Reviewer: Mary Lignor
Title: Roast Mortem - 9th in the Coffeehouse Mystery series
Author: Cleo Coyle
Publisher: Berkley Prime Crime
ISBN-13: 978-0-425-23459-4 (Hardcover)
Release Date: August 2010
Genre/Sub-genre: Cozy Mystery
Year/Setting: Present day, New York City
Overall Rating: 5.0
Sexual Content Rating: Subtle
Language (Profanity/Slang) Content Rating: Mild
Violent Content Rating: Moderate
Cleo's Website/Blog: www.coffeehousemystery.com
This cozy series is first rate. I have only read one other, but the books were both very readable and I read this one in one sitting as it was a little different.
Clare Cosi is the manager of the Village Blend Coffeehouse in Greenwich Village, NY and has perfected her brand of steaming hot espresso. But, she is faced with another type of burning when a firebug is at work burning down coffeehouses and cafes around the city and firefighters are beginning to become victims in very suspicious ways. Clare and her former mother-in-law are visiting a cafe when a fire breaks out due to a bomb planted by the firebug. The firemen of Ladder Company 189 pull Clare and her friends from the burning building and as a favor to the FDNY Clare goes to the firehouse to show the men how to operate their donated espresso machine. In the meantime cafes are burning and the clues are few and far between. Clare decides to investigate and looks into a five-borough bake sale and also looking out for clues in various pizza joints of Brooklyn.
Her boyfriend, Detective Mike Quinn, is falsely accused of trying to help out his cousin during an arrest for DWI. Mike's older cousin and brother of the accused hasn't spoken to Mike for years because he cannot forgive him for not helping family. Mike's older cousin is a fireman and his name is also Michael Quinn. This does prove to be a little difficult in some of the dialogue as you sometimes get the two Mikes mixed up. Clare, of course, jumps in to help save her boyfriend and is in danger when someone tries to set her business on fire.
This is a busy book but, if you pay attention you will enjoy it. A lot is centered on the workings of the New York Fire Departments and the heroic work these men do every day of their lives. The plot gets a little convoluted at times but, the author is very good at describing scenes of arson and how the FDNY works together to help the public. Enjoy and I'll talk to you soon.
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