A Brew To A Kill – a Cleo Coyle coffeehouse mystery

A Brew To A Kill by Cleo Coyle:  If you’re searching for a good latte and a cozy little murder to go with it – look no further!  Cleo Coyle and her collaborator hubby have given us the stellar “Coffeehouse Mystery Series.”

It all started with book #1, On What Grounds and now continues all the way through book #16, the newest being Dead Cold Brew.   While each book easily stands on its own, if you’ve never read any of the Coffeehouse Series, you may want to go back to some of the earlier books just to see how all the characters progress as they forge their way through “life” AND mayhem and murder.

The titles alone are a riot – Latte Trouble, Decaffeinated Corpse, Murder by Mocha, Dead To The Last Drop — I find myself laughing every time a new title is released!  Today, I’m reviewing one of my personal favorites, A Brew To A Kill.

The shining star of these books is Greenwich Village coffeehouse manager Clare Cosi.   She’s smart and sassy and knows how to run her coffee house, the Village Blend.  Her ex-mother-in-law helped make the Village Blend a reality.  Her ex-husband, Matt, personally scours the world for the best coffee beans to be found.  Her current beau, Mike, is a hotshot NYPD detective.

In A Brew To A Kill, Matt, Mike and Clare are more intertwined than Jack Tripper in Three’s Company.  Their 3-way relationship makes this book even more fun and interesting to see who’s on first (and it’s not Abbott or Costello) when they are forced to work hand-in-hand to solve a vicious crime.  It starts off when entrepreneur Clare decides to get a leg up on the coffee competition by launching her own coffee truck.  When one of her valued employees becomes an intended hit and run victim, Clare springs into action along with a cavalcade of characters so colorful, you’ll want to hang out at the coffeehouse with them!

This book has it all– international intrigue (Brazilian crack smuggling) and Clare’s ongoing romance with Mike (while keeping her ex “at bay”) are tossed together with federal agents and a drug kingpin for a mix of danger and suspense.  This “whodunit” will keep you guessing, and I love the “feel good” ending.

Cleo’s characters flow from book to book – their individual personalities all shine through each and every time.  I love the history sewn into her books and I can only imagine the countless hours she spent making sure every fact and detail was worthy of her series.  Whether its facts about New York or facts when it comes down to coffee – these are added bonuses.   And speaking of added bonuses, she’s included recipes for coffee cake, muffins, quiches, etc. in the back of her book.

All you cozy mystery lovers and coffee fans — put on a pot of your favorite coffee, grab some yummy pastries, and curl up with one of Cleo’s caffeinated books.