A smartphone dating game turns the Village Blend into a hookup hotspot--until a gunshot turns the landmark coffeehouse into a crime scene.
As Village Blend manager Clare Cosi fixes a date for her wedding, her ex-husband is making dates through smartphone swipes. Clare has mixed feelings about these match-ups happening in her coffeehouse. Even her octogenarian employer is selecting suitors by screenshot! But business is booming, and Clare works hard to keep the espresso shots flowing. Then one night, another kind of shot leaves a dead body for her to find.
The corpse is an entrepreneur who used dating apps with reckless abandon--breaking hearts along the way. The NYPD quickly arrests one of the heartbreaker's recent conquests. But the suspect's sister tearfully swears her sibling was framed. Clare not only finds reason to believe it, she fears the real killer will strike again.
Now Clare is "swiping" through suspects in her own shop--with the help of her globetrotting ex-husband, a man who's spent his life hunting for coffee and women. Together they're determined to find justice before another shot rings out.
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"Shot down again . . ."
My ex-husband dropped his hard body onto the soft stool at our crowded coffee bar, the thorny end of a long-stemmed rose still pricking his hand.
"Three strikes in one night," I said. "Does that mean you're out?"
"No, Clare. That's another kind of ball game."
"I hope you're talking about the Yankees."
"What do you think?"
"I think you should give up pitching woo and pitch in behind this counter . . ."
We were short-staffed this evening with every caf table occupied, the coffee bar packed, and a line of customers spilling into the chilly West Village night. Couples who couldn't find seats were sipping their lattes on the cold sidewalk.
According to my young baristas, the reason for this bounty of business was a hot new "dating game" application for smartphones. Hot was the operative word, since the app was called Cinder. This one included "user ratings" for the best public meeting places in the city, and we currently ranked in the top three.
Now that our landmark coffeehouse was a hookup hot spot for digital dating, my quiet evenings at the Village Blend displayed all the tranquility of a Times Square crosswalk.
"I'll work a shift," Matt told me. "But I'm not aproning-up until you caffeinate me."
"You want a single?" I asked.
"Make it a Red Eye."
The Red Eye aka "Shot in the Dark" was the barista's answer to the bartender's boilermaker, a jolty combination of espresso poured into a cup of high-caffeine light roast. It wasn't for the faint of heart. But then neither was my ex-husband.
A legend in the trade, Matteo Allegro was among the most talented coffee hunters in the world, as comfortable on a yacht floating in Portofino as in a muddy Jeep flirting with the edge of the Andes on Bolivia's infamous Death Road.
Adrenaline wasn't his only drug. During our marriage, he became addicted to cocaine while partying too hard below the equator. I helped him kick that deadly habit but failed to dent his other addiction-women.
Matt generated enough heat around the world's coffee belt to increase global warming, which is why I made the mature decision to put our marriage on ice. Even so, his behavior tonight seemed excessive. Who makes three dates in one night? And how could Matt have possibly struck out on all of them?
The very idea was (I had to admit) amusing. Not that anyone's rejection deserved to be mocked. On the contrary, I did my level best to suppress the surging wisecracks.
My raven-haired barista Esther, on the other hand, did not share my overactive conscience. From her perch at the register, she propped a hand on her ample hip and targeted Matt through her black-framed glasses.
"Did I hear right?" she asked. "The prince of passion was passed over? The sultan of seduction shunned? The archduke of desire dumped?"
"Hard to believe, I know . . ." With a smirk, Matt pushed his sweater's sleeves up tanned and sculpted forearms. "But even the best swingers foul out from time to time."
"I saw your first two dates vacate your table," Esther said. "I lost track of the third. What was the reason for the last heave-ho? She's a vegan and you eat veal?"
"No. The vegan was Mindy, an hour ago."
"What about the redhead at eight thirty?"
"She said I reminded her of her ex."
"And the little blonde who just left? Why didn't she like you?"
"Actually, she did. I reminded her of her father."
I tried not to laugh-and failed.
Matt noticed. "You're enjoying this, aren't you?"
"I'm sorry," I said. Hoping to make it up to him, I slid over his Red Eye. "Here you go, made with love."
Matt took a long hit and sighed. Then he laid his rosebud on the counter like a carnation on a coffin-and picked his smartphone back up.
"Hey! You agreed to help us back here, remember?"
Matt's focus didn't falter. "Just one more check of my Pumpkin Pot."
Esther rolled her eyes. "He's talking about that stupid Cinder app."
With a deep breath for patience, I went back to work behind the espresso machine. Three cappuccinos and two hazelnut mochas later, the man was still swiping.
"Enough!" I grabbed the phone.
That got his attention. "What's with the hostility?"
"I'm not hostile!" A few heads turned, and I lowered my voice. "Okay, maybe I'm a little hostile. This swipe-to-select coupling, and all these amped-up matches-it's like romance on Red Eyes. In my view, love should not be a sport."
"Not a sport, Clare, a game . . ." Snatching back his phone, Matt waved me closer. "Check this out-"
Like a little boy with a new toy, he showed off the screen. The word Cinder crackled in red letters, tongues of flame licking the edges. Below the logo were colorful animations-a glass slipper, fluttering fairy, and pulsing pumpkin-floating as innocently as Disney props.
Matt's finger stroked the tiny pumpkin. It jiggled and bounced, then grew and grew. Fairy dust fell from the digital sky, and the pumpkin transformed into a royal carriage with a purple banner reading-
Thumbnail images of a dozen women flew out the carriage door and formed a grid pattern. Matt tapped one of them, and a profile opened, showing an attractive woman with a forced coquettish smile, bangs arranged over one eye with great determination.
"I just swiped this Ella into my Pumpkin Pot. If she swipes my profile right by midnight tomorrow, I'll get a Tinkerbell notification."
"It means she sent him a Glass Slipper, dear." The reply came not from Matt but from his mother-Madame Dreyfus Allegro Dubois.
The beloved octogenarian owner of this century-old family business was in fine form this evening, sporting tailored wool slacks and a cashmere sweater the color of textured latte milk. Her silk scarf, printed with Edgar Degas's Dancers in Violet, brought out that very hue in her eyes, which appeared livelier than usual in our shop's soft evening light.
As Matt greeted his mother with a kiss on both cheeks, I pulled her a fresh espresso. "What brings you here so late?"
"I have a rendezvous!"
"With Otto?" I assumed since she'd been seeing the gallery owner for some time. But she shook her head.
"Otto's consultation work in Europe is ongoing. He and I agreed to keep things loose. And you know I'll need an escort for your wedding-once you and your blue knight finally decide on a venue."
"Believe me, we're trying."
"So . . ." She waved her smartphone. "I'm swiping to meet!"
"You're using Cinder?"
"Don't be silly! I use the Silver Foxes dating app. That software allows either sex to make the first move."
Matt's eyebrow arched. "Maybe I should try it."
"Heavens no, it's not for children! The user age starts at sixty-five."
Esther snorted. "Hear that? In twenty short years, Mr. Boss will have a date."
Matt waved his phone. "More like twenty seconds."
"See!" he said with renewed vigor-and thumb typing.
"What just happened?" I asked Esther.
"Cinder sent him a Tinkerbell notification."
"Of what? The approach of Captain Hook?"
"It's just a glorified text message," Esther explained, "telling him a woman wants to communicate with him. In Cinder-speak they call it a Glass Slipper. Only a Cinder-ella can send a slipper to a Cinder-fella. That's one reason the app has become so hot."
Matt nodded. "Contrary to the Connie Francis song, boys go where the girls are, and more women are on Cinder than any other app. They feel safer making the first move, and I'm happy to let them. Once they swipe me right, Tinkerbell alerts me, and we can set up a date to see if-"
"The Glass Slipper fits. I get it."
"And if it does . . ." Matt grinned. "We're on our way to the . . . uh-hem ball. That's Cinder-speak for going to-"
"I get that, too. But what happens if Ms. Pumpkin Pot swipes left on you instead of right?"
"Then we're done. Accept-Reject. Win-Lose. It's that simple."
"Simple? Or reductive? The decision to accept or reject a human being is being made on a few pictures and a paragraph!"
"So?" Matt halted his thumb-typing. "Look, it's no different than meeting a prospective partner in a bar or at a party. You check each other out, flirt a little, and you hit it off-or you don't. The app just makes the party bigger."
"One must keep up with the times, dear," Madame advised with a wink. Then she finished her espresso and tossed us a farewell wave. "My Silver Fox is in the coop!"
"I don't disagree with your mother," I told Matt when he finally joined us behind the counter. "Keeping up with change is smart-from a practical standpoint. But there are larger issues to consider."
"Like change isn't always for the better, especially when it involves human nature."
Matt scoffed, but Esther countered-
"Ms. Boss ain't wrong. I read an article by a social scientist who believes these dating apps are artificially turbo-boosting the 'hit-it-and-quit-it' culture, devolving excessive users into the addictive cycle of Skinner box animals."
Matt waved away my concern. As he tied on his apron, he pointed to his mother, who was already happily on her way out the door with her dapper-looking date. Then he challenged me to prove this "devolution" theory with a concrete example.
I couldn't. Not then. Within the hour, however, one of our customers did it for me . . .
I was sipping an espresso on a much-needed break when-
The sound of a single gunshot tore through our upstairs lounge.
Looking back, I shouldn't have been so shocked. A new mate with every swipe meant the old one was tossed away. When it happens enough times, anyone's candy-store excitement could turn sour, even bitter. Binary code could connect continents, but it couldn't reprogram people, delete our fears and frailties. Or erase our potential for violence . . .
At the sound of that bang upstairs, everyone on the main floor quieted, the sea of faces going blanker than a dead smartphone screen.
Was that really a gun?
BANG! BANG! BANG!
With three more shots, chaos ensued. Freaked-out bodies stampeded the exit in unstoppable waves, and I bobbed amid the panic like a cork in the Atlantic.
"Clare!" Matt shouted, leaping over the counter. "Where are you?"
"I'm here!" I jumped up to show him and, on the next bounce, screamed a gentle suggestion to-
"Call the police!"
As frantic patrons flowed around me, I noticed something disturbing (apart from the gunfire and mass exodus). Not a single person had come down from the second floor.
I pushed my way through the crowd until I'd reached the bottom of our spiral staircase. It stood like a wrought-iron sculpture, still and empty. Peering up, I saw no one and quickly climbed three steps for height.
Across the retreating sea of humanity, Matt was calling 911. When our eyes met, I pointed to the ceiling, my meaning clear-
I'm going up!
Matt's eyes bugged and he fervently shook his head.
I knew he wanted me to wait for the police, but I couldn't sit by and do nothing. One of my other baristas, Dante Silva, was up there, along with a floor of innocent customers.
Was this a hostage situation? Or someone's idea of a joke? Were people terrorized and injured? Or was this simply a misunderstanding?
Whatever was going down, I was determined to have a look, and (if possible) try to help. This was my coffeehouse, my staff, my responsibility.
"You take the service stairs!" I mouthed to Matt before starting my climb.
As I crested the top, I slowed my movements, entering the lounge in a crouched position. I spotted Dante's shaved head and tattooed arms in a small crowd of gawking patrons.
Finally, I saw who they were gawking at.
A slender woman stood near the middle of the room. She was about my daughter's age. Her white silk blouse looked virginal over her pink flowered skirt. Honey blond hair fell to her twenty-something shoulders.
I'd seen her several times in our coffeehouse. She seemed a shy type, always sat alone-though she sometimes conversed with Tucker Burton, my assistant manager. On those visits, her willowy arms had sported a fashionable handbag or tote. Tonight, those limbs appeared to be accessorized with a semiautomatic handgun.
"DON'T YOU EVER LAUGH AT ME AGAIN. GOT IT?!"
Her shrill threat was directed at a man in his thirties. Cornered and cowering in a high-back Victorian chair, the guy appeared to be dressing for success in a designer skinny suit and open-collared shirt. His brown hair was threaded with salon-golden highlights, and the cut looked trendy-close-cropped on the sides with the thick, longish top slicked back.
I'd seen this man a few times over the past week-in the company of several different women-though I couldn't be sure, since his hands were raised in front of him and his head was turned at an angle that effectively hid his face.
"I'll shoot you next time instead of the ceiling! How would you like that? A bullet right into your heart. Or maybe your smirking mouth. Or better yet, how about down there?"
Wisely, Mr. Bullseye elected not to take the multiple-choice quiz.
"Maybe I should shoot you down there. Then you'll know how painful it is to be shot down!"
The man's smartphone had fallen onto the ground and lay near his expensive loafers, along with a pen and a few bits of paper. When it sprang to life, so did he. In a stunningly brainless move, he lunged to answer it.
"No! Don't you touch that phone!!"
With a savage kick, the young woman sent the device flying. Then she slapped the man's head with her gun. He gave a yelp and curled back farther into the chair.
"I won't let you degrade another woman. I'd rather see you dead! Do you understand? DEAD!"
About then, I noticed something that alarmed me (even more than this mini Italian opera). My barista Dante began to inch closer to the female shooter and her loaded gun.
This young woman hadn't shot anyone. Not yet, anyway.
Was she disturbed? Yes.
Enraged? Absolutely-at the guy in front of her, and that was the point. She was obviously reacting to some kind of rejection from this man, which made me certain that another man wasn't the answer to helping her see reason.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Fun summer easy read. Always love getting away to the coffee house for a great cozy mystery
This book kept my attention from beginning to end. I like the character development and how the story moves along. Looking forward to the next one.
Loved this one and it kept me intrigued the whole time. This is one of my favorite series.
Another awesome book in this series!! Claire gets involved in some interesting things and we get to hear about more of our favorite Coffee House friends!!! LOVE IT!!!!
Suspenseful and a fun read.
SHOT IN THE DARK, the seventeenth book in the Coffeehouse Mystery series by Cleo Coyle, is a terrific addition to an outstanding series! From the acknowledgement at the beginning of the book (don’t skip reading it: the author adds many heartfelt words and a bit of insight into the setting and premise of the story) through the very last page, Ms. Coyle's storytelling packs a punch. The protagonist, Clare Cosi, is well-developed and even if you haven’t read previous books, you’ll still feel like she’s an old friend. I enjoyed the easy relationship Clare has with her employees, her ex-mother-in-law, and even with her ex-husband, Matteo Allegro, despite the fact that he is obsessed with a hot new dating app. Ms. Coyle accurately captures the “disposable” attitude sweeping our society and made me more aware of how much screen time I spend versus really paying attention to the actual people around me. It is quite eye-opening. She adds some humor though, in the form of one of her baristas setting up a “Shot Down Lounge” where people can hang out after their dating app hookup turns out to be another letdown instead of a happily ever after. The mystery has numerous twists and turns, weaving the reader through murder, illicit drugs, cutting edge fitness clubs, and today’s digital dating scene. A hair-raising finale kept me on the edge of my seat while the conclusion wrapped up the various threads satisfactorily. And did I mention the food? You’ll be hungry reading about all the delectable treats and coffee drinks Clare serves at the Village Blend. Fortunately Ms. Coyle offers numerous recipes at the back of the book for both and they all sound amazing! I was provided a Netgalley copy with the hopes I would review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
Why do I keep giving Cleo Coyle five stars? In a recent Writer’s Digest article, an editor pointed out a hierarchy of needs as criteria for a book review. Just like people need food, water, and shelter to survive, a book needs certain elements to keep the reader engaged. Then there are those extras that can make a book fascinating and memorable. Cleo’s book has all the components of the hierarchy, including readability, clear language, varied sentence structure, flowing dialogue, and easy-to-follow plots. However—and this is what sets Ms. Coyle apart from many mystery authors—she adds an extra something that transforms her mysteries from good to great. Cleo’s characters are charming, dimensional, and simply fun to be around. What is central to the story, of course, is the coffeehouse atmosphere, and Cleo gives clear and rich descriptions that make me feel as though I am right in the middle of a scene. In fact, I sometimes wonder if Matt will notice my staring or Madam will see my adoration of her. (Cleo must know that I adore Madam and has given me such a treat with this book, such as Madam’s delightfully naughty line while sitting at a table that sent me into grins and a cry for more.) Fortunately, the descriptions don’t end after chapter one. Throughout the entire story we are gifted with a rich, sensory narrative to see the room, feel the crowd, breathe in the scent of cinnamon-apple bread, or hear ambulance sirens outside. The other element that Cleo executes masterfully is character and plot intricacy. As the series progresses, the reader really gets to know the characters. We have loved with them, seen their mistakes, and journeyed with them as they grow and solve exciting new cases. Just because a mystery falls perfectly into the “cozy” genre, it does not mean it lacks originality and innovation. Here is that extra something that Ms. Coyle delivers: trust. We know for certain how fun each fresh, new book will be. Readers trust Cleo Coyle to provide entertainment, surprises, memorable friends, and a well-plotted mystery, with an extra cup of recipe yumminess that sends her to the top of my favorites list. Always.
“But you put ubuntu into practice more than anyone I know—outside of the Nguni, anyway.” Esther threw up her hands. “So what does it mean?” “It means humanity,” I said. “More than that . . .” Matt leaned forward. “Ubuntu is a deep-seated belief that humanity is something we owe to one another. How I act toward you is what defines me. Not what I have or what I wear—but how I treat you, how I interact with you.” “In Africa, it’s also about sharing,” I pointed out. “Generosity of spirit and community. An awareness that we’re all interconnected.” In this, the 17th book in the Coffeehouse Mystery, we find all the regulars with a few new “situations” in the mix. Clare and Mike are engaged; Matt has divorced his second wife and is now living at the Warehouse with his coffee beans. Their daughter Joy, now madly in love with Detective Franco is running a new coffeehouse in DC. And Madame is still Madame, one foot squarely in the past, with other other on the pulse of the future, including “swiping right” on dating apps. And that’s the basis for this book. Dating apps can make or break venues, bank accounts, and more than hearts as a string of unrelated homicides surrounding the Coffeehouse put Clare and Co smack dab in the middle of drugs, money and revenge, dragging Matt,Joy, Madame and Franco into the wild world of dating in the 21st century. Told in usual Cleo Coyle style, this series never leaves you flat, and the wonderful recipes keep you coming back for more. Highly Recommended 5/5 [I borrowed this book from our library and chose to review it]
Another great Coffeehouse Mystery in one of my favorite series! Shot in the Dark is based around a historic New York City coffeehouse and its managers, Clare Cosi. When Clare and her coffeehouse, The Village Blend, get caught up in the firestorm of a hot dating app and a murder, she relies on her friends and family for support and to help in her sleuthing. This story has a great plot, with some interesting new characters, more than one mystery to solve, and some background on today's "swipe-and-meet" mobile dating scene. I was kept guessing throughout the whole book, second-guessing myself when new evidence popped up and changing everything I thought I had figured out. It was so fun to visit the Village Blend again and the characters I've grown to love throughout the 17 books in this series: Matt, Mike, Madame, and the Blend crew. I love how this series always includes some delicious recipes and coffeemaking tips, along with mini-tours of different areas of New York. I hope this series continues for a long time!
Author Cleo Coyle has created another fresh blend of mystery and mayhem that will have readers asking for a refill. My sister started reading cozy mysteries before they were even called cozies. So, when she recommends a series, I know I have to read it. The Coffeehouse Mysteries is such series. I’ve enjoyed the few I’ve read before, and I liked SHOT IN THE DARK. Playing on the theme of phone app dating made for an intriguing story using a very current trend. For a mystery it can make for an endless number of suspects. Through twists, turns, and gourmet brews, readers will be flying through the pages until the very end. Cleo Coyle is known for showing readers a caffeinated good time, and SHOT IN THE DARK is the perfect cup. Make sure to try out the recipes included. Your taste buds will thank you!
Dollycas’s Thoughts These dating apps have been the rage and this one is supposed to unique. Clare’s ex seems to have a new addiction, meeting new “Cinderella’s”, sometimes more than one a night. The new hot meeting place for this new app Cinder just happens to be the Village Blend. Business is jumping until gunshots are fired in the upstairs lounge. The place clears out quick and the cops arrive to make the arrest. Luckily no one was hurt but can the Village Blend survive the bad PR? The next night when Clare ventures out to pick up her boss from a date gone wrong she finds a girl’s body floating in the water. She recognizes the girl as one of her customers and is shocked to find she has a memory stick with 5 copies of the viral video of the shooting the night before. Panicking about how this is going effect her business Clare reluctantly teams up with the creators of Cinder to host a night that will hopefully bring business back. But then, another dead body is found, the police are back and may have arrested the wrong person. Can Claire match the right suspect to the crime before there’s another “shot in the dark”? And will she have a job after everything that has happened? I love this series! I love these characters! I can’t believe this is the 17th book in this series. The authors do an excellent job of making each story fresh and new for their fans while also giving new readers plenty of detail to be able to jump right into this series even at book 17. Clare Cozi manages the Village Blend along with her ex-husband. The place is actually owned by her ex-mother-in-law. She has a great staff, a wonderful fiance’ and a level head on her shoulders. She just doesn’t understand this new dating app craze. Her staff does their best to help her out. Her ex has taken the whole thing to the extreme but he is not alone. Even his mother is using an app to line up dates. These characters are delightful. They jump off of the page. Their dialogues are snappy and at time laugh out loud funny. The authors have hit the mystery part of this story out of the park. Twists, turns, drugs and fitness clubs wrapping it together with this dating app phenomenon that is taking over the world. The story is very fast paced and the authors set up the chapters in such a way that you keep saying “just one more chapter” again and again. This book was impossible to put down. The Village Blend and New York are a spectacular setting for this story. The author’s descriptions create a visual masterpiece for readers to enjoy. I can smell the coffee, the rich blends, along with delicious baked goodies too. In addition to all the action, a light is shined on this “face in your phone” society in which we are living. Maybe because I am a dinosaur that doesn’t have a cell phone I see it more than others. I go to dinner with my family and look around the table and everyone but me and my grandchildren have their heads buried deep into whatever is happening on their phones. I do realize that if the children had cell phones I would be on my own. I love new technology but am not a fan of all the time they take away from daily life. For my family, I do make a conscious effort to say “phones down, family time.” Cleo Coyle never disappoints. Wonderful characters, intriguing mysteries, and just the right amounts of humor and romance. Each new story becomes another favorite. This was such an entertaining story with so many exciting moments. It truly was a perfect escape!!
Are you a fan of a good cup of coffee? What about cozy coffee shops with lots of eclectic patrons? Do you have a taste for the big apple? Ever tried online dating? Are you an amateur sleuth in training? If any of these apply to you, then I've got a book for you! Cleo Coyle returns with the seventeenth book in the Coffeehouse Mystery series, Shot in the Dark. The Village Blend is ablaze with the latest craze... a dating app which names it the most romantic coffeeshop in the city for finding love. But not everybody finds a soulmate. Shots are fired and the mystery is on... What I liked: If you're a foodie like me, you like to find great little out of the way places that serve more than just coffee. They serve 'atmosphere'. The Village Blend is one of those places. Every time I read one of Cleo Coyle's Coffeehouse mysteries, I wish there was a coffeeshop like this one in my area. This little shop in Greenwich Village is captivating in every aspect. From the amazing coffee to the pastries, to the eclectic characters that populate it. I always feel like I learn even more about New York, when I return to the Village Blend and the latest book is no exception. Shot in the Dark not only provides a good mystery, but as usual, it imparts more than just a whodunit. Coyle must do a ton of research for every book. They are so authentic and so New York. Setting is everything. One of the best parts of a new Coffeehouse Mystery is the plethora of new characters that Coyle introduces in each one. Shot in the Dark is all about bringing people together. In this case a new smartphone dating app is the latest craze. I love how Coyle is able to take new characters and intersperse them with the recurring characters and make it all seem so seamless. I started reading this one wondering which one of these characters was gonna go off the rails first. I constantly try to outwit this author and figure it out before the end, but I never have any luck with these. There are so many twists and turns and interesting details that it's nearly impossible to figure it out until the end. That's a hallmark of a good cozy mystery. Clare is the ultimate amateur sleuth. If I found myself on the wrong end of an investigation I think I'd trust her judgement more than the detectives. This is a character that Coyle has really perfected throughout the series. I've always liked her feisty New York attitude and the way her mind works is so fun to read about. I love all of the relationships she has built along with way and the interactions she has with each person. Clare may be new to some readers but I guarantee once you read about her in this one, you'll going back to read the others. The mystery as usual was amazingly written. Coyle never ceases to amaze when it comes to new plots and ideas. You'd think seventeen books in a series might get a little stale. Not so, with this one. I think they get better with each new addition to the series. Coyle is always able to keep the stories relevant as well as entertaining. I liked the dating app angle. I mean that's something that is really popular right now and I love that Coyle always stays on top of things. Her books are always current and full of surprises. What I didn't Like: I know that online dating is all the craze. People have more opportunities to meet people than ever before. Maybe it's a good thing, maybe it's not. Some people will like exploring this avenue for a mystery and some readers may kind it a little
What an exciting new whodunit!!! In this next book of the series things are going well at the Village Blend and all is looking right for Clare. The uptake in clientele seems to be due to a new dating app that has everyone swiping right including her ex and his mother. It has Clare wondering about all the things that could go wrong when using it. During a busy evening at the Blend a client pulls a gun on a man who dumped her after a hookup making Clare worry about the ramifications of the incident on her business. When she gets a call from her ex mother-in-law who has had a bad date after meeting a man from a dating app Clare rushes to the rescue. They decide to have a meal at a local restaurant by the water leading to Clare seeing something floating which looks suspiciously like a body. The dead woman ends up being a customer and Clare just can't let her death go, she's sure it wasn't a suicide, an accident, or mugging. Follow along as Clare dives into the online world of dating and swiping right to look for a murderer. The author truly knows how to weave a tale of mystery and intrigues you the whole way through. This is such a great series filled with amazing characters, wonderful writing about coffee, and a fabulous setting. I always look forward to visiting with Clare and seeing what she gets into next.
There is something sleek and sophisticated about this series that I just adore! This is a fun series. There is something about it that is just classy. It is a coffee version of Laura Child’s Tea Shop Mystery Series for me. The writing is conversational and flows easily. I love all the recipes that are included and the author has a great website to accompany the series.
I guess you might call this a gritty cozy mystery. The characters are wonderfully developed. I really care about (or actively dislike) them. This is an engaging and intriguing story. Online dating Slimy would be dates Outraged women Revenge An odd health club guru And the wonderful coffee house! It's a wonderful read and ride!