Juniper Jessup left her Texas hometown to work in the tech industry in Oregon, but when the business folds she finds herself at loose ends. With no specific plans, she jumps at the idea of partnering with her two older sisters and Uncle Calvin to open a vinyl record store/coffee shop in their hometown. It’s coming full circle in more ways than one: the family had owned a record store in that same location years before and the sisters had helped out in their youth. The sisters are hosting an open house to get the word out about the store, and the turn-out is gratifying—until a body turns up in a storage closet.
Things only get worse when the police pick up Uncle Calvin. The sisters put up the store to make his bail—only to have Uncle Calvin promptly vanish. Can Juni and her sisters solve the case and save both Uncle Calvin and the store?
This is a first in series book, so there is a good deal of set-up. Juni and her sisters are appealing characters and there’s a good dynamic between the three of them. Naturally, Juni is reconnecting with some people from her past as well, including the semi-requisite boyfriend who broke her heart. Being in Texas, it’s no surprise there are some larger than life characters, including Uncle Calvin who loves a good (or bad) practical joke. One subtle clue I picked up on quickly and admired it, but I won’t divulge it here. I do like a good clue.
Overall, this is a promising start to a new series. Music fans will enjoy all the references and as someone who grew up with vinyl, it does my heart good to have people talk about liner notes and covers as well as music. I have reservations about one of Juni’s potential love interests (yes, as with most cozies there are at least two suitors in the picture) but will wait to see how it plays out. There is indeed a cat as promised on the cover. The second in the series, A Fatal Groove, is due out in July, 2023.