Saturday, April 9, 2011

Decaffeinated Corpse

Decaffeinated Corpse
Author: Cleo Coyle
Berkley, 2007
273 pages

The more I read of the Coffeehouse Mysteries, the more I love them! Decaffeinated Corpse is Book 5. When I reviewed Book 4 (Murder Most Frothy) back in January, I said it was my favorite so far. But Book 5 is even better!

As you probably know by now if you've read my other reviews, this series is set around a Greenwich Village (New York City) coffeehouse called The Village Blend. It's been around a long time, and is managed by Clare Cosi. Her ex-husband, Matteo ("Matt") Allegro, is a coffee broker who's usually jet-setting somewhere in search of the best coffee beans. They have an adult daughter, Joy, who's in culinary school. Matt's mother, called Madame (she's French), rounds out the family; other recurring characters are Mike Quinn, a police detective and love interest of Clare's, and the Village Blend's team of baristas.

In Decaffeinated Corpse, Matt is visited by an old friend, Ric, whose family is in the coffee business in Brazil. Ric has developed a coffee plant that produces naturally decaffeinated beans. When Ric is mysteriously attacked outside the Village Blend one evening, Clare wonders what's up. Her questions lead her to visit with Ric's old girlfriend, Ellie, who now works in a botanical garden. There's a very funny scene involving Clare and Madame and a car chase through Brooklyn and Manhattan. The women learn that Ellie and Ric have rekindled their old relationship, and that the couple is being tailed by a private investigator.

Of course, someone turns up dead. Actually, two people turn up dead, but you'll have to read to find out who they are and whodunnit, 'cause I'm not saying anything else about it. :-)

In the meantime, Clare's relationship with Mike Quinn is heating up . . . or is it? And it looks like Joy is making bad decisions again. This time, it seems like she's in love with the wrong beau. Will Clare and Mike become a couple? Or will she and Matt get back together? Will Joy ever grow up? I guess if I want to find out, I'll have to keep reading this series . . . which won't be difficult for me to do since I like it so much.

By the way, I was thrilled to read a couple of paragraphs about Vienna's Café Central in Decaffeinated Corpse! Hope to see more references to Vienna coffeehouses in the future.

Previously read books in this series:

On What Grounds (December 2009)
Through The Grinder (January 2010)
Latté Trouble (June 2010)
Murder Most Frothy (January 2011)