Series: Coffeehouse Mystery #3
Published by Penguin on 2005-08-02
Genres: Cozy Mystery, Fiction, Mystery & Detective, Women Sleuths
Greenwich Village coffee shop manager and amateur sleuth Clare Cosi is faced with her most perilous mystery yet in Latte Trouble, the third Coffeehouse Mystery by Cleo Coyle (On What Grounds and Through the Grinder).
It's Fashion Week in New York City -- and Clare's shop, the historic Village Blend, is the location of a prestigious insider's party for loyal customer and iconic designer Lottie Harmon, who is about to launch a collection of coffee-inspired accessories aptly named Java Jewelry. But the event, which is attended by the city's most zealous fashionistas, goes terribly wrong when a customer is poisoned and dies from cyanide in his latte. A barista, who coincidentally was recently dumped by the victim, is arrested and charged with murder. But Clare knows in her heart that her employee is innocent and begins to investigate the people surrounding the enigmatic Lottie Harmon. When Clare uncovers a scheme to blackmail one of Lottie's business partners and then that partner suddenly turns up dead, she knows that there is trouble brewing.
I love audio books. In the author’s notes on the audio version of Joe Hill’s NOS4A2, he talks about how the first stories we learn are read to us. I listen to audio books when I’m in the car, shopping, and playing Candy Crush.
In typical book blogger fashion, I already have a tbr shelf just for audio books. Reviewing them is a bit more difficult, because I don’t take notes and I don’t always know how to spell the characters names. So these reviews will be a little different from my book reviews.
I bought this book on sale sometime last year on Audible, and I didn’t realize that it was a third in the series (which probably would have stopped me from buying it since I don’t particularly like reading books out of order and almost always do so accidently). And because I hoard books on a massive scale, even audiobooks, I wasn’t able to get to the title until recently. Things that worked for me: the setting! I loved the idea of a coffee shop in New York City! Every cozy mystery I’ve ever read has taken place in a small, quaint town inhabited by quirky characters. And really, NYC, is just a super big town full of quirky characters, so it works. While I’m a coffee lover, I still don’t know that much about it, and I can honestly say that I did learn some things and thought it was presented in an interesting way. And while I guessed some of the mystery, I didn’t uncover all of it and didn’t go down the way I imagined it would.
Now what didn’t work for me. I don’t know that I would have continued with this book if I’d been reading it in paperback. I found the main character slightly annoying. I wanted to like her, but I had a hard time buying it that she could figure any of the mystery out. And honestly, what she did uncover was mostly due to other people, or the baddies just randomly confided to her.
But then I didn’t review the book right away, and the story somehow managed to stay with me. Sometimes a books rating will go down if I wait, but in this case it raised up from okay to I liked it. I don’t like Clare, but I found the setting, the secondary characters and the pacing to be good. I might even, if there’s another audible sale, pick up another book in this series! Also, I would totally buy coffee inspired jewelry!
This book is narrated by Rebecca Gibel, a new to me narrator. I really enjoyed her performance. I felt like her voice matched the story and I loved, loved her Katherine Hepburn voice she used for Clare’s mother in law and business partner. It was pretty amazing. 😉 She could definitely get me to read more books in this series. She’s also done several YA books, but I’m not sure if her voice is as well suited for those… but she’s talented so I’d be willing to let her read me other books by other authors as well.