Wednesday, August 17, 2011

French Pressed

French Pressed
Author: Cleo Coyle
Berkley, 2008
288 pages

This is the sixth book in the Coffeehouse Mystery series featuring Clare Cosi, the amateur sleuth and manager of the Village Blend Coffee House in Greenwich Village. Clare's the mother of culinary student Joy Allegro, and ex-wife of globetrotting coffee broker Matt Allegro. Other recurring characters include Matt's Mom, a spirited octogenarian known as Madame; Detective Mike Quinn of the NYPD, Clare's sorta/kinda boyfriend; and the fabulous baristas of the Village Blend, namely one Miss Esther Best.

French Pressed begins with Clare and Madame having dinner at Solange, the hot New York restaurant where Joy is completing her internship. Clare's not happy about Joy being romantically involved with the much older (and married) Chef Tommy Keitel (who for some reason reminds me of a certain real-life celebrity chef whose name I won't mention). Nor is she thrilled when she witnesses another chef's abusive behavior toward Joy and other restaurant employees.

When a talented co-worker of Joy's is murdered in his home in Queens, the po-po think Joy did it since she was the one who found the body. But when another murder takes place, and Joy's expensive Shun knife is the murder weapon, she becomes the prime suspect in two murders. Of course, we all know that Joy isn't a murderer. She may have lapses in judgment, but hey, she's really new at this adult thing. Clare, Matt, and Mike must work together (like it or not) to prove Joy's innocence and find the real murderer(s).

It's always enjoyable to read these books because not only are they well-written, clever, and fun . . . you learn stuff, too. French Pressed continued my java education, including the possibilities of pairing coffee with different types of cheeses. Who woulda thunk?!! And it was really cool to see the shout-out to the amazing North Carolina institution known as Counter Culture Coffee. Woo-hoo!!!

SPECIAL MESSAGE: Congrats to author Cleo Coyle for the recent release of the latest Coffeehouse Mystery: Murder By Mocha. I'm trying to get caught up with this series this year, so maybe by the release of her next book, I'll be one of the first to review it! :-)

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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)
Decaffeinated Corpse (April 2011)