Tuesday, August 10, 2010

New Release: Roast Mortem

Last year I reviewed, 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.


  1. Can't comment on the series as I have nerv come across it but I love the title! The idea of recipes at the back is lovely and your baking looks great.

  2. Kristen - Thank you so much for this very kind review. I am grinning over your comments about my amateur sleuth, Clare Cosi. This was one tough case for her (not just as a sleuth but personally), and it definitely put her under a strain. I also think Clare's ex-husband and business partner, Matt, came through like a champ for her in this round, and that was a lot of fun to write.

    I'm also thrilled that you made Clare's Doughnut Muffins! One problem: You made the recipe from an Advanced Reading Copy (ARC) of the book. That means the recipe section was not yet proofed for errors. Next time you make the muffins, use granulated sugar instead of confectioners' sugar and you won't have any trouble with the texture. That error was corrected in the final book. The same holds true for the other recipes in the ARC. There might be errors in ingredients or directions. That's why I'm sending you a signed copy of the final, printed hardcover version of ROAST MORTEM -- so you don't have any other recipe problems!

    I'm so glad you enjoyed the book, and I thank you for taking the time and trouble to review it. I've posted a live link to your review at my website CoffeehouseMystery.com (live link below). Scroll down to "A Note from Cleo" and you'll see your blog in the list.

    Read with joy!
    ~ Cleo Coyle
    Coffeehouse Mystery.com
    Cleo Coyle on Twitter

  3. I just love the title!!

    And Doughnut Muffins ... obviously the work of the DEVIL!

  4. How fun is that :-) I love the title and the muffins look awesome- makes me want to run down to the corner coffee shop and get a snack!

  5. Jux - It's a fun cozy series. It looks like they are available in the UK.

    Cleo - I was kind of falling for Matt in this one. Clare would have hated it! ;) And don't worry, I'll definitely try making the Doughnut Muffins again!

    Jenners - The titles of this series are all really cute!

    Marie - I love coffee shop snacks -- scones, muffins, sweet breads ... mmm!