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HONEY ROASTED

A primer on bees, coffee, and some of New York’s most unusual and exciting areas make for a fascinating and mysterious read.

Coyle’s latest Coffeehouse mystery is a honey of a tale.

Village Blend manager and master coffee roaster Clare Cosi is laser-focused on her wedding to NYPD detective Mike Quinn and the fabulous honey-processed arabica beans imported by her former husband, Matt Allegro. Little does she know that honeybees are about to put her in a sticky situation. Although she’s actively planning her honeymoon, her relationship with Quinn has been on rocky ground lately, as he seems obsessed with work. When a swarm of bees invades the shop, Clare calls on the little-known NYPD beekeeping unit to round up the buzzing rascals. Realizing that the bees smell of lavender, she’s certain they belong to Bea Hastings, an old friend of Matt’s mother’s and a supplier of gourmet honey for the shop. Bea is a wealthy woman who’s built a vast greenhouse on the roof of her apartment building, where she grows lavender for the bees. Upon their arrival at the greenhouse, Clare and Matt find damaged hives, bees dead from the cold, and Bea lying on her terrace after falling from the roof. Rappelling down, Mike confirms that Bea is comatose but alive. The police assume that her fall was an accident or a suicide attempt. But Clare, certain that queen Bea would never kill herself, gets entangled with a hive of her past and present enemies. She discovers the boyfriend of Bea’s missing niece, a dicey food-growing startup, and a connection to drug dealers who’ve been dumping bodies in an obscure Brooklyn neighborhood. Will Clare be stung by her attempts to solve the mystery?

A primer on bees, coffee, and some of New York’s most unusual and exciting areas make for a fascinating and mysterious read.

Pub Date: Jan. 25, 2022

ISBN: 978-0-593197-56-1

Page Count: 368

Publisher: Berkley

Review Posted Online: Oct. 26, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 15, 2021

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A CONSPIRACY OF BONES

Forget about solving all these crimes; the signal triumph here is (spoiler) the heroine’s survival.

Another sweltering month in Charlotte, another boatload of mysteries past and present for overworked, overstressed forensic anthropologist Temperance Brennan.

A week after the night she chases but fails to catch a mysterious trespasser outside her town house, some unknown party texts Tempe four images of a corpse that looks as if it’s been chewed by wild hogs, because it has been. Showboat Medical Examiner Margot Heavner makes it clear that, breaking with her department’s earlier practice (The Bone Collection, 2016, etc.), she has no intention of calling in Tempe as a consultant and promptly identifies the faceless body herself as that of a young Asian man. Nettled by several errors in Heavner’s analysis, and even more by her willingness to share the gory details at a press conference, Tempe launches her own investigation, which is not so much off the books as against the books. Heavner isn’t exactly mollified when Tempe, aided by retired police detective Skinny Slidell and a host of experts, puts a name to the dead man. But the hints of other crimes Tempe’s identification uncovers, particularly crimes against children, spur her on to redouble her efforts despite the new M.E.’s splenetic outbursts. Before he died, it seems, Felix Vodyanov was linked to a passenger ferry that sank in 1994, an even earlier U.S. government project to research biological agents that could control human behavior, the hinky spiritual retreat Sparkling Waters, the dark web site DeepUnder, and the disappearances of at least four schoolchildren, two of whom have also turned up dead. And why on earth was Vodyanov carrying Tempe’s own contact information? The mounting evidence of ever more and ever worse skulduggery will pull Tempe deeper and deeper down what even she sees as a rabbit hole before she confronts a ringleader implicated in “Drugs. Fraud. Breaking and entering. Arson. Kidnapping. How does attempted murder sound?”

Forget about solving all these crimes; the signal triumph here is (spoiler) the heroine’s survival.

Pub Date: March 17, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-9821-3888-2

Page Count: 352

Publisher: Scribner

Review Posted Online: Dec. 22, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2020

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THE THURSDAY MURDER CLUB

From the Thursday Murder Club series , Vol. 1

A top-class cozy infused with dry wit and charming characters who draw you in and leave you wanting more, please.

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Four residents of Coopers Chase, a British retirement village, compete with the police to solve a murder in this debut novel.

The Thursday Murder Club started out with a group of septuagenarians working on old murder cases culled from the files of club founder Elizabeth Best’s friend Penny Gray, a former police officer who's now comatose in the village's nursing home. Elizabeth used to have an unspecified job, possibly as a spy, that has left her with a large network of helpful sources. Joyce Meadowcroft is a former nurse who chronicles their deeds. Psychiatrist Ibrahim Arif and well-known political firebrand Ron Ritchie complete the group. They charm Police Constable Donna De Freitas, who, visiting to give a talk on safety at Coopers Chase, finds the residents sharp as tacks. Built with drug money on the grounds of a convent, Coopers Chase is a high-end development conceived by loathsome Ian Ventham and maintained by dangerous crook Tony Curran, who’s about to be fired and replaced with wary but willing Bogdan Jankowski. Ventham has big plans for the future—as soon as he’s removed the nuns' bodies from the cemetery. When Curran is murdered, DCI Chris Hudson gets the case, but Elizabeth uses her influence to get the ambitious De Freitas included, giving the Thursday Club a police source. What follows is a fascinating primer in detection as British TV personality Osman allows the members to use their diverse skills to solve a series of interconnected crimes.

A top-class cozy infused with dry wit and charming characters who draw you in and leave you wanting more, please.

Pub Date: Sept. 22, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-98-488096-3

Page Count: 368

Publisher: Pamela Dorman/Viking

Review Posted Online: June 30, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2020

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