Cleo Coyle, a pseudonym for writers Alice Alfonsi and her husband Marc Cerasini, writes the Coffeehouse Mystery series, one of my favorites. ‘Billionaire Blend’ is the thirteenth book in this series. Each time I read one of these books, I think this may be the best one yet. This time I am sure of it.
As the story opens a car bomb explodes outside the Village Blend Coffee House, almost killing billionaire and tech wiz Eric Thorner, Clare comes to his aid. As a thank you, he buys her a Slayer, the dream espresso machine. He also hires her to create the world’s most expensive coffee.
Billionaire’s Blend is more than just a mystery, although it is an outstanding mystery. It offers us a peak at the world of the ultra-rich. We vicariously travels through much of the world to source coffee. Plus we get to read about some fabulous coffee and food.
One of my favorite characters in the Coffeehouse Mysteries is Matteo Allegro, Clare’s business partner in the Village Blend and ex-husband. He is a complex character, who despite his faults is very charming. His forte is sourcing coffee as he travels throughout the world. He decides to take Eric where few “baby billionaires” have gone. They travel to Uganda’s Tororo district. From there they travel to Thailand, Jakarta, Hawaii, El Salvador’s “Golden Belt, Haiti, Jamaica and Costa Gravas. (Costa Gravas appears to be a fictional island in the Caribbean) Matteo negotiates some fair deals with the farmers and they offer the villages some benefits such as washing stations as well.
We also see more of Joy, Clare and Matteo’s daughter, who is honing her culinary skills in Paris at a restaurant called Les Deux Perroquets. Eric takes both Joy and Clare to L’Ambroisia, one of the top restaurants in Paris. The scene here with Joy discussing food is a complete delight for anyone that loves food or watching shows such as Iron Chef.
The book ends with a thirty one page appendix which includes a guide to the various coffee drinks you can order at many coffee houses. There are also a wide variety of amazing recipes.
I strongly recommend this book and this series. It offers a solid mystery, romance, travel and food. Plus despite it being a murder mystery, I felt uplifted in the end.
This book is an excellent Valentine’s Day present for the mystery lover in your life. You could also buy it for yourself and treat your Valentine to some of amazing recipes provided. I’ve included a video of “How to Make Cleo Coyle’s Hazelnut Orgasm Shooter.”
Five stars out of five.
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In accordance with FTC guidelines for reviewers, I would like to clarify that this book was provided to me by the publisher free of charge. I am not compensated by the author or publisher for my review. All they expect is an honest review of the work.