Sunday, January 24, 2010

Through the Grinder

Through the Grinder
Author: Cleo Coyle
Berkley, 2004
276 pages

After the length and complexity of Wolf Hall, I desperately needed a quick and easy read. So yesterday afternoon, I selected the second book in the awesome Coffeehouse Mystery series: Through the Grinder. (See my review of the first book - On What Grounds - here.)

In Through the Grinder, coffee shop manager Clare Cosi is back with several of the characters introduced in the first book: her ex-husband Matt, a coffee broker who travels the world in search of adventure and great coffee; their daughter Joy, a culinary student; Tucker, the assistant manager/barista/actor; and the NYPD detective Quinn. When one of their customers is found dead in the subway just moments after stopping in for some coffee, the Village Blend team finds themselves involved in yet another mystery. Then a second customer death occurs . . . and detective Quinn is certain they are linked.

In the meantime, Clare learns that Joy has broken up with her Italian chef boyfriend, and is looking into "online dating." Under the guise of watching out for Joy, Clare finds herself looking for Mr. Right, too - and she thinks she may have found the perfect guy. But then, a series of coincidences link him to the dead women. Is Mr. Right . . . a murderer?

I spent four hours glued to the book. It was as good - if not better - than the first book. It was also grittier. The tension between Clare and ex-husband Matt continues to grow; the interplay between them is quite fun. Obviously they are made for each other - when will they realize it?!!! I really look forward to the next Coffeehouse mystery . . . and the next . . . and the next.

As with the first book, I appreciated the coffee tips and the recipes. In fact, as I write this, I'm making one of the recipes: the Coffee-Marinated Steak is marinating in my refrigerator. I can't wait to try it out later this evening.