Dead Cold Brew
By Cleo Coyle (Alice Alfonsi & Marc Cerasini)
Berkley; Paperback reprint edition (March 6, 2018)
“Friendship has no legal status.” Clare Cosi didn’t know what significance that statement would have when her boyfriend, New York City Detective Mike Quinn, pushed her back into the shadows of The Village Blend, the coffee shop Clare co-managed. A sniper was taking shots at New York’s finest including Mike and his squad. When one member of the squad was hit, Clare and Mike went to the hospital after the paramedics, and the nurse would talk to Mike as commanding officer, but she would tell Clare nothing since she was “just a friend.”
Clare’s ex-husband Matt Allegro, also co-manager of The Village Blend, brought Clare a newspaper about all the recent cop shootings as well as news of a special opportunity. Clare had recently created an exquisite coffee blend with the many kinds of coffee that Matt scouted around the globe. Available on a limited basis, the Billionaire’s Blend held just the qualities the owners of the newly replicated Andrea Doria were seeking. An exclusive blend was needed for her maiden voyage; could Clare do it?
While the cop shootings remain unsolved, Clare enticed Mike to an evening of sheer delight after a 36-hour shift. She began to ask him to propose again while Mike began to break things off for a while to help her worry less. She professed that she would only worry more. What will they do now?
In researching the possible Andrea Doria coffee blend, Clare went straight to a good source: Matt’s Italian godfather, Gus Campana, who was on the ship when it sank. In today’s world Gus is a world-famous jeweler running his family business in the Diamond District of New York City. It seemed odd that shortly after that visit, Matt received a summons to meet an attorney in the massive complex of vaults embedded in Manhattan’s bedrock underneath the Diamond District. The summons was issued on behalf of Gus Campana and Silvio Allegro, Matt’s godfather and father. What could they have had in common that would bring this attorney, Matt, and Gus’ daughter Sophia together sixty years later in a tiny room of private safe-deposit boxes guarded by Lyons Global Security guards?
If you want to answer these questions and more, enjoy this 16th entry in the coffeehouse mystery series by Cleo Coyle, real-life husband and wife team Alice Alfonsi and Marc Cerasini. I asked them the oft-asked question about a series – “Do I need to read them in order?” Their answer is no. They told me what this means to them: “When we sit down to write a new Coffeehouse Mystery, we do our best to provide enough background on the characters and storylines to give longtime readers a quick refresher and new readers the chance to enjoy our work without feeling lost … anyone can feel comfortable picking up each book as standalone reads.” I believe they do a beautiful job of this by writing an intriguing mystery with charming characters in a city large enough to house any number of stories. I think this series has longevity because the authors make each entry a self-contained story but leave the long-term relationships flowing from book to book. Each book carries a different theme while they all engage in a bit of social satire and have a biting sense of humor.
We even get a clue what is coming up since for the first time, the paperback release of DEAD COLD BREW includes a bonus teaser of the first chapter from the 17th in the series – SHOT IN THE DARK due out April 17, 2018. All I’m going to say is don’t miss it!