Murder by Mocha
Berkley, Aug 2 2011, $25.95
In the Village is the popular Village Blend coffeehouse managed by Clare Cosi and owned by her mother-in-law Madame DuBois. It was Madame’s idea to go into business with her friend Alicia Bower to sell the drink for Aphrodite’s Village Online. They market a new java, Mocha Magic Coffee, using the Blend’s coffee beans, Voss’ chocolate, and an herbal aphrodisiac. When Madame and Clare meet with Alicia at the hotel, Claire has a feeling trouble is brewing.
The man Alicia was seeing is found dead in their bed, blood everywhere and a knife protruding from his chest. When the police arrive, there is no body and Clare realizes fake blood was used to scare Alicia. When the drink is introduced at a special gala, Clare finds the corpse of Patrice Stone who demanded a share of the profits of the new drink and worked for Aphrodite's Village. As other members of the popular online business is killed or arrested, Clare searches in the shadows for the perpetrator orchestrating these events.
Every Coffeehouse amateur sleuth (see Roast Mortem) is a specially blended mystery with the latest entry affirming that opinion as the key characters are fully developed inside of an action-packed series. Single mom Clare holds the percolating story line together as she courageously and foolishly searches for the murderous culprit. Series fans learn a bit more about the people in her life like her daughter Joy, her lover Mike, her former husband, his mom Madame, and the battling baristas. Filled with twists, used coffee beans and false leads, readers will wonder who the killer is (over mocha).