Dead Cold Brew (Coffeehouse Mystery)
by Cleo Coyle
Cover Artist: Illustation by Cathy Gendron; Design & logo by Rita Frangie
Review by Gayle Surrette
Berkley Kindle Edition ISBN/ITEM#: 9780425276112
Date: 10 January 2017
Clare Cosi is happy being back in Greenwich Village and managing the Village Blend. Her baristas are late so she's rushing to open when Madam calls worried about Matteo -- her son, and Clare's ex-husband -- then Madam signs off with an offer to be there for Clare if she wants to talk. A bit weird but Clare just gets on with setup. When Matteo shows up with a newspaper and Clare learns that someone is targeting New York City police -- three officers shot in the last four days -- she understands why Madam offered a shoulder to cry on.
Clare's shocked at the news and upset that her boyfriend, Det. Mike Quinn, hadn't mentioned the shootings to her. When Mike shows up with his partner Det. Sully Sullivan, Clare wants an explanation of why he didn't tell her. He's just about convinced her that it just random violence, and in a city as large as New York three shootings aren't that bad, when Sully, who'd stepped out to take a call, is shot by a sniper.
Someone is targeting police officers. More specifically, they are targeting police officers in Quinn's squad.
There's more going on than just Quinn and his officers getting targeted by a shooter. Matteo informs Clare that the Village Blend has been asked to take part in a contest to design a coffee to be served on the replica of the Andrea Doria that will shortly take its maiden voyage, leaving from a New York City dock. To get ideas to develop an appropriate blend, Clare and Matteo plan to talk to his godfather who was aboard the Andrea Doria when it went down.
Similar to past novels in this series, Clare tries to stay calm, but when people she cares about are in harm's way she goes into detective mode. The difference in these books is that Clare doesn't set out on her own. She thinks about the incidents, evaluates what she knows, and identifies the questions that haven't been asked or those that were asked but didn't get a reasonable answer. She then relays her concerns, questions, and deductions to the appropriate person -- usually Mike Quinn. Her major problem is that she has a habit of being at the wrong place at the right time or the right place at the wrong time depending on how you look at it.
All the usual secondary characters are here, filling in the background and adding information, confusion, and verisimilitude to the story. This one has a lot of historical background on several New York City hidden gems as well as a look at a ship most of us know the name of (Andrea Doria), but little else. Dead Cold Brew contains a complex, multifaceted mystery and is also informative and entertaining.