Berkley, Oct 2008, $22.95
Her ex-husband Matteo Allegro is getting married and Clare Cosi, head barista of The Village Blend coffeehouse, is responsible for the desserts and coffee bar. Clare dislikes Matteo’s soon to be bride, Trend magazine editor Breanne Summour because the woman is mean and nasty; lacking any kindness in her personality.
A car almost hits Breanne; Matteo pulls her to safety. At his bachelor party a stripper who looks like the bride to be is murdered by a sniper while she walked on the street with Matteo and Clare. Matteo asks Clare, who has conducted several successful investigations, to look into the stripper’s death; he believes someone wants Breanne dead. Clare knows Breanne has many enemies and few if any friends; however she doubts anyone would loath the woman enough to kill her even the wedding help dealing with this odious Bridezilla. Her opinion changes after spending a day with Breanne; besides Clare wanting to kill Ms. Mean, Clare overhears Monica, a worker, talking suspiciously on a phone and not much later Monica is found dead in her office. Although the world wants Breanne dead, Clare has to figure out who is willing to actually kill her.
ESPRESSO SHOT is one of the best whodunits in the Coffeehouse Mysteries. Matteo comes across as a caring person who has given up his hope that one day soon Clare will remarry him; he has found another woman to love. His feelings for both women affirm he is a tender compassionate man with a big heart even if his request places his beloved in danger as he is confident of her skills. The mystery is a wonderful amateur sleuth tale filled with chilling incidents (besides spending a day with Bridezilla); Clare is almost robbed, shot at and attacked. Cleo Coyle creates mysteries that fans will appreciate while drinking coffee.