In this hardcover debut of the popular "Coffeehouse Mystery" series (French Pressed; Decaffeinated Corpse), New York City coffeehouse manager Clare Cosi's ex-husband and business partner is marrying the editor of a scandal magazine. But someone has decided to kill the obnoxious Breanne Summour before the wedding. Having been hired to create a gourmet coffee and dessert bar for the nuptials at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Clare is dragged into protecting the bridezilla. Coyle's "Coffeehouse" books are superb examples of the cozy genre because of their intelligent cast of characters, their subtle wit, and their knowledge of the coffee industry used to add depth and flavor to the stories. Recipes and coffee-making tips are nice pluses. Coyle, a pen name for a married writing team who grew up in Pittsburgh with Italian parents, brings to the series a love of New York City. Highly recommended for all mystery collections.
Jo Ann Vicarel
Bridal jitters are the least of the problems for an amateur sleuth trying to smooth a path for her ex-husband's second wedding. Clare Cosi, manager of the Village Blend coffee shop, shares a past and a daughter with Matteo Allegro, who's about to remarry. Despite her misgivings, Clare's been hired to run the gourmet coffee and dessert bar at the high-profile wedding of Matt and Breanne Summour, the tough, beautiful editor of Trend magazine. Breanne doesn't much like Clare, whom she suspects of wanting Matt back. That's something Matt's mother, owner of the Blend, would dearly love to see, but Clare's moved on to NYPD detective Mike Quinn (French Pressed, 2007, etc.). When Breanne is almost run over by an SUV, it seems like an accident, but when a look-alike stripper hired for Matt's bachelor party is shot to death, Clare begins to suspect that someone wants Breanne dead. Breanne's certainly made a lot of enemies, among them a drug-peddling ex-husband, a resentful former boss and several members of her staff, past and present. Clare visits underground restaurants, temples to high fashion and the hotel room of a seductive Italian sculptor in her attempts to keep the wedding plans on track and the bride alive. A realistic depiction of New York City high and low life. The smattering of recipes, romance and caffeine-fueled detection add up to a lively tale. Agent: John Talbot/Talbot Fortune Agency