Vinyl Resting Place By Olivia Blacke: Review/Giveaway/Guest Post

Jan 7, 2023 | 2023 Articles, Kathleen Costa, Mysteryrat's Maze

by Kathleen Costa & Olivia Blacke

This week we have a review of the first book in a new series by Olivia Blacke, along with a guest post from Olivia about her inspiration for the book. Details at the end of this post on how to enter to win a copy of the book, and a link to purchase it from Amazon.

Vinyl Resting Place: The Record Shop Mystery by Olivia Blacke
Review by Kathleen Costa

“The best part about working for the family business is that they can’t fire me…” Then again, “…I can’t ever quit.” —Juniper Jessup, Vinyl Resting Place by Olivia Blacke

Her full name is Juniper, but most friends and family call her Juni, and after a failed career with an Oregon-based tech company, she returned home to Cedar River, Texas. Her and two older siblings,Tansy and Magnolia (It’s Maggie!), grew up working in the Jessup family’s record shop that first opened sixty years ago by their grandparents. The store was a great success and the hub for many of the town’s activities, however, even though they kept up with the changes by adding tapes and CDs, with the wave of iTunes and Wi-Fi devices, the record shop went the way of the dodo in 2005. But, lately, music on vinyl has had a resurgence of popularity among millennials, so the three sisters reinvented the business in the same storefront, added a coffee bar, and labeled it Sip & Spin Records. They even have a store mascot; Daffodil, “Daffy,” a white & orange tabby cat, is a bit quirky; he doesn’t like strangers.

Vinyl Resting Place Earns 5/5 Classic Albums … Engaging & Entertaining Hit!
The town of Cedar River is thrilled that the Jessup sisters are reopening the record shop, evidenced by the huge turnout for the grand “reopening” party: beer, tacos, and spinning stacks of classic to contemporary vinyl gems. It is bittersweet, though, their father passed away a couple of years ago, but their mother Begonia and Uncle Calvin knew he’d be just as proud as they are seeing the girls carrying on the family business. With a retro environment, casual decor, friendly smiles, and coffees of the day, like Java B. Goode or Espresso Yourself, the future is bright! Until, cleaning up, Juni discovers a dead body in the supply closet. Of course, due to years of sisterly pranks, Maggie and Tansy are duly skeptical, but there it is lying on the floor … “Told ya!”

The most immediate suspect on the official radar of her childhood heartache, Detective Beauregard Russell, is Juni’s uncle who, with his absence, does little to help dispel the assertion he is the killer. Pranks are sometimes in good fun and Uncle Calvin’s speciality, but to have it your business model raises the stakes. Prankenstein, Inc. is an online store run by Uncle Calvin, up to a few weeks ago, and his friend and partner Samual Davis, and the victim had an old business card in her hand, and “why” was a mainstay of the police focus. Juni can’t see her uncle capable of murder, and although she runs into some resistance with her sisters and former boyfriend Detective Russell, she’s determined to prove it. But, then Uncle Calvin, described by some as “reckless,” does a runner making it harder to believe his innocence.

Spinning the Cozy Hits! Olivia Blacke has spun a delightful tale of family, coffee and vintage records, and murder. The Jessup family is a close knit, if not quirky, family, and the ups and downs, hugs and shouts, agreements and disagreements are all portrayed realistically (Many might see their own sibling dynamic … I did.) The sisters are varied in personality with selective memories on growing up together an endearing element, but teamwork ultimately is their super power. The theme of vintage records and upscaled coffee drinks is a unique and interesting combination as well as adding witty insights into Texan culture from cowboy hat protocols and the common idea that no self-respecting Texan would be without a four-wheeler or a horse. The murder occurs early in the story, a favorite occurrence, so the identity process, investigation, accusations, and family entanglements are central to the drama, and with nearly the whole town in attendance at the reopening party, the whole town seems to be on the suspect list making it a complicated search for a killer. With Uncle Calvin on the hook, the record shop on the hook, and Juni’s ex-boyfriend in charge of the investigation wanting nothing more than to put his hooks into Juni, the story heats up with twists, more felonies revealed, and concerns over who to trust, ending with a clever, yet surprising, wrap up. Well written murder mystery with a bit of personal peril and romantic triangle angst is a perfect beginning for what looks like a popular series to come.

Audio Gem! Vinyl Resting Place has been produced as an audiobook and is available on Audible with nine hours of “down home” entertainment. Nicol Zanzarella is a very talented narrator with a pleasant voice portraying well the various personalities, gender, age, and the necessary Texas twang with the appropriate “y’all” and “howdy-s” to add to the ambiance. Definitely a favorite way to enjoy Olivia Blacke’s new book!

A Record Shop Mystery
Vinyl Resting Place (Dec, 2022)
A Fatal Groove (July, 2023) The next book is on Amazon Preorder.

Be a Big Olivia Blacke Fan!
Olivia Blacke has taken her background in criminology and used it to enrich her cozy mysteries. Along with this new Record Shop Mystery series spinning the trials and tribulations of Juniper Jessup, she writes the Brooklyn Murder Mystery series with Louisiana native Odessa Dean finds herself living in New York. Could this fish be more out of the water?

FREEBIE ALERT! Olivia Blacke is one of eleven popular authors highlighted in the Cozy Case Files, Volume 17: A Cozy Mystery Sampler. It is currently on Amazon Preorder, but it’s FREE! Save your copy, now!

Facebook: Author Olivia Blacke
Website: Olivia Blacke

Kathleen Costa is a long-time resident of the Central Valley, and although born in Idaho, she considers herself a “California Girl.” Graduating from CSU-Sacramento, she is 35+ year veteran teacher having taught in grades 1-8 in schools from Sacramento to Los Angeles to Stockton to Lodi. Currently Kathleen is enjoying year 2 of retirement revitalizing hobbies along with exploring writing, reading for pleasure, and spending 24/7 with her husband of 26+ years.

The Inspiration for Vinyl Resting Place
By Olivia Blacke

We live in an increasingly digital world. We can shop, work, and even hang out with friends who live on the other side of the world without ever leaving the house. We can carry our entire digital library of books and music in our phones. But wouldn’t it be cool if we could listen to our favorite music without commercials? Or to hold our music in our hands in beautifully designed covers with colorful pictures, notes about the songs, and lyrics printed out for our convenience?

Olivia Blacke

That longing for physical media, specifically the throwback to vinyl records, is what inspired my new cozy mystery, Vinyl Resting Place.

Even with all the benefits of modern conveniences, there are times I would rather feel the weight of a book in my hands or sit down without any distractions to listen to beautiful music not cultivated by an algorithm. Sometimes I want to hear music the way our analog ears are built to hear it – as analog sound waves.

For a hundred years, records topped the charts as the dominant format for music. 8-tracks and cassettes came and went, but it was the rise of digital music on CDs, MP3s, and streaming services that ultimately killed vinyl records. Or, so everyone (but a few die-hard collectors) thought.

Then, a few years ago, a curious phenomenon arose. Vinyl came back! We’re now in the vinyl revolution, pun intended. In 2022, vinyl records accounted for over half of all physical music media sold in the U.S. and that number is rising.

In Vinyl Resting Place, the first cozy in the Austin Record Shop Mysteries, I got to tap into the resurgence of vinyl—and all the puns I could shake a record needle at—by setting the series in a family-owned record shop/coffee café called Sip & Spin Records in a small Texas town. Juni Jessup and her sisters were raised in their grandparents’ record shop, and are dancing at the chance to revive it. But they soon learn that opening a family business can be murder when a body deader than disco falls out of the supply closet at the grand opening party.

With its constantly changing soundtrack and a new musically-themed coffee special every day (like Java B. Goode), Sip & Spin Records becomes not only a cozy town hangout, but a place where Juni and her sisters can pick up local gossip about the murder that the cops might have missed. Fortunately, Juni is as meticulous at hunting down a killer as I ever was when hunting down the perfect album for my collection at a second-hand record store.

I love e-books and streaming music. It is the ultimate in convenience. But as our lives become more virtual, a physical connection to the books we read and the music we listen to becomes immensely appealing. Listening to a vinyl record is a completely different sensation than listening to streaming music. It’s deliberate. It’s concrete. Much like curling up in a favorite chair to read a good book, listening to record gives you a chance to relax and truly enjoy the music. Whether you’re listing to the Vinyl Resting Place audiobook on your favorite service, reading it on your phone or e-book reader, or are holding a paperback copy in your hand, I hope that some of the nostalgia for vinyl records will resonate (again, as always, pun very much intended) with you, and maybe even inspire you to go out and start a vinyl collection of your own.

To enter to win a copy of Vinyl Resting Place, simply email KRL at krlcontests@gmail[dot]com by replacing the [dot] with a period, and with the subject line “vinyl” or comment on this article. A winner will be chosen January 14, 2023. You must be 18 or older to enter. If you are entering via email please include you mailing address in case you win, it will be deleted after the contest. You can read our privacy statement here if you like.

Check out other mystery articles, reviews, book giveaways & mystery short stories in our mystery section. And join our mystery Facebook group to keep up with everything mystery we post, and have a chance at some extra giveaways. Also listen to our new mystery podcast where mystery short stories and first chapters are read by actors! They are also available on Apple Podcasts, Google Play, and Spotify.

You can use this link to purchase the book. If you have ad blocker on you may not see the Amazon link. You can also click here to purchase the book.

Olivia Blacke (she/her), author of Vinyl Resting Place, finally found a way to put her Criminology degree to good use by writing quirky, unconventional, character-driven cozy mysteries. Olivia, who wants to be a unicorn when she grows up, is a little nerdy, a lot awkward, and just the right amount of weird. Connect with Olivia on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or check out her website

Disclosure: This post contains links to an affiliate program, for which we receive a few cents if you make purchases. KRL also receives free copies of most of the books that it reviews, that are provided in exchange for an honest review of the book.


  1. Sounds interesting! Count me in!

    • I am very intrigued by this book!

  2. Always great to get in on the first book of
    a potential series. Sounds interesting.
    thanks. txmlhl(at)yahoo(dot)com

  3. Sounds likeca fascinating read. Looking forward to reading the book.

  4. We have a winner!


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