Double Shot Death By Emmeline Duncan: Review/Giveaway/Recipe

May 21, 2022 | 2022 Articles, Food Fun, Lorie Lewis Ham, Mysteryrat's Maze

by Lorie Lewis Ham & Emmeline Duncan

This week we a review of the latest Ground Rules mystery by Emmeline Duncan along with a fun cold brew coffee recipe from Emmeline. Details at the end of this post on how to enter to win a copy of the book and a link to purchase it.

Double Shot Death by Emmeline Duncan
Review by Lorie Lewis Ham

Double Shot Death is the second book in the Ground Rules Mystery series by Emmeline Duncan. I love coffee mysteries so I was excited when the first book, Fresh Brewed Murder, came out last year. I also love Portland, which is where this series is set, so it was a “double shot” of fun for me. When I saw that a new book in the series was coming out this year, well of course I was going to read it.

In the first book, Sage Caplin had just opened her coffee cart, together with her friend and business partner Harley. Harley is a genius at roasting beans and devising new blends. In Double Shot Death we jump forward in time a bit and their business has expanded—they now have two coffee carts and Sage now has a boyfriend, Bax. Sage has landed a coveted spot at Campathon, an annual eco-friendly music festival held on a farm outside of Portland. Helping her cover the cart is their new employee, Kendall.

Things get off to a bumpy start with a food cart neighbor who obviously dislikes Sage for some unknown reason, and a nosey gossip-hungry podcaster named Grace who also seems to have it out for Sage. Things take an even worse turn when Sage finds the dead body of one of the band managers, Ian, and he is clutching one of their cart’s coffee mugs. She quickly becomes a suspect and feels she has to figure out who the real killer is to save herself. But that won’t be easy, as there are a multitude of suspects. Not only is her freedom on the line, but if Campathon has to close, it would be bad for her financially as well.

This is a well-written mystery that kept me guessing all the way to the end, filled with a delightful and diverse cast of characters, and of course, lots of coffee. I love how Emmeline also brings important topics like the environment and homelessness into her books. While unlike some amateur sleuths, Sage is a reluctant one, she still does a good job of finding out the truth with the help of her friends and family. Not only is a Sage a great character, but Bax is a wonderful boyfriend, I really like Kendall, and Sage’s lawyer brother is also on the scene and looking out for her. And if that weren’t enough, an adorable kitten decides to make its home in the cart.

Ground Rules Mysteries is quickly becoming one of my favorite series and I highly recommend them! Coffee, Oregon, great characters, and an interesting mystery-what more could you ask for? Can’t wait for the next one. Oh yes, there are also drink recipes in the back! (One of which Emmeline shares with us here)

Lorie Lewis Ham is our Editor-in-Chief and a contributor to various sections, coupling her journalism experience with her connection to the literary and entertainment worlds. Explore Lorie’s mystery writing at Mysteryrat’s Closet. Lorie’s new mystery novel, One of Us, is set in the Tower District of Fresno and the world of community theatre!

Mint Cold Brew
By Emmeline Duncan

If you’ve never added mint to your cold brew, you’re in for a treat. This is one of my favorite summertime iced coffee drinks, so I had to include it in the second Ground Rules mystery, Double Shot Death.

While Sage serves this drink at her coffee cart, you can make it in the comfort of your own home! It’s easy, although you’ll need to make the cold brew concentrate and mint simple syrup ahead of time.

To start, make the cold brew concentrate:

When making cold brew concentrate at home, I tend to use mason jars although you can buy fancy pitchers for cold brew. Or use a French Press, which is one of the easiest and cleanest options.

Making coffee is all about the proper ratio of coffee grounds to water. To make a cold brew concentrate, you’ll use 3/4 cup of coarse ground coffee to 4 cups of water.

You can double, triple, quadruple, etc., this recipe; just keep the 3/4 cups grounds to 4 cups of water ratio intact.

3/4 cup of coarse coffee grounds
4 cups of water

Mix four cups of water and the 3/4 cups of coffee grounds in an appropriately sized mason jar, and screw on the lid. Place in the refrigerator for 12-24 hours.

When the coffee has brewed to your liking, strain it into a clean pitcher or mason jar.

Remember this is a concentrate, and whenever you drink it, you’ll want to dilute it in a one-to-one ratio with milk or water. For example, pour 1/2 cup cold brew concentrate and 1/2 cup water over ice before drinking.

Next: make the mint simple syrup.

1 cup of water
1 cup sugar
10 fresh mint leaves

Bring the water to a boil in a saucepan; add the sugar and stir until it melts. Add the mint leaves and simmer for about one minute, then turn off the heat and let the sugar-water-mint mixture seep for 30 minutes. Strain the mixture through a sieve into a bottle, jar, or other closable (and airtight) container.

The mint simple syrup should last up to two weeks in the refrigerator.

If you’d like a stronger mint taste, you can add more mint leaves while simmering and seeping the mint leaves.

You can easily double or triple this recipe as long as you keep the proportions of 1 cup sugar to 1 cup water intact, along with the 10 mint leaves per one cup of water.

Mint simple syrup is also a fantastic addition to lemonade, limeade, lemon drops, and whiskey sours.

When it’s go-time:
Pour 1/2 cup of cold brew concentrate into a glass, along with 1/2 cup of water or milk. Note that milk, both oat and dairy, taste great in this, although it also tastes great with water and an optional cream splash.

Add a teaspoon of mint simple syrup (or to taste if you’d like a sweeter drink).

Add ice, and you’re ready to go! Feel free to garnish with a few sprigs of mint.

To enter to win a copy of Double Shot Death, simply email KRL at krlcontests@gmail[dot]com by replacing the [dot] with a period, and with the subject line “double shot,” or comment on this article. A winner will be chosen May 28, 2022. U.S. residents only, and 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. A new episode went up this week.

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.

Like her Ground Rules Mystery series, Emmeline Duncan is based in Portland, Oregon. Her series includes 2021’s Fresh Brewed Murder and 2022’s Double Shot Death. When not writing, she spends her time seeking out new coffee shops and hiking trails to explore, frequently accompanied by her Great Pyrenees sidekick.

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. Don’t like coffee but enjoy reading stories
    with coffee involved. Sounds like a good read.
    thanks. txmlhl(at)yahoo(dot)com

  2. I’ve had mint coffee. It’s pretty good. Count me in the drawing!

  3. Great recipe! Would love to win!

  4. Sounds like a book I would enjoy reading. Thanks for the chance.

  5. I’m really into cold brew coffee now. Thanks for the recipe, I’ll have to give it a try!

  6. Double Shot Death by Emmeline Duncan sounds like a refreshing summer time read for mystery lovers!

  7. I live the recipe and the book sounds awesome. Thank you for the chance. Lamonicaks(at)gmail (dot) com

  8. We have a winner!


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