Tuesday, November 10, 2015


Publisher:     Berkley
Published:    August 7, 2012
ISBN:      978-0425255360
Genre:    Cozy Mystery
Format:   Print
Obtained via:  Publisher  
Reviewed by name and email address:  Gina Gina@loveromancesandmorereviews.com


Things are pretty stable in Clare Cosi’s life.  Her relationship with Lt. Mike Quinn of the NYPD has moved along nicely and he’s spending more and more time at her place.  Ex-husband Matt is settled in his marriage to Brianne – or as settled as he can be.  Daughter Joy is studying the culinary arts in Paris—away from police Sgt. Franco—which please Clare and Matt no end.  And now the Village Blend is in partnership with Aphrodite’s Village to product a marvellous coffee drink guaranteed to enhance any love relationship.  Yes, things are definitely looking good for Clare. 

But then life makes some odd little turns…

First, there is Bob.  A seemingly nice older gentleman who takes over Mike’s favorite seat in the Blend.  And then he starts asking about Clare’s former mother-in-law, Madame. And then, at the big unveiling of this super new coffee brew, one of the main players in Aphrodite’s Village is found dead.  The only clue is someone making their way to the dead woman behind a very large umbrella.  As Clare starts uncovering the clues to who the killer is, the killer takes steps to put an end to Clare’s sleuthing.  Will she find the killer before the killer finds her?

There are two basic things I like about Cleo Coyle’s Coffee House Mysteries:  the relationships between the characters move at a steady, believable pace and the stories are always fresh.  And second, after 10 books one would expect a series to start to bog down and become routine.  That has not happened—easy story is like a fresh cup of morning coffee. 

When the two Mike Quinn stories were happening I wasn’t too impressed.  There is a trend in cozy mysteries that around book 6 or 7 the “love triangle” is brought in—and it happened here.  I was glad to see it end.  At some point the sleuth and her partner start traveling out of town – the old Murder She Wrote problem of you gotta get Jessica Fletcher out of town before the rest of the town dies!  That hasn’t happened here, but then New York and it’s various boroughs lends itself to some great venues for crime solving without your heroine having to travel all that far.  There is a nice stability to the books which makes reading each one a chance to sit down and visit with some really nicely developing characters. 

The premise of MURDER BY MOCHA was a fun one—an online woman’s community with various domains—health, food, relationships and coffee!  Okay, well not directly coffee but for us coffee lovers it works.  The whole thread on the killer hiding behind the umbrella was well done.  Coyle kept me guessing until the killer was finally revealed.

Each book in this series is a standalone and does not have to be read in order although that’s a good idea because of the well done character development.

This is an objective review and an endorsement of this book.

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