Thursday, January 13, 2011

Murder Most Frothy

Murder Most Frothy
Author: Cleo Coyle
Berkley, 2006
247 pages

This is the fourth book I've read in the Coffeehouse Mystery series, and I think it's my favorite so far. Main character Clare Cosi (forty-something manager of The Village Blend in Manhattan) is temporarily helping out her millionaire friend David by working as the coffee steward of his restaurant in the Hamptons for the summer. One of the perks of this arrangement? She and her college-age daughter (Joy, a culinary school student on summer break) and ex-mother-in-law (the elderly Frenchwoman known as "Madame", who owns The Village Blend) get to live in David's mansion and enjoy all the benefits thereof.  Everything seems to be going well . . . until David's July 4th party, when another employee is shot dead during the fireworks. Clare thinks David was the intended target, but he's in denial, and the local police aren't being very receptive to Clare's, um, assistance.

The more Clare digs, the more possible suspects she comes up with. There's an angry neighbor, a business competitor who lost out on a major deal, an unlikely heir, and a shady maitre d'. All of them could possibly benefit from David's death. And, oh, there's this mysterious boat anchored offshore . . .

As Clare pieces together the clues that keep popping up everywhere, she deals with the everyday life of running a fine restaurant while also balancing the antics and adventures of Joy, Madame, and her own ex-husband, Matteo. (There are several funny scenes involving Madame - I'm liking her more and more and hoping she'll keep entertaining us in future books.) In the end, we have a good solid "cozy" mystery. And as with the previous Coffeehouse Mysteries, there's lots to learn about my favorite legal drug.

I'm just getting started with this series, and looking forward to reading the next book soon!

Previous reviews of other Coffeehouse Mysteries:

On What Grounds (December 2009)
Through The Grinder (January 2010)
Latté Trouble (June 2010)