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Through the Grinder – Review

Through the Grinder is the second installment in the Cleo Coyle Coffeehouse Mystery series. The series follows Clare Cosi, co-manager of The Village Blend, a beloved and historic coffeehouse in a prime spot of New York’s busy social scene.

Through the Grinder (Coffeehouse Mysteries, No. 2) Having recently moved back to New York from New Jersey, Clare is duped into co-managing the coffeehouse with her ex-husband by her ex-mother-in-law. In the first book, Clare helped solve the muder mystery of one of her employees. In this book, the mystery is not as much Clare’s focus. Only recently has a series of “suicides” of young, attractive and intelligent women been taking place. The common tie? All these women are regulars at the Village Blend. These suicides do not register on Clare’s radar until the man that she begins dating is suspected of perhaps killing these women.

Coyle’s writing is fun and filled with interesting facts about coffee and New York. I have noticed a formula though in the way these mysteries are presented. There are key characters introduced that the reader would immediately suspect as the murderer. But usually, the murderer at the end has receieved little to no mention throughout the entire novel, making it the most unlikely, but also the most obvious killer at the same time. Its frustrating, because I feel that it puts me at a disadvantage when trying to figure out who the killer is, if there is not mention of them until the last 15 pages of the novel.

Coyle did take a different approach with this book though. There are alternating chapters told through the eyes of the killer, showing the premeditation and thought-process behind each murder. That added an extra twist to the storyline, and made the guessing game that much more fun.


Through the Grinder
by Cleo Coyle
Berkeley Prime Crime Mysteries, 2004
ISBN 42519714x
275 pages

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