Books

Through the Grinder – Cleo Coyle

This was one of my light choices for reading while away on holiday. The author and the series, the Coffeehouse mysteries, is completely new to me but the cover blurb suggested it would be a lightweight read with a bit of a twist.

This is the second book in the series, the first being On What Grounds.

The setting is Village Blend in New York. An historic coffeehouse run by the main character, Clare Cosi. Other characters include the local cop, Mike Quinn; Clare’s ex-husband Matteo Allegro; her daughter, Joy and a crew of regular workers and customers of the Blend.

This story follows a series of suicides by Blend customers that the local cop thinks are suspicious. They all seem to revolve around one man, Clare’s new beau. We are then led through the mystery of did he do it? Or was it one of the other regulars, a sleezy singles dating guy or an odd ‘deadly’ artist?

By about two thirds of the way through I thought I knew who the final murderer should be – sadly I was wrong. Not far off, but wrong just the same.

The book is full of informed snippets about coffee, beans and how they should or should not be treated. It also is a bit heavy on this sort of information at points. The writing otherwise is very readable. The hints were a bit on the heavy side too – the ones that led away from the murderer. But since I didn’t manage to work it out before really close to the end, I guess I have nothing to complain about on the obfuscation front.

While I can’t really rave about the book, I certainly found it pleasant enough and will most likely give another one in the series a try just to see if the characters will grow on me enough to keep reading.  If they do I will have another eight stories to choose from.

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4 thoughts on “Through the Grinder – Cleo Coyle”

  1. I like having these nice easy reads sometimes and this one sounds interesting. I went through a bit of a phase with culinary-based novels and a lot of them were mysteries. I recommend Poppy Z Brite’s Liquor novels (Liquor, Prime and Soul Kitchen). One of the most disturbing books I have ever read – actually THE most disturbing book I have ever read – was written by her/him (wiki entry, so very interesting), but these are quite mild in comparison and the food references are great.

    Have popped this one on my TBR list. Cheers!

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    1. Tori,
      If you like lightweight crime/mystery novels I can recommend Kerry Greenwood. Close to home settings – Melbourne (mostly).
      She has two series – one set in the 1920s with a heroine – Phryne Fisher, and another modern series, Earthly Delights, set around a bakery in Melbourne with a main character, Corinna Chapman.

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      1. The Earthly Delights one sounds great : )

        Have you read any of the Goldy Culinary Mysteries by Diane Mott Davidson? I’ve read the first couple but wasn’t overly impressed with those.

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  2. I managed to grab the first three of the Earthly Delights series at the library – they look great 🙂 I have a couple of books to read before I hit them, but will let you know what I think.

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