At the Village Blend, Clare and her baristas refer to a decaffeinated espresso as a "why bother?" but Clare knows that a growing percentage of customers prefer decaf at least part of the time. So when an old friend of Matt's develops the first botanically decaffeinated coffee bean, Clare leaps at the exclusive opportunity to distribute the beans. But then Matt's friend is attacked and Clare begins to investigate as the body count begins to rise.
This is the fifth Coffeehouse Mystery (after On What Grounds,Through the Grinder,Latte Trouble and Murder Most Frothy). I was a little disappointed in the last one which left me apprehensive of beginning this one. Thankfully this is both a return to form and to the usual NYC setting.
The mystery this time revolves around the world of decaffeinated coffee and is full of infomation on how coffee beans are decaffeinated, and even touches on biopiracy and the intellectual property rights of new breeds of plant. Beginning with what appears to be a simple mugging, Clare's investigation quickly involves Madame and Quinn who is back for this book. Matt's relationship with Breanne is blossoming, as is Joy's inappropriate new relationship. The mystery takes centre stage though, and leads up to a brilliant ending.
As usual the book includes scrumptious sounding recipes, this time for Coffee Milk, Homemade Coffee Syrup, Italian Sesame Cookies, Carne Con Cafe "Matt's Ragout", No Biggie Coffee Cake, PB and Nutella Sandwich (who knew nutella is rare in the US?) and Clare's Cappuccino Muffins. There's also a section on what foods contain caffeine.
All in all, this was a great read and I'm really looking forward to French Pressed.
- Mass Market Paperback: 288 pages
- Publisher: Berkley; 1 edition (7 January 2008)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0425216381
- ISBN-13: 978-0425216385
- Product Dimensions: 10.7 x 2 x 17.1 cm
- Boxed-product Weight: 136 g
- Customer Reviews: 58 customer ratings