Latte Trouble: Coffeehouse Mysteries 3

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Teaser: Lottie Harmon, a long time Village Blend customer, has finally made it big in the fashion world. She has completed her new collection of clothes that feature a coffee-inspired palette. She decides on the Village Blend as the place for the debut show. As Claire and her fellow baristas serve up the brew, prominent figures of the fashion world begin to fill the shop. All seems to be going well until one of those figures drops dead after being served a drink from Tucker. Claire is determined to prove that Tucker isn't a murderer and to save her shop from yet another scandal.

Short Thought: This novel definitely gives some bite to this genre!

Expanded Thoughts: Don't let the genre fool you! Sure this is a cozy, female-targeted yarn, but this mystery is a fun ride!

As with previous books in the series, the story follows single mother Claire Cosi and her life in New York City. This one centers around the frenzy of New York fashion week and the strange (umm..unique?) characters that are found in that world. It also shows how dangerous and how political the world of fashion is.

Some of the minor characters take a bigger role in this story as well. Each of the Blend's baristas are great characters and are excellently woven into the mystery. Namely, we learn quite a bit about Tucker when he is arrested for murder. I have to note that the author also does this without losing the richness of the main characters as so many other books do.

As for the mystery plot, it was great. It was uncomplicated and simple with a few twists. As with the other books in this series, I can never figure out the perp before it is revealed. That is something that I am usually able to do with books in this genre, but not with these.

I do have a few complaints though. The story is very short and uncomplicated. Claire's character hasn't really grow since the first novel in the series. All the relationships feel like they are still 'up in the air.' There are little tidbits into Claire past. (Mostly with Matteo) But there still isn't anything into which you can sink your teeth.

If you read the other two in this series, you won't be disappointed with this one. It is just as good if not a little bit better.

Additional Notes: This is the 3rd novel in the Coffeehouse Mysteries by Cleo Coyle.

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