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Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Book Review: Holiday Grind by Cleo Coyle

TITLE: Holiday Grind
SERIES: Coffeehouse Mystery, Book #8
AUTHOR: Cleo Coyle 
PUBLICATION DATE: November 2, 2010 (first published 2009)
FORMAT: Mass Market Paperback, 384 pages
GENRE: Mystery, Holiday/Christmas
ISBN: 9780425237885
When Village Blend manager Clare Cosi finds a red-suited body in the snow, she adds solving Santa's slaying to her coffeehouse menu, only to discover the jolly old soul had a list that he was checking twice-and the folks on it were not very nice.


I won this book in a giveaway last year, and it arrived just in time for me to enjoy during the holiday season!

The star of the series is Clare Cosi, who is manager and part-owner of the Village Blend, a coffeehouse in New York. Her business partner is her ex-husband, Matteo "Matt" Allegro, who is an international coffee broker and is responsible for sourcing the beans for the coffeehouse. Matt's elderly grandmother actually owned the Village Blend, and she handed it down to Clare and Matt when they married.

Clare is hosting a private tasting party to sample the new holiday latte blends. It was actually the brainstorm of her friend, Alfred Glockner, to call them "Fa-la-la-la Lattes." When Alfred is late for the party, Clare decides to hit the streets to look for him. He volunteers as a Traveling Santa, so he can usually be found milling the streets in the area to raise money for the less fortunate. When Clare finds his sleigh and cashbox on the street with Alfred nowhere in sight, she becomes worried. She notices two sets of footprints leading into the alley, and only one coming out. She follows the trail and finds Alfred, who has been gunned down. She immediately calls the police and, while waiting for them to show, she notices that the snow is falling more heavily. She sees a trail of footprints that match Alfred's boots coming out of the courtyard into the alley. Realizing that the footprints would soon be obliterated by the falling snow, she follows them to try to figure out where Alfred had been.

Clare is an amateur sleuth, and she gets herself into all sorts of trouble poking her nose into other people's business! I found her to be a very likeable protagonist. The mystery definitely kept me on my toes, and there is much more going on than meets the eye. The romance between Clare and her boyfriend, NYPD Detective Mike Quinn, is sweet and realistic - they have their problems and misunderstandings just like everyone else.

I loved this cozy mystery! Coyle is a new-to-me author and, even though this is Book #8 in the Coffeehouse Mystery series, I did not have any trouble following along. However, the book does make reference to past cases which intrigues me even more to go back and read the rest of this series! I also want to get the back-story on Clare and Matt and also to find out more about Mike. I am definitely reading more!


  1. I'm so happy that you enjoyed the book! The Coffeehouse Mysteries are one of my favorite cozy mysteries series!!

    1. And it is because of you, Birgit, that I found this series! THANK YOU!!

  2. I am participating in the Cruisin' thru the Cozies challenge to, I will have to see if I can get my hands on this to read for that. Thanks for linking up your first read for the Mystery/Crime Reading Challenge I'm hosting!
    Amy Yingling
    The Crafty Book Nerd

    1. Thanks for hosting, Amy! I hope you'll enjoy this one as much as I did!

  3. Just stopping in from the What's in a Name challenge.....looks like a great read!


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