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Thursday, August 26, 2010
Roast Mortem by Cleo Coyle
You don’t have to love coffee to enjoy reading the Coffeehouse Mystery series. You just need to enjoy reading a good cozy murder mystery.
The ninth installment in the series, ROAST MORTEM, takes protagonist Clare Cosi on another intriguing murder mystery this time involving New York firefighters from Ladder Company 189.
Clare is the manager and head barista of the Village Blend coffeehouse in Greenwich Village. Clare and her boss, Madame Dreyfus Allegro Dubois (who is also her ex mother-in-law) go to visit an old friend of Madame’s, Enzo ‘Lorenzo’ Testa, at his coffeehouse, Caffe Lucia. Enzo has uncovered an old Blend roaster he bought from the Blend in the sixties, as well as a photo album of Madame and her late first husband.
The fun evening soon turns tragic when an explosion destroys the coffeehouse trapping Madame and Enzo in the basement. Firemen of Ladder Company 189 save Clare’s friends and she encounters Capt. Michael Quinn of the NYFD, the cousin of her boyfriend, police detective Mike Quinn. Clare struggles to understand the animosity between the cousins.
Meanwhile, the anger over her friends’ near death drives Clare to begin her own investigation into the fire. Another coffeehouse burned the same night and Clare is sure the two fires are connected.
The more she digs, the more complicated the case becomes. She suspects a fireman could be involved, but soon two firemen are dead. Clare has to get to the source of the murders before the Blend becomes the next target of the arsonist.
ROAST MORTEM is a stand alone book. Readers don’t have to read the previous books in the series to enjoy this installment. However, after enjoying this adventure readers will want to discover how Clare and Mike got together, not to mention all of the unique investigations Clare has found herself involved in.
An added bonus to the book is the coffee tips and recipes included at the end. One of my favorites is “Clare Cosi’s Magnificent Melt-In-Your-Mouth Mocha Brownies.’ Author Cleo Coyle brings all the wonderful characters to life and takes the reader into the Blend. As you turn the pages of this cozy murder mystery you can practically smell the rich, delightful aroma of the various coffee blends.
Looking to unwind after a hectic day, sit back with a cup of your favorite coffee and enjoy this entertaining, fast-pace, thrill a-minute story. It may also make you appreciate the barista the next time you order an espresso. This book is dedicated to the firefighters, paramedics, and police officers who lost their lives on 9/11.
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