what it takes to be a Dragon Protector?
She put her hand over her heart and shook her head in an over zealous sincerity gesture, ‘Thank you, thank you gracious bean queen. I’ll make you proud.’
‘You girls need to take a breath,’ Charlie said, ‘You’re going to talk yourselves into oxygen deprivation.’
A fresh wave of giggles came over us as I said, ‘Don’t worry Charlie, we’ve leveled up enough to handle it.’
‘Well you remind me of them crazy gals on that show my daughters obsessed with. . . fillmore. . . gilroy. . . dang it, I can’t remember. Something girls. It don’t matter, just sayin’ all that talking’s gonna get you girls light headed.’
‘Don’t get me to lying I hardly ever watch tv.’
‘Me neither’ Aubrey said.
Charlie shook his head and went back to his newspaper.
We giggled together as we looked out over the top of the espresso machine. Nearly every table was occupied. The town had come in alongside the regulars to help support me in my time of need. It was really touching, but also nerve racking.
As Aubrey took the freshly brewed French press around to fill the mugs of the counter patrons Azure transmitted another plea for attention, ‘We need to go over the evidence, ignoring me won’t change the facts.’
I was never going to grow accustomed to him being able to infiltrate my mind. All morning he pestered me, like a fly buzzing inside my skull. But I was still salty regarding his early morning practical joke of pretending like nothing happened the night before. He stayed in cat form all morning until I stepped out of the shower and almost slipped on the tile at the sight of his dragon form.
But aside from that buffoonery, there were more immediate concerns. Aconite Cafe was not going to run itself, and Tona would rather I focus on the cafe. We had regulars who depended on us.
‘I know exactly what Tona would want. Us to solve her murder.’ Azure transmitted.
‘Well that was easy enough, so how do you brew one of these bad boys?’ Aubrey asked, ‘And do you only brew one at a time?’
‘For the most part, I do only brew one at a time to prevent cold coffee.’ I made a disgusted face at the thought, ‘This is where I keep the coffee beans.’
I pointed to the five-gallon bucket that was sealed with an airtight lid. It sat underneath the counter that held the large grinder. I scooped beans onto the scale next to the grinder, 88 grams exactly. Next, I measured out 1,350 grams of purified water. I poured the water into our boiler and set it for 200°F before turning to Aubrey.