Today I am super excited to welcome Cleo Coyle to Escape With Dollycas!!
A Cozy Cup of Coffee by Cleo Coyle
Like my husband (and partner in crime-writing), I grew up in a small Western Pennsylvania town among a family of food-loving Italian Americans. Although Marc and I were raised in the same region, we didn’t meet until we finished college and moved to New York City. Here is where we fell in love and made our home.
Because we grew up outside NYC, we have a special relationship with the city. In some ways we’re tourists who never left. So when we want to get away from our daily grind, we do what 50 million other tourists do each year: We escape to New York!
Not only do we roam our resident city for fun, we explore it for research. Our readers may recognize many of our Coffeehouse Mystery settings below. So come with us now on our little tour of the Big Apple. We’ll start with…
The winding lanes, secluded gardens, quaint cafés, and historically preserved townhouses make this neighborhood one of the most picturesque in the entire city, which is why we chose to give our amateur sleuth, Clare Cosi, a home here, above a century-old coffeehouse called the Village Blend.
As we all know, a cozy mystery series is typically set in a little village—and, in many ways, Greenwich Village is exactly that. Marc and I know first-hand what it’s like to live in the real NYC, among families and hard-working folks. Like residents of small towns, we New Yorkers become quite attached to our neighborhoods. We join community boards, walk our dogs, and throw block parties and street fairs. We also become friendly with—even depend upon—the people who run our local stores, restaurants, and libraries (again, just like residents in small towns).
What else makes our series cozy? The characters. In every book, our characters show love and support for each other. From our coffeehouse manager to her quirky band of baristas, the goodness of our cast is the light that shines through the darkest New York night.
Of course, we can’t argue the fact that New York has seen many dark nights (and days), but nothing symbolizes its rebirth more than Bryant Park, a gorgeous public space located in the heart of Midtown Manhattan, right behind the main branch of the majestic New York Public Library (a worthy destination in itself).
With its rows of London plane trees, Bryant Park is an urban paradise. Don’t miss the lovely hand-painted carousel. We used this very merry-go-round as a setting for murder in our 12th Coffeehouse Mystery, Holiday Buzz. And yes, we confess to staging a little mayhem at this location in our 3rd series entry, Latte Trouble.
Clare Cosi and her ex-husband, coffee hunter Matteo Allegro, taught their daughter to ice skate under the famous Golden Prometheus statue at Rockefeller Center. In Murder by Mocha, Clare discovers a crime victim at the Rock Center’s Loft and Garden, an incredible open, rooftop space high above Fifth Avenue, which features a spectacular view of the spires of St. Patrick’s Cathedral right next door.
THE STATUE OF LIBERTY
Lady Liberty is an awe-inspiring sight, whether you’re gazing at her grand visage from Battery Park in Lower Manhattan, the deck of the Staten Island Ferry—or the icy waters of New York Bay! When Clare Cosi is thrown into those frigid waters in Holiday Grind, she uses Miss Liberty as a mental lifeline. Lucky for Clare, a New York Fire Department boat comes to her rescue, which leads to complications in Roast Mortem, the book that follows.
THE HIGH LINE
The entire city is excited about the High Line. Once an eyesore, it began as an elevated railroad bridge abandoned to rust and graffiti. Now this mile-long walkway is a lovely green space on Manhattan’s West Side. Marc and I used it as a setting in our latest Coffeehouse Mystery, Billionaire Blend. The elevated park has even spurred a real estate boom around it, despite the fact that park goers can easily peer through nearby apartment windows. (Hmm…that gives us another idea. Remember Rear Window?)
BELVEDERE CASTLE, CENTRAL PARK
The Central Park Zoo, Shakespeare in the Park, and Strawberry Fields are famous. But lesser known attractions are just as charming. The Alice in Wonderland Statue, for example, is a whimsical delight; and Belvedere Castle, a fairy tale folly, crowns one of the highest points in Central Park. Below the castle you’ll find The Ramble, a tangled stretch of wild woodlands and twisty paths dotted with rustic stone arches, mossy tunnels, and ornate bridges. Part forest, part fairyland, the Ramble is an easy place to get happily lost, or set a crime scene, which is precisely what we do in our forthcoming Coffeehouse Mystery, Once Upon a Grind (December, 2014).
And that concludes our tour!
SOUVENIR? If you’d like a memento of your New York tour, Marc and I have a free title checklist for you of all 13 of our Coffeehouse Mysteries in order, including brief story summaries. To download the free PDF, click here.
Friend Cleo on Facebook:www.Facebook.com/CleoCoyle
Cleo’s Newsletter: To sign up, simply write an email that says “sign me up” and send it to CoffeehouseMystery(at)gmail(dot)com. You’ll get a reply with a few past newsletters than include free recipes.
Visit Cleo online:www.coffeehousemystery.com
About This Author
CLEO COYLE is the pseudonym for Alice Alfonsi, writing in collaboration with her husband, Marc Cerasini. Their latest Coffeehouse Mystery, Billionaire Blend, newly released in its paperback edition, earned a starred review from Kirkus and a “Top Pick” honor from RT Book Reviews. Their next Coffeehouse Mystery, Once Upon a Grind, will be released by Penguin in December 2014. When not haunting coffeehouses, hunting ghosts, or rescuing stray cats, Alice and Marc are New York Times bestselling media tie-in writers who have penned properties for NBC, Lucasfilm, Disney, Fox, Imagine, Marvel, and MGM. They not only write the bestselling Coffeehouse Mysteries but also the popular Haunted Bookshop Mysteries.
Cleo Coyle’s Prize Package
(2) A set of glossy recipe cards with illustrated bonus recipes from Cleo.
(4) A freshly roasted package of gourmet coffee from the Laughing Man Coffee Company, co-founded by actor Hugh Jackman to help coffee farmers in the developing world (all profits to charity).
This wonderful company has a storefront not far from our very own fictional Village Blend. If anyone would like to learn more about Mr. Jackman’s coffee company, they can click this link: http://cleocoylebooks.wordpress.com/2013/11/06/travel-to-an-african-coffee-farm-with-wolverine/ –