Billionaire Blend (A Coffeehouse Mystery)
by Cleo Coyle
Cover Artist: Cathy Gendron
Review by Gayle Surrette
Berkley Hardcover ISBN/ITEM#: 9780425252918
Date: 03 December 2013 List Price $26.95 Amazon US / Amazon UK
This newest addition to the Coffeehouse Mystery series, Billionaire Blend, has it all: explosions, jealousy, break-ups, misunderstandings, intrigue, murder, and mayhem. All of the characters that readers have come to know and care about throughout the series, with a few interesting twists to a character or two that adds to the enjoyment and surprise when the plots twists out from the expected.
Each of the mysteries in the series can stand on its own since there is enough background information to remind series readers of what has gone on before and to bring new readers up to speed. In this case, Clare is worried about how to pay for needed maintenance and upgrades, while keeping up the Village Blend's staffing levels and quality. The economy is hitting all businesses, and money is tight -- and that's when things get worse -- much, much worse. Of course, it doesn't help that her daughter is working in France, and that Clare's boyfriend, Mike Quinn, is on loan to the FBI and working in Washington, DC.
The writing pulls you in and has you settled down with a great cup of coffee for a comfortable cozy story, and then everything blows up and you find yourself on the edge of your seat wondering what will happen next. Just how is this all going to end? It will seem at times that nothing will ever be the same again. There are plot twists, surprises, and some of our characters are in danger of losing their life or at least a serious change in their circumstances.
With each book, the major characters have grown, changed, and moved on as their circumstances in life change and develop over time and in reaction to the events of the story. This growth adds to the richness of the story background drawing readers back, book after book.
As usual, there are many recipes featuring coffee at the end of the book. In the past, I've usually found one or two recipes that become family favorites. Coffee lovers will also pick up interesting coffee facts. This particular books has some interesting information about coffee growers and the parts of the world where coffee is grown as well as some of the problems with processing -- so educational as well as entertaining.