A Clare Cosi Coffeehouse Mystery by Cleo Coyle
Review: It is three weeks before Christmas, a time for bright lights on decorated trees, Santa Clauses ringing bells, and cookie exchanges. Clare Cosi, the manager of the Village Blend Coffeehouse, is in charge of the beverage service at the first of three exclusive parties in the Great New York Cookie Swap, an annual tradition that gives the bakers a showcase while raking in a Santa’s sleigh of cash for charity. The party is being held in the Bryant Park Grill, with an ice skating park for the children. There is excitement everywhere … so one noticed when Moirin, one of the bakers and one of Clare’s part-time helpers, left to meet a shadowy figure near the roller coaster in the park. No one saw when the figure bashed Moirin’s head in with a rock, killing her instantly. When she left the Grill to walk home, Clare stumbles over Moirin’s dead body. She vows then and there she would somehow find the killer and see that justice was done … in Holiday Buzz, the twelfth mystery in this series by Cleo Coyle.
The police suspect that this is the work of a serial killer, whose accelerating crimes have come to be known as "The Christmas Stalkings". Clare cannot imagine why anyone would want to kill this young girl, and did not buy the serial killer notion, so she sets out to look for and find clues that will somehow lead her to a reason why Moirin was killed and thereby — hopefully — to the identity off the killer. She quickly finds a retirement home, where Moirin also works part time singing and entertaining the folks there … and learns Moirin's name is not Moirin at all. What has this young girl hiding? While investigating this crime, another baker’s assistant is murdered. This leads Clare to believe, if not found, she could be next on the killer’s list.
A number of subplots lighten the overtone of this mystery, most particularly those involving Clare's ex-mother-in-law, Madame, who owns the coffeehouse and her son Matt, the coffee buyer and father of their only daughter. Clare's co-workers are as interesting as they are diverse and make for an entertaining secondary cast of characters. The holiday atmosphere provides a colorful backdrop to the well-structured storyline, which moves along at a brisk pace. As always with the books in this series, there are recipes for cookies, cakes and pies as well as main dishes.
Special thanks to guest reviewer Betty of The Betz Review for contributing her review of Holiday Buzz.
Acknowledgment: Penguin Group provided a copy of Holiday Buzz for this review.
Review Copyright © 2013 — Hidden Staircase Mystery Books — All Rights Reserved
Selected reviews of other mysteries by this author …
Murder by Mocha
Berkley Prime Crime (Hardcover), August 2011
ISBN-13: 9780425241431; ISBN-10: 0425241432
Location(s) referenced in Holiday Buzz: New York City
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Holiday Buzz by Cleo Coyle — A Clare Cosi Coffeehouse Mystery
Publisher: Berkley Prime Crime
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Publication Date: December 2012
List Price: $7.99