Thursday, December 05, 2013

Billionaire Blend by Cleo Coyle

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.


18 comments:

SandyG265 said...

I'm looking forward to reading this.

Lesa said...

You should, Sandy. It's fun.

Karen B said...

Love this series! I haven't read them all but am trying to catch up!

Libby Dodd said...

I've started this one. It is amazing the information author's have! The research is quite impressive.
I heartily agree:"Cleo Coyle is as skillful in blending issues with mystery as Clare Cosi is at blending coffee." And both produce tasty products!

Cleo Coyle said...

Lesa - Marc and I very much enjoyed your thoughtful review of Billionaire Blend. You were truly spot-on with the issues--especially the very different goals of Matt Allegro vs. Eric Thorner in creating the world's most expensive coffee blend. That dichotomy is what we see in the broader coffee world, too. Developing world coffee farmers are living a very different life than the First World consumers who drink their product. We did our best to give this a light touch, of course, as this is a work of light amateur sleuth fiction, but we wanted to introduce some insights on the topic to a general audience, and we’re gratified to see you picked up on this. We’re also pleased that you saw how we wanted to tap into the concerns so many of us have about what the cyber world is doing to the real one. That topic, of course, will be evolving in our lifetimes, and it will be interesting to watch where it eventually leads us all.

Our thanks to you for another great review that gives so much food-for-thought to readers...

~ Cleo Coyle
aka Alice Alfonsi, who writes The Coffeehouse Mysteries
in collaboration with her husband, Marc Cerasini

TFJ said...

Thanks for this review, Lesa, introducing an author new to me and one that revolves around coffee. Looking forward to this book in particular and catching up with the series in general.

~Tricia

Lesa said...

Thank you, Cleo. And, thanks to all the readers who jumped on to express their interest in this book or the series. I don't think you'll be disappointed.

Liz said...

Fun series.

Lesa said...

Yes, it is, Liz.

ceblain said...

Just wanted to comment on how much I have loved every single book in Cleo's Coffeehouse Mystery series and how each one keeps getting better and better. That is hard to believe as they are all so wonderfully written and I always find a message in them which I am sure others do as well. The background information is fantastic and I love a book where I can learn something each time I read and these books in this series are perfect for gaining more knowledge about the coffee world and many other facts as well. I just feel that when I write reviews for books this superior that Amazon would have a rating system allowing MORE than a five star as these books deserve that. Back to my book now....

Cynthia

Lesa said...

Thanks for the terrific comment, Cynthia! That's what sets these books apart from so many others - the meaty material.

Melissa @ My Recent Favorite Books said...

I really enjoy this series! I have a few to catch up on, and would love to read this one! =)

Thanks for the review and chance to win!

Linda Rima said...

One of the few series of my favorite authors that I'm up-to-date on. So I'm ready for Billionaire Blend! Thanks for the review and giveaway chance. Happy Holidays!

Lesa said...

You're welcome, Melissa, and good luck!

Lesa said...

Happy Holidays, Linda! You're welcome. Good luck!

Karen C said...

Impressive review, Lesa. I'm very intrigued and now must find a way to squeeze this into my dwindling pleasure reading time!

Nan said...

I am a big fan of this series. Each book teaches me something new, depending on where most of the action takes place or what event is being focused on. I love the writing and the characters. This year I set up a reading schedule so that I'd get to Holiday Buzz now, but I am way behind. Ah, well, hopefully next year.

Brendon Wayne said...

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