Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Review: Shot in the Dark

Shot in the Dark (Coffeehouse Mystery - Book 17) by Cleo Coyle

Publication Date: 04/17/2018
Publisher: Penguin Random House
Imprint: Berkley Prime Crime
Genre: Cozy Mystery
Pages: 352

(Received for an honest review from Berkley Prime Crime)

Purchase: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, IndieBound, itunes

Cleo Coyle on the WEB: WebsiteTwitter, Facebook, Goodreads

Books in the series: (The highlighted links are to my reviews of these books)

Coffeehouse Mysteries

1. On What Grounds
2. Through the Grinder
3. Latte Trouble
4. Murder Most Frothy
5. Decaffeinated Corpse
6. French Pressed
7. Espresso Shot
8. Holiday Grind
9. Roast Mortem
10. Murder by Mocha
11. A Brew to a Kill
12. Holiday Buzz
13. Billionaire Blend
14. Once Upon a Grind
15. Dead to the Last Drop
16. Dead Cold Brew
17. Shot in the Dark

Coverart: Click the image for a larger, clearer view of the covers in this series.

Excerpt from Shot in the Dark, courtesy of Amazon's Look Inside feature


From Cleo Coyle, the New York Times bestselling author of Dead Cold Brew, comes a delicious new entry in the "fun and gripping" (The Huffington Post) Coffeehouse Mysteries.
A new smartphone dating game turns the Village Blend into a hookup hot spot, until one dark night, when a gunshot leaves a dead body behind and the landmark coffeehouse becomes the center of a whole new scene--a crime scene. 

As Village Blend manager Clare Cosi attempts to finalize a date for her wedding, her ex-husband becomes addicted to making dates through smartphone swipes. Clare has mixed feelings about these quickie matchups happening in her coffeehouse. Even her octogenarian employer is selecting suitors by screenshot! But business is booming, and Clare works hard to keep the espresso shots flowing. Then one dark night, another kind of shot leaves a dead body for her to find.

The corpse is a successful entrepreneur who became notorious for his "hit it and quit it" behavior: prowling for women on dating apps, then devastating his conquests with morning-after insults. Though the NYPD quickly arrests one of his recent victims, Clare finds reason to believe she's been framed.

Now, with the help of her ex and crew of quirky baristas, Clare starts "swiping" through suspects in her own shop, determined to find the real killer before another shot rings out.

Includes a bang-up menu of tempting recipes.


Are you a fan of a good cup of coffee? What about cozy coffee shops with lots of eclectic patrons? Do you have a taste for the big apple? Ever tried online dating? Are you an amateur sleuth in training? If any of these apply to you, then I've got a book for you! Cleo Coyle returns with the seventeenth book in the Coffeehouse Mystery series, Shot in the Dark. The Village Blend is ablaze with the latest craze... a dating app which names it the most romantic coffeeshop in the city for finding love. But not everybody finds a soulmate. Shots are fired and the mystery is on...

What I liked:

If you're a foodie like me, you like to find great little out of the way places that serve more than just coffee. They serve 'atmosphere'. The Village Blend is one of those places. Every time I read one of Cleo Coyle's Coffeehouse mysteries, I wish there was a coffeeshop like this one in my area. This little shop in Greenwich Village is captivating in every aspect. From the amazing coffee to the pastries, to the eclectic characters that populate it. I always feel like I learn even more about New York, when I return to the Village Blend and the latest book is no exception. Shot in the Dark not only provides a good mystery, but as usual, it imparts more than just a whodunit. Coyle must do a ton of research for every book. They are so authentic and so New York. Setting is everything.

One of the best parts of a new Coffeehouse Mystery is the plethora of new characters that Coyle introduces in each one. Shot in the Dark is all about bringing people together. In this case a new smartphone dating app is the latest craze. I love how Coyle is able to take new characters and intersperse them with the recurring characters and make it all seem so seamless. I started reading this one wondering which one of these characters was gonna go off the rails first. I constantly try to outwit this author and figure it out before the end, but I never have any luck with these. There are so many twists and turns and interesting details that it's nearly impossible to figure it out until the end. That's a hallmark of a good cozy mystery. 

Clare is the ultimate amateur sleuth. If I found myself on the wrong end of an investigation I think I'd trust her judgement more than the detectives. This is a character that Coyle has really perfected throughout the series. I've always liked her feisty New York attitude and the way her mind works is so fun to read about. I love all of the relationships she has built along with way and the interactions she has with each person. Clare may be new to some readers but I guarantee once you read about her in this one, you'll going back to read the others. 

The mystery as usual was amazingly written. Coyle never ceases to amaze when it comes to new plots and ideas. You'd think seventeen books in a series might get a little stale. Not so, with this one. I think they get better with each new addition to the series. Coyle is always able to keep the stories relevant as well as entertaining. I liked the dating app angle. I mean that's something that is really popular right now and I love that Coyle always stays on top of things. Her books are always current and full of surprises.

What I didn't Like:

I know that online dating is all the craze. People have more opportunities to meet people than ever before. Maybe it's a good thing, maybe it's not. Some people will like exploring this avenue for a mystery and some readers may kind it a little too cliche or cutesy. I thought the author did a great job of showing the benefits and the dangers. 

Bottom Line:

This is one of the best cozy mystery series out there. If you haven't tried the Coffehouse Mysteries, it's high time you did. Coyle's books are always relevant, current and interesting. They mystery aspects are so well written the descriptive language alone is to die for lol... You can't go wrong with a Shot in the Dark, such a great addition to the series. Don't let the number 17 be daunting to you, you don't have to read the others first. But I bet you'll go back and pick them up later. Too good to pass up!

Shot in the Dark is available NOW from your favorite bookseller

I'm giving this one 5 out of 5 apples from my book bag

About the Author:

 Cleo Coyle is a pseudonym for Alice Alfonsi, writing in collaboration with her husband, Marc Cerasini. Both are New York Times bestselling authors of the Coffeehouse Mysteries—now celebrating more than ten years in print. As Alice Kimberly, they also write the nationally bestselling Haunted Bookshop Mysteries. Alice has worked as a journalist in Washington, D.C., and New York, and has written popular fiction for adults and children. A former magazine editor, Marc has authored espionage thrillers and nonfiction for adults and children. Alice and Marc are also bestselling media tie-in writers who have penned properties for Lucasfilm, NBC, Fox, Disney, Imagine, and MGM. They live and work in New York City, where they write independently and together.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I received my first coffeehouse book on Morher's Day several years ago from
my daughter.....she knows I love coffee...and books.She works in a bookstore
and saw it there.
I love all the books....fun reads...and well written. '