Friday, January 13, 2017

Review (+ Tour GIVEAWAY): Dead Cold Brew

Dead Cold Brew
By Cleo Coyle
A Coffeehouse Mystery #16
Berkley, 2017


The perfect proposal leads to a chilling cold case…

Coffeehouse manager Clare Cosi sheds tears of joy when her NYPD detective boyfriend surprises her with an engagement ring. But her bridal bliss is put on hold when a chilling mystery brings a wave of deadly danger to those she holds dear…

After everything Clare and Mike have been through, they deserve a little bit of happily ever after. So when Mike decides to put a ring on Clare’s finger, Clare’s eccentric octogenarian employer is there to help. She donates the perfect coffee-colored diamonds to include in the setting and the name of a world-famous jeweler who happens to be an old family friend. But while the engagement is steeped in perfection, the celebration is not long lived.

First, a grim-faced attorney interrupts their party with a mysterious letter bequeathing a strange, hidden treasure to Clare’s daughter. Next, the renowned jeweler who designed Clare’s ring is found poisoned in his shop. Both events appear to be connected to a cold case murder involving a sunken ship, an Italian curse, a suspiciously charming jewel thief, and a shocking family secret. With deadly trouble brewing, Clare must track down clues in some of New York’s most secret places before an old vendetta starts producing fresh corpses.

With recipes to die for, including how to make cold-brew coffee at home!

My thoughts

Dead Cold Brew, #16 in Cleo Coyle’s popular coffeehouse mysteries, is my introduction to this series – and I enjoyed this story very much. This is not your typical cozy mystery because there’s a lot going on, and that’s what sets it apart. The writing is tight and moves at a fast clip. Atmosphere, suspense, romance, and character depth combine to deliver an entertaining tale that hooked me from the first page.

It was easy to connect with the intelligent and caring Clare Cosi, who manages the Greenwich Village coffeehouse, Village Blend – as well as Mike, her police detective romantic interest. I’m sure there has been a lot of character development throughout the series, but I had no problem jumping right in. The plot of this story has Clare spending a good bit of time with her business partner and ex-husband, Matt – definitely a flawed character, but appealing nonetheless. I liked how they remained friends and that he had respect for Clare’s fiancĂ©, Mike.

Dead Cold Brew is rich in atmosphere, making it easy to feel the essence of Greenwich Village and NYC. Descriptions of places like the 21 Club added depth to the story. I love a good cup of coffee, but don’t know much about gourmet things like coffee roasting and blends, so I found the coffee-related detail intriguing. It was interesting to learn how “cold brew coffee” is made, and readers will enjoy all the recipes included at the end.

The suspense and action sometimes made this story feel more like a traditional mystery, but it made for great pacing. Multiple storylines – Eye of the Cat diamond, attacks on police officers, family secrets – all seem to revolve around events connected to the 1956 sinking of the Italian ocean liner, the Andrea Doria. I appreciate how Cleo Coyle made me want to learn more about this maritime disaster.

Clare’s values resonated with me, reflected in her thoughts that true treasure “lived in the people around me, who’d become my family, the work that gave me pride, and the daughter who gave me joy.”


Note:  This is a general market novel. It’s obvious that Clare and Mike are intimate, but nothing graphic is portrayed.

I was provided a free copy of this book through Great Escapes Tours. The opinions expressed in this review are entirely my own.


Cleo Coyle is the pseudonym for Alice Alfonsi, writing in collaboration with her husband, Marc Cerasini.

Cleo Coyle grew up in a small town near Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. After earning scholarships to study writing at Carnegie Mellon and American Universities, she began her career as a cub reporter for The New York Times. Now an author of popular fiction and New York Times bestselling media tie-in writer, Cleo lives and works in New York City, where she collaborates with her husband (also a bestselling author) to pen the Coffeehouse Mysteries for Penguin. Together Cleo and her husband also write the Haunted Bookshop Mysteries under the name Alice Kimberly.

When not haunting coffeehouses, hunting ghosts, or rescuing stray cats, Cleo and Marc are bestselling media tie-in writers who have penned properties for NBC, Lucasfilm, Disney, Fox, Imagine, and MGM. In their spare time, they cook like crazy and drink a lot of java. You can learn more about Cleo, her husband, and the books they write by visiting


Purchase Links:


A Grand Prize package including a copy of Dead Cold Brew, $25 Amazon gift card, tote bag, and recipe cards. To enter the drawing, please click on this link and share my Facebook post, then leave a comment here.


  1. Can't wait to read this book! This is a new to me author and sounds like a great new find.

  2. Thanks for a chance at this giveaway! from , Diane Buie

  3. Love this series. Looking forward to reading "Dead Cold Brew". Thanks for the chance.

  4. New Author to me too! Sounds interesting. Hoping to read some fun new books this year.

  5. Carole – What a beautifully written review! Marc and I are thrilled to know you enjoyed DEAD COLD BREW. We’re especially pleased to hear that this is your very first Coffeehouse Mystery and you not only found it easy to jump in, but also enjoyed the time spent in our world and with our characters.

    Thanks to everyone for stopping by to comment. For those of you who are new to our books, we have a great community of readers, and we’d be thrilled to welcome you into it. Friend or follow us on Facebook (, sign up for our newsletter, or stop by our online coffeehouse at – where we share recipes, videos, and fun info.

    Thank you so much, Carole, for your kind and thoughtful review post. May you always… Read with joy!

    ~ Cleo