Sunday, November 20, 2011

Espresso Shot

Espresso Shot
Author: Cleo Coyle
Berkley, 2008
321 pages

Book #7 of the Coffeehouse Mystery series starts out with a bang -- literally! Main character Clare Cosi manages the Village Blend, an independent coffee house in New York's Greenwich Village. Her friend/housemate/ex-husband Matt Allegro is about to take a walk down the aisle with wealthy fashion magazine publisher Breanne Summour. When a Breanne lookalike is shot dead while walking down the street with Matt and Clare after the bachelor party, Matt recalls an earlier incident where the real Breanne was almost run down by a car. It seems as if someone is out to get Breanne -- and they don't seem to care who gets in the way.

As a favor to Matt, Clare agrees to hang out with Breanne for a few days in order to investigate. Breanne is definitely in bridezilla mode, and there are several amusing scenes à la The Devil Wears Prada; Breanne and Meryl Streep's characters have a lot in common. Clare also spends some quality time with Breanne's friend, food writer Roman Brio (whose name cracks me up because I'm just barely old enough to remember the mid-1970s TV commercials for the cologne of the same name). Roman has been entrusted with the wedding rings, which were designed by a famous Italian sculptor. There are a couple of side stories involving the sculptor and the rings, but you'll have to read the book for that. :)

In addition to her sleuthing duties, Clare's got a gourmet coffee and dessert bar to prepare for the wedding festivities. Guests have come from all over the coffee world for the big event. But there's still a couple of questions that haven't been answered: Do the groom and bride really love each other? Will they actually get married? Is someone really trying to kill Breanne? If so, who? And why?

Answers will be revealed in Espresso Shot, which may be my favorite in the series so far. The characters continue to grow, and I keep learning interesting stuff about coffee (Espresso Shot will always be memorable for the tale behind the world's most expensive coffee.) I can hardly wait to read Book #8 . . . and since it's called Holiday Grind, I have a feeling I'll be reading it soon!

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)
French Pressed (August 2011)