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Decaffeinated Corpse (Berkley Prime Crime Mysteries) Mass Market Paperback – 31 Aug 2011

4.7 out of 5 stars 6 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 273 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin USA (31 Aug. 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0425216381
  • ISBN-13: 978-0425216385
  • Product Dimensions: 10.8 x 2 x 17.1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,039,247 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

About the Author

Cleo Coyle is the pen name for a multipublished author who collaborates with her husband to write the nationally bestselling Coffeehouse Mysteries. Although they did not meet until adulthood, Cleo and her husband had very similar upbringings. Both were children of food-loving Italian immigrants, and both grew up in working-class neighborhoods outside of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, before moving to the Big Apple to begin their postcollege careers: Cleo as a journalist and children's book and media tie-in author; and her husband as a magazine editor and writer. After finally meeting and falling in love, they married at the Little Church of the West in Las Vegas. Now they live and work in New York City, where they each write books independently and together, cook like crazy, haunt local coffeehouses, and drink a lot of joe. Among their many coauthored projects are the Haunted Bookshop Mysteries, written under the pen name Alice Kimberly. Cleo enjoys hearing from readers. Visit her virtual Village Blend coffeehouse, where she also posts recipes and coffee industry news...

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Format: Mass Market Paperback
"Decaffeinated corpse" is the fifth mystery novel in the Coffeehouse Mysteries-series by Cleo Coyle, and by far the best. (Not that the others weren't good; just that this one is even better). This series has grown with leaps and bounds, and especially the setting, for the most part in other parts of New York, away from the Village Blend makes this for a far more entertaining, energetic read.
Anyway, to recap for those new to this series: Clare Cosi is manager of the Village Blend, a historic coffee shop in New York's Greenwich Village. Her life is a complicated blend of managing the Village Blend; pleasing the customers with delightful espressos, lattes and other kinds of coffee; worrying about her daughter Joy who's now grown and gone but has a knack for getting into trouble; her attempts at managing the difficult, headstrong Village Blend's coffee buyer and also her coffeeshop-partner (AND ex-husband) Matt Allegro, not to mention the other beaus in her life like NYPD-detective Mike Quinn; and handling Madame, the Blend's flamboyant, elderly owner. To add something extra to this complicated brew, she also has a tendency to have things "happen around her", like murders.
Of course, in "Decaffeinated corpse" it doesn't take long before the first dead body shows up as she gets involved when an old friend of her ex-husband develops the world's first botanically decaffeinated coffee bean, which seems a great business opportunity for the Blend's international kiosks which have recently been started up by Matt. And after that, it really starts to get complicated as casualties start piling up and high on the suspects-list are those near and dear to her... But I leave it to the reader to find out how Clare manages to find the murderer...
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At the Village Blend, Clare and her baristas refer to a decaffeinated espresso as a "why bother?" but Clare knows that a growing percentage of customers prefer decaf at least part of the time. So when an old friend of Matt's develops the first botanically decaffeinated coffee bean, Clare leaps at the exclusive opportunity to distribute the beans. But then Matt's friend is attacked and Clare begins to investigate as the body count begins to rise.

This is the fifth Coffeehouse Mystery (after On What Grounds, Through the Grinder, Latte Trouble and Murder Most Frothy). I was a little disappointed in the last one which left me apprehensive of beginning this one. Thankfully this is both a return to form and to the usual NYC setting.

The mystery this time revolves around the world of decaffeinated coffee and is full of infomation on how coffee beans are decaffeinated, and even touches on biopiracy and the intellectual property rights of new breeds of plant. Beginning with what appears to be a simple mugging, Clare's investigation quickly involves Madame and Quinn who is back for this book. Matt's relationship with Breanne is blossoming, as is Joy's inappropriate new relationship. The mystery takes centre stage though, and leads up to a brilliant ending.
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By Clare O'Beara TOP 500 REVIEWER on 15 Jan. 2013
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Something about this series stops me getting into it completely. I found this better than some of the others, mainly because there is a lot of interesting information about growing coffee plants and cultivating different strains for the beans. As can be guessed from the title, a strain with no or low caffeine has been developed and while the coffee shop owner in NY prefers her coffee rich and strong, she agrees to sell the new blend. However this plant is valuable and someone appears keen to kill for it. If I fell over as many corpses as this lady, I'd move, but she keeps on selling coffee and asking questions. The characters never really grew on me but it is nice to see this corner of the big city.
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