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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars "In a criminal investigation there are no coincidences...", 6 Jan 2012
By 
Nicola F (Nic) (United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
Book nine of this wonderful little cosy mystery series finds Clare Cosi, manager of NY's `Village Blend' coffee house and amateur sleuth, more personally involved in trying to solve a crime this time after her cop boyfriend is accused of arson. Can Clare save the day once more and nail the real culprit?

I have to say that I was a little bit disappointed in the book before this one thinking that the storytelling quality had dropped somewhat, but thankfully `Roast Mortem' finds Clare back to her sleuthing best with all of the regular characters thrown in for good measure- and it was nice to meet a few new characters too, particularly some of her boyfriend Mike Quinn's family (though his obnoxious cousin makes a reappearance, unfortunately) and get to know more about him.

The writing flows nicely with a fairly fast-paced plot and you are clearly able to visualise the settings as a reader, though I did find myself distracted by a lot of the dialogue this time if I'm honest- there seemed to be so much of it. I also found myself thinking I'd guessed the suspect fairly quickly, though there were a few twists and turns thrown in which didn't make it as easy as I'd anticipated! I enjoy non too predictable mystery novels, of which this was one. At the back of the book are recipes and coffee making tips which have been featured in the story, should you wish to try making any of them yourself. This is actually standard fare for cosy mystery books, but I do always like having a flick through them.

Ultimately, these books make for excellent quick reading to while away a few lazy hours. I would have to say though that given that this is now so far along in the series it does take for granted a bit that the reader immediately knows who is who and how relationships are connected, so I would say that these books are probably best off being read in their intended order, just so you aren't thrown in at the deep end! Start at the beginning and savour the tales of Village Blend right from the very start- you don't have to be a mad coffee lover (like me) to enjoy them either.
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