Berkley, Aug 3 2010, $24.95
Although she is love with NYPD Detective Mike Quinn and long divorced from Matt Allegro, Clare Cosi remains manager and barista of the historic Village Blend Coffeehouse. When the owner, her former mother-in-law, dies, she and Matt will inherit half shares of the cafe. Claire and Madame (her former mother-in-law) visit her friend Enzo Testa at his Queens Caffe Lucia. Claire leaves Madame and Enzo in the basement to let her barrister Dante Silva inro the closed café..
An explosion in front of the café sends the building into an inferno. Clare manages to get Dante out of the blaze. Ladder Company 199 rescues Madame and Enzo who were trapped inside by a fire door. When two more coffeehouses are torched and the Village Blend threatened, Clare investigates with the unofficial approval of the Fire Marshal. She considers several suspects, but while sleuthing meets Fire Captain Mike Quinn, cousin to her Mike Quinn who are bitter enemies. She tries to avoid him because he keeps telling lies about her love and keeps maling passes at her. In an ironic twist ,he is her best source for information.
This high octane amateur sleuth is an explosive whodunit. Clare is a dedicated loyal person whose inquiry places her in deadly scenarios. Besides the strong arsonist investigation, there is also a romantic subplot, but Cleo Coyle serves her latest specialty blend (see Holiday Grind) around the mystery.