With the winter holidays fast approaching, Village Blend coffeehouse owner Clare Cosi asked her baristaís what does Christmas taste like. They held an informal jam session as everyone shared their ideas for new holiday-flavored lattes.
That evening the Blend hosted a private latte tasting party so that guests could vote on their favorite flavors for the Taste of Christmas holiday theme. The Fa-la-la-la latte tag was created by charity Santa Alfred Glockner. He had a habit of stopping by the blend for his own specialty latte every afternoon during his six-hour shift.
When Alf didnít show up at the Taste of Christmas latte party he had inspired, Clare dressed for the elements and plunged into the snowy night. She soon found Santa shot dead in a nearby alley. When police thought his shooting was nothing more than a random mugging, Clare decided to go into action. Unfortunately, it seemed Santa was the naughty one and that was why he ended up on someoneís hit list.
Because her own special detective friend, Mike Quinn, was on a cold case of his own, Clare enlisted the help of her ex-husband Matt Allegro. When attempts were made on her own life, instead of backing off the case, Clare pushed forward utilizing every available help she could find in her quest to find out who killed Santa. And why were they also after her?
Holiday Grind is the eighth novel in the Coffeehouse Mystery series. Author Cleo Coyle is the pen name for a multi-published husband and wife team who also pen the highly popular Haunted Bookshop Mysteries under the name Alice Kimberly.
Holiday Grind provides an entertaining whodunit with a side of delicious baked goods and tantalizing flavored lattes. Most of the characters are familiar to readers of the series, giving the story a warm cozy feeling, much like sitting before a glowing fire in the fireplace while drinking a cup of hot chocolate, or flavored latte.
There is the usual sexual tension between Matt and Clare, especially as Matt and his new wife are not getting along. The tension between Matt and Mike seems realistic, as do most of the relationships in the novel.
Throughout this story, the relationships of several couples are tested and redefined, adding romance, or lack thereof, to the holiday mix. Although murder is not fun, this series is certainly enjoyable. Fans will definitely want to satisfy their cozy mystery appetite by digging into this fabulous feast.
An added bonus is the expanded recipes and tips section at the back of the book written especially as a holiday gift for Coffeehouse Mystery readers. A mini-book on coffeehouse terms and drinks, including recipes for making your own coffee syrups and lattes will delight fans. There are also additional holiday recipes provided by the Holiday Grind cast.