I read Cleo Coyle's Dead Cold Brew for the Craving for Cozies 2017 Reading Challenge. Cleo Coyle is the pen name of the husband and wife writing team of Alice Alfonsi and Marc Cerasini. It is the 16th installment of their coffeehouse mystery series of which I have read them all. This series is modern and fast paced compared to other cozy mystery series which makes Dead Cold Brew a quick read. I read it in one sitting.
The story opens with a scene from 1956 inside the sinking luxury cruise ship Andrea Doria where abused wife Angelica Campana and her 4 year old daughter Perla escape, but not until after Angelica holds her husband Gus's head down in the water rising in their room. The story then moves to the present with coffeehouse manager Clare Cosi and her business partner, ex-husband Matteo Allegro discussing an exciting new business opportunity. Matt and Clare have been invited to prepare a new coffee blend for a competition among coffee houses to sell their new blend to a cruise ship revival of the old Andrea Doria. Wanting to do some research on the sunken ship, Matt suggests that she talk to his godfather Gus Campana who had been a passenger on the old ship.
While working on the blend Clare accepts an engagement ring from her long time cop boyfriend Mike Quinn. The ring has special coffee colored diamonds in its setting that were offered to Mike by Clare's boss and former mother-in-law Blanche Dreyfus Allegro DuBois who had previously worn them in a brooch.
The plot moves in many directions. A subplot concerning cops getting shot by snipers is prominent and there is alot of background information on the diamond trade which the Campana family is a part of.
Dead Cold Brew is a welcome addition to the series. As I mentioned earlier this book is fast paced. It is modern. There is mention of the characters having sex. You would never see that in a traditional cozy. There is a subplot about cops getting shot at which is currently prominent in our national life. This story covers alot of ground for a 307 page book and also includes coffee and dessert recipes at the end. Simply, a great read.