Clare Cosi, manager and head barista of the landmark Village Blend coffeehouse, has perfected the art of steaming hot espresso. But now she needs to keep New York’s bravest from being burned. As someone torches cafes around the city and firefighters begin to die in suspicious ways, Clare investigates. Will she be able to solve the crime before someone tries to extinguish her?
“The pseudonymous Coyle’s strong 9th coffeehouse mystery (after 2009’s Holiday Grind) pays tribute to New York City firefighters. Clare Cosi, the head barista at Village Blend; Blend owner Madame Dreyfus Allegro Dubois (who’s Clare’s ex-mother-in-law); and Blend employee Dante Silva narrowly escape death in the bomb-activated blaze that destroys Enzo Testa’s Caffe Lucia in Queens and seriously injures Enzo. Clare informs the irritating, overly flirtatious FDNY captain, Michael Quinn, a cousin of her NYPD detective boyfriend, Mike Quinn, that she suspects arson. As fire marshal Stuart Rossi swings into action, Clare is eager to help catch the firebug (aka the Coffee Shop Arsonist), but Rossi is less than enthusiastic about her getting involved. Later, the arsonist torches a Long Island coffeehouse, killing a firefighter, as a warning. While the media worry that a terrorist is loose, new, even more horrible crimes surface. Coyle (the wife-husband writing team of Alice Alfonsi and Marc Cerasini) provides an appendix of useful tips and tempting recipes.”