Hearts through the grinder,
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This review is from: Through the Grinder (Coffeehouse Mysteries (Berkley Publishing Group)) (Mass Market Paperback)
Clare's enjoying her new life running the Village Blend, until she gets an early morning wake-up call to inform her one of her customers jumped to her death on the subway shortly after picking up her usual cup of joe. Clare thinks it's a tragedy, until Detective Quinn drops by the Blend. He's suspicious of the circumstances surrounding the death, especially as another female customer has recently died through "suicide". Soon Quinn is on the trail of Clare's new love Bruce, and Clare decides to find the real killer before Bruce gets arrested.
I loved On What Grounds, the first book in the series, and I was really looking forward to this. I was not disappointed. This time the focus is on the New York dating scene. Clare joins a dating site with her daughter, and attends a singles night meeting the gorgeous, creative Bruce along the way. The murders are deftly plotted and the mystery is full of twists and turns, packed with red herrings and finishes up in a dramatic conclusion I never saw coming.
This time the section from the killer's perspective isn't limited to the prologue but is scattered throughout the book featuring each victim. I loved this in the first book, and it's great how it continued through this one. I'm not sure which way I prefer it though, as it was a single crime in the first book and a serial killer in this book.
All my favourite characters are back for this adventure, and other characters from the first book return and get a bit more development, Esther Best in particular. A lot of new characters are introduced from the single's night and some are a bit cookie-cutter-ish, although there isn't really time to develop them more. Quinn gets a bit more development and backstory, and Clare's new love interest Bruce is well written and gorgeous.
Again the book features some delicious recipes, this time for The Village Blend's Cafe Mocha, The Village Blend's Cafe Nocciuola, Clare's Cafe Frangelico, Matteo's Coffee-Hazelnut Cocktail and Coffee Marinated Steak with Garlic Mashed Potatoes and Hearty Coffee Gravy, along with some coffee storage tips.
All in all this is a great cozy mystery and I'm looking forward to reading Latte Trouble.