Amateur detective Clare Cosi gets another chance to employ her sleuthing skills in Decaffeinated Corpse by Cleo Coyle, the fifth book in the author’s popular Coffeehouse Mystery series. The mystery begins when Clare discovers a body in the alley behind the Village Blend, the venerable coffeehouse that she manages in New York City’s Greenwich Village. It’s not a dead body, though. The corpse of the title will arrive later. The unconscious man is Brazilian coffee grower Ric Gostwick, who has developed a botanically decaffeinated coffee plant. As Clare knows, in the competitive coffee business, that may be enough to get him killed.
Books for Coffee Lovers
Coffee has stimulated the creation of some terrific books. Choose one of these books from the coffee lover's bookshelf, pour yourself a good cup of coffee (or have your favorite barista pour one for you), and enjoy!
The Various Flavors of Coffee by Anthony Capella is an engrossing, first-rate historical novel that follows the life and loves of Robert Wallis, a bohemian would-be poet whose life is dramatically changed by a cup of coffee. In 1896, the 22 year-old Wallis is living in London, frequenting coffeehouses and whorehouses and affecting a dandy's style although he has no income. One morning, a coffee merchant overhears his remark to a waiter that his coffee is “rusty” and offers him a job to help develop a standard “vocabulary of coffee.” Accepting the challenge, Wallis embarks on a journey in the coffee trade that will transform his life.
In Murder Most Frothy, the fourth book in Cleo Coyle’s best-selling Coffeehouse Mystery series, barista Clare Cosi takes a summer break from her beloved Village Blend coffeehouse in New York City. Clare has accepted an invitation from her wealthy friend David Mintzer to train the barista staff at Cuppa J, his new restaurant in the Hamptons. When someone is murdered in David's mansion, Clare jumps in to find the killer. With its Hamptons setting, Murder Most Frothy is indeed a bit “frothier” than the previous books in the series. But murder in the Hamptons, of course, is just as deadly as murder anywhere else.
In the opening chapter of Latte Trouble by Cleo Coyle, the Village Blend’s best barista, Tucker Burton, is not happy. “Men are pigs. They should die!” he exclaims in the middle of a Fashion Week party in the coffeehouse. And within a matter of minutes, one does, apparently poisoned by a lethal latte that Tucker served him. Tucker, of course, becomes the prime suspect, but Clare Cosi, the manager of the Village Blend, knows he’s innocent and vows to find the murderer. Clare’s investigation takes her from her familiar milieu of baristas to the exotic world of the fashionistas, giving readers an entertaining mini-tour of New York along the way.
In Amsterdam in 1659, as in most of Europe, coffee is virtually unknown. Merchants of the Dutch East India Company have done a little trading in coffee, but most residents of Amsterdam have never seen it, let alone tasted it. Miguel Lienzo, a Portuguese Jew who fled to Amsterdam to escape the Inquisition, is among them, although he is a well-connected trader on the Exchange. When Miguel is offered an opportunity to build his fortune through a bold scheme to corner the coffee market, he can’t resist, despite the many risks. The Coffee Trader makes 17th century Europe come alive in an engrossing, suspenseful tale of coffee intrigue.
In Through the Grinder by Cleo Coyle, the Village Blend coffeehouse is losing women customers. Not because of its coffee, which everyone agrees is excellent, but through murder. The first to die is Valerie Lathem. On a Saturday morning, Valerie stops for coffee at the Village Blend. Soon afterward, she falls from a subway platform and is killed by the oncoming train. Although the media presume it was suicide, NYPD Detective Mike Quinn thinks otherwise. When other Village Blend customers die in suspicious circumstances, Village Blend manager Clare Cosi knows she needs to find the killer, if only to protect her business.
“The perfect cup of coffee is a mystifying thing,” says Clare Cosi, the manager of the historic Village Blend coffeehouse in New York City’s Greenwich Village. So begins On What Grounds by Cleo Coyle, the first book in her Coffeehouse Mystery series. But what is even more mystifying is how the Blend’s part-time assistant manager, young dancer Annabelle Hart, ended up unconscious at the bottom of the basement stairs. Annabelle appeared to be alone, with all the doors locked and no sign of forced entry. Clare is convinced that Annabelle’s fall was not an accident, and she leaves no coffee cup unturned in her quest to learn the truth.
Can coffee kill you? If it’s valuable enough, the answer is yes. In the entertaining murder mystery Coffee to Die For by Linda French, coffee plants provide a motive for murder. Dr. Leo Faber, a botanist at the University of Washington with funding from biotech giant AgroGene, has developed a naturally chocolate-flavored coffee plant. Coffee expert Luigi Oliveri hosts a cupping of Leo’s hybrid coffee and loves it. But before Leo can enjoy his success, he is murdered, and his coffee plants have disappeared. It’s up to Professor Theodora Morelli to locate the missing plants and find out whether Leo in fact died for coffee.