Title: Espresso Shot
Author: Cleo Coyle (Alice Alfonsi w/ husband Marc Cerasini) — Also writes as Alice Kimberly (of the Haunted Bookstore Mystery series)
Publisher: Berkley Prime Crime
Copyright Date: 2008
Print Date: October 2008
Pages: 321 + Recipes and Coffee Tips
Series: 7th book in the Coffeehouse Mystery series
Book Description (from dust jacket):
As manager and head barista of the bustling New York 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 at 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 plan to ever marry 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 sabatoge the wedding? To 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...
Includes recipes and coffee-making tips!
I enjoy this series (I have some odd fondness for cozy mysteries that have beverages I don't like or drink as themes. Coffee, Tea, Wine... I can't explain it.) This particular book is more centered around Clare's personal life than her coffeeshop, despite the emphasis the dust jacket's blurb places on what a great business opportunity working for Matt and Breanne's wedding is. It does place some closure on one aspect of Clare's life and allows the series to move forward overall.
One thing that I can't believe is realistic at all, though I understand the purpose it serves for the story, is how much Mike Quinn encourages Clare to become involved in police business. Cozies often have cops in supporting roles to act as a source of information and such to the amateur sleuth, but I don't often see it taken to the point of encouraging other cops to give information so they can get the sleuth's ideas. Normally, the sleuth is butting-in with their theories or pressuring the police for information. Not that Clare didn't do her share of pushing in some cases (mostly when Mike isn't around), or that this made the story any less enjoyable — it didn't. I just found it interesting.
Anyway, I'm looking forward to getting ahold of Holiday Grind, the next in the series. I'm third in line through the library and 37th through paperbackswap, so I have a feeling I won't get it until just after the holidays. ::sigh::