I don’t remember how old I was, but it had to be after I was ten or so. I’d just read another three or four Nancy Drews—the old pink, library hardbacks, in fact—and something about the books bugged me.
Nancy Drew books always had a magnifying glass somewhere inside. But why? She never used the things. I mean, there were pictures of her walking along, peering through it at the ground. And for what?
So, I did what all smart girls do (sometimes I was, you know–smart. Sometimes). I went and asked Mom about it. That’s when I learned about symbolism—the use of objects to trigger an expectation. That magnifying glass meant she was trying to solve a case—even if it didn’t mean anything to the actual story.
Kind of like me taking a trash bag up to my room to clean… it didn’t mean I’d actually do anything with it… just kidding.
Note: links may be affiliate links that provide me with a small commission at no extra expense to you.
Why A Magnifying Glass Is the Perfect Christmas Gift
So why am I nattering on about magnifying glasses? Why would they be a great gift?
Symbolism, people. Remember? I’m talking about Angela Ruth Strong’s A Caffeine Conundrum.
If you love Nancy Drew, ridiculously realistic characters, and a plot that keeps you tumbling from one mess to the next, you’re going to love this book. Coffee? Check! Tea? Check!
How about an adorable little dog who fails miserably at the guard dog job but makes up for it in comfort and cuddles? Ex-boyfriends who may or may not be guilty of everything from growing into hunky dudes when you weren’t looking to oblivion and possibly even murder?
Poison? Explosions? “Avalanches?”
Yeah, this book has it all, from the klutzy girl who could give Miss Congeniality a run for her money to murder, theft, and mayhem.
The best part is probably how neither girl is actually any good at this sleuthing thing. It’s kind of refreshing after the Nancys, the Miss Marples, and the Miss Fishers of this work, you know?
Seriously, just typing it all out—and avoiding typing too much—I should be telling you what a terrible book it was. But it wasn’t. Somehow Ms. Strong makes it work. How is that even possible?
All I know is if you like cozy mysteries with quirky characters and a less-than-obvious plot, you’re sure to love A Caffeine Conundrum. It seriously was just too much fun.
The good news is, it’s the first book in the CafFunated Mysteries.
And that’s why a magnifying glass is a perfect gift–and by magnifying glass, I mean A Caffeine Conundrum. Zip it to someone’s Kindle as a surprise if you need a last-minute gift or “stocking stuffer” or let Prime have it to your door before you leave on Saturday for cousin Hilda’s house. You know how she loves a fun mystery…
Here’s a bit more about it.
Title: A Caffeine Conundrum
Author: Angela Ruth Strong
Synopsis: Solving a murder mystery is harder when you don’t trust your partner…or their taste in beverages.
Sassy city girl Tandy Brandt moves to the small town of Grace Springs to start a coffee shop, never imagining she’ll be competing with local beauty queen Marissa Alexander and her dream of running a tea house. Unfortunately, the current store owner dies before selling the location to either of them, and they both become murder suspects.
The unlikely pair team up in an attempt to discover the real killer, though with the secrets in Tandy’s past and Marissa’s infamous clumsiness, they could be their own worst enemies. Despite their differences, they follow clues to question a sweet, apple pie baking antique store owner, a GQ Santa in the retirement center, and a hipster millionaire with no social skills.
Will they be able to figure out whodunit and prove their innocence before one of them goes to jail…or worse?
Has anyone else read this book? Any of her others I should read while I wait for the next?