Dead to the Last Drop
Coffeehouse Mystery, #15
Genre: Cozy Mystery
Date of Publication: December 1, 2015
Number of pages: 414
Cover Artist: Cathy Gendron
From the New York Times bestselling author of Once Upon a Grind comes a new installment in the Coffeehouse Mystery series.
After the White House asks coffeehouse manager and master roaster Clare Cosi to consult on the coffee service for a Rose Garden Wedding, she discovers a historic pot was used as a CIA “dead drop” decades before. Now long-simmering secrets boil over, scalding Clare and the people around her…
Clare’s visit to the nation’s capital is off to a graceful start. Her octogenarian employer is bunking with her in a charming Georgetown mansion, and she's invited to work with a respected curator on the Smithsonian's culinary salute to coffee in America.
Unfortunately, Clare’s new Village Blend DC is struggling to earn a profit—until its second floor jazz club attracts a high-profile fan, the college-age daughter of the U.S. President. Clare’s stock rises as the First Lady befriends her, but she soon learns a stark lesson: Washington can be murder.
First a stylish State Department employee suspiciously collapses in her coffeehouse. Then the President’s daughter goes missing. Is she a runaway bride or is something more sinister in play? After another deadly twist, Clare is on the run with her NYPD detective boyfriend. Branded an enemy of the state, she must piece together clues and uncover the truth before her life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness come to a bitter end.
It's hard to believe that this series has reached 15 books. And although I was late to this series, not starting it until 2011, I quickly got wrapped up in the life of Clare Cosi, manager of a The Village Blend.
As the series suggest, the mysteries revolve around a coffee house, specifically The Village Blend, a coffeehouse in historic Greenwich Village. A coffeehouse that has been family owned and operated since it's inception in 1895. The series started with Clare once again taking over as manager for her former mother-in-law, Madame DuBois, once Clare's daughter Joy moved out to go to Culinary School. Clare's ex-husband and Madame's son, is a coffee buyer, combing the globe for coffee beans to be brought back to be roasted at the coffeehouse. We have followed Clare along her journey, finding murder and mystery along the way.
One of the great things about this series is that although there have been some very upper crust moments (I'm looking at you Billionaire Blend), most of the time, the stories have a more blue collar feel. After all, Clare may be the manager and master roaster at the coffeehouse, but she still works pulling espressos and serving customers there as well. And her boyfriend is a NYPD police detective.
There was a unique beginning to this story. Where normally the prologue takes us through the mind of the killer as he plans and/or executes the murder. This time, it was told through the eyes of the man rushing to protect her. It was awesome! Then to add to the unique opening, the story was told in flashback sequences as Clare talks out events with Mike. It's not something I want to see every book, but in this circumstance, it really just worked.
I had a crazy, happy coincidence happen while reading this book. Many, many years ago (okay, so like 25) I fell in love with the movie Highlander and that song "Who Wants to Live Forever" by Queen - enough so that I eventually hunted down the soundtrack. As these things happen, it eventually fell out of regular rotation. But I recently heard an awesome version of it, and dug out the CD to listen to in my car. So I was jamming out to on the way to work, and then at lunch, there I am reading about the song in the book. It totally blew my mind! Needless to say, this book will be one that will stick with me. :)
This was such a great book, I adored everything about it. For me, this was a 5 star read.
Thanks to Cleo Coyle and Great Escapes for the opportunity to read and review this book.
CLEO COYLE is the pseudonym for Alice Alfonsi, writing in collaboration with her husband, Marc Cerasini. CLEO COYLE grew up in a small town near Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. After earning scholarships to study writing at Carnegie Mellon and American Universities, she began her career as a cub reporter for The New York Times. Now an author of popular fiction and New York Times bestselling media tie-in writer, Cleo lives and works in New York City, where she collaborates with her husband (also a bestselling author) to pen the Coffeehouse Mysteries for Penguin. Together Cleo and her husband also write the Haunted Bookshop Mysteries under the name Alice Kimberly. When not haunting coffeehouses, hunting ghosts, or rescuing stray cats, Cleo and Marc are bestselling media tie-in writers who have penned properties for NBC, Lucasfilm, Disney, Fox, Imagine, and MGM. In their spare time they cook like crazy and drink a lot of java. You can learn more about Cleo, her husband, and the books they write by visiting www.CoffeehouseMystery.com.
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