A coffeehouse manager’s opportunity to expand her business starts with a bang.
A mysterious stranger has been plying Clare Cosi’s baristas with questions. Just as she gets to talk to him herself, a car bomb almost kills them and does serious damage to the Village Blend. It turns out that the inquisitive pest is billionaire tech-genius Eric Thorner, who offers Clare and her ex-husband, Matt, a globe-trotting coffee hunter, the chance to create a blend so special that only billionaires can afford it. Eric not only provides the money for quick repairs, but also buys the shop a top-of-the-line espresso maker. Neither Matt nor Clare’s boyfriend, NYPD detective Mike Quinn, is pleased, since Eric, who has a bad reputation with women, obviously has more than coffee in mind. But the business is so short on cash that Clare takes the plunge despite reservations of her own. Eric’s chauffeur, who was killed in the blast, had been working undercover for the family of a former girlfriend they suspect Eric of killing. But when the bomb squad talks to Eric, he accuses his business rival, an Aussie billionaire who wants to cash in on the app business that’s made Eric rich. Eric, Matt and Clare travel the world looking for that special coffee while the fatalities related to Eric’s company pile up back in New York. With Mike working for a special task force in D.C., Clare’s on her own against a dangerous adversary.
Coyle’s long string of coffeehouse mysteries (Holiday Buzz, 2012, etc.) are always good value for the coffee lore and appended recipes. This is one of her best.