Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Sandie's Corner - Dead Cold Brew by Cleo Coyle

When Sandie Herron first started sending occasional reviews to Lesa's Book Critiques, we called it Sandie's Corner. Then, she switched to reviewing audio books for "Have You Heard?". Today, she has a book review for us, last year's Coffeehouse Mystery, Dead Cold Brew by Cleo Coyle, now out in paperback. Thank you, Sandie.

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!


Kay said...

I love this series! And it's been a while since I read one. I agree that you could pick up wherever and still know what you're about. They do tell enough. Glad you enjoyed this. Looking forward to the new one. Maybe one day I'll catch up with the ones I've missed, but if not, it's all good. :-)

And thanks for doing your reviews, audio and print, Sandie!

Cleo Coyle said...

Kay - We're so pleased to know that you are enjoying our Coffeehouse Mysteries. As Sandie mentioned in her very kind review, Dead Cold Brew is the 16th title in our series, and Marc and I are finding that the more entries we write, the more people pose the question of whether they need to read our books in order. From what our fans have told us over the years, they do not. Of course, many readers prefer to start any series with book 1 (in our case On What Grounds). But many of our newer readers tell us they "discovered us" with our most recently published work and have enjoyed going back to the earlier titles, reading them as prequels to learn more about our characters and their back stories. The truth is, as authors, we aren't particular when it comes to which entry in our series a reader picks up first, as long as she or he enjoys it.

Sandie - Thank you again for taking the time to write such a lovely review. We're so pleased to know that you were entertained by our latest Coffeehouse Mystery!

Lesa - Three cheers to you for hosting, and congratulations on the fourteenth anniversary of your wonderful blog.

~ Cleo
“Where coffee and crime are always brewing…”
Cleo Coyle on Twitter
Follow Cleo on Facebook

Anonymous said...

Thank you, Sandie, for this nice review. It reminded me of all the reasons I loved Dead Cold Brew. Cleo, I enjoy both of your mystery series. The Coffeehouse books I began with Once Upon a Grind. Then I went back and started from the beginning. The Haunted Bookshop Mysteries I began with the first book. Thank you for writing such wonderful stories!


Lesa said...

Definitely my pleasure, Cleo. You're welcome!

Sandie Herron said...

Thanks to all for reading my reviews. It’s almost always a pleasure to bring you word of a new book or bring light to an already released.title. There are many choices to be made when deciding what to read next. I’m glad to offer my opinion on a few of those choices.

Janet said...

I enjoyed this review, thank you! I started reading the Coffeehouse Mysteries with Latte Trouble because I loved the title. I ended up loving the book too. Then I went back to read Cleo's earlier books. They were such good reads that I continued forward. All caught up now and cannot wait for Cleo’s next one!