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Dead To the Last Drop By Cleo Coyle: Review/Guest Post/Giveaway

IN THE December 12 ISSUE

FROM THE 2015 Articles,
andFood Fun,
andLorie Lewis Ham,
andMysteryrat's Maze
SECTIONS

by Lorie Lewis Ham

We are so thrilled to not only be reviewing the latest coffeehouse mystery by Cleo Coyle (Cleo Coyle is actually a pseudonym for Alice Alfonsi, writing in collaboration with her husband, Marc Cerasini), Dead to the Last Drop, but we also have a fun guest post by Cleo Coyle that provides a behind the scenes look at the writing of the new book.

coyleAs if that weren’t enough, we have a special giveaway from Cleo Coyle-An autographed copy of the new hardcover edition of Dead To The Last Drop, five autographed glossy recipe cards, a “Gimme Coffee!” Latte Cup and Saucer (made in Italy), and a pound of premium “Billionaire’s Blend” coffee from One Good Woman Coffee and Tea Co., mentioned in the book’s acknowledgment as part of the background research for Cleo’s “one good woman”—amateur sleuth Clare Cosi. Details on how to enter at the end of this post!

Dead To the Last Drop by Cleo Coyle
Review by Lorie Lewis Ham

Dead to the Last Drop is the latest in Cleo Coyle’s coffeehouse mystery series featuring Clare Cosi, who manages the Village Blend Coffee Shop in New York. This series is a favorite of mine–every time I “walk” into the Village Blend through one of these books I can almost smell the coffee!

This book in the series is a bit different as it finds Clare in Washington DC overseeing the new Village Blend DC. This location not only has a coffeehouse, but also a Jazz Space on the second floor. The new place is fraught with difficulties, not the least of which is the temperamental chef hired by the owner, Clare’s ex mother-in-law Madame Allegro. On the plus side, thanks to Madame Allegro, she is living in style house sitting in a charming Georgetown mansion filled with history, and being in DC puts her close to her police detective boyfriend Mike Quinn who is currently on a special assignment there. book

Business starts to pick up when the President’s daughter begins playing jazz at their club’s open mike night, and especially when she ends up agreeing to do a concert there. But of course things never run smoothly. First a State Department employee suspiciously collapses in the club, the chef accuses Clare of embezzling money from Village Blend DC, and later the president’s daughter goes missing. Soon Clare finds herself on the run with Mike, running from the police while they search for the truth so Clare doesn’t end up in jail for murder, or maybe even for kidnapping the President’s daughter.

I wasn’t certain how I would feel about the DC setting of this book because I love the Village Blend in New York so much. However, I was pleasantly surprised and found myself feeling equally at home at the new coffeehouse. Coyle’s characters are wonderful, and her writing is excellent. This story was filled with political secrets, love, murder, some interesting DC history, and a ton of twists and turns I never saw coming. I always enjoy the coffee info peppered throughout the book, and find I learn something new every time. There are also some great recipes at the back of the book I can’t wait to try out, along with some interesting coffee related presidential history.

If you love a great mystery, great characters, an interesting plot, and great coffee, this book is for you! I can’t wait for the next one. These books are always on the top of my list of favorite books for the year!

Lorie Lewis Ham is our Editor-in-Chief and an enthusiastic contributor to various sections, coupling her journalism experience with her connection to the literary and entertainment worlds. Explore Lorie’s mystery writing at Mysteryrat’s Closet.

On the Run in Washington with Coffeehouse Mystery Author Cleo Coyle

Marc and I are a married couple who have been writing together for over a decade. We’ve penned fiction, non-fiction, media tie-ins, young adult, and children’s books. A few years ago, Marc worked on a series with the late Tom Clancy. Then we collaborated on a thriller tie-in for the producers of the Emmy-Award-winning television show 24. To date, that project was one of our all-time favorites.

In our newest Coffeehouse Mystery, we decided to go back to that ticking clock mindset and meld aspects of the thriller genre with our lighter approach to the amateur sleuth mystery.

authors

Cleo Coyle aka Alice Alfonsi & husband Marc Cerasini

The premise comes down to a question: How does a hardworking single mother and coffee shop manager go from befriending the First Lady and catering a glittering party at the Smithsonian to being placed at the top of the FBI’s Most Wanted list?

For our amateur sleuth, Clare Cosi, it begins when the President’s college-age daughter becomes a fan of her freshly roasted coffee and a regular at Clare’s D.C. jazz club. Then the young woman mysteriously vanishes, a State Department employee collapses in the shop, and Clare is fit for a frame of kidnapping and homicide.

These capital crimes are the last thing she expects to be accused of when she relocates to our nation’s capital, but Clare must solve both mysteries—and find out who framed her—or she may discover firsthand that Washington is murder. book

There are shocks and reversals in Dead To The Last Drop and plenty of danger and intrigue, along with crimes “ripped from the headlines” as thriller writers like to say. But through it all, Marc and I never forgot our series’ more traditional roots. As suspenseful as the story gets, our new book is also laced with humor, heart, and hearty good food. Because you can’t save the world on an empty stomach—at least Clare Cosi and her longtime boyfriend, decorated detective Mike Quinn, can’t. And as food lovers ourselves, neither can we!

If you are new to our Coffeehouse Mystery series, don’t let that discourage you from picking up Dead To The Last Drop (our fifteenth entry). You can certainly read it as a stand-alone story, and if you like the ride, you have fourteen more books to enjoy.

But don’t miss this Washington entry. It’s embedded with hidden secrets about our nation’s capital that were inspired by my own experiences while living, studying, and working in D.C.

To read the prologue and first chapter, click here.

coyleDead To The Last Drop is also a culinary mystery, with an appendix of more than 25 delicious recipes, including Double-Chocolate Espresso Cupcakes, Easy “Cake Pan” Cheesecake, Carolina-style Mustard-Glazed Sticky Wings, the best Oatmeal Cookie Recipe you may ever bake, and a fantastic version of Black Magic Cake with a “secret ingredient” chocolate frosting to die for.

To see the book’s free Recipe Guide, click here.

CLEO’S NEWSLETTER: Contests, recipes, news, fun facts, and videos. To sign up, simply write an e-mail that says “sign me up” and send it to CoffeehouseMystery@gmail(dot)com. You will receive a reply with links to past newsletters that include free recipes.

TITLE CHECKLIST: Get a free title checklist with mini summaries of all 15 Coffeehouse Mysteries. To download the list as a PDF document, click here.

coffeeGIVEAWAY – An autographed copy of the new hardcover edition of Dead To The Last Drop, five autographed glossy recipe cards, a “Gimme Coffee!” Latte Cup and Saucer (made in Italy), and a pound of premium “Billionaire’s Blend” coffee from One Good Woman Coffee and Tea Co., mentioned in the book’s acknowledgment as part of the background research for Cleo’s “one good woman”—amateur sleuth Clare Cosi.

To enter to win the Dead To The Last Drop contest package mentioned above, simply email KRL at krlcontests@gmail[dot]com by replacing the [dot] with a period, and with the subject line “coyle,” or comment on this article. A winner will be chosen December 19, 2015. U.S. residents only. If entering via email please include your mailing address, and if via comment please include your email address.

Check out other mystery articles, reviews, book giveaways & short stories in our mystery section.

Cleo Coyle is a pseudonym for Alice Alfonsi, writing in collaboration with her husband, Marc Cerasini. Both are New York Times bestselling authors of the Coffeehouse Mysteries, now celebrating over ten years in print. Alice has worked as a journalist in Washington, D.C., and New York City, and has written popular fiction, young adult and children’s books. A former magazine editor, Marc has authored espionage thrillers and nonfiction for adults and children. Alice and Marc are also bestselling media tie-in writers who have penned properties for Lucasfilm, NBC, Fox, Disney, Imagine, and MGM. They live and work in New York City, where they write independently and together, including the national bestselling Haunted Bookshop Mysteries. You can learn more on their website.

{ 50 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Margaret Hamilton Turkevich
Twitter: @margar_hamilton
December 12, 2015 at 10:25am

The coffeehouse series is my favorite. I always look forward to a new book, particularly one set in DC, with which I’m more familiar than NYC.

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2 Cleo Coyle
Twitter: @CleoCoyle
December 13, 2015 at 8:53pm

Thank you for the very kind words, Margaret! The time I spent studying and working in our nation’s capital left a lasting impression on me, and I found great pleasure in setting one of our mysteries there. Marc and I hope you find even more pleasure in reading it!

~ Cleo

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3 Kathy Gonzales
Twitter: @kathambreyahoo.com
December 12, 2015 at 3:06pm

I absolutely love this series , I own them all ! kathambre@yahoo.com

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4 Cleo Coyle
Twitter: @CleoCoyle
December 13, 2015 at 6:23pm

Kathy, it’s readers like you who make my job a joy. Good luck with the giveaway!

~ Cleo

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5 Dianne Casey December 12, 2015 at 3:18pm

What a great giveaway! Love the coffee mysteries, would really enjoy reading the newest in the series.
diannekc8@gmail.com

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6 Cleo Coyle
Twitter: @CleoCoyle
December 13, 2015 at 6:24pm

Thanks for stopping by, Dianne. Best of luck.

~ Cleo

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7 Barbara December 12, 2015 at 3:36pm

What a great offer! Hope I am the lucky one.

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8 Kathleen Costa December 12, 2015 at 4:02pm

This is my absolute favorite series. I’m crossing my fingers to be a first time KRL winner. Thanks.

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9 Cleo Coyle
Twitter: @CleoCoyle
December 13, 2015 at 6:27pm

Hey, Kathleen, thank you for your kind words. Fingers crossed there is a first time on your horizon!

~ Cleo

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10 Celia Fowler December 12, 2015 at 8:15pm

I love the Coffeehouse Mysteries — this giveaway is awesome!

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11 Cleo Coyle
Twitter: @CleoCoyle
December 13, 2015 at 6:36pm

It’s awesome that you love our books, Celia. Good luck, and always read with joy.

~ Cleo

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12 Peggy December 12, 2015 at 8:42pm

Dead To the Last Drop sounds like a wonderful read. Thank you for introducing me to Cleo Coyle’s books and for this awesome giveaway.
peggyhyndman(at)att(dot)net

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13 Marilyn Watson
Twitter: @MarilynWatson18
December 12, 2015 at 10:14pm

I’ve been wanting to read the Coffee House Series…it sounds interesting…so please enter me and thanks for the contest.
Marilyn ewatvess@yahoo.com

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14 Barbara Hawk
Twitter: @angelhwk68
December 13, 2015 at 8:48am

Sounds like a great read! Just found Cleo Coyle and looking forward to this series! Thank you for the chance!

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15 Cleo Coyle
Twitter: @CleoCoyle
December 13, 2015 at 7:00pm

Welcome to Clare Cosi’s world, Barbara! We hope you like what you discover there. Thank you for commenting, and good luck on the giveaway,

~ Cleo

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16 Jennifer December 13, 2015 at 9:41am

Thanks for thr chance! I just love this series and this interview was super. Foxyj00 at hotmail dot come

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17 Cleo Coyle
Twitter: @CleoCoyle
December 13, 2015 at 6:41pm

Thanks you, Jennifer! Best of luck on the giveaway.

~ Cleo

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18 Robyn K December 13, 2015 at 9:45am

I love this series and I’m reading the book and loving it! Thank you for this chance!

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19 Cleo Coyle
Twitter: @CleoCoyle
December 13, 2015 at 6:46pm

Wow! Thank you, Robyn K. Read with joy, and come back and let us know what you think.

~ Cleo

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20 Linda Herold
Twitter: @1957
December 13, 2015 at 9:46am

I’m down to the last 50 pages and loving it!!

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21 Cleo Coyle
Twitter: @CleoCoyle
December 13, 2015 at 6:48pm

Linda, your praise made us feel like we won the prize! Good luck on the giveaway, and thank you. (Now go finish that book!)

~ Cleo

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22 Margaret Rushton
Twitter: @cupcake5858
December 13, 2015 at 9:55am

My favorite series! Great recipes, fun plots, great characters, and lots of talk about coffee. I’ve read every book in the series and have ordered the new book but would love an autographed copy. My birthday is Tuesday the 15th and winning would make it a perfect day.
I would love to ask if it’s difficult to not only come up with a great mystery but is it hard to also create new recipes? I usually turn to the recipes as soon as I get a new book in the series to check out what Clare is making and I try the recipes on family and friends when I can.
Thanks for the great giveaways and good luck everyone!
scarletbegonia5858@gmail.com

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23 Cleo Coyle
Twitter: @CleoCoyle
December 13, 2015 at 8:40pm

Happy, happy birthday wishes to you, Margaret! It warms our hearts to know you love our characters as much as we do.

About those recipes: Marc and I have cooked and baked most of our lives, and we both come from huge foodie families. That gives us a wealth of experience and hundreds of recipes to draw on. But more than that, with each new Coffeehouse Mystery we take great care to create recipes that echo the theme–so we packed Murder By Mocha with chocolate recipes, and Roast Mortem with our versions of firehouse favorites. In Dead to the Last Drop, we focus on classic American recipes with some twists on this country’s favorite foods.

Someday, Margaret, we would love to sit down at a Rushton family gathering where we can all share a dish we’ve cooked up together. Good luck on the giveaway, and again, happy birthday.

~ Cleo

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24 Nan December 13, 2015 at 9:55am

Never stop writing y’all

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25 Cleo Coyle
Twitter: @CleoCoyle
December 13, 2015 at 7:17pm

Hey, Nan. You keep reading, and we’ll keep on writing. All best,

~ Cleo

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26 Gram December 13, 2015 at 10:00am

If you say this series goes well in DC then I’ll believe you and put it on my t-b-r list. Count me in 🙂

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27 Cleo Coyle
Twitter: @CleoCoyle
December 13, 2015 at 8:43pm

Gram, I see we both share a love of Our Nation’s Capital. DC greetings to you, and best of luck on the giveaway.

~ Cleo

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28 Dianne B. December 13, 2015 at 10:16am

I love the coffee house series and I’m looking forward to reading Dead to the Last Drop. Great mysteries plus you learn a lot about coffee.

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29 Cleo Coyle
Twitter: @CleoCoyle
December 13, 2015 at 8:41pm

Thank you for your kind words, Dianne B! Good luck with the giveaway.

~ Cleo

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30 Marsha Bachmeier
Twitter: @kidisitor
December 13, 2015 at 10:18am

Love this series and looking forward to reading this one as well! =) I also really enjoy the newsletters… always good recipes included! 😉

kidisitor@yahoo.com

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31 Candy Kennedy December 13, 2015 at 10:18am

Really enjoy this series, the recipes are wonderful. Would love the book and the Coffee . Thanks for so many enjoyable hours of reading.

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32 Kelly Oster
Twitter: @VampGirl410
December 13, 2015 at 10:50am

This is my favorite series! When is the next book coming out? I am anxiously waiting for it! ????

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33 Janet Morrissey
Twitter: @harbingerdc
December 13, 2015 at 11:06am

This is one of my very favorite series and the recipes always work beautifully!!

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34 Melissa December 13, 2015 at 12:10pm

Best book series EVER!

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35 Alicia Farage December 13, 2015 at 12:12pm

Love, love this series!!!! Can’t wait to read this one and must admit that I’d love to win this great prize! Thank you!

afarage at earthink dot net

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36 Valerie December 13, 2015 at 1:47pm

I’ll plan to curl up with this book and a great cup of coffee!!

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37 Sharon F December 13, 2015 at 3:30pm

I can’t wait for this book! Loved all of the NYC ones and a new setting in DC is a great way to change things up a bit!

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38 Cleo Coyle
Twitter: @CleoCoyle
December 13, 2015 at 4:22pm

Thanks to everyone for stopping by. Marc and I are pouring ourselves a cup of joe, and getting ready to reply to your comments and questions tonight. We’ll check back throughout the week, as well. Thanks to Kings River Life and especially Lorie Lewis Ham for featuring us in this issue. We appreciate it!

~ Cleo

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39 Joanne Kocourek
Twitter: @servedogmom
December 13, 2015 at 5:43pm

This is one of my favorite series! Thank you for the opportunity.

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40 Michelle Hunsberger December 13, 2015 at 6:26pm

I love your books

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41 Jeanie Jackson
Twitter: @JeanieJackson9
December 13, 2015 at 8:44pm

I am fairly new to your series but I already love it. It will take me some time to get to this one, but can’t wait! It sounds great.

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42 Jeanetta December 14, 2015 at 2:07am

This cozy sounds like a fantastic read. Thank you for the chance to win.
myrifraf(at)gmail(dot)com

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43 Marie Morrissey December 14, 2015 at 4:46am

Love the entire series and the recipes as well.

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44 judy grogan
Twitter: @judygrogan
December 14, 2015 at 10:02am

Love your books. Thanks for the chance.

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45 judy grogan
Twitter: @judygrogan
December 14, 2015 at 10:03am

love your books. Thanks for the chance

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46 Judy D December 14, 2015 at 10:28am

All these readers can’t be wrong. I own half the series and have every intention of reading them all. Hoping to win the latest to speed things up ?

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47 Jeanie
Twitter: @JeanieDannheim
December 14, 2015 at 11:55am

It has been a long time since I’ve read any books in this series; I would so love to read this one! And what better to have with it than a rich, unique blend of coffee! Congrats on your latest release; may it be a best seller for you!

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48 Doward Wilson December 15, 2015 at 9:53am

This is a great series and I am just getting ready to reread it from the beginning. Thanks for the chance to win.

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49 sara hyman December 17, 2015 at 8:36pm

I haven’t read any of this series yet, but I want to. Always like to learn new things, and I learn something from everything I read, including cozies.

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50 Lorie
Twitter: @mysteryrat
December 21, 2015 at 1:48pm

We have a winner!

Reply

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