Holiday Grind, the eighth coffeehouse mystery by Cleo Coyle. Now the ninth book, Roast Mortem, has just been released and it's another suspenseful outing full of fragrant aromas and danger.
Clare Cosi is a divorced coffeehouse manager who continually finds herself in hairy situations. This time, it's an explosive fire at a friend's cafe -- an incident where an employee and Clare's former mother-in-law are hurt and the elderly cafe owner is almost killed. Clare is certain that it was not an accident and she uses her excessive curiosity and tenacity to lead her to the culprit. But the path to discovery is not an easy one as it heads through a local firehouse with some unique personalities including the cousin of Clare's boyfriend who has a thing for Clare and a strong hatred of her boyfriend. Can Clare navigate a web of loyalty and bravado to get to the truth?
This was a pretty standard mystery. Its strengths are in the very detailed New York City setting and some vivid descriptions of Clare's cooking and baking. I'll admit to liking Clare a bit less than I did in the last book in the series. This time she seemed a bit more cranky and rude. However, I liked her ex-husband and her boyfriend more than in the last book! I would still like to go back and read the first seven books in the series when I have a chance.
This book has recipes in the back and I couldn't resist trying one of them, especially since there's a scene in the book where Clare is baking these Doughnut Muffins. They are meant to have the texture of an old fashioned doughnut and are topped with cinnamon sugar.
They looked great but we all know that there's only one way to measure baking success ...
I didn't get quite the right cake doughnut texture with these muffins (probably the fault of my less than stellar oven) but they were definitely tasty! After all, they have fresh nutmeg in the cake mix. Yum! There are also some savory recipes in the back and I would love to try the penne mac n' cheese. Next time I will probably try and enjoy the recipes while reading the book for a special experience.
Enjoying a little sweet companion to the bitterness of murder,
Support our site and buy Roast Mortem on Amazon or find it at your local library. We received an advance review copy from the author.