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Espresso Shot: A Coffeehouse Mystery by Cleo Coyle
Review by Gayle Surrette
Berkley Hardcover  ISBN/ITEM#: 9780425221778
Date: 01 October 2008 List Price $22.95 Amazon US / Amazon UK / Show Official Info /

Clare Cosi seems to have everything back under control. Her daughter Joy, is now working in France and continuing her culinary training. The Village Blend will be doing the coffee and dessert for the wedding of Matteo Allegro (Clare's ex) and Breanne Summour. The only fly in the ointment is that Matteo has moved back into the apartment with Clare until the wedding. At least that was the only fly until Clare and Matteo are walking back to the Blend with the girl hired for the bachelor party, when suddenly the girl drops to the ground -- dead.

More Cleo Coyle
On What Grounds
Through the Grinder
Latte Trouble
Decaffeinated Corpse
French Pressed

Once again, Clare is involved in a murder. This time Matteo begs for her help and even gives Det. Mike Quinn, Clare's boyfriend, some straight answers. Why was this young woman killed? Why does Matteo care? Will Clare find enough clues to solve the case before the wedding? Will Matteo actually get married?

Things are changing. The major characters have been growing and changing throughout the series and there's even more going on than just the plot in Esspresso Shot. Clare is learning to let go and she's also learning to trust and listen. Matteo is growing and becoming much more the man Clare thought she'd married so many years ago; but now she's found Mike, a man she trusts, and Matteo is getting married.

Breanne has been a continuing character, but one that has mostly stayed aloof and on the edges and now she's becoming part of the family -- that means we need to get to know her. As a reader I want the characters I've come to care about to find happiness or at least contentment -- will they?

In this New York wedding extravaganza, Clare must keep the Blend on task, find a murderer, co-exist with her ex-husband, and find a way to call a truce with his soon-to-be wife. There's plenty of action, misdirection, and mystery -- and the ending, once reached, is ultimately satisfying. Cleo Coyle doesn't disappoint.

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