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I cannot begin to tell you what the best colon cleansing pill might be because as a woman who was literally weaned on espresso, I’ve never needed one. Speaking of espresso, I’ve just finished reading Cleo Coyle’s latest coffee house mystery, Roast Mortem, which was also the first Kindle book I actually paid for.
As with all of Coyle’s coffee house novels, Roast Mortem is the perfect blend of coffeehouse coziness, romance, and mystery. This far into the series, we’ve met all the main characters – Claire Cosi, manager of the Village Blend, her ex-husband and business partner Matt Allegro, and his incredibly wealthy mother, the various baristas and their friends, and of course NYPD detective Mike Quinn, whose relationship with Claire has a new sense of stability, even (dare I hope?) permanence.
But it’s another Quinn, Michael Quinn, a NYFD chief, who is one of the stars of this novel. We first met him a couple of books ago, when he fished Ms. Cosi out of some frigid water, and his animosity-laden relationship with Detective Quinn, is first cousin, came to light, but in this book, which involves a serious of explosive-started fires at various coffee houses, we learn more about him, and we also – finally – find out why the cousins don’t get along.
Of course Claire is in jeopardy more than once, and ends up leading the NYPD to the murderer (and the NYFD to the arsonist), and of course there are all sorts of coffeehouse recipes scattered through the book (and listed at the end for those of us who love to cook at home), but even though these novels are fairly formulaic, they’re also so well written that the predictability doesn’t matter, and the stories remain compelling because Coyle is so good at setting scene and creating characters.
While the coffee house mysteries can be read as stand-alone novels, they’re much richer if you read the series in order, so you can watch relationships develop from book to book. Either way, however, I recommend Roast Mortem to anyone who loves a good mystery, and a great cup of coffee.
Goes well with a doppio espresso and any kind of chocolate baked good.