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Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Audio Book Review: A Brew to a Kill: A Coffeehouse Mystery by Cleo Coyle

Coffee and food fun spice up this amateur sleuthing mystery!
A Brew to a Kill: A Coffeehouse Mystery
Cleo Coyle (Author), Rebecca Gibel (Narrator) 

  • Audible Audio Edition
  • Listening Length: 10 hours and 28 minutes
  • Program Type: Audiobook
  • Version: Unabridged
  • Publisher: AudioGO
  • Release Date: August 7, 2012
Genre: Cozy Mystery
My Rating: 4.5 of 5.0

Book Description
Publication Date: August 2012 | Series: A Coffeehouse Mystery
"Coyle's Coffeehouse books are superb" (Library Journal), and now the national bestselling author of MURDER BY MOCHA serves up a hot new Coffeehouse Mystery with A BREW TO A KILL.

Coffee. It can get a girl killed.
A shocking hit-and-run in front of her Village Blend coffeehouse spurs Clare Cosi into action. A divorced, single mom in her forties, Clare is also a dedicated sleuth, and she's determined to track down this ruthless driver who ran down an innocent friend and customer. In the meantime, her ex-husband Matt, the shop's globetrotting coffee buyer, sources some amazing new beans from Brazil. But he soon discovers that he's importing more than coffee, and Clare may have been the real target of that deadly driver. Can ex-husband and wife work together to solve this mystery--or will their newest brew lead to murder? Includes recipes.
--This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

I thought this started a little slowly but fortunately it soon picked up and held my interest for the rest of the story. The story starts with a hit and run from the view of the killer which does get the listener’s attention.  The scene then shifts to Clare’s coffee realm and there was some kibitzing, and introducing characters, before the next incident occurred. Clare’s nasty competition, Kaylie the Kupcake Kween, is hawking her wares outside of The Village Blend. As Clare and her staff are getting the harassing truck to move on, a van charges down the street hitting Lili Beth, Clare’s friend and new dietary consultant. Clare meets with "Mad Max" Buckman, the intense NYPD detective investigating the hit and run. When it appears the attack was intentional Clare begins to suspect Kaylie and seeks clues to prove her guilt.

Meanwhile, Clare and her sexy, Italian, ex-husband Matt, discover that there is something extra in the bags of premium coffee beans recently received from Brazil. Clare’s boyfriend, Detective Mike Quinn, who specializes in drug related cases, returns from a Washington conference pulling strings to help protect Clare and Matt -- first from a DEA raid and then from the Brazilian drug lords who are expected to show up to claim their product.

Ms. Coyle does a good job of blending lots of humor and some tender romance with the sleuthing action. Once the second hit and run occurred I was completely hooked into the story and it moved at a good pace. Woven throughout the twisting mystery investigations are more interesting characters, coffee and food recipes, fashion details and fun poetry rapping. This is not the first book in the series so all of the cast were new to me and there are quite a few colorful characters to meet.

Audio notes: Rebecca Gibel does a grand job giving personality to all of the varied character voices. It was easy to follow along with the shift in speakers, from Clare's Bohemian, Matriarchal mother-in-law to sassy Esther and her poetry rapping. The fun ‘perks’ through the narration. I look forward to going back and picking up other audio installments in this very fun series.

I loved the coffee euphemisms:
"Blonde Roast. It’s a nutty little number with a sweet and sassy note of honey drizzled blackberry. She’s a real kick too. Mainly because she’s a lighter roast so there’s slightly more caffeine left in the bean. But there’s an even better reason men tell me they enjoy drinking her in."... "She’s far less trouble than a real blonde." Trac 65.
And there are words of wisdom on art:
"Art isn’t about what’s pretty, it’s about what’s true and what’s real. Being an artist is about finding your voice and vision just as Esther described it. And you don’t find the truth through cosmetic surgery. You find it through authenticity." Trac 84

I received this Audio download, for an honest review, from AudioGo
through AudioBook Jukebox.
This is set in New York; I will add it to my Audio, Cozy Mystery and New Author Challenge lists.

1 comment:

  1. Ohhh I love this cozy mystery series! Hard to believe that I do prefer tea, but please don't tell anyone *wink*.


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