Philosophy is defined as a theory underlying or regarding a sphere of activity or thought. Well, my theory is if I can add at least 10 new books to my Wishlist and move at least 5 older Wishlist selections to my TBR list every month, then life is a ice cream sundae. And if I can find those 10 books from at least 5 new blogs each month then that's the cherry on top.


Well, I've made it almost 5 years now, so for better or worse, I continue on. I tend to blog in spurts as the urge to be creative erupts. As I don't have an artistic bone in my body, you will see very few changes in the layouts. Hey, I'm a reader not an artist like so many of the awesome bloggers I follow. I know you don't always have the time but if you stopped and looked, take a half a minute and say your piece. Recommend a book that you have enjoyed or hated for that matter. Thank you to all who visit.
Oh, and I moved my Google Friend Connect info and share this buttons to the top, as without our friends, who are we?

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Series of the Week--Coffeehouse Mystery Novels

I love to read series. While I love them, I hate the wait between books so often find myself with as many as a half dozen books on my hands before starting a series. When this happens I will treat myself to a series marathon and read nonstop, for days, even weeks sometimes. How about you? How do you feel about series and what is your favorite? Over the next couple of months, I'm going to share some of my favorites with you.

Cleo Coyle launched her Coffeehouse Mystery series in September 2003 with On What Grounds. It is now in its 15th printing.

There are currently 8 books in Cleo's nationally bestselling series with the 9th, Roast Mortemjust released in hardcover from Penguin's Berkley Prime Crime imprint. And the 8th Holiday Grind, now available in paperback format.
Scroll down to read  more about each of the books in this series of culinary mysteries set in a landmark Greenwich Village coffeehouse.  

The Coffeehouse
Mystery Novels
in order...

 Book #1
On What Grounds

"The perfect cup of coffee is a mystifying thing. To many of my customers, the entire process seems like some sort of alchemy they dare not try at home...."
Ten years ago, Clare Cosi left an unhappy marriage along with a job she loved: managing the historic Village Blend coffeehouse in New York’s Greenwich Village. For a decade, she was happy raising her daughter in the quiet suburbs of New Jersey; but now that Joy is grown and gone, life has gotten way too quiet for Clare.
     With a little cajoling from Madame, the Blend’s flamboyant, elderly owner (not to mention a persuasive pot of Jamaica Blue Mountain), Clare agrees to return to her old job—and right from the start she gets one heck of a jolt.
     On her first morning back as Village Blend manager, Clare unlocks the front door to find her beautiful, young assistant manager, Anabelle Hart, unconscious in the back of the store, coffee grounds strewn everywhere.
     As Anabelle is rushed to the hospital, police arrive to investigate, but Detective Mike Quinn finds no sign of forced entry or foul play, and he deems it an accident. Clare disagrees; and after Quinn leaves, there are a few questions she just can’t get out of her mind, like why was the trash bin in the wrong place? If this wasn’t an accident, are her other baristas in danger? And are all NYPD detectives this attractive?

Book #2

Through the Grinder

 "She had to die. The Genius knew this and was absolutely fine with it. The problem, of course, was how...."

Clare’s new life in the city is percolating right along, with her grown daughter, Joy, close by in culinary school; and her ex-husband, Matt, working even closer as the Blend’s coffee buyer. Even better, their newest loyal customer is Mike Quinn, the NYPD detective who helped Clare solve the murder of assistant manager Anabelle.
     Turns out Detective Quinn likes Clare’s lattes as much as hearing her opinions about his current cases, including his latest one: a suicide. Or was it? Soon after stopping at the Village Blend coffeehouse, a regular customer jumps to her death in the subway. Or was she pushed?
     Detective Quinn is convinced that someone has an axe to grind, especially after the “suicide” of a second female customer. Unfortunately, his prime suspect is Bruce Bowman, the new man in Clare’s life. Bruce is the perfect blend of rugged good looks and potent personality. Too bad the women in his life keep turning up dead. Now Clare will have to risk her heart—and her life—to follow the killer’s trail to the bitter end.

Book #3

                      Latte Trouble

" 'Men are pigs. They should die!' Tucker Burton's words were audible over the steam wand's hiss...It wasn't that I disagreed with Tucker about men. When they acted like pigs, I wanted blood too, so to speak...."

The barista meets the fashionista! For years, fashion designer Lottie Harmon was the toast of New York’s fashion industry until something happened that made her close up shop and leave the city. Now she’s back, making a splash with an ingenious new collection of coffee-inspired accessories. Because Lottie was always a loyal customer of the Village Blend, she chooses Clare’s coffeehouse as the stage for fall Fashion Week insiders to view her new line of “Java Jewelry.” During the launch party, however, Blend barista Tucker Burton unwittingly serves a poisoned latte to one of Lottie’s guests. Chaos ensues as paramedics rush in, and the police arrest Tucker.
     Clare is certain her barista is innocent, and she suspects the real target may have been Lottie herself. Now Clare must protect her thriving business from negative publicity, Lottie from any further danger, and Tucker from murder charges—even if it means jolting the fashion world with some shocking secrets.

Book #4

Murder Most Frothy

"Hours before I found the body, one of Detective Mike Quinn's pithy comments came back to haunt me: 'You know, Clare, it's a little known principle of physics that a great deal of money can create a completely separate universe....'"

 Clare Cosi's new friend, millionaire entrepreneur David Mintzer, makes her an offer no New York barista could turn down: an all-expense-paid summer away form the sticky city.
     At David’s oceanfront mansion, Clare plans to relax, soak up the sun, and (oh, yes) train the staff at David’s new East Hampton restaurant, Cuppa J, in the high rituals of proper coffee service. Packing up her daughter, her former mother-in-law, and her special recipe for frothy coffee frappes, Clare expects to have a de-latte-ful summer. But her carefree vacation grinds to a halt when an employee turns up dead in David’s bathroom.
     Because of the Fourth of July fireworks, no one heard any gunshots. That doesn’t worry Clare. She’s just starting to investigate, and the disturbing facts she uncovers are going to keep her up at night—even without caffeine.

Book #5

Decaffeinated Corpse


"In 1862 New York instituted its first gun control law, banning rifles to discourage hunting within the city limits. Nearly one hundred and fifty years later, at least one hunter failed to be discouraged...."
 At the Village Blend, Clare Cosi’s best baristas may refer to a decaffeinated espresso as a “why bother?”, but Clare knows a good percentage of her customers prefer the neutered brew. So when Ric Gostwick, a charismatically handsome Brazilian, develops the world’s first botanically decaffeinated coffee plant, Clare can see why Matt (her ex-husband and business partner) gets into bed with the deal.

     Unfortunately, Ric is also getting into bed with more than one woman. And when an attempted murder happens right outside the Blend’s back door, Clare suspects more than Ric’s revolutionary new plant has its roots in some dirt.
As she begins to investigate Ric’s background and business connections, a trail of clues leads to a pile up of casualties and an international roster of suspects. Now Clare knows she’s got to find the murderer before one of her near and dears takes a fall. Otherwise, her latest addition to the Village Blend menu will prove to be a real buzz killer.
  Book #6

                                   French Pressed

 “'Ugh,' I murmured. 'This coffee is absolute poison...'
     No, the lukewarm ebony liquid sloshing around my bone china cup wasn’t actually lethal, just bitter, old, and lifeless—the kind of adjectives I would have been mortified to hear uttered about my coffee, God forbid my person..."

Clare Cosi's daughter, Joy—a girl who doesn't always make the *best* decisions—is finishing up her culinary studies with an internship at Solange, one of New York City's hottest French restaurants. She's also getting way too intimate with her boss, the older, married Executive Chef Tommy Keitel.
     Clare's not buzzed about the relationship (to put it mildly), but what twenty-something takes romantic advice from her mother? Resolving to keep a closer eye on Joy, Clare makes a deal to micro-roast and French press exclusive coffee blends for Tommy, a man she wouldn't mind seeing roasted and pressed himself! Then the competitive kitchen turns cutthroat, and the NYPD marks Joy as a murder suspect. To clear her daughter of the crime, Clare knows she must catch thereal killer...even if it lands her in the hottest water of her life. 

Mystery #7
 As manager and head barista of the landmark Greenwich Village coffeehouse The Village Blend, Clare Cosi doesn’t get steamed up about much. But ever since her ex-husband started planning his second wedding, she’s been making some vows of her own...
 Clare’s been hired to create a gourmet coffee and dessert bar for a New York wedding to be held at the world-renowned Metropolitan Museum of Art. Famous chefs will be there, celebrities, members of the press, well-known politicians—so why isn’t she thrilled to have this chance to shine? Because the person tying the knot is Matteo Allegro, her ex-husband and current business partner. And while Clare has no designs on
ever marrying Matt again, she’s afraid he’s making a terrible mistake.
 The bride-to-be is Trend magazine editor Breanne Summour. Beautiful, wealthy, and sophisticated, the snarky tastemaker has never been a low maintenance kind of gal, and now she’s in full-blown bridezilla mode. The only way Clare can possibly deal with her is to put her misgivings aside and focus on business. But as a successful amateur sleuth, murder is Clare’s business, too, and when fatal accidents begin befalling people close to Breanne, Clare becomes suspicious. Is someone trying to sabotage this wedding? Even kill Breanne?
Between persuading a sexy Italian sculptor into lending her a one-of-a-kind fountain and roasting some of the rarest coffee beans on earth, Clare starts to investigate. But what she unveils, amid melted chocolate and steaming mochaccinos, may just get her burned....

Mystery #8

 There’s nothing cozier than a winter evening in Greenwich Village. Streetlights shimmer through icy flakes. Cafés glow with welcoming warmth. Boots crunch along cobblestones, and a layer of snow dusts historic townhouses like powdered sugar on holiday confections. Murder has no place in such a pretty picture, until now...

 Coffeehouse manager Clare Cosi has grown very fond of Alfred Glockner, the part-time comic and genuinely jolly charity Santa who’s been using her Village Blend as a place to warm his mittens. When she finds him brutally gunned down in a nearby alley, a few subtle clues convince her that Alfred’s death was something more than the tragic result of a random mugging—the conclusion of the police.

 With Clare’s boyfriend, NYPD Detective Mike Quinn, distracted by a cold case of his own, and ex-husband Matt investigating this year’s holiday lingerie catalogs (an annual event), Clare charges ahead solo and discovers Santa had a list that he was checking twice—and the folks on it were notvery nice. Then someone tries to ice Clare, and she really gets steamed.

Between baking delicious holiday goodies and fending off the attentions of a persistent professional elf, Clare sets out to solve Santa’s slaying. But she'd better watch out, because if she fails to stop this stone cold killer, she may just get the biggest chill of her life.

 Just Released!
 Coffeehouse Mystery #9

The nationally bestselling
author brews up a 
HOT new mystery...
lare Cosi, manager and head barista of
the landmark Village Blend coffeehouse, has
perfected the pulling of steaming hot espressos.
But can she keep New York’s Bravest
from getting burned?
Arson leads to murder when Clare investigates
the torching of an elderly friend's cafe.
Soon she's facing off with a hardheaded FDNY
fire captain, who insists that none of his men
aided this firebug in his or her crime.
Clare isn't so sure. As she doggedly digs for the truth, firefighters begin to die in suspicious ways
and soon someone is threatening
to extinguish 

Roast Mortem
Teaser Excerpt...

First came the sound, a monumental whoosh followed by a hissing roar. The white-hot concussion rippled through the air, the caffè’s front window exploded outward, and the blast washed over me.
     My eyes had been at keyhole level while I worked that stupid, stubborn lock, and the force of the firebomb knocked me right through the doorway.
     Sprawled on my back on the debris-strewn sidewalk, I turned my head, stared at the carpet of glass shards. Blood was pumping through my system so fast I could barely recognize voices yelling, a car horn beeping.
      I was unhurt. Small scratches maybe, a few bruises, a little bleeding—big deal—I was okay otherwise and I focused on throwing off the shock.
     Wheezing and coughing, I got back on my feet. Smoke rolled out of the caffè, the noxious fog billow ing upward in a succession of black, misshapen balloons. I scanned the sidewalk for my beer-filled barista.
     “Dante!” I shouted, rushing to the caffè entrance. “Dante!”
     Flames painted the caffè’s walls, spilling their colors onto its tables. The searing light in the urban night would have been beautiful if it weren’t so deadly.
      “Dante! Answer me!”
      Smoke stung my eyes. I gritted my teeth, swiped at my cheeks, peered harder into the chaos.
      Up front, the heavy marble espresso bar counter appeared undamaged. But in the rear of the shop, the embroidered fabric that had masked the utility room was a raging curtain of flame.
      Finally I spotted him—or, rather, his big, black Diesel boots—sticking out amid a cluster of overturned tables.
      Taking a deep breath (and praying to God it wouldn’t be my last), I went in....

1 comment:

Adam said...

I just recently gave away the first 3 books in this series, during a "Literary Giveaway Hop" (Murder-Mystery was one of 5 prize packs I offered). I shipped it with a pound of Mahogany Coffee and a big ol' bar of gourmet chocolate. And the more I think about it, the more I wish I would have kept it all for myself! ;) This is a great series - I love that the books include recipes for drinks and treats, and I hope to go to her actual coffee shop someday.