Sunday, July 19, 2020


Publisher:      Berkley
Published:      December 3, 2019
ISBN:      978-0451488879
Genre:    Cozy Mystery
Format:    Print from Publisher
Reviewed by name and email address:  Gina

Clare Cosi wakes up one morning not in her warm and cozy bed in her apartment above her beloved Village Blend coffee house, but on a park bench in a park.  She has no memory of how she got there.  Nor does she remember the last 15 years of her life.  She does remember the Blend and makes her way there, but what greets her is not the coffee house she knew.  Instead there are new people.  People who know her but who she doesn’t know.  Even worse is she has no recollection of her finance, Mike Quinn.  Things take an even odder turn when Clare is brought to the hospital and her doctor takes steps to isolate her from her friends and family.  Claiming it is in her best interest he prepares to move her to an asylum in updates New York.  While New York’s finest want to find out what happened to Clare, they have another reason—Clare was last in the company of a now missing heiress, Annette Brewster.  Unwilling to accept the doctor’s diagnosis and treatment Clare’s friends, family and employees embark on a rescue mission to save Clare and restore her memory.  Through the streets of New York and into New Jersey and outer Long Island Clare, Mike and her ex-husband Matt stay one step ahead of the police and the people who want to silence her memory forever.

In BREWED AWAKENING, the 18th book in Cleo Coyle’s Coffeehouse mysteries the writing duo write was what for me, their strongest story yet.  Except for a few cozy quirks, which are to be expected because it IS a cozy series, the book is close to a page turning thriller.  Coyle takes on not just memory loss and its affects on the person and those closest to them, but unscrupulous doctors, lawyers and family members.  There is less emphasis on cooking and baking in this latest read which, not being a cook or baker was fine with me.  Rather the focus was strong on the characters and their actions and reactions to the “new” Clare.  As Mike reflects several times in the story, “Clare is still in there” and it’s just finding a way to unlock her memories.  Part of what I like her character is her intelligence, wit and genuine warmth.  She’s someone you want to have as a friend.

I liked how the authors presented what was going on with Clare and telling the story through different voices, mainly Matt, Mike’s and Clare’. 

With Matt’s divorce and the fact that he never stopped loving Clare there were points where I thought Coyle was going to restart the love triangle between Clare, Matt and Mike.  Like many other cozy fans, I feel the love triangles, which usually show up around book 3 or 4, take away from the story.  If I want to read a romance I’ll pick one up.  I want my mysteries to be mysteries.  That said, it looks like there might be a new love interest for Matt in the future.  Just thinking about the possibilities on that one has me eager to see where the authors will be going with that. 

This is an objective review and not an endorsement of this book.

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