From Cleo Coyle, the New York Times bestselling author of Dead Cold Brew, comes a delicious new entry in the "fun and gripping" (The Huffington Post) Coffeehouse Mystery series.
A smartphone dating game turns the Village Blend into a hookup hotspot--until a gunshot turns the landmark coffeehouse into a crime scene.
As Village Blend manager Clare Cosi fixes a date for her wedding, her ex-husband is making dates through smartphone swipes. Clare has mixed feelings about these match-ups happening in her coffeehouse. Even her octogenarian employer is selecting suitors by screenshot! But business is booming, and Clare works hard to keep the espresso shots flowing. Then one night, another kind of shot leaves a dead body for her to find.
The corpse is an entrepreneur who used dating apps with reckless abandon--breaking hearts along the way. The NYPD quickly arrests one of the heartbreaker's recent conquests. But the suspect's sister tearfully swears her sibling was framed. Clare not only finds reason to believe it, she fears the real killer will strike again.
Now Clare is "swiping" through suspects in her own shop--with the help of her globetrotting ex-husband, a man who's spent his life hunting for coffee and women. Together they're determined to find justice before another shot rings out.
In Coyle's well-crafted 17th Coffeehouse mystery (after 2017's Dead Cold Brew), the Village Blend, a Greenwich Village coffeehouse, is doing a booming business, thanks to being listed as a great place to meet up with potential dates on a hot new dating app. One evening, a young woman brandishing a gun charges up to the coffeehouse's lounge and threatens the life of a man whom she met through the app. Shots are fired, and the whole incident is captured on at least a dozen phones. Clare Cosi, the Village Blend's manager, later goes to meet her former mother-in-law for a late dinner at a waterfront restaurant, where Clare discovers the body of a regular Village Blend customer floating in the river. Could the two incidents be connected? Coyle (the husband-and-wife team of Alice Alfonsi and Marc Cerasini) serves up some tantalizing descriptions of the scents and flavors of coffee and assorted edibles, as well as musings on the dating scene in the digital age. This entry is sure to delight old fans and garner new ones.
Never leaves you flat
“But you put ubuntu into practice more than anyone I know—outside of the Nguni, anyway.” Esther threw up her hands. “So what does it mean?” “It means humanity,” I said. “More than that . . .” Matt leaned forward. “Ubuntu is a deep-seated belief that humanity is something we owe to one another. How I act toward you is what defines me. Not what I have or what I wear—but how I treat you, how I interact with you.” “In Africa, it’s also about sharing,” I pointed out. “Generosity of spirit and community. An awareness that we’re all interconnected.”
In this, the 17th book in the Coffeehouse Mystery, we find all the regulars with a few new “situations” in the mix. Clare and Mike are engaged; Matt has divorced his second wife and is now living at the Warehouse with his coffee beans. Their daughter Joy, now madly in love with Detective Franco is running a new coffeehouse in DC. And Madame is still Madame, one foot squarely in the past, with other other on the pulse of the future, including “swiping right” on dating apps.
And that’s the basis for this book. Dating apps can make or break venues, bank accounts, and more than hearts as a string of unrelated homicides surrounding the Coffeehouse put Clare and Co smack dab in the middle of drugs, money and revenge, dragging Matt,Joy, Madame and Franco into the wild world of dating in the 21st century.
Told in usual Cleo Coyle style, this series never leaves you flat, and the wonderful recipes keep you coming back for more. Highly Recommended 5/5
[I borrowed this book from our library and chose to review it]