Coffeehouse Mystery #19
By Cleo Coyle
Brought to you by OBS Reviewer Daniele
While struggling to find a romantic (and affordable) destination for her upcoming honeymoon, coffeehouse manager Clare Cosi whips up a honey of a drink made from honey-processed coffee. Clare plans to serve her outstanding new Honey-Cinnamon Latte at her spring wedding to her longtime honey, NYPD Detective Mike Quinn. The culinary world is also abuzz about the amazing honey that Clare was lucky enough to source for her shop’s new latte. Produced by Madame’s old friend Queen Bea Hastings, the rare, prize-winning nectar from Bea’s rooftop hives commands a premium price, and top chefs compete for a chance to use it in their signature seasonal dishes.
One night, a swarm of escaped bees blanket the Village Blend’s chimney, and Clare discovers Bea’s unconscious body after she seemingly fell from her high-rise rooftop-hive setup. The police want to rule it as a tragic accident or possible attempted suicide. But Clare doesn’t believe either theory. Like Madame, she knows this Queen would never abandon her hive. To sort out this mystery, Clare investigates a world of cutthroat chefs, culinary startups, and competitive urban beekeepers. But can she uncover the truth without getting stung? (Goodreads)
Honey Roasted is a delightful mystery full of great characters, bees, and lots of coffee. It is hard to believe this is the nineteenth installment in the Coffeehouse series; it is as fresh as ever.
Coffeehouse manager Clare is busy planning her honeymoon and whipping up new coffees containing a much sought after, gourmet honey produced by Madame’s dear friend Bea. When bees swarm at the shop, Clare believes they belong to Bea and soon finds her unconscious on her balcony. It looks like she fell from her rooftop greenhouse…was she pushed? An accident? An attempted suicide like the police thinks? Since the police consider the case closed, Clare takes it upon herself to get to the bottom of things.
I do love Clare and her family, friends, and employees. Nineteen books in, I feel like I am visiting old friends. I appreciate that Clare is a bit more mature (she has a grown daughter) than the average sleuth. She is smart, responsible, and generally level-headed. Matteo, Madame, and Quinn all play important roles in the story. There are some new characters introduced, and I do hope we see more of Bea’s IT guy in the future.
The mystery is well thought out and executed with several twists and turns. I did not identify the villain until the very end. This whole story revolves around bees and honey, and I learned so much from the authors’ research. Who knew that the New York Police Department has a bee division in Queens?!? Clare and Quinn have a bit of a rough patch within these pages, but it did not take away from the mystery.
Cleo Coyle never disappoints, and Honey Roasted is no exception. With its endearing characters, quality writing, and engaging investigation, it is sure to please any cozy mystery reader. Highly recommended.