Berkley, Sept 2003, 5.99, 288 pp.
Clare Cosi loved her time managing the Village Blend Coffee house but was sick and tired of her husband cheating on her; she divorced him and moved with her daughter to the New Jersey suburbs. Now that Bay is grown, the owner of the village Blend, who happens to be her ex-mother-in law, wants her to manage the coffee house for a percentage of the profits. On the day she moves she finds the body of the assistant manager unconscious at the bottom of the basement stairs.
After she is rushed to the hospital, the police take a look around the premises and believe Anabelle had an accident. Clare thinks she met with foul play based on the fact that the garbage can is out of place and coffee grinds are on the floor. She starts making inquiries of people close to Anabelle and ends up finding herself almost ground to death on the wrong end of a gun.
This is the first coffeehouse mystery and it is a clever, witty and light-hearted cozy. Clare's mother-in-law is playing matchmaker giving her beloved ex-daughter-in law and her son shares of the building and joint tenancy of the suite above the business. The two-ex-spouses are at the mercy of a woman they both love and it makes for some truly hilarious moments. Cleo Coyle is a bright new light in the mystery horizon.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner