10 February 2011

Review: Roast Mortem by Cleo Coyle

The Book:

Clare Cosi was hoping to reclaim a roaster that used to belong to her coffee shop, Village Blend, but instead ends up in an explosive meeting - literally.  When the local fire station assists in saving her friends, Clare goes out of her way to help support them with showing them how to use their new espresso machine.  Things start to get hot when other coffee shops get torched in the city and firefighters from the station begin to die.  Add to that family trouble leading to a troubling accusation for her detective boyfriend, Mike Quinn, and Clare is determined to tie the events together before everything goes up in flames.

The Yarn:

Roast Mortem is the ninth novel in the solid Coffeehouse Mysteries series by Cleo Coyle.  Clare is a smart heroine and she believes that the explosion at her friend's coffeehouse wasn't an accident. Working with two seemingly different sets of crimes, Clare is able to solve them and bring them together in a not-completely-unbelievable manner.  She has a no-nonsense focus that keeps her basically in control of her situations, her staff and those that she works with outside of the coffeehouse.  Her relationships with her ex-husband and ex-mother-in-law as partners in the business add another layer of fun secondary characters.

I found the focus of this book on Mike Quinn and learning a bit more about his background refreshing after his peripheral character status in the previous books. Having finally reaching a point in Clare's life where her ex-husband has settled into his own relationship more, this started as a good story to strengthen Clare and Mike's relationship. I did find it a little disconcerting to have Mike's cousin Michael thrown in and pursuing Claire.  While circumstances revealed in the book seem to make this believable on some levels, to me it gives the impression that Clare always has to be in some emotional crisis about her relationships.

The one thing that really bothered me about this book had nothing to do with the story.  It was the typos.  Missed edits always jump off the page for me, and I found three within pages of each other.  I think I was a copy editor in a past life.    

Roast Mortem is another fun entry in Coyle's series.  Fans of Diane Mott Davidson will enjoy this book, and as with many cozy mysteries, includes tasty recipes of some of the dishes included in the story along with an explanation about coffee roasting.

The Ink:

Title:  Roast Mortem (A Coffeehouse Mystery)
Author:  Cleo Coyle
Publisher: Berkley
Date: August 2010
Read:  Library Hardcover