Latte Trouble is the third mystery novel in The Coffeehouse Mysteries series by Cleo Coyle.
To Clare Cosi’s surprise, this fall’s hottest fashion trend is anything with caffeine – because of designer Lottie Harmon. A loyal customer of the cafe, has just created an ingenious collection of coffee-inspired fashion accessories.
Lottie naturally chose Village Blend as the perfect backdrop for Fall Fashion Week folks to see her new “Java Jewelry” line. When barista Tucker accidentally serves a poisoned latte to a fashion celebrity, Clare suspects that the real target might be Lottie. Now she must protect her thriving Lo business from negative publicity, now from even more danger. Tucker from murder charges – even if it means rocking the fashion world with some shocking secrets.…
To Clare Cosi’s surprise the latest must-have fall fashion item is anything coffee themed. After Village Blend regular Lottie Harmon designs a hit range of coffee bean inspired accessories, she decides to host her Fashion Week promo party at the coffeehouse. The “Java Jewellery” quickly proves a hit, but when barista Tucker accidentally serves a poisoned latte to a guest Lottie’s party takes a turn for the worst. Now with Tucker in jail, Clare is determined to prove his innocence and find out who the deadly drink was intended for.
This is the third Coffeehouse Mystery (after On What Grounds and Through the Grinder ) and I must say I love this series. This time the focus is put on the fashion world, not as weird a pairing as it sounds as it focuses on a jewellery designer who designed her jewellery at the Blend. Clare’s faithful barista Tucker ends up accused of murder in this book, so again Clare gets involved to clear his name.
Plot-wise the mystery is at the same level I’ve come to expect from these books and has lots of little twists and turns, not to mention red herrings. I did figure out a connection between a character and the mystery, although I didn’t see the ending coming at all. Sadly the killer’s point of view has been restricted back to a tiny prologue, and I must say I missed having little snippets throughout the book like in Through the Grinder .
Detective Quinn is mostly absent for this book, and it appears Clare’s ex Matteo is going back to his old womanising ways so this book has a low romance count. There was also no mention of Clare’s love interest Bruce from the previous book, although it is stated that this book is set a year after the first so there could have been a lot of time between the two. Clare’s daughter Joy seems to be going off the rails, and at last Madame takes a bigger role which is brilliant and leads to some great scenes.
In terms of recipes this book includes the following The Village Blend’s Caramel-Chocolate Latte, Clare’s Foolproof Homemade Caramel-Chocolate Syrup, Cafe Brulee, Clare’s Basic Biscotti (with variations for almond, anise and pistachio) and Ricciardelli, with The Village Blend’s Guide to Roasting Terms.
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