I have been a big fan of the Coffeehouse Mystery series by Cleo Coyle for several years now, but this was the first time for the audiobook version. I chose this book from the Audiobook Jukebox Solid Gold Reviewers Program because I have just haven't had the time to read the next book in the series but really wanted to.
Clare Cosi is the manager of the Village Blend, a landmark coffee house located in historic Greenwich Village. Her baristas have been telling her about a man who has been coming in every day about the same time and quizing them on exotic and rare coffee drinks, and yet never ordering any of them. They have taken to calling him the Quizmaster. On this particular day, the Quizmaster arrives a bit early, while Clare is going off duty. Clare thinks that he is headhunter for one of the big name coffee houses on the West Coast, coming in to poach her baristas and decides to give him just enough rope to allow her to throw him out, once and for all. However, it turns out that the Quizmaster is actually the Eric Thorner, aka the Baby Billionaire, a young man who has made his money in technology and apps. After he is impressed by Clare's knowledge of coffee and it's history, Eric is in the process of offering Clare a business opportunity when an explosion racks the Village Blend due to a car bomb in Eric's limo, double parked out front.
Rebecca Gibel did an excellent job with narrating the book. She totally nailed Clare, Mike, Matt, Joy, and Tucker's voices from my head. Madame's and Ester's voices weren't quite what I had been expecting, but they grew on me. I think I will be switching over to audiobook for the next books in the series as well. Rebecca just made the world come alive for me.
This was the first story in a the entire series that I was slightly disappointed in. Everything was so far over the top, whether is was luxuries or schemes. I missed Clare's more down to earth sensibilities, even as she has been on the fringe of high society in other books. This book placed her smack dab in the middle of the highest and most rarefied echelons. Though I was pleased to see that Clare didn't let any of it go to her head and eventually managed to free herself from the worst of the 1% shenanigans. I gave this book 3 stars.