Friday, May 16, 2008

A Couple of Little Things

I forgot to mention that I read On What Grounds by Cleo Coyle, the first in the Coffeehouse series. I had read this and maybe one of the sequels ages ago. It's a decent cozy mystery series with enticing recipes. A few things bug me. It starts out with a prologue from the stalker's point-of-view a la James Patterson or Jonathan Kellerman, which I think is super cheesy. Despite throwing around Italian terms like someone who knows what she's doing, Coyle (or her editor) has used the wrong accent over the 'e' in the Italian word 'caffe,' (It should be the opposite accent of the one over the 'e' in the French word 'cafe,' but I can't figure out how to do diacritical marks in Blogger) and spelled 'baci' (which means 'kisses') 'bocci.' There are other typos in plain old English, typical of this genre's mediocre editing. Despite some annoyances, the book is kind of cute and I enjoyed the coffee information, which I thought complemented, rather than distracted from, the narrative flow. Clare Cosi returns from suburban New Jersey to manage once again The Village Blend, an historic coffeehouse in New York City at the request of her former mother-in-law. You can bet the ex-husband will be around to bug her/be strangely attractive. One morning, Clare arrives at the coffeehouse to find it empty and dark. She finds her employee, Annabel, dead at the bottom of the basement steps. The police are treating the death as a tragic accident, but Clare thinks differently. Also, she thinks the detective is pretty cute. Typical cozy mystery investigating ensues, in more-interesting-than-average-cozy fashion. I'll read the second one, Through the Grinder, soon.

I also read "The Twelve Desserts of Christmas" by Joanne Fluke, one of four novellas in the holiday romance collection Sugar and Spice (available for the cost of shipping--used on I didn't read the other three, which are more typical romance, but I thought the Joanne Fluke story, featuring two teachers stuck with six kids at a boarding school over the holidays, was a cute confection. Hannah Swensen delivers desserts to the group and solves an innocuous little mystery. Most of the recipes are title recipes from previous books, but a couple may be new (I'd have to check Sugar Cookie Murder, which has tons). If (like me) you're waiting for Carrot Cake Murder to come out in paperback, this is a nice little diversion.

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