Ground to a Halt - a cozy mystery by Elaine Orr

Ground to a Halt
Eighth in the Jolie Gentil Cozy Mystery Series

Java Jolt is the usual hangout for Jolie Gentil and friends. It is not usually empty, and its owner has never been shot when Jolie runs into him. Until today.

On top of that, the shooter thinks a disabled Iraq war veteran saw him in Java Jolt. Jolie and friends Scoobie and George care a lot about Max, whose sometimes childlike attitudes could get him killed. With a primary goal to protect Max, Jolie digs into the Java Jolt owner's past and finds out he may not be what Ocean Alley residents thought he was. Did he really rob a bank years ago?

Jolie is undeterred by police warnings to butt out and Scoobie's reticence for her to be involved.  She pushes for facts and nuances to try to figure out who is really after Java Jolt's owner and, now, Jolie herself.

A Halloween fundraiser for the food pantry seems a pleasant diversion. But then the shooter tries to get access to the bank robbery cash by kidnapping someone close to Jolie. Can Jolie save the kidnap target, protect Max, and figure out if Java Jolt's proprietor is victim or criminal?

And what about her slow-building romance with best-bud Scoobie? It may be that Jolie's propensity to ferret out the truth is more danger than Scoobie is willing to put up with. The timing for a break-up couldn't be worse.