A Coffeehouse Mystery (Book #13)

By Cleo Coyle

Berkley Prime Crime, December 2013 ($26.95)

ISBN-13: 978-0-425-25291-8

Reviewed by Shirley Wetzel
(March, 2014)

Clare Cosi, co-owner of the iconic Village Blend coffee-shop, suspects that the handsome young man in the pricey leather jacket is a corporate spy looking to steal her staff. He's been paying a daily visit to the shop, drilling the baristas on the preparation of complicated and obscure drinks, earning him the nickname of the Quiz Master. Her attempt to figure out his game is interrupted by an explosion that causes extensive damage to the shop. The mysterious stranger is seriously injured, and Clare saves his life.

The Quiz Master, Eric Thorner, is not a talent poacher, but a billionaire who has been looking for someone with Clare's expertise to help him with a special project. He wines and dines her in style, taking her to dinner at the most exclusive restaurant in New York City, flying her to Paris at the drop of a hat to see her daughter, jetting around the world to locate rare and precious coffee beans with Clare and her ex-husband, Matteo, the buyer for the Village Blend. It's a heady ride, one Clare finds herself quickly becoming comfortable with.

Her beau, Mike Quinn, one of New York's Finest, is not so taken with Eric and his bottomless moneybags. He's on special assignment in Washington, D.C., but he makes it his business to find out all about Eric, and about why someone seems bent on killing him. He doesn't like what he uncovers, and neither do certain government agencies.

The Coffeehouse Mysteries are always fun, full of New York City flavor, with interesting plots and colorful characters. This one takes Clare and her friends and loved ones to a whole new level. There's danger, exotic locations, beautiful people with dark souls, and delicious recipes. And there is coffee: lots of coffee, in many varieties, as complex as the finest wines. Even a non-coffee aficionado will enjoy the wealth of information about the caffeinated beverage.

This is the thirteenth Coffeehouse Mystery, and it is the best of an excellent series. Fans will be delighted, and new readers will quickly become fans of Clare and her world with this exhilarating tale.

This book is scheduled to be released August 5, 2014 in paperback format.

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