Brewed Awakening (A Coffeehouse Mystery) by Cleo Coyle
I am delighted to join the blog tour for Brewed Awakening by Cleo Coyle today! My thanks to Lori at Great Escapes Book Tours for the chance to join and the review copy!
About Brewed Awakening
Brewed Awakening (A Coffeehouse Mystery)
18th in Series
Berkley (December 3, 2019)
Hardcover: 368 pages
Digital ASIN: B07GQHK51D
From Cleo Coyle, the New York Times bestselling author of Shot in the Dark and Dead Cold Brew, comes a delicious new entry in the “fun and gripping” (The Huffington Post) Coffeehouse Mysteries.
When coffeehouse manager Clare Cosi awakens on a bench in Washington Square Park, she has no idea she’s been missing for the past week, or that her friends and family have been frantic with worry. Now that she’s back, everyone is overjoyed, including a handsome NYPD detective who claims to be her fiancé. But to Mike Quinn’s crushing distress, Clare doesn’t remember him, or much of anything about the last decade of her life.
Clare’s missing memory is tied to a crime she witnessed. An acquaintance of Clare’s elegant employer–and fellow member of an exclusive Gotham circle known as “The Ladies Who Brunch”–invited Clare to her posh hotel to sample gourmet wedding cakes. The pair took a stroll after their indulgent tasting and, according to security camera footage, a masked figure snatched the hotel heiress at gunpoint with Clare looking on. Did the kidnapper take Clare, too? The camera went dark, just like Clare’s memory. Soon authorities grow suspicious. Is Clare really a victim? Or merely acting like one? Evidence is mounting that she set the woman up.
To clear her name, Clare must find a way to reclaim her memories and rescue the heiress before this high-stakes crime ends in tragedy. Otherwise, instead of walking down the aisle, Clare may find herself perp-walking to prison as an accomplice to kidnapping and murder.
This is the first book I have read in this mystery series and I was happy to dive straight in. I can’t believe this is the 18th book in a wonderful series and I’ve never come across it before now. Cleo Coyle did an excellent job of making this story fresh and new while giving me plenty of detail to be able to jump right in even at this late stage. I was sold from the very beginning, with its solid characters, great writing and a marvellous mystery that provided a good sprinkling of clues to satisfy even the most painstaking and diligent armchair detective.
In this instalment, expert sleuth Clare is suffering from memory loss and everyone believes this is due to a tragic event. She had been meeting with hotel heiress/owner, Annette Brewster, to taste wedding cakes. After the tasting, both women disappeared. While Clare has been found, Annette is still missing …. But Clare’s missing memory is tied to a crime she witnessed. As evidence mounts that she set the woman up, is Clare really a victim or merely acting like one?
The author, Cleo Coyle, has drawn a lot of great characters in this fabulous cozy mystery. I particularly liked the coffeehouse manager Clare Cosi who worked in Village Blend, the local landmark coffeeshop. Other characters – her detective fiance and her ex-husband – all have their own personalities and add to the richness of the plot. This series is like a coffeeshop that serves a fabulous cup of white chocolate mocha latte …. I will keep coming back now that I have discovered it!
There was a large number of characters in Brewed Awakening but I think I just about managed to keep track of all of them without being overwhelmed! Apart from Clare herself who is suffering from memory loss, from the elegant Madame and the caring and inventive Mike Quinn, her fiance, to conniving ex-husband Matteo Allegro, there’s someone for everyone to relate to.
The Village Blend and New York City are a spectacular setting for the story. The author’s descriptions create a visual masterpiece for readers to enjoy. I could smell the coffee, the rich blends, along with delicious baked treats too. However, whilst the Village Blend makes for a superb backdrop, I liked that that the mystery and keeping Clare safe took me on something of a journey, to New York and New Jersey, and further up the coast.
Another of my favourite aspects of this novel was the transparency and fluidity of the writing. The details of the plot were very well executed and every chapter left me with a compelling need to read on. The author did a brilliant job of balancing the story-line and various events jumbled matters up somewhat, making figuring out the identity of the perpetrator more challenging.
With no disappointments, wonderful characters, an intriguing mystery, and just the right blend of humour and romance, this was such an entertaining story with many exciting moments. I am looking forward to returning to the Village Blend with Clare on a future occasion and reading the earlier books in the series, too! I’ve already bagged two books in the series for those evenings when I feel like a little brain candy.
Cleo Coyle is the pen name for writer duo Alice Alfonsi and Marc Cerasini. They also write the Haunted Bookshop cozy series under the name Alice Kimberly.
So entertaining and engaging, Brewed Awakening is definitely well worth the time invested.
I received a complimentary copy of this novel through Great Escapes Book Tours at my request. This review is my unbiased opinion.
Brianne’s Book Reviews Rating | Five Stars
About Cleo Coyle
CLEO COYLE is the pseudonym for Alice Alfonsi, writing in collaboration with her husband, Marc Cerasini. CLEO COYLE grew up in a small town near Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. After earning scholarships to study writing at Carnegie Mellon and American Universities, she began her career as a cub reporter for The New York Times. Now an author of popular fiction and New York Times bestselling media tie-in writer, Cleo lives and works in New York City, where she collaborates with her husband (also a bestselling author) to pen the Coffeehouse Mysteries for Penguin. Together Cleo and her husband also write the Haunted Bookshop Mysteries under the name Alice Kimberly. When not haunting coffeehouses, hunting ghosts, or rescuing stray cats, Cleo and Marc are bestselling media tie-in writers who have penned properties for NBC, Lucasfilm, Disney, Fox, Imagine, and MGM. In their spare time, they cook like crazy and drink a lot of java. You can learn more about Cleo, her husband, and the books they write by visiting www.CoffeehouseMystery.com.
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Don’t forget the other stops on the tour!
December 2 – Laura’s Interests – REVIEW
December 2 – My Reading Journeys – SPOTLIGHT
December 3 – FUONLYKNEW – SPOTLIGHT
December 3 – Elizabeth McKenna – Author – SPOTLIGHT
December 4 – Lisa Ks Book Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
December 4 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – REVIEW
December 5 – The Pulp and Mystery Shelf – SPOTLIGHT
December 5 – Devilishly Delicious Book Reviews – REVIEW
December 6 – Moonlight Rendezvous – REVIEW
December 7 – I Read What You Write – SPOTLIGHT
December 8 – Literary Gold – SPOTLIGHT
December 8 – This Is My Truth Now – SPOTLIGHT
December 9 – The Book Diva’s Reads – SPOTLIGHT
December 10 – Mystery Thrillers and Romantic Suspense Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
December 10 – Brooke Blogs – SPOTLIGHT
December 11 – Island Confidential – SPOTLIGHT
December 11 – Diane Reviews Books – REVIEW
December 12 – The Book’s the Thing – REVIEW
December 12 – Mysteries with Character – REVIEW
December 13 – Brianne’s Book Reviews – REVIEW
December 14 – Celticlady’s Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
December 15 – Ruff Drafts – REVIEW
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