Roped into creating a gourmet coffee and dessert bar for her ex-husbands's wedding, Clare faces off with the bride-to-be. Wealthy and sophisticated, the snarky Breanne has never been a low maintenance kind of gal, and now she's in full blown bridezilla mode. The only way Clare can possibly deal with her is to focus on business. But murder is Claire's business, too, and when fatal accidents begin befalling people close to Breanna, Clare become suspiscious.
Is someone trying to sabotage this wedding? Kill Breanna? Clare decides to investigate. But what she uncovers, between steaming cappuccinos and roasting the world's rarest coffee beans, may just get her burned..."
Espresso Shot, by Cleo Coyle (pseudonym), is one novel in the coffeehouse mystery series. The book takes place in New York City, specifically around the Village Blend (Clare's coffee shop) stationed in Greenwich Village.
Clare and her ex-husband, Matteo (aka Matt), run the coffee shop together. Clare acts as manager while Matt does the coffee exchange leg work. When the book opens it is a week until Matt ties the knot with Breanna, a character most readers would call an uptight selfish b----.
Most of the characters in this novel are very easy to like, even Matt, though him and Clare have a complicated and distressing past. But Breanne simply is not one of those characters. She sticks to the true form of "bridezilla."
Clare was an easy character to connect with. The entire novel was told in her point of view. The flow of the language morphed the novel into a conversation between friends. I felt like Clare was telling me the story, over the phone or in-person. I wasn't reading it, per se, but listening to a friend divulge details of her week. It was a nice change from the "show, not tell" method writers are told to follow.
The plot of the novel was well thought out. I made a few predictions throughout reading it, but all of them were wrong. Which is great when reading a murder mystery. All of the events happen in a pretty steady pace, so there was no real waiting for the plot to continue, but at points it did seem slower than a murder mystery should have been. However, throughout the novel I never felt the "Omigod what's going to happen? MUST FINISH" sensation like I normally do with novels of this genre.