Flat White Fatality (#3)

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With its hipster-run Portland food truck pod and focus on real-world social issues like homelessness, gentrification, school affordability, and bicycle commuting, this third Ground Rules Mystery is a fresh, modern cozy featuring coffee barista Sage Caplin. She’s ready to take a shot at a new side hustle – her boyfriend’s gaming company – until a programmer’s pranks get him burned…

To top off her coffee business, Sage is now helping out with her boyfriend Bax’s gaming company. Conveniently for Sage, it’s located next door to her Ground Rules Roastery. That makes it easy for her to pitch in with Bax’s employee team-building event. The plan is to boost morale with a scavenger hunt. And it seems to be going well—until Robbie, a programmer known for being a prankster, turns up dead in Sage’s roastery.

There are two suspects so far: Sage, who has no idea how the victim ended up in her space; and Bax, who was allegedly spotted arguing with Robbie the day before. But could it be a disgruntled employee? After all, Robbie’s sense of humor was known to have rubbed some coworkers the wrong way. Now, it’s up to Sage to find the culprit—before another life grinds to a halt.


"Tips on coffee and a touch of romance combine in a mystery with a strong West Coast vibe."

Kirkus Reviews

"I enjoy every new book in this series more than the one before. Delicious coffee love paired with Portland vibes served with a twisty, cozy mystery."

Undine Reads

"Plenty of satire, lots of fascinating local detail, excellent friends and family, and an insider look at the world of special coffees."

First Clue

"'Flat White Fatality' evokes a contemporary vibe from its urban setting as well as coffee, brew pub, food truck and gaming details, making it a very non-stuffy type of cozy mystery. Duncan is skillful at including texting, security videos and chat-room conversations to aid the sleuthing, without asking the reader to be an IT expert or leaving the writing too clunky."

Yakima Herald

"I always enjoy visiting Ground Rules and all of the interesting characters in Emmeline’s books, plus you get a good mystery filled with twists and turns to solve along the way. What more could you ask for? Emmeline also addresses real-life issues such as homelessness and the environment, and there are recipes at the back of the book. This has become one of my favorite series! I can’t wait for the next one."

Kings River Life