Monday, December 28, 2009

Mystery Book Review: Holiday Grind by Cleo Coyle

Mysterious Reviews, mysteries reviewed by the Hidden Staircase Mystery Books, is publishing a new review of Holiday Grind by Cleo Coyle. For our blog readers, we are printing it first here in advance of its publication on our website.

Holiday Grind by Cleo Coyle

A Coffeehouse Mystery with Clare Cosi

Berkley Prime Crime (Hardcover)
ISBN-10: 0-425-23005-8 (0425230058)
ISBN-13: 978-0-425-23005-3 (9780425230053)
Publication Date: November 2009
List Price: $23.95

Review: Greenwich Village coffeeshop owner Clare Cosi discovers the murdered body of the father of one of her baristas, who acts as a local Santa during the holiday season, in Holiday Grind, the 8th mystery in this series by Cleo Coyle.

Clare is hosting a small gathering of family and friends to try out some new holiday-themed recipes the night she finds Alf Glockner shot to death. The police believe the murder to be a random mugging, someone out for the money "Santa" was collecting from donors. Clare isn't so sure, but her boyfriend, homicide detective Mike Quinn, is preoccupied with his own high-profile murder investigation. So she starts her own line of inquiry into the life of a man she thought she knew, but really didn't, and that quickly includes two other murders and ultimately a threat to her own family.

Holiday Grind is a charming addition to this cozy series, incorporating elements of the holiday season into its mystery storyline. Though it is far too long to support the relatively thin plot, the delightful characters and Manhattan setting tend to compensate. The book also includes a generous collection of enticing coffee drink and holiday recipes for readers to try at home, and tips from the (fictional) Village Blend coffeeshop.

Special thanks to Penguin Group for providing a copy of Holiday Grind for this review.

Review Copyright © 2009 — Hidden Staircase Mystery Books — All Rights Reserved

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Synopsis (from the publisher): There's nothing cozier than a winter evening in Greenwich Village. Streetlights shimmer through icy flakes, cafés glow with welcoming warmth, and a layer of snow dusts historic townhouses like powdered sugar on holiday confections. Murder has no place in such a pretty picture, until now ...

Coffeehouse manager Clare Cosi has grown very fond of Alfred Glockner, the part-time comic and genuinely jolly charity Santa who's been using her Village Blend as a place to warm his mittens. When she finds him brutally gunned down in a nearby alley, a few subtle clues convince her that Alfred's death was something more than the tragic result of a random mugging--the conclusion of the police. With Clare's boyfriend, NYPD Detective Mike Quinn, distracted by a cold case of his own, and ex-husband Matt investigating this year's holiday lingerie catalogs (an annual event), Clare charges ahead solo to solve her beloved Santa's slaying. Then someone tries to ice Clare, and she really gets steamed. But she'd better watch out, because if she fails to stop this stone cold killer, she may just get the biggest chill of her life.

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