Customer Review

7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A decaf as good as the real deal?, May 24, 2008
This review is from: Decaffeinated Corpse (Coffeehouse Mysteries, No. 5) (Mass Market Paperback)
It's approaching Halloween and the events of Murder Most Frothy have had some consequences. There's tension between Clare and her daughter Joy. Otherwise, it's business as usual at the Village Blend, the coffeehouse Clare manages in the Greenwich Village. Matt, Clare's ex-husband and partner in the coffeehouse, has brokered a deal with an old friend, Federico Gostwick, to be the exclusive distributor's of his naturally decaffeinated coffee. Clare just needs to convince her baristas that this decaf, known as 'why bother' in the coffee world, is truly worth the bother since they'll be serving the new decaf at a coffee tasting for ICGE (International Coffee Growers Exhibition) at the Beckman Hotel. Of course, that's before Federico was found unconscious in the alley alongside the Blend by Clare who was also knocked out as she checked to see if the body had a pulse. Neither Matt nor Ric want to report the attack which leaves Clare wondering what's really going on.

Clare's learned a thing or three about recognizing a lie or a stretched truth -- and Matt and Ric aren't telling her everything. Det. Quinn is no slouch in picking up clues and Tucker already mentioned the mugging in the alley; so Quinn gives Clare a bit of advice to keep her out of trouble. However, Clare can't just ignore it as more and more it begins looking like Matt may have pulled them into something that could backfire on them all. Once the bodies start to pile up, even Matt has to agree something is wrong and maybe, just maybe, Clare might have a point, or even two.

The characters are becoming more finely drawn as the series continues and as backstory and emotional history are layered in with the plot. Ric and Matt were friends when Matt and Clare were married so a few flashback memories add to the texture of the story.

Previously, coffee has been only a side issue to the crime and investigation, in Decaffeinated Corpse it's all about the coffee: who buys it, who controls it, who develops it, and how soon it can come to market. Coyle manages to fill the reader in on the history and tangled commercial business of the coffee world, or at least enough to allow the reader to understand what is involved and how it could be seen as a deadly serious enterprise.

The series keeps getting better and better and you should try the recipe for Clare's Cappuccino Muffins -- perfect with a nice cup of coffee and a good book, preferable Decaffeinated Corpse.
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Showing 1-3 of 3 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Mar 26, 2010 1:00:03 PM PDT
This review included plot points that helped me decide whether I have read this "episode" without giving everything away. Her review is written in a concise manner without being boring or bland. I have NOT read the book, yet. I'll definitely be back to see if I agree with her opinion.

Posted on May 15, 2012 6:38:12 PM PDT
I am wondering why she only gave it 3 stars? I am currently listening to this book on audio. I've listened to the preceding books as well. It's a light fluffy series that is somewhat predictable, somewhat formulaic in it's approach, but entertaining nonetheless. There is also quite a bit of interesting information about coffee. I now know how to check coffee for freshness by doing the "bloom" test.

In reply to an earlier post on May 15, 2012 8:52:50 PM PDT
Gabrielle, I don't inflate my ratings. Three stars is smack dab in the middle -- meaning --it's all the things you just listed. It's a good book that will keep you entertained from cover to cover. A book has to have more to deserve a 4 and be absolutely outstanding to get 5 stars. Unfortunately, reviewers are stuck with the 5 star system without anyway to indicate how they, personally, chose to use those 5 stars. So, my rating is 1 star means it was horrible, 2 means it was somewhat disappointing, 3 means it was a good book, 4 means it was better then good but not great, and 5 is for a really great book -- hope this helps if you read any more of my reviews.
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