Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Latte Trouble by Cleo Coyle

1. Latte Trouble - book 3 in the Coffeehouse Mystery series
by Cleo Coyle
mystery, 2005
first book for the Foodies Read 2 Challenge 2012
Kindle book, 1
finished, 1/1/12

I really love the Coffeehouse Mystery series, and I think it has something for everyone. There is coffee talk, and some food talk, for foodies. There is a bit of romance for fans of romance. There is always a good mystery for fans of mystery fiction. And there is fine writing for all readers. Clare Cosi is a great character. She's bold, and funny, and intelligent.

The mystery in this book comes when a man dies from a poisoned cup of coffee at a private party for 'fashionistas' in town for Fashion Week, and the police arrest Clare's barista, Tucker who made it. He was actually making it as a request for Lottie Harmon, a designer whose collection of 'Java Jewelry' was inspired by coffee drinks she'd had at the Village Blend. On his way to deliver her cup, a former boyfriend of Tucker's snatches it off the tray. When he drinks it and dies, the supposition is that Tucker killed him. And even though it was meant for Lottie, Tucker is arrested.

Clare knows he didn't do it, and tries to find out why someone may have wanted Lottie dead; Lottie who was a big success in the 1980s, and then dropped out of sight, only to return to great acclaim.

Although I am reading the books in order, this is one series where I don't think it is necessary. Cleo Coyle does a great job of bringing the reader up to date with Clare's life. In fact, I think she does it better than any series writer I've read. As Clare is the narrator, she will just include a fact from her past in connection with something else she's saying. She doesn't do a litany at the beginning of the book telling us how she got to where she is now. The main characters are the people who work at the Village Blend, her ex-mother-in-law, her ex-husband, a policeman, and her 20-year old daughter.

Locale is very important to me, and Cleo Coyle brings New York City alive to readers. I enjoy learning about the different areas, and events that occur there. She offers many details about parks and routes and people who frequent certain places. In Latte Trouble, for instance, I learned of the Meatpacking District, Bryant Park, and Rikers Island jail. These books are a little like a NYC guidebook, only much more fun. This is a great series.

This is my first book for the Foodies Read 2 Challenge.


  1. The series sounds truly enjoyable, and like you, I appreciate it when we do learn basic facts about a character in each book of a series without having said facts presented in a boring, listless manner.

  2. Isn't this a great series? I love it. I'm a few books behind of the current book, but I'm thinking of rereading it anyway. Glad you enjoyed it. I always smell coffee the whole time I am reading. Yum!

  3. I love the sound of this book. I hadn't heard of the series - I'll look out for it.

  4. Librarian, there's nothing boring about these books! Really, very delightful. Especially for people like you and me who do not live in NYC. Lots of info.

    Kay, yes, it is! I can't believe how much goes into coffee. The business is fascinating.

  5. Joanne, if you click on the authors tab, you may read about the first two books in the series. It is quite delightful.

  6. I read the first of this series when it first came out and never went further. Strange as I really liked it. There are just so many good cozy mysteries out there.

    Happy New Year Nan!

    Hugs from Holland ~

  7. Heidi, I'm not wild for cozies in general, but I love these books!
    And the same to you.

  8. I love the cover! I don't think I've heard of this series--why not?! I will have to check it out.

  9. You and Kay have both talked about this series and I'm eager to give it a try. It sounds like my kind of book, as I love coffee. :) Just need to find more time. I still need to start in on the Deborah Crombie books! :)

  10. Literary Feline, and Les - it is both fun and intelligent, a rare mix in my experience.

  11. I really enjoy this series too. I love the coffee shop atmosphere, the descriptions of city life, and Clare is such a likable character.

  12. Thanks for the remnder -- I enjoyed the first two. Off to Amazon and Kindle.

  13. Becca, and I have learned SO much about coffee!

    Sallie, great fun, aren't they?!

  14. You are such a loyal reader to both a book series and this challenge. I like and appreciate that. I haven't started this series because I'm not a coffee person, but you and others have me feeling like I'm missing a great series.

  15. Margot, the books aren't that much about coffee. I think you'd enjoy them because they are funny and well written. I love what you wrote about 'loyal' - most sensitive and thoughtful comment. Thank you.


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