It’s been a while since I’ve checked in with Claire Cosi. I love the coffeehouse mystery series, written by Cleo Coyle, but I haven’t read one of the books in a while. Dead To the Last Drop is the latest book in the series, book number 15, and it takes Claire from the coffehouse’s homebase in NYC to DC. There, they have opened a restaurant/jazz club/coffee bar that has become one of the city’s hottest spots. Her long-time love interest Mike comes along time, on special assignment from the NYPC to the State Department.
Also making appearances in the story are the usual cast of characters – her ex-husband who comes to town to help out with a special event at the restaurant, her ex-mother in law, boss, and owner of the coffeehouse, who has arranged for Claire to “house sit” a gorgeous old victorian mansion while she’s in the city, and her daughter, who comes to visit from Paris, having landed a new job there in a restaurant. This new DC restaurant quickly becomes the talk of the town, and like many of the city’s hot spots, they frequently serve some of the most prominent leaders in government. This is how Claire is introduced to the president’s daughter.
The president’s only daughter, Abby, is a college student and aspiring jazz musician. Her parents have a much different plan for her, however, so when she shows up at the Jazz Space (the name of the club on the 2nd floor of the restaurant) she doesn’t want to be recognized. She plays with the house band, and when news gets out of her appearance at the club her secret is out and the Jazz Space becomes more popular than ever. While playing a few shows at the club Abby is kidnapped, which turns into an international incident. Enter Claire: barista, restaurateur, and amateur detective.
In finding Abby, secrets about the first family are revealed. Secrets they would never want exposed. This bit of Washington politics and culture is so great in the story, and so easy to believe. Who knows what the first family could be hiding? I feel like I may not even want to know. I have really enjoyed this series, and this change of venue keeps the series fresh. It is hinted at the end of the book about Claire’s return to NYC. Who knows what will happen when she gets back home? In the meantime, until the next book comes out, Coyle has a newsletter and blog devoted to Claire Cosi, the coffeehouse, and some of her best recipes.