It's Fashion Week in New York City -- and Clare's shop, the historic Village Blend, is the location of a prestigious insider's party for loyal customer and iconic designer Lottie Harmon, who is about to launch a collection of coffee-inspired accessories aptly named Java Jewelry. But the event, which is attended by the city's most zealous fashionistas, goes terribly wrong when a customer is poisoned and dies from cyanide in his latte.
A barista, who coincidentally was recently dumped by the victim, is arrested and charged with murder. But Clare knows in her heart that her employee is innocent and begins to investigate the people surrounding the enigmatic Lottie Harmon. When Clare uncovers a scheme to blackmail one of Lottie's business partners and then that partner suddenly turns up dead, she knows that there is trouble brewing.
My Thoughts :
For some reason I thought I was much further into this series than I really am. This is only the third book but it feels like the fifth or the sixth. Is that a good or a bad sign? I am not sure. The series is very well established and already boasts fifteen installments so this is obviously a good series. Or is it?
This third installment was a little slow going for my liking. The murder happened quite quickly but the investigation dragged on and on with little progress. It wasn't until the last chapter or two that everything suddenly took shape and was revealed. Maybe I missed the signs but I would have never figured out the motive before hand. Now the killer I had picked up on pretty early,,,well at least I had my suspicions but the link between the two failed me.
While this kind of murder mystery has a nice surprising end with a twist in the tale there is no actual way for the reader to enjoy the sleuthing because it isn't helping you solve the mystery before protagonist. Which is half the fun of reading cozy mysteries.
Anyway, this wasn't bad. If you can get past Clare's coffee snobbish rants and encyclopedia moments then you can really enjoy the book for what it is. A nice mystery with a lovely theme and a bunch of characters that are getting more and more interesting as the series progresses.
I will be checking out the next book sometime soon. The audio versions are definitely worth listening to if you are a fan of audio books. The narrator does a great job and does some nice voices for the characters.