Jingle bells, beautiful displays, scrumptious treats: Holiday season in New York City has it all, including murder.
Clare Cosi, part owner of the Village Blend coffeehouse, is enjoying the season even though her lover, NYPD detective Mike Quinn, is spending most of his time in Washington, D.C., on a job he can’t talk about. Claire’s happy to be doing the coffee service for the Great New York Cookie Swap, a huge charity event taking place in Central Park, until she finds the battered body of Moirin, an Irish immigrant and baker’s assistant Claire had been sharing with her friend Janelle, a pastry chef, during the busy holiday season. The cop who catches the case is utterly dependent on DNA evidence and has no use for fancy theories, forcing Clare to do some investigating of her own. Moirin, generally known as M, led a very private life, and it’s hard to track down her boyfriend, the mysterious Dave. Clare enlists her uber-chic business partner to dress down and visit a Brooklyn nursing home, where Madame finds that Dave is a 60ish former rocker who was M’s landlord and her inspiration in the music business. Now, Clare has to decide if M’s death was one in a series of murders of young women and whether the motive for her murder has to do with her past in Ireland or her present in New York.
Coyle’s coffeehouse series (A Brew to a Kill, 2012, etc.) captures the New York experience, from high-society parties to gritty back-street deals. The fine mystery is followed by some holiday recipes that will even pack the pounds on readers who are only browsing them.