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Holiday Grind (A Coffeehouse Mystery) Mass Market Paperback – November 2, 2010
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From Publishers Weekly
In the charming eighth coffeehouse mystery from the pseudonymous Coyle (the husband-wife writing team of Marc Cerasini and Alice Alfonsi), Clare Cosi, owner of the Village Blend, is preoccupied with creating flavorful and memorable drinks for the upcoming holiday season. Then one snowy December day, Clare discovers a beloved customer, Alf Glockner, shot to death in a nearby alley. Doubtful of the police conclusion that Alf, a part-time comedian who was working as a charity Santa, was the victim of a random murder, Clare sets out to find out what really happened. To her peril, she must do so on her own because her boyfriend, NYPD Det. Mike Quinn, is busy with his own homicide investigation. This light cozy will keep readers guessing until the end, while the drink and accompanying treat recipes will send anyone to the kitchen in search of a candy cane brownie and a caffe mocha latte. (Nov.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Starred review. "Coyle's Coffeehouse books are superb examples of the cozy genre because of their intelligent cast of characters, their subtle wit, and their knowledge of the coffee industry used to add depth and flavor to the stories...Highly recommended for all mystery collections." --Library Journal, Starred Review --Library Journal --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Top Customer Reviews
It's Christmas time in New York City and at the Village Blend Coffee House. Snow is falling, lights are twinkling and a charity Santa is found dead in the alley by Clare Cosi. Clare is the co-owner and manager of the Village Blend, an independent coffee house in the heart of Greenwich Village. She has a propensity for finding dead bodies and a strong need to help solve the murder. Since the expired Santa was an acquaintance of hers that often came into the Blend to warm up from his rounds, this time is no exception.
As with all the Coffeehouse mysteries, the setting is paramount. The holiday season and all its craziness is written about perfectly with the scenes coming alive in the reader's mind. Many of the characters we have come to love (and hate) are back including Matt and Bree, Mike Quinn and many of the baristas at the Blend. A great, believable mystery is at the heart of this book and it kept me guessing until the end.
While I love the series and would encourage the reader to read all of them from the beginning, it would be possible for someone to pick this one up as it stands on its own.
Another winner in a winning series !
And smell like and make one's mouth water for drinks and treats not usually part of one's normal diet.
This December Holiday entry in Cleo Coyle's Coffeehouse mystery series, with Clare Cosi, head barista and sleuth, has the gift for the reader of additional recipes for various special holiday coffee drinks as well as desserts: And, much information on the growing and selling of coffee and how it is made.
But the real treat is the excellent writing and character development from author Coyle.
Coyle has the ability to describe characters in terms of appearance, personality, and even their relationships to each other in a few words, so they become instantly recognizable.
And, it is a large cast, with more than one red herring.
I usually solve mysteries early in books and was delighted that it took me half the novel to know for certain the identity of the red haired woman, after discarding three other possibilities.
Even the coincidence of Clare also solving the death from a cold case gnawing at boyfriend and NYPD detective Mike Quinn does not detract because of the realism under the frothy fun.
This is not an English country house mystery in which a set number of characters are involved, but a large city with an ever expanding cast, many with secrets to hide and less than stellar motives.
This could have been a shorter book, a slighter book, and it still would have been a good standard crime novel, but the fleshing out of events and relationships adds substance to the pleasure in the reading.
The ongoing lives of the main characters are also interesting, and I look forward to more. Even secondary characters such a Claire's former mother-in-law and Sgt. Franco add delight and depth to the novel.
There is also the encouragement to actually read Dicken's Christmas Carol, which far too many of us only know from various movie adaptations, so that we might discover the real lesson in the story.
It is not necessary to have read previous Clare Cosi mysteries to understand or enjoy this book. This was my first foray into this series, and I did not need previous knowledge of the characters or setting to enjoy it from the beginning. Naturally, now I am on the hunt for the rest of the books.
I want to know more about what happened with Clare and international coffee buyer Matteo (And, one can only hope, his new wife) as well as how Clare met Mike Quinn.
I confess to coming from a family of tea drinkers and considered this a bit of an adventure in entering a foreign culture. I am also allergic to wheat, so with one exception (Which requires knowing how to make espresso, which I sadly do not) the desserts were also impossible for me, but I read them all eagerly anyway, salivating all the while.
Anyone who wants more recipes and information should check the author's website at [...]. There is also a link there for this author's other delightful mystery series, Haunted Bookshop, written as Alice Kimberly.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
HOLIDAY GRIND is the perfect concoction for those cozy mystery lovers you like a little bit of action but...Read more