Roast Mortem Paperback – Large Print, Dec 8 2010
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"The pseudonymous Coyle's strong 9th coffeehouse mystery (after 2009's Holiday Grind) pays tribute to New York City firefighters. Clare Cosi, the head barista at Village Blend; Blend owner Madame Dreyfus Allegro Dubois (who's Clare's ex-mother-in-law); and Blend employee Dante Silva narrowly escape death in the bomb-activated blaze that destroys Enzo Testa's Caffe Lucia in Queens and seriously injures Enzo. Clare informs the irritating, overly flirtatious FDNY captain, Michael Quinn, a cousin of her NYPD detective boyfriend, Mike Quinn, that she suspects arson. As fire marshal Stuart Rossi swings into action, Clare is eager to help catch the firebug (aka the Coffee Shop Arsonist), but Rossi is less than enthusiastic about her getting involved. Later, the arsonist torches a Long Island coffeehouse, killing a firefighter, as a warning. While the media worry that a terrorist is loose, new, even more horrible crimes surface. Coyle (the wife-husband writing team of Alice Alfonsi and Marc Cerasini) provides an appendix of useful tips and tempting recipes."
-Publishers Weekly --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
About the Author
CLEO COYLE is a pseudonym for Alice Alfonsi, writing in collaboration with her husband, Marc Cerasini. Both are New York Times bestselling authors of The Coffeehouse Mysteries, now celebrating over ten years in print. Alice and Marc are also bestselling media tie-in writers who have penned properties for Lucasfilm, NBC, Fox, Disney, Imagine, and MGM. They live and work in New York City, where they write independently and together, including the nationally bestselling Haunted Bookshop Mysteries. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
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Top Customer Reviews
I read my first Coyle book back in January, which was Holiday Grind, the eighth book in the series. I was so excited to see the next audiobook available for review that I jumped at the chance!
Roast Mortem is the ninth book in the series. Even though I am a latecomer to the series, I have not had any issues following along. Coyle does make reference to past events to bring new readers up to speed, which I so appreciate! It also piques my interest because I want to know more about what happened earlier on.
For those also new to the series, the protagonist is Clare Cosi who is the manager of the Village Blend coffeehouse in Greenwich Village. Clare’s ex-husband, Matteo “Matt” Allegro, is responsible for sourcing the beans and travels all of the world to find the best of the best, and Clare roasts the beans and comes up with the blends that make her coffeehouse famous. Until I read Coyle’s books, I had no idea there was a fine art to pulling an espresso. I am sure that the baristas that I have frequented have not received the kind of training that Clare gives her employees!
The mystery surrounding this installment in the Coffeehouse Mystery series involves coffeehouses that are being set ablaze in what Clare believes are bombs set by an arsonist. Her sleuthing leads her to believe that a member of the NYFD is involved, and Clare treads on dangerous ground when the clues lead her to Captain Michael Quinn’s unit.Read more ›
I could not put this book down until I was finished and now I have to wait until the next book is published!
Very entertaining book.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
This particular novel again features Clare Cosi, manager of The Village Blend, an independent coffee shop in the heart of Greenwich Village. This installment has a slightly different twist as the main focus of the mystery is that coffee shops around the city are being set on fire and people are being hurt or killed in the process. Clare happens to be in one of the cafes when the first fire starts so she is immediately caught up in trying to understand what is happening and trying to ensure nothing happens to her own, much-loved, Village Blend. Much of the story line revolves around the NYFD and when you read the afterward you will better understand why. While I miss the Village Blend and the baristas located there, they do make appearances which made me happy. Also, the characters of Mike Quinn and his cousin Michael Quinn are both further developed throughout the story.
A good mystery with a heavy emphasis on both fire-fighting and coffee brewing, this latest effort continues with snappy dialogue, humor, and a cast of characters that are evolving and developing over time. I think one of strengths of the novels is the setting of New York. It allows the author to continue to add fresh characters, an incredibly strong sense of place, and more "realistic" situations than many other books. Some of the stories will resonate more than others, based upon your interest and personal preferences, but the series is wonderful and this is another solid installment that the author should be proud of.
An interesting primer on coffee roasting is included in the back as well as recipes which will make your mouth water !
There were so many red herrings scattered throughout the book that the mystery really doesn't get unraveled until the end. You'll think (along with Clare) that you've got the mystery solved several times, but chances are you haven't. This was another great cozy to curl up with!
An explosion in front of the café sends the building into an inferno. Clare manages to get Dante out of the blaze. Ladder Company 199 rescues Madame and Enzo who were trapped inside by a fire door. When two more coffeehouses are torched and the Village Blend threatened, Clare investigates with the unofficial approval of the Fire Marshal. She considers several suspects, but while sleuthing meets Fire Captain Mike Quinn, cousin to her Mike Quinn who are bitter enemies. She tries to avoid him because he keeps telling lies about her love and keeps mailing passes at her. In an ironic twist, he is her best source for information.
This high octane amateur sleuth is an explosive whodunit. Clare is a dedicated loyal person whose inquiry places her in deadly scenarios. Besides the strong arsonist investigation, there is also a romantic subplot, but Cleo Coyle serves her latest specialty blend (see Holiday Grind) around the mystery.