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on 5 March 2011
Clare Cosi has struck a deal with her friend David Mintzer: in exchange for an all-expenses-paid summer at his exclusive Hamptons beach house, Clare will teach the staff at his new restaurant how to best serve coffee. So Clare packs up her daughter Joy and ex-mother-in-law Madame and heads off for a relaxing beach-front summer. That is until an employee ends up dead in David's bathroom and Clare becomes convinced that David himself was the target. Soon she's off trying to solve a murder, and prevent another.

I was looking forward to this after reading the first three books in the Coffeehouse Mysteries series (On What Grounds,Through the Grinder and Latte Trouble) and I found it to be a surprisingly summery read. It is a little lighter than the others in the series (although they aren't necessarily dark - they are cozy mysteries after all), and I think I'll most likely reread this in the summer with a large iced coffee.

This time the action is relocated from the Village Blend in Manhattan's trendy Greenwich Village to the elite Hamptons area. Full of mansions and snobby multimillionaires, Clare doesn't really fit in but as she's there for work I wouldn't expect her to. Her friend David was introduced briefly in the last book, and doesn't get much more development here. Clare is determined to track down the killer, and this time she doesn't get much help or support from her friends and family. Joy is still rebelling in every way possible, and Madame is off having a summer fling.

The mystery itself is well developed with a surprising ending, although part of the mystery became clear early on. I liked that most of my favourite characters returned, although Matt's presence in the Hamptons seemed a bit of a stretch. I also loved the new character Jim, but I don't think he'll be returning any time soon.

As usual the book includes a selection of gorgeous sounding recipes, this time for The Village Blend's Chilly Choco Latte, Tropical Coffee Frappe (Rum and Coconut Coffee Smoothie), Frothy Seafoam Frappe (Cocoa-Mint Espresso Smoothie), Old Fashioned Iced Coffee, Simple Sugar Syrup, Clare's Cafe Pousson (8 layered chocolate-almond espresso), Clare's Chocolate-Walnut-Espresso Brownies, Almond Torte and Flourless Chocolate-Kahlua Cake.

All in all, this is a great summery read and I'm looking forward to reading Decaffeinated Corpse next.

Plot: 9/10
Characters: 9/10
Ending: 9/10
Enjoyment: 9/10
Cover: 10/10

Overall: 46/50
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on 6 January 2010
The fourth installment of the 'Coffee House Mystery' series, and whilst it was entertaining- in my opinion it just wasn't as good as the previous novels. That's not to say it was *bad* you understand, just that it didn't quite hold my attention in the same way.

I think this is for a number of reasons: 1) This story was set in the Hamptons and not in Village Blend itself, 2) A couple of newer characters were introduced who seemed a bit flat and one dimensional and 3) Not enough Tucker (my favourite barista) or Mike Quinn! Grrr.

Nevertheless, coffee shop manager Clare Cosi is back to doing what she does best: brewing coffee and solving murders. The amateur sleuth, accompanied by her former mother in law, Madame, and daughter Joy, has headed to the Hamptons to train barista's in a new restaurant at the behest of her incredibly rich friend David. After a murder of a waiter at his lush home, Clare suspects that in fact *David* was the intended target and ponders who would have the desire (and motive) to kill him. There's a couple of appearances from Clare's ex-hubbie Matteo and Mike Quinn makes an appearance by phonecall, but that's about it- otherwise most of the characters featured aren't very familiar, which is what I liked about the previous books- building that sense like you know who's who. Also, as Joy *REALLY* began to get on my nerves in the last book, in this one she annoyed me beyond belief. What a brat! A new possible love interest for Clare adds an interesting dimension to things, but the ending overall is a little bit dull.

If you've enjoyed the rest of the Coffee House Mysteries, I would recommend that you keep going by reading this book, just don't expect to like it as much as the previous ones. Nevertheless, I'm off to read book 5... and I'll let you know what I think.
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on 28 February 2008
This is the fourth instalment in the Coffee House mystery series by Cleo Coyle and the first to remove Clare Cosi, the 'detective' of the mystery from her familiar surroundings of a coffee shop in New York to the Hampton's for a summer 'busman holiday' advising millionaire David Mintzer on all things coffee for his new restaurant venture.

The story is the usual frothy cozy romp. Clare, one of fictions most annoying characters - I haven't quite worked out whether this is intentional or not, meddles in everyone's life and lectures whilst being hypocritical with her own, fancying any man that crosses her path whilst scolding her daughter for doing the same.

Mintzer appears to be the victim of a murder attempt and Clare, as her wont decides she is the only person capable of fathering out why. Queue her usual blundering techniques and numerous stereotypical characters (why does every Englishman have to live in a Castle and speak with a plum in his mouth?) in a mystery that is easily readable but not one that holds your attention.
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on 8 August 2014
Well judging this book as a cosy mystery I give it five stars.

It’s interesting how some other reviewers rate this as not one of the best of the Clare Cosi stories but this is the first one I have read and I have been pleasantly surprised. It has more body than many cosies I have read.

I think of a cosy as being one of a series with a main protagonist and several recurring characters, usually set in small community with a surprisingly high violent death rate. The Coffee House mysteries buck the trend by being set in Greenwich Village, New York but there is still the emphasis on the recurring characters and something of development in their private lives as a continuing story arc. The violence is never dwelled on in cosies making them ideal light reading.

The setting here is changed, as other reviewers note, to the Hamptons with the privileged classes to the fore. The author gives a good sense of real knowledge of the place and draws you in to the murderous shenanigans via interesting coffee stories. I love the interesting detail, such as rich homeowners transporting fully grown trees with their massive root systems to populate their garden, why wait to block the neighbour’s view?

So recommended as a nice light read that I enjoyed due to interesting story, characters…

Or maybe I liked it so much cos I like coffee.
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on 6 November 2009
I have read and enjoyed all of the earlier Coffeehouse releases. This next book in the series was a huge disappointment. I found myself skimming through the last half of the book just to finish. I personally enjoy the leading woman, Clare, and how murders seem to be all around her. I can admire she's now a forty-something divorced woman who after raising her daughter as a single mother, is now trying to live her life to the fullest. Especially in this story, I think the daughter comes off like a spoiled brat throwing baby-style tantrums everytime her mother makes a negative comment to her. Even though I'm quite disappointed with this particular installment, I shall continue on with the series.
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on 19 October 2012
What a dreadful disappointment this book was! The first 3 in the series had been brilliant, but moving this one away from the Village Blend really didn't work. How can something be described as "A coffeehouse murder" when its setting is elsewhere? Also there was no Mike Quinn - apart from a couple of phone calls. The inter-action between Mike & Clare is one of the most enjoyable things in the books.
I'm now dubious about reading any more of the series.......
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on 28 May 2015
Great book!
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