Cleo Coyle always manages to blend topical issues with coffee, recipes, and murder in he Coffeehouse mysteries. In Billionaire Blend, the highly competitive technology and Internet world explodes into Clare Cosi's The Village Blend coffeehouse leaving her to juggle business, a murder investigation, and a rocky relationship.
When the mysterious "Quiz Master" shows up at The Village Blend, Clare's ex-husband Matt Allegro is the only one who recognizes him. But a car bomb blows up the man's limo, knocking out windows and leaving him bleeding in Clare's arms. It's only after she saves his life that she learns he's Eric Thorner, a billionaire who made his money as a tech whiz, developing apps and games. Before he's even recovered, Eric draws Clare into his world of battling billionaires, an elite, dangerous world. But, he offers Clare and Matt an opportunity they find irresistible, the chance to jet around the world to put together a blend of coffee for the wealthiest people in the world. While Matt wants to help the people in poor countries who are growing and harvesting coffee beans, Clare is hoping to get close enough to find the person responsible for almost destroying her beloved coffeehouse, and endangering her staff. To do that, she'll have to find her way into Eric's world.
NYPD detective Mike Quinn isn't happy with Clare's interest in the bombing, but he isn't close enough to help her. Quinn's special assignment in Washington, D.C. has caused a few issues in their relationship. While Clare struggles to maintain a long distance relationship, her daughter, Joy, is going through the same problems with a long distance relationship with another cop. And, a billionaire enticing both mother and daughter doesn't help the suspicions.
I've often said Cleo Coyle's books are not cozy mysteries despite the food and coffee. Billionaire Blend deals with issues of third world economies, rivalries in the tech world, and threatening activists. Cleo Coyle is as skillful in blending issues with mystery as Clare Cosi is at blending coffee. In Clare's case, the customers benefit. In Cleo Coyle's case, readers are the beneficiaries of a mix of mystery, money, and menus.
And, in this case, one reader will receive an autographed copy of Billionaire Blend. Email me at Lesa.Holstine@gmail.com. Your subject heading should read "Win Billionaire Blend." Please include your name and mailing address. Cleo Coyle will send a personally inscribed copy of the book to the lucky winner. This giveaway will end Thursday, Dec. 12 at 6 p.m. CT.
Readers can visit the virtual Village Blend coffeehouse at coffeehousemystery.com, where there are also recipes and coffee picks. Or contact her at Facebook.com/CleoCoyle or Twitter.com/cleocoyle.
Billionaire Blend by Cleo Coyle. Berkley Prime Crime. 2013. ISBN 9780425252918 (hardcover), 386p.