Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Holiday Grind by Cleo Coyle

This will be my first attempt to post a review that I have done. This is the eighth installment in the Coffeehouse Mystery series and the storyline is set around Christmas. With cooler temperatures and snow already arriving in places, there's no better time to get ready for the holidays than now. So grab a cup of coffee and enjoy.

The slow economy has touched Village Blend, the coffeehouse operated by Clare Cosi. She tries to find new coffee drinks to entice the shoppers inside, but instead finds her staff with less than a “Merry Christmas” spirit. Hoping to lift their mood, Clare goes looking for Alfred Glockner, the “Traveling Santa” that frequents the Blend and suggested the “Fl-la-la-la Lattes.”

Clare soon finds Alf in an alley not far from the Blend, but it’s not a cheery sight. Alf’s been killed. Clare finds his body near a dumpster and things look amiss to her. She phones the police, but before they arrive she decides to do a little snooping on her - besides the snow is covering the footprints and she needs to know where they lead to tell the police, right?

The police arrive, determine Alf’s the victim of a random mugging. Clare doesn’t see it that way and goes head to head with the lead detective - a “do-rag“ wearing brute named Sgt. Emmanuel Franco.

In the following days, the more Clare learns about Alf and his killing, the less she knows. Not able to help herself, she agrees to look into Alf’s killing for his daughter, a former employee of the Blend. Clare begins her search after enlisting the help of her ex-husband and current partner in the Blend, Matteo, and his elderly mother (owner of the Blend) Madame Dreyfuss Allegro Dubois. She also has  help from her boyfriend, Detective Mike Quinn, but feels things are on slippery ground where their relationship is concerned.

Author Cleo Coyle takes readers on a whirlwind ride of ups and downs, ins and outs as Clare finds clues and suspects only to discover more unanswered questions.

Clare’s undertakings leads her around the city and into danger more than once. Just when you think you know her next move, she’ll surprise you. Just when you figure out who the killer is, a new clue will prove you wrong.

“Holiday Grind” will keep you spellbound from beginning to end. Along the way you will laugh, cry, reminisce about Christmas’ past, and stay on the edge of your seat waiting to find out who the killer really is.

As an added bonus, the latter part of the book is really a second book. Author Cleo Coyle and Clare Cosi provide a mini-book of coffeehouse terms, recipes and coffee-making tips from the Village Blend. Readers can make their own “Fa-la-la-la Lattes.”

Holiday Grind is the eighth installment in the Coffeehouse Mystery series. If you’re thinking, I can’t read a book at the end of a series because you won‘t know what‘s going on. You can and you can’t.

You can because Holiday Grind is a stand-alone book. There’s no missing elements you need to know from a previous book to keep up with Clare and her antics.

You can’t because once you read “Holiday Grind” you’ll want to know Clare’s history and find out what other madcap adventures she’s been on. Each of the previous Coffeehouse books also offers some recipes and tips at the end.

Whether you’re a coffee drinker or not, Holiday Grind will be a mystery you can’t put down except long enough to sip your hot chocolate or latte.

For more on the Coffeehouse Mystery series, as well as lots of other tidbits and the Haunted Bookshop novels by author Cleo Coyle, go online to, also check out author Cleo Coyle at

Holiday Grind - A Coffeehouse Mystery by Cleo Coyle, Berkley Prime Crime, @2009. ISBN: 978-0-425-23005-3, Hardcover, 384 pages,


  1. Mason - Your blog looks amazing! Warmest congratulations on opening the doors to your virtual home. I am honored in the extreme to be your very first posted review. Woot!


  2. Cleo, thanks to you and the other ladies at Had I not ever visited your Website and that blog (which I do daily now) I would not have tried this. Thanks for all your kind words. Holiday Grind is a great book, best wishes with it.


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