Friday, January 13, 2017

Dead Cold Brew: A Coffeehouse Mystery

Welcome!  My Friday was spent doing laundry, baking cookies, and doing housework in between catering to my animals.  I need to find a way to install a doggie door!  It would make my life so much easier.  I asked my father to install one about ten years ago, but it did not happen.  Cleo Coyle is the author of The Coffeehouse Mystery series.  You can find a complete list of the books in the series here.  You can find more information about Cleo Coyle and her novels on her website.

Dead Cold Brew by Cleo Coyle is the sixteenth book in A Coffeehouse Mystery series.  Clare Cosi is the manager and master roaster at Village Blend in Greenwich Village, New York.  Clare loves the job despite the contact with her ex-husband, Matteo “Matt” Allegro.  Matt visits to tell Clare about a great opportunity.  Victor Fontana is the head of a consortium that has built a new ship that is a re-creation of the S.S. Andrea Doria.  The original ship sank sixty years ago in 1956.  Village Blend is one of five companies competing to be the exclusive supplier of coffee for the ship.  Clare needs to come up with a unique blend for the competition.  Clare is thrilled until she reads the morning paper.  Someone is going around shooting cops.  Clare’s boyfriend is Lt. Michael “Mike” Quinn and he is the head of the OD Squad for the NYPD.  Mike stops by Village Blend with Detective Sully Sullivan to reassure Clare.  Sully leaves and they hear a gunshot.  Sully has been shot and Clare sees someone resembling Panther Man leaving the area (this does not go over well with the police).  Matt receives a visit from an attorney.  It seems a special inheritance has been left for Matt and Sophia Campana (and their children).  Upon opening the lockbox, the discover a letter and the Occhio del Gatto (Eye of the Cat).  This gem was supposedly sunk with the Andrea Doria.  The one person who may have answers is Gustavo Campana.  He was on board the Andrea Doria.  When the group goes to visit Gus, they discover him unconscious in his apartment.  Gus was poisoned and Clare sees someone fleeing the scene.  Someone is after the diamond.  Clare wants to find out what happened sixty years ago on that ship, but she is also worried about the safety of Mike with a cop killer on the loose in New York.  Will Clare be able to unravel this mystery before the killer strikes again?

Dead Cold Brew is nicely written and full of action.  The novel is packed with characters and activities (I did not tell you everything that occurred in this book).  I found it difficult to keep track of the various people and their plot lines.  The pace of the novel is slow (the book seemed to go on forever).  The author is very descriptive and includes details of drinks, scenery, food items, etc.  Some information is repeated throughout the book.  I give Dead Cold Brew 3 out of 5 stars (it is okay).  I wish the author had picked just one storyline for this book (either the sunken ship along with the gem or the cop killer).  I do, though, like how she ended up tying the events together.  While both mysteries may seem complicated, the solution is simple.  I was able to solve the mysteries early in the book.  The clues might as well have been neon arrows pointing to the perpetrator.  While Dead Cold Brew is the sixteenth book in the series, it is the first book in the series that I have read (I was hoping to discover a new cozy mystery series).  Dead Cold Brew can be read alone (you will be a little confused in the beginning).  The author provides the needed background details on the main characters. While The Coffeehouse Mystery series is not for me, I do recommend The Haunted Bookshop Mystery series.  Cleo Coyle writes the series under the name Alice Kimberly.   

The Avid Reader

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