How can it be? This club of the rich and powerful has been completely duped. Someone's passed off this dud of a bean as the Village Blend's signature Ambrosia, which it decidedly is not! Not even close!
"Clare?" Eric said, obviously sensing my distress.
Scene or not, I could not let this situation stand. "Please call the waiter back." (ch. 31)Billionaire Blend by Cleo Coyle is the 13th Coffeehouse Mystery, a stand alone cozy with the coffee house theme. Set in Manhattan, the novels follow owners Clare Cosi and her ex-husband Matteo Allegro, along with Matteo's enigmatic mother, who are all co-owners of the successful coffee house, The Village Blend.
In this novel, Clare helps save the life of online game app and tech wizard, Eric Thorner, who is injured in her coffeehouse when a car bomb goes off outside, killing Eric's female chauffeur. Clare jets all over the world to exotic coffee growing locations in South America, Jamaica, Africa, and Asia, sampling coffee to find the right beans to create the Billionaire Blend, a blend Eric is planning to create and market exclusively to the very rich.
Clare's love interest, the detective Mike Quinn, helps with the solving of the car bombing and its link to Eric and his high tech businesses. Matchmaking for her daughter Joy is another concern for Clare, and the subplot takes on Clare's reuniting Joy with her true love.
Recommendations: I liked going on whirl wind trips around the globe with Clare and learning about different types of coffees and how they are grown and produced. The trips are never dull, the characters are always intriguing, and the plot does keep you on your toes, just like a cup of strong coffee. You can tell that Cleo Coyle is an experienced cozy writer as she takes you effortlessly into her world, in this case around the world with coffee. A five star rating, in my books.
Thanks to Berkley and Penguin for a review copy of this book, which will be released in paperback August 5, 2014.