Holiday Buzz by Cleo Coyle: Book Review/Guest Blog/Giveaway

Dec 15, 2012 | 2012 Articles, Lorie Lewis Ham, Mysteryrat's Maze

by Lorie Lewis Ham
& Cleo Coyle

After this review enjoy a guest post and fun recipes from Cleo Coyle. Details at the end of this post on how to win a copy of Holiday Buzz.

What better way to spend the holidays then with one of my favorite mystery cozy authors Cleo Coyle (which is actually the husband and wife duo of Alice Alfonsi and Marc Cerasini). I absolutely love their Coffeehouse mysteries featuring the manager of the Village Blend in New York, Clare Cosi. One of my favorite places to hang out is a coffee house–so when I heard there was a mystery series set in one, I couldn’t resist and they never disappoint.

In Holiday Buzz, Clare is in the midst of the holiday rush at the Village Blend that includes a series of events called The Great New York Cookie Swap. Things seem to be going along great when Clare stumbles across the dead body of a young baker’s assistant who had been helping out at the Blend. The police are convinced it is the work of the Christmas Stalker, but Clare doesn’t buy it. When one of her own employee’s becomes top on the police suspect list, Clare becomes even more determined to find out what is going on. Add to the story an arrogant hockey star, two former reality TV stars, an old rocker, all the interesting Blend employees, and a retirement home and you have the mix for a great mystery. As Clare investigates, she finds out that the Irish immigrant assistant wasn’t exactly who she appeared to be.

Clare enlists the help of her ex mother-in-law and her ex-husband and business partner Matt, which adds to the fun and comedic side of the story. Seen a little less in this book than in the past is Clare’s boyfriend Detective Mike Quinn, who is now spending most of his time in DC working on a special task force. But he still manages to help dig up important info for Clare and add some romance to the story.

The Coffeehouse mysteries are just plain fun–filled with great characters, a wonderful setting, a good mystery, and this time out some holiday fun. Coyle does such a wonderful job of bringing the Village Blend to life in each book that I can almost smell the coffee. And to top it off there are recipes in the back! What goes better with books and mystery than coffee!

Add Holiday Buzz to your holiday reading and you won’t be sorry!

Check out our reviews of 2 other books in this series Murder By Mocha and A Brew To Kill.

Use this link to purchase Holiday Buzz & you support and Indie bookstore & KRL:

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.

A Killer Eggnog Latte by Cleo Coyle

Eggnog is one of those festive flavors that instantly evoke the holidays. I love it and so does Marc, my husband and partner in crime writing.

While spiked eggnog is a staple of holiday parties, alcohol proves to be a problem for our amateur sleuth, coffeehouse manager Clare Cosi, who’s planning to discuss the details of a homicide investigation with her boyfriend, NYPD detective Mike Quinn.

Clare knows a good dinner will grease the wheels of conversation with Mike, and since she’s a fantastic cook, the chicken Marsala is not the problem. The crucial before-dinner drink is what worries Clare.

Eggnog-Lattes

Mike has been downing more alcohol than usual since he began his new assignment in Washington, DC, so Clare whips up a tasty concoction that will keep the man sober and sharp.

Happily, Mike flips for Clare’s Frozen Eggnog Latte and the conversation they have about the murder of a young baker’s assistant keeps her amateur sleuthing on track.

Below is the drink that Clare whips up. It’s cold and creamy; easy to make at home; and unless you’re trying to investigate an unsolved murder, you can even spike it.


Cleo Coyle’s Frozen Eggnog Latte from Holiday Buzz

Makes one 10-ounce beverage
1/3 cup cold whole milk
2/3 cup cold eggnog
6 espresso (or coffee) ice cubes (*See note below)
Whipped cream
Dash of ground nutmeg
*Note: To make coffee ice cubes for this recipe simply pour double-strength brewed coffee into trays and freeze.
Directions: Pour the milk, eggnog, and coffee ice cubes into a blender and mix for about a minute or until the ice is pulverized. Pour into a serving glass and top with whipped cream and a sprinkle of nutmeg. Serve as cold as the North Pole!

By the way, because of eggnog’s creamy richness, it makes a great ingredient in baked goods, bringing a lovely flavor and fragrance. To wit…

Eggnog Shortbread Cookies:
you can find this recipe at my new recipe blog here. Or give my Eggnog Crumb Muffins a try. You’ll find that recipe in the back of Holiday Buzz.

Holiday-Buzz- Recipe-Guide


To see more of the recipes featured in our new culinary mystery, click here and may you eat (and read) with joy.

Happy Holidays, everyone!

To enter to win a copy of Holiday Buzz, simply email KRL at life@kingsriverlife[dot]com by replacing the [dot] with a period, with the subject line “Holiday”, or comment on this article. A winner will be chosen December 22, 2012. U.S. residents only.

Cleo Coyle is the pseudonym for New York Times bestselling mystery authors Alice Alfonsi & her husband, Marc Cerasini. Under the name Cleo Coyle, they’ve written 12 Coffeehouse Mystery titles. The first in the series is in its 17th printing. Their newest entry, Holiday Buzz, is now a Top-10 New York Times bestseller. Their latest hardcover release from Penguin, A Brew To A Kill, was chosen as a “must-read mystery of the month” by Barnes & Noble & a featured alternate selection of the Mystery Guild. The series has been Star Reviewed by Library Journal and picked up by AudioGo (BBC America Audiobooks) for production in both digital and CD formats. Alice and Marc also write a supernatural mystery series set in a New England book shop. The Haunted Bookshop Mysteries are published under the name Alice Kimberly. The first book in the series, The Ghost And Mrs. McClure, is now in its eleventh printing; four more are in print, and more are under contract. Alice and Marc are also popular media tie-in writers who have penned properties for Lucasfilm, NBC, Fox, Disney, Imagine, and MGM. Alice is a former journalist and author of children’s books and young adult fiction. Marc is also an author of military nonfiction and thrillers. They live and work in New York City. To find out more, visit their online coffeehouse at www.coffeehousemystery.com.

35 Comments

  1. I absolutely love this series and hope there will continue to be more novels. Thanks for helping me escape life through these books.

    Reply
    • Thank you for the kind words, and for reading the Coffeehouse Mysteries.

      ~ Cleo

      Reply
  2. I have kept up with this series through the years. I really enjoy reading it and always look forward to the next episode.

    Reply
    • Thank you for your wonderful comment, and for sticking with this series. I hope to keep you entertained for years to come.
      ~ Cleo

      Reply
  3. The Coffeehouse Mystery series is one that I am hooked on! Keep the books and recipes coming!

    Reply
    • Thanks for stopping by, and never fear–the books and recipes will keep on coming.

      ~ Cleo

      Reply
  4. Can’t wait to read it. Thank you for the giveaway

    Reply
    • Thank you, and best of luck.

      ~ Cleo

      Reply
  5. Two of my favorite things, mystery books and yummy recipes! Always a winning combination, in my humble opinion. Fingers crossed for giveaway!

    Reply
    • I couldn’t agree more. I’m just not sure what’s more delicious–a murder mystery or a midnight snack. Good luck on the giveaway.

      ~ Cleo

      Reply
  6. I am so looking forward to reading this one. Thanks

    Reply
    • Thank you for coming by and leaving a comment. And I hope you love Holiday Buzz.

      ~ Cleo

      Reply
  7. I’m really looking forward to reading this series. They sound awesome! Thanks!

    Reply
    • Thank you for commenting. I hope you enjoy the Coffeehouse books. And watch out for Billionaire Blend, the lucky thirteenth entry in my series, in 2013.

      Reply
  8. Love, love, love this series! I wait on pins and needles for each new offering. Thanks so much.

    Reply
    • Forget those pins and needles. Try a bed of holiday cookies and treats. They pack on the pounds, but it’s the holidays, right? Thank you for your kind words. Have a merry, merry…

      ~ Cleo

      Reply
  9. Sounds great can’t. Wait to read it.

    Reply
  10. I love series reading. Makes the characters come alive as you travel with them from one escape to another. I would LOVE to start reading this series!!

    Reply
    • I agree with you about series novels. Each story is a new chance to visit old friends, even if they are imaginary. All best to you and yours on this holiday season.

      ~ Cleo

      Reply
  11. I love this series. Thanks for the giveaway.

    Reply
    • Thank you for your kind words. And don’t forget. Clare and her family of happy baristas will return in 2013’s Billioniare Blend. All best.

      ~ Cleo

      Reply
  12. Love her books. cant wait to read this one

    Reply
    • Thanks for the compliment. Read Holiday Buzz with joy!

      ~ Cleo

      Reply
  13. One of my favorite cozy series – great stories, great characters, great recipes!

    Reply
    • Thank you so much for the wonderful praise. I hope you enjoy the recipes in Holiday Buzz, and I hope your holidays are bright.

      ~ Cleo

      Reply
  14. I can’t wait to read the book. I know for a fact Santa is leaving a copy under the tree for me.

    Reply
    • You had better be extra nice to Santa. Don’t forget to leave a plate of cookies.

      May your holidays be warm and bright.

      ~ Cleo

      Reply
  15. This is one of those rare series that gets better the longer they keep writing. So many series lose steam but I can never get enough of Claire and the gang at the Village Blend.

    Reply
    • I’m so happy you enjoy the series, and that you visit my coffeehouse again and again. The Village Blend has a special place in my heart, too. May you have a wonderful holiday, and a happy new year.

      ~ Cleo

      Reply
  16. Never read this type of book before. Would love to win one, thanks.

    Reply
    • Thank you for dropping in. Good luck on the giveaway. All best for a happy new year,

      ~ Cleo

      Reply
  17. Thanks for the recipe.

    Reply
  18. I have read all of the books in the series..the Village Blend is a place and I always look forward to visit…Claire and her adventures are cozy, entertaining, and a great escape..plus the added bonus of recipies..feel like I am visiting old friends with each new book.

    Reply
  19. We have a winner!
    Thanks,
    Lorie Ham, KRL Publisher

    Reply

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