Berkley Prime Crime, $24.95, 350 pages
What a pleasure to read a book by this author. This reviewer will be looking for the other books in the series about the Village Blend Espresso Shop. Warmth and humor are brewed into a story of an Italian-American espresso shop manager, Clare Cosi, and her detective boyfriend. Sprinkled with a mouth-watering buffet of food ideas and tips for making the perfect cup of coffee, this is an intriguing journey into a mystery that begins with an explosive fire. The responding firefighters are woven into the fabric of a tale about arson and deceit. Clare is drawn into the investigation when friends are endangered and more espresso shops are torched. Firefighters are placed in danger, and some of them seem to know more than they are telling. Add the ingredients of family, fraud, and murder and you have the perfect recipe for an exciting mystery. Several characters are revealed as suspects, which keeps the reader turning the pages to the very end. And to add to the pleasure, the recipes mentioned in the story are found in the last pages of the book. A fun read!
Reviewed by Fran Byram