I enjoyed the story. I learned a lot about coffe and craved it all the time while I listened to this book. I did not like the introduction of the ex h..Show More »usband into the plot. That just felt awkward. But I loved all the rest. Rebecca Gibel did a nice job narrating. She wasn't the greatest at male voices, but I guess that's hard to pull off when you're a woman. I do think it's a mistake narrators typically make. Women try to over-narrate men (by making them sound kind of dumb) and men try to use high pitched voices that make female characters sound like cartoons. It wasn't the worst male-voice impression I've ever heard. In fact, Gibell is one of the better narrators.
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 seri..Show More »es 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.
entertaining and clean. I could listen to this with my teenage kids in the car. I know a lot of people were complaining about the amount of time she s..Show More »pends describing coffee, but I enjoyed that and I am not really a coffee drinker.
I wasn't expecting this series to pan out into something I could enjoy. But, I'm happily mistaken.
There were parts of the book that didn't ..Show More »make a lot of sense to me.. for instance, why would this female just hop right in and start right in investigating before the police? That wasn't answered for me.
Other than those few questions though, the book was a delightful cozy who-dun-it. The mystery was great and the writing is maturing nicely.
I've really enjoyed the narrator in this series. She does a superb job on the voices and makes the characters come alive.
Yes, I can wholeheartedly recommend this book and can honestly say I look forward to listening to the rest of the series now!
I have to say that the author is really coming into her own. Still a few weird things that I couldn't understand why she did, but it didn't really i..Show More »nterfere with my enjoyment of the book.. except I kept wanting it to be explained!
The mystery was excellent. I didn't figure it out until the author wanted me to do so. I enjoyed the characters much more and thoroughly laughed and smiled when Madame and Clare start investigating together.
You can tell the author is very proud of her New York areas. The descriptions get a little long winded, but doesn't really detract from the story.
I have read/listened to every other book in this series. Weirdly, I avoided this one. Why? Because it focused on Claire's daughter, Joy, who always ca..Show More »me across to me as the most selfish, whiny, know-it-all brat without a lick of common sense. Shame on me for judging so harshly and waiting so long to read the best book in the coffeehouse series. Okay, yeah, Joy still didn't have a lick of sense. If she'd just go home at a respectable hour instead of gallivanting across Manhattan in the middle of the night, she wouldn't have found herself in so much trouble.
That said, her ordeal was nevertheless heartbreaking. Maybe it's because I'm a mom, but the thought of that young girl sitting in Rikers Island for days due to nothing but her own naivety was unbearable. I was cheering on Claire who busted through a bunch of cops in her quest to protect her child, and when she drove all over the city interrogating suspects, putting herself at risk just to find out the truth.
Lately, all of Cleo Coyle's coffeehouse mysteries start out with an annoying internal monologue of "the killer." It's gotten to where we have to suffer through these killer scenes throughout the whole book, which to me ruins the flow of the story. I don't want to know what the killer is thinking. I just want to guess who it is. French Pressed, I am happy to say, does not force those annoying scenes upon us. There's a quick killer scene in the beginning, but it's not the paranormal-psycho-theme-music type of scene we have to endure in some of the other coffeehouse books. Coyle even gave us a few good suspects to ponder over. The whole thing was well done with just enough of this and that.
Now for the grand praise. Rebecca Gibel outdid herself. Wow, her performance was worth an award. Throughout the book, Gibel had to switch from character to character, perfecting an impossible number of accents and dialects. She smoothly transitioned from Claire's nondescript talking voice to Esther Best's Brooklyn twang, jumped into a flawless rap song using a Russian accent, back to Brooklyn twang, then spoke fluent Russian, French, Old Lady, and Cop in a single chapter. What the heck? Who does that? Give this woman a medal! I was completely lost in her performance to the point that I forgot that it was the same person narrating the whole time. Very impressive.
I'm looking forward to the newest installment due to be released in the next few days. I hope the new one lives up to Book 6. It'll be a hard one to follow.
Claire Cosi, manager of the iconic Village Blend coffee house, finds herself pulled into another murder investigation after finding her friend, and tr..Show More »aveling Santa, shot dead in a nearby alley. Worried the police are going to chalk it up as a random mugging gone wrong, Claire refuses to let her friend's murderer get away.
Rebecca Gibel's performance is crisp and delightful.
I've read and listened to a lot of the Cleo Coyle Coffee House Mysteries. Love them. It is set in a compolitan background with lots of different acc..Show More »ents: Brooklyn, NJ, English, French, Italian.... Interesting plot and satifying ending.
My first complaint is, why is there a gap between the first "coffee" mystery and this one? Audible, if you are going to offer a series, offer all the ..Show More »books so we don't have to listen to them out of order. I would have liked to listen to the second and third (I think this was the fourth). Somehow between the first and the fourth, Clair hooked up with the cop from book one. And her daughter was in college and all of a sudden, she's in paris. So I feel cheated. That's not the author's fault, of course, and not the reason I only gave the book a 3. I still enjoyed the general atmosphere, but the story this time around was unfocused. There were way too many characters and too many crimes going on. Too many suspects, all of who were very weird but not likely candidates. I didn't like the way Clair jumped from person to person, accusing everyone of the murder. The scene in the beginning with the mysterious guy in the hotel was beyond my comprehension. It wasn't even plausible. Then you had the ridiculous old woman and the freaky Greek mythology cult. Add to that the ex mother in law / coffee shop owner who gets more and more untrustworthy, along with the extremely awkward love scenes with the cop, and the fact that no one remembered anything. It was all just too much for me. I still want to listen to the others, but this one wasn't the greatest.
Let me start by saying that I am a big fan of the coffeehouse mystery series. Despite this less-than-stellar review, I will still buy the next one. A ..Show More »Brew to a Kill didn't feel like it was written by Cleo Coyle but instead someone who tried to mimic her formula and over exaggerated. The result was a long, dull, drawn-out novel that I looked forward to ending. The book did have a few redeeming qualities, so let's start with those:
Pros: 1. The mystery was not about a murder. For once, Clare Cosi did not stumble upon yet another dead body. If you are a fan of cozy mysteries, you may have noticed that authors tend to have their protagonists find dead bodies monthly. Eventually, you start to lose that sense of coziness, because the serene environment -- whether a coffee house or New England historic town -- becomes a place of horror and death. You can't have that, so authors have to make sure all of their mysteries are not murders. Kudos to Cleo Coyle for understanding that.
2. There weren't so many mysteries and murders that I couldn't keep up. Cozy mysteries should not be overwhelming or confusing. This one wasn't. Everything tied together nicely.
3. The culprit was discoverable. What I mean by this is that Coyle did not spring an unknown new character on us at the end and say he/she was responsible for everything. Too many mystery writers do this, making it impossible for the reader to sleuth.
4. Rebecca Gibel's narration was once again brilliant. Although Clare's rival cupcake lady was annoying, Gibel's French rendition of "Chocolat...ooh la la...chocolat" had me cracking up every time she spoke the cupcake menu.
Despite the good things, there were too many counteracting bombs.
1. A huge portion of the book contained a history of New York City. Every time someone moved from point A to point B, we were treated to a lovely textbook recitation of each borough of New York, the names of the gangs, the history of China Town, the demise of Little Italy, etc. Every time Coyle launched into one of these history lessons, I rolled my eyes and mumbled, "Here we go again." It's one of those no-nos in writing. Too much back story, and in this case, very little to do with the actual story line. Coyle just decided to be our tour guide throughout New York. The problem with it, aside from the boredom factor, is that it's ineffective. People (like myself) who've lived in or frequently visit the tri-state area already know most of this information. And those who have never been to New York can't possibly grasp the historical significance. This, in my opinion, is what made the book incredibly boring.
2. The food truck apparently was in service months before they even painted it. Why? If you have a truck that is representing the finest coffee in New York, why would you let it roam the city without an equally professional design? To make it worse, Clare let Dante paint the truck without first consulting her on the design. The result was a horrific, tasteless graphic that sickened Clare's stomach. So what did she do? She let the truck drive around like that, because she was too busy sleuthing. Unrealistic. A good business woman would have never allowed it.
3. In Cleo Coyle's book French Pressed, I enjoyed the rap. Even though I thought the language was inappropriate for Clare's business, it was fun for that one story. However, it's getting old and not at all flattering to the coffeehouse environment. I love that they support artists, but the rap isn't promoting a positive image. In fact, when the rich woman refused to support Esther's grant based on her street image, I didn't blame her. At each coffeehouse installment, the Village Blend is becoming less artsy and more ghetto. Coyle needs to class up the place a bit more. Ease up on the rap and crap.
4. The drug angle had great potential, but it was poorly delivered. First of all, the topic did not come about until nearly halfway into the book. Second, no drug lord would send expensive drugs to a guy in another country who didn't want them. It's too big of a risk, legally and financially. The whole story arc was far fetched but could have been pulled off with better planning (i.e. send a shipment of coffee beans to his cousin through Matt).
5. Matteo has got to go. I like him as a coffee partner, but his presence in Clare's life -- and in her apartment -- is offensive to her character. She put up with his nonsense during their marriage before spending ten years on her own trying to raise their daughter. Now he waltzes into Clare's life as if nothing happened, and we, the readers, are expected to embrace him? I don't think he's cute no matter how well Coyle describes his butt. In A Brew to a Kill, the scenes with Matt, Mike, and Clare were sickening. Were they supposed to turn us on? Is Coyle writing cheap romances now? Seriously, I'm tired of reading about Matt as if he's Clare's lover. He's an ex. He has his own wife. Clare has another guy. Please, PLEASE, give Clare her dignity back and kick Matt the heck out of the picture.
6. The crime solution was too much of a stretch. The culprit was a good choice, but the way he went about it reminded me of one of those puzzle video games where you have to travel to the other side of an island to flip on a light switch. There are easier ways to commit a crime. Why did this one have to be so elaborate?
As I said, I'm still a fan. But I hope that the next book redeems this one.