There's trouble brewing at the Village Blend. Business is booming--but Clare's customers are starting to die. Soon after stopping at the coffeehouse, a regular 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 another 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 risk her heart--and her life--to follow the killer's trail to the bitter end…
©2004 The Berkley Publishing Group. All rights reserved. (P)2011 AudioGO
This husband and wife team definitely writes one of the best cozy series going. The mystery is exciting and I learn more and more about coffee and New York with each continuing book. My favorite type of cozy! This is the second in the series and unlike some cozies, there is nothing repetitive or unnecessary within the story line.
There is someone calling themselves "The Genius" pushing women to their deaths, making it look like a suicide. Meanwhile, back at The Village Blend coffee shop, finding interesting and deserving men to date becomes a topic in the shop. Clare, store manager and divorced from the store's owner's son, Matteo, is trying to monitor her grown daughter's dating choices. In doing so, the store hosts a social gathering where men and women can meet and match themselves with potential dates. While checking out men for her daughter, Clare meets her own "Mr Right", but her policeman friend warns her that this man is a suspect in these recent murders. Clare believes he's not the murderer and sets out with Matteo to find the real murderer.
Suspense builds as we read the inner thoughts of "The Genius". Clare's relations continue with her divorced husband, cooking school student daughter, and meddling mother-in-law which is a fun story in itself. Clues point to a variety of people, with a shocking surprise in the end. Definitely will continue with this fun series!
I like these coffee house mysteries because they are usually like a quick fix with the bonus of a few coffee tips. This particular episode of the series was not one of the better ones. There were too many murders and too much going on. Narration kept switching between Claire and the killer. The killer wasn't the least bit interesting and the murders were stupid. Claire's involvement in the murders felt forced and I really felt myself not caring. And normally Rebecca Gibel does a pretty good job as reader. But this book had so many characters, her voice changing attempts started to get on my nerves.
I will probably listen to more Cleo Coyle mysteries, but I will probably skim through the hard copies first just to see how many murders are involved.
It took me a while to read the first book in this series. I had to put it down after the first few chapters. But when I came back to it months later I was able to finish it. Now a couple of years later I gave the second book a try. I won't buy the third. This book is too wordy. Cleo spends too much time describing the scenery and enough on the mystery. The lead character Claire, is annoying. The idea of joining a dating service to screen men for her daughter is ridiculous. She needs to get a life and let her have her own. Claire then goes on to find an attractive man who may or not be a murderer but that doesn't stop her from going out with him. She then proceeds to interrogate him and search his house. If she thought the man was dangerous why go to his house? If she didn't think he was dangerous why interrogate him and search his place? Also, why did he allow himself to be interrogated? That entire scene was unrealistic. Speaking of unrealistic, I can go on and on about the relationship with her ex husband. But I won't because that would be a bit like Cleo Coyle and her descriptions of New York. Needless to say that the ex husband adds unnecessary drama and silliness. The characters in this story are flat and I can't find a reason to care about what happens to them. This series is not for me and I won't be buying anymore of it.
I would and I have loaned my copies to friends and finally gave the entire hardback collection to my local library. I have read most of these in paper version so it is nice to see that Audible is finally beginning to carry some of this type of light reading. Coyle's coffee house series follows a standard format but she always makes me laugh and I have learned a lot about coffee. If you have to have a book that you want to analyze and rip apart for style, deep story content and technical correctness then please do not bother to select this book. But if you want a light enjoyable listen while you relax, knit, sew, garden, etc. pick one up Coyle's coffee house books sit back and enjoy.
Now, Audible, how about the Tea Shop Mysteries by Laura Childs? Drayton is a hoot and all the characters would be a wonderful challenge to a narrator.
She's really great at creating a believable character!
To me, the story wasn't as strong as the first in the series. However, it's still a good, easy listen and I'm looking forward to the next book.
I really enjoyed all the descriptions of the city. And of course as a coffee lover I like hearing the tidbits on how to make the perfect cup of Joe. At the heart of this installment is Claire's desire to protect her adult daughter, the way that love continues to link her to her ex-husband Matteo, and the delicate balancing act she must have between maintaining a civil relationship with her ex for her daughter's sake and finding a new romantic relationship for herself. The story centers around online/speed dating and its most negative and dangerous aspects. Personally, I enjoyed this book just as much as I enjoyed the previous one. To me, the thing that's different about this series is that the books don't have the same cliff-hangers at the end that most series do. I like that you can listen to one or two books and come back to the series at your own leisure without that incessant wondering about what's going to happen next. I don't know if this series is right for everyone. But if you enjoy murder mysteries, coffee houses, and can relate to the happiness that comes from making something delicious in the kitchen, this book (and series) might be just the right mix for you.
I cannot make up my mind about this series. This book toned down the coffee-adoration a bit from the first installment - a great improvement.
There were also too many murders to follow in so short a book, I lost track of the names. I also figured out who-dun-it midway through the story. And, there was a decided lack of excitement or suspense.
The character development was good though. The hero has 3 love interests, and I keep being tossed around in each of the 3 camps. I liked all 4 of the main characters. It also was nice to have a modern mystery, with current lingo and technology.
I definitely did NOT like the ending! The author took a huge chance with this one! I was left feeling empty rather than "the murderer is caught and all is right with the world".
The narration was superb.
There was enough good that I'll give it one more book to see if it gets any better. I'm not sure I'd recommend the series yet though.
the author went too dark on the murder mystery.
I REALLY enjoyed the first book and I expected the same formula, but she went too dark by going deep into murder culture, explicit details, art exhibits that feature murder scenes, and talking about John Wayne Gacy and clown paintings. It went beyond the basic, ok someone was murdered, now let's find out who did it. I became increasingly anxious and deleted the book.
I don't know if I can finish this book, I am only 2 hours in and it's terrible. I have never read or listened to such stupidity.
Not written it. Gave me my credits back. What a waste. Learned that 90% of the women in the world aren't letting their crotches rule.
Excellent narration wasted on a poor story
Disgust in the females for acting like hormone challenged teenagers
I don't know what's worse - how Claire discusses coffee info at all the wrong moments or how there were too many things going on for me to care about. Claire's passion for properly made coffee is more like preaching, and some of the themes in this book were just weird instead of edgy. Save your credit. I couldn't get but two-thirds of the way through it before I gave up.
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