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Emmeline Duncan's Ground Rules Series
cheerful pink cook cover with a dog ordering at a coffee cart, and a cat curled up in a chair by a fire pit.

Death Unfiltered

A Ground Rules Mystery #4

Arriving March 26, 2024!

As the owner of Portland, Oregon’s popular Ground Rules coffee cart, hard-working young master barista Sage Caplin is excited to expand her business with a brick-and mortar store. But not everyone gives her a warm welcome . . .

Ground Rules isn’t the only newcomer set to open in Portland’s grand new Button Building. Fortunately, most of the fellow micro-restaurant owners and patrons are great—with two exceptions. There’s Rose, a true-crime podcaster and active TikToker who’s pestering Sage for an interview about her estranged con-artist mother; and Bianca, the familiar and perpetually unpleasant owner of Breakfast Bandits. Bianca is abrasive to everyone, so Sage doesn’t feel singled out. . . . Until Bianca falls dead at the building’s grand opening—a to-go cup of Ground Rules coffee in her hand. Laced with Ketamine, also known as Special K.

It doesn’t help that just before she collapsed, Bianca was publicly rude to Sage. Or that Bianca’s boyfriend points the police toward Sage. Or that Rose, still hung up on investigating Sage’s mom, has declared she’ll solve the murder. Now it will be up to Sage to sift through a complex blend of motives, blackmail, and old and new rivalries to get to the truth of a very bitter brew . . .

As always, if you preorder from Annie Bloom’s Books in Portland, Oregon, you’ll receive swag and a signed book!

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fresh brewed murder book cover

Flat White Fatality

A Ground Rules Mystery #3

A fresh-voiced and witty cozy mystery series set in Portland, Oregon, from rising star Emmeline Duncan, starring twenty-something master barista Sage Caplin. Perfect for coffee-lovers, cozy readers, and fans of Cleo Coyle’s Coffeehouse Mysteries.

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.

Praise for Flat White Fatality:

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


“Tips on coffee and a touch of romance combine in a mystery with a strong West Coast vibe.” – Kirkus Reviews


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double shot death cover

Double Shot Death

A Ground Rules Mystery #2

Sage Caplin is taking her Portland coffee cart on the road to a sustainable music festival, but murder is an unwanted special guest . . .

At Campathon, an annual eco-friendly festival held on a farm outside of Portland, fans celebrate the Pacific Northwest’s music scene in quintessential PDX style—with gourmet food carts, reusable utensils . . . and lots of coffee. How else to get through three days of nonstop entertainment? Sage has scored a coveted place for her Ground Rules coffee cart thanks to her new-ish boyfriend, Bax, who’s friendly with Maya, one of the musicians performing.

The festivities begin with a stream of customers, friends, and acquaintances stopping by for Ground Rules’ world-class blends, expertly brewed by Sage and her newest barista. But there are tensions between Maya and her former bandmates, who are on the cusp of making it big, and with Ian, the band’s manager. When Sage stumbles upon Ian’s dead body in the nearby woods—his hand still clutching one of her coffee mugs—it’s clear that someone’s grudge boiled over into murder. Can Sage work out who’s responsible before another innocent life fades out, and the curtain falls on Campathon, and maybe her own future, for good?

Praise for Double Shot Death:

“A clever sleuth, music trivia, and plenty of West Coast vibes add up to an enjoyable read.” Kirkus

“Solid prose, a well-crafted plot, and plenty of coffee lore draw the reader in. A socially liberal vibe… sets this cozy apart.” Publishers Weekly

“The possible killers and motives are well juggled, and Duncan’s writing is fresh and realistic. Readers will look forward to more with Sage and her coffee cart friends and family.” First Clue

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fresh brewed murder book cover

Fresh Brewed Murder

A Ground Rules Mystery #1

Master barista Sage Caplin is opening a new coffee cart in Portland, Oregon, but a killer is brewing up a world of trouble . . .

Portland is famous for its rain, hipsters, craft beers . . . and coffee. Sage Caplin has high hopes for her coffee truck, Ground Rules, which she runs with her business partner, Harley—a genius at roasting beans and devising new blends. That’s essential in a city where locals have intensely strong opinions about cappuccino versus macchiato—especially in the case of one of Sage’s very first customers . . .

Sage finds the man’s body in front of her truck, a fatal slash across his neck. There’s been plenty of anger in the air, from long-time vendors annoyed at Ground Rules taking a coveted spot in the food truck lot, to protestors demonstrating against a new high-rise. But who was mad enough to commit murder? Sage is already fending off trouble in the form of her estranged, con-artist mother, who’s trying to trickle back into her life. But when Sage’s very own box cutter is discovered to be the murder weapon, she needs to focus on finding the killer fast—before her business, and her life, come to a bitter end . . .

Praise for Fresh Brewed Murder:

“Lively characters help propel the intricate plot. Cozy fans will hope to see a lot more of Sage and friends.” – Publishers Weekly

“Coffee-lovers, this book is for you … a great debut!” – Criminal Element

“Portland’s beloved food carts provide a tantalizing backdrop for a new cozy mystery…Using a food cart pod as the setting for the story is a creative way to address both the quirkiness and the more dismaying aspects of life in contemporary Portland.” – The Sunday Oregonian

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