Clare's Village Blend coffee beans are being used to create a new java love potion: a "Mocha Magic Coffee," billed as an aphrodisiac. The product, expected to rake in millions, will be sold exclusively on Aphrodite's Village, one of the most popular online communities for women. But at its launch, one of the website's editors is murdered. Clare is convinced a bitter killer wants the secret formula. Can she catch who's gone loco for mocha?
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My first complaint is, why is there a gap between the first "coffee" mystery and this one? Audible, if you are going to offer a series, offer all the books so we don't have to listen to them out of order. I would have liked to listen to the second and third (I think this was the fourth). Somehow between the first and the fourth, Clair hooked up with the cop from book one. And her daughter was in college and all of a sudden, she's in paris. So I feel cheated. That's not the author's fault, of course, and not the reason I only gave the book a 3. I still enjoyed the general atmosphere, but the story this time around was unfocused. There were way too many characters and too many crimes going on. Too many suspects, all of who were very weird but not likely candidates. I didn't like the way Clair jumped from person to person, accusing everyone of the murder. The scene in the beginning with the mysterious guy in the hotel was beyond my comprehension. It wasn't even plausible. Then you had the ridiculous old woman and the freaky Greek mythology cult. Add to that the ex mother in law / coffee shop owner who gets more and more untrustworthy, along with the extremely awkward love scenes with the cop, and the fact that no one remembered anything. It was all just too much for me. I still want to listen to the others, but this one wasn't the greatest.
First let me say that I like this series -- I like the coffee trivia, I like the characters, I enjoy the descriptions of coffee events, the clothes, the chatter, the recipes. I like the characters of Clare and especially of "Madam" -- I can just picture her. Beyond that, I think the plots are interesting and innovative. I like these books.
I've read several of them -- this is the first I've listened to. I probably won't listen to one again -- not the narrator's fault, not at all.
Here's the thing -- for me. I understand some of you out there like and enjoy XXX-rated love scenes, but I don't. When I was reading the books, I'd just skip over it -- didn't read it, wasn't necessary to the plot, didn't bother me a bit, I just flipped past it. But listening, I was forced to sit through it -- hard to skip ahead, on an audiobook.
In this book, there were way too many of those overly sexualized scenes for me -- I just don't appreciate it. I want DEATH! MURDER! Not love - ha!
This one had one really disturbing scene: Clare and her boyfriend are getting friendly, he wanted sex, she said "no" repeatedly, forcefully, several times over. He won't quit, keeps on his mission and of course eventually she relents. But get this: The boyfriend is a police lieutenant. This is disturbing -- we women expect men to respect the word "no". If they don't, charges of rape have been brought. In this case, the guy is a policeman, for crying out loud. He knows the law!
I just don't like it -- I don't suppose men are reading these things, but how can we expect them to respect the word "no" when in fiction, if the man just pushes ahead and succeeds, the woman -- eventually -- will fall all over herself, thinking he's wonderful?