Are you a coffee drinker? Is it the best part of waking up? Do you enjoy a good mystery along with your coffee? Well, pull up a chair and let me pour you a cup and let's talk.
First, let's talk about coffee. I grew up drinking coffee from the age of about 5 or so. You know the kind of coffee I mean - a tiny bit of coffee and a lot of milk. Both my grandmothers had a morning cup and when we visited, they would sneak me a latte. Of course, at the time I didn't know that I was drinking a latte. Me, so ahead of the trends.
In the mid-90's, my family moved to Portland, Oregon for 3 years and I found myself in coffee heaven. Oh my word! What a place! Starbucks had not made it's way to the Texas yet and so we didn't know about all the many lovely drinks that we could discover, along with just regular yummy coffee. By the time we moved home, Starbucks had arrived, much to my delight.
And now, honestly, if I had to pick just one drink for the rest of my life, other than water, I would choose coffee. That first sip in the morning - such a treat. I allow myself two cups, large cups, each morning, full leaded and then I'm done. Age has sadly made the caffeine not so wonderful after the noon hour. But that first sip....
Now, on to coffeehouse mysteries. I've shared lately that one of my goals this year is to catch up on a few favorite mystery series. Several years ago, I started reading Cleo Coyle's coffeehouse mysteries and I loved them. The main protagonist is Clare Cosi, who manages the historic Village Blend Coffeehouse in New York's Greenwich Village. Her ex-mother-in-law, Madame, is the owner and her ex-husband Matt Allegro is the coffee buyer. This all sounds very sweet and charming and delicious, but then murder and other crimes creep in and with them, Lt. Mike Quinn. The first book in the series is On What Grounds and the latest and 14th book is Once Upon a Grind. In between are lots and lots of wonderful coffee facts, a fair amount of bodies, and an amazing amount of great recipes. Oh, did I not say that? The Village Blend sells all kinds of lovely food and Cleo Coyle give us several recipes with each book. Yummy!
Cleo Coyle is actually the husband and wife writing team of Alice Alfonsi and Marc Cerasini. They live in New York and so these books have a completely authentic flavor. I love the coffee trivia and lore that are included. I love the recipes. And I love the characters. Clare has a fairly complicated life, juggling the coffeehouse and dealing with employee issues, ex-husband issues, ex-mother-in-law issues, grown daughter (yes, she and Matt have a grown daughter, Joy) issues, and lovely Lt. Quinn issues. These are cozies, but with a definite bite to them.
I am a bit behind in my reading of this series, like 7 books behind. For shame! I'll be including a coffeehouse mystery in my reading soon and will pick up with Holiday Grind. I'm looking forward to getting back in the swing of things with Clare and company. Oh, also, Cleo Coyle participates in Mystery Lovers Kitchen, a blog run by 8 mystery authors. It has so many lovely recipes. You should check it out. So, are you a coffee aficionado? Or have you read any of the coffeehouse mysteries?
Linking this post to Weekend Cooking on Beth Fish Reads.