Holiday Buzz by Cleo Coyle
Holiday Buzz is the 12th book in The Coffeehouse Mysteries, and was a Top-10 New York Times Best Seller. Written by a husband and wife team known as “Cleo Coyle,” the series follows Clare Cosi, the manager of The Village Blend Coffeehouse in New York City, and her team of baristas (including a raucous ex-husband and mother-in-law!) as they brew the best cups of espresso in town – and serve them up, along with case cracking clues, to local NYPD detectives.
Things get rough for the folks at the Coffeehouse this winter when a part-time employee of The Blend is murdered in what is thought to be a series of escalating crimes committed by “The Christmas Stalker.” And they they quickly go from bad to worse when another one of Clare’s baristas is considered the prime suspect! Will the group be able to clear the name of one of their own, and find the real killer, before they strike again?
This is another one of those “themed” series that I really enjoy (one day I would love to own a coffee shop). The coffee theme is quite present throughout, with recipes and tips at the end of each book. But it’s not overpowering and never distracts from the main plot lines. The plot lines themselves are always unique, as well. I feel like I say that a lot in these posts, but it’s true! I’ve had the fortune of finding some really fun mysteries that manage to be lighthearted, yet intriguing, and never seem repetitive. What more could a girl want?
The only “issue” I have with the books is that the characters really do seem like characters at times, even down to how they’re named. Also, I think the fact that the writing is a collaboration between two people makes it come across a little more stilted, with not as strong of a voice as some of the other series I’ve recommended.
All in all, however, I think The Coffeehouse Mysteries are an excellent addition to any cozy mystery fan’s collection! Want to start at the beginning? Be sure to pick up On What Grounds at a (local!) bookstore near you.
Have you read any of The Coffeehouse Mysteries? What are your thoughts on the series?