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The sixth Village Coffeehouse mystery has Clare delving into the world of high class restaurants in Manhatten. She's been engrossed in running the Village Blend Coffeehouse but, Joy, her "20 something" daughter's relationship with an executive chef thirty years her senior, sends Clare out to check on this relationship. Clare's able to use her marketing skills of paring particular excellent coffees with exquisite deserts to talk with the chef. But soon there after one of his line cooks is found dead---then the executive chef himself is murdered. When Joy becomes the chief suspect, Clare goes on the search for the real killer.
Clare's relationship with her sexy detective friend is also warming up. He knows about Clare's skill in finding previous murderers, so he has her volunteer herself as bait for the killers. Perhaps this is the only way to save her daughter, so Clare is up for this trickery.
This series is always top notch excitement mixed with lots of thrilling information about coffee, and in this book, inside information about the restaurant business. Romantic relationships cause a bit of confusion between the characters, but some of these pairings are heating up nicely. This series never fails to be enjoyable!
5 of 5 people found this review helpful
I have read/listened to every other book in this series. Weirdly, I avoided this one. Why? Because it focused on Claire's daughter, Joy, who always came across to me as the most selfish, whiny, know-it-all brat without a lick of common sense. Shame on me for judging so harshly and waiting so long to read the best book in the coffeehouse series. Okay, yeah, Joy still didn't have a lick of sense. If she'd just go home at a respectable hour instead of gallivanting across Manhattan in the middle of the night, she wouldn't have found herself in so much trouble.
That said, her ordeal was nevertheless heartbreaking. Maybe it's because I'm a mom, but the thought of that young girl sitting in Rikers Island for days due to nothing but her own naivety was unbearable. I was cheering on Claire who busted through a bunch of cops in her quest to protect her child, and when she drove all over the city interrogating suspects, putting herself at risk just to find out the truth.
Lately, all of Cleo Coyle's coffeehouse mysteries start out with an annoying internal monologue of "the killer." It's gotten to where we have to suffer through these killer scenes throughout the whole book, which to me ruins the flow of the story. I don't want to know what the killer is thinking. I just want to guess who it is. French Pressed, I am happy to say, does not force those annoying scenes upon us. There's a quick killer scene in the beginning, but it's not the paranormal-psycho-theme-music type of scene we have to endure in some of the other coffeehouse books. Coyle even gave us a few good suspects to ponder over. The whole thing was well done with just enough of this and that.
Now for the grand praise. Rebecca Gibel outdid herself. Wow, her performance was worth an award. Throughout the book, Gibel had to switch from character to character, perfecting an impossible number of accents and dialects. She smoothly transitioned from Claire's nondescript talking voice to Esther Best's Brooklyn twang, jumped into a flawless rap song using a Russian accent, back to Brooklyn twang, then spoke fluent Russian, French, Old Lady, and Cop in a single chapter. What the heck? Who does that? Give this woman a medal! I was completely lost in her performance to the point that I forgot that it was the same person narrating the whole time. Very impressive.
I'm looking forward to the newest installment due to be released in the next few days. I hope the new one lives up to Book 6. It'll be a hard one to follow.
3 of 3 people found this review helpful