Cozy Wednesday with Cleo Coyle – Author of Shot in the Dark #GuestPost / #Review / #Giveaway @BerkleyMystery

Welcome to Cozy Wednesday!

I am always excited when Cleo comes to visit!
She is also touring with Great Escapes Book Tours!
Be sure to visit every stop!


Cozy Wednesday with Cleo Coyle – Author of SHOT IN THE DARK #Giveaway too!

A divorced single mom in her forties, our amateur sleuth Clare Cosi is a coffeehouse manager by day and a relentless snoop by night. SHOT IN THE DARK marks the 17th Coffeehouse Mystery that my husband and I have written, and like every entry in our series, Clare sleuths with the help of her quirky staff of baristas, her beloved octogenarian employer, and her shop’s globetrotting rogue of a coffee hunter.

For Clare’s latest case, we researched New York’s café and restaurant scene. As managers of these establishments will tell you, mobile phone dating has become a big contributor to their bottom lines. When we learned that, we knew Clare’s Village Blend would be no different. In SHOT IN THE DARK, even Clare’s elderly ex-mother-in-law is “swiping to meet” new gentlemen friends! But there is a dark side to all this swiping, and we knew Clare’s down-to-earth common sense would make her uneasy about the quickie hookups taking place in her shop.

Manhattan Greenway Hudson River by Cleo Coyle

In Clare’s view, all these high-octane matches were bound to leave many feeling burned. One night, her worst fears come true when a date’s disappointment turns deadly. First, a shot rings out, and later the corpse of a sweet, young female customer is found floating in the Hudson River. Soon Clare is sparing with the NYPD Harbor Patrol, prowling a night-shrouded park in search of clues, and sneaking into a (way too) hipster health club.

Most of SHOT IN THE DARK’s New York locations are either real or based on real locations; and a few are among our favorite places in the city: from a cozy, landmark coffeehouse in picturesque Greenwich Village, to a strip of greenway with breathtaking views of skyscrapers along the mile-wide Hudson, to the foggy wharves of Red Hook, Brooklyn—even a battered railroad barge that’s been transformed into a lively outdoor restaurant.

If you’re a newcomer to our Coffeehouse Mysteries, don’t hesitate to pick up our latest title. All of our books can be read as stand-alone stories. And, if you like one, you’ll have sixteen more to enjoy. But don’t miss our latest: SHOT IN THE DARK!

 Praise for SHOT IN THE DARK
A Coffeehouse Mystery by Cleo Coyle

Mystery Pick of the Month!
“A gripping and entertaining mystery…”
Library Journal (Starred Review)

“Penetrating insights…” —Kirkus

“Sure to delight old fans and garner new ones…”
Publishers Weekly


SHOT IN THE DARK is also a culinary mystery, with an appendix of more than 25 recipes. To get Cleo’s Free Recipe Guide, click here or stop by her online coffeehouse at to download a free copy.

The Coffeehouse Mysteries Book Trailer



Get a title checklist with mini-summaries of all 17 Coffeehouse Mysteries plus links to Cleo’s Free Recipe Guides. To download the list as a PDF document, click here.


Thank you so much for dropping by today Cleo! 

Shot in the Dark (A Coffeehouse Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
17th in Series
Setting – New York
Berkley Prime Crime (April 17, 2018)
Hardcover: 352 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0451488848
Digital ASIN: B07465ZYKT



A new smartphone dating game turns the Village Blend into a hookup hot spot, until one dark night, when a gunshot leaves a dead body behind and the landmark coffeehouse becomes the center of a whole new scene–a crime scene.

As Village Blend manager Clare Cosi attempts to finalize a date for her wedding, her ex-husband becomes addicted to making dates through smartphone swipes. Clare has mixed feelings about these quickie matchups happening in her coffeehouse. Even her octogenarian employer is selecting suitors by screenshot! But business is booming, and Clare works hard to keep the espresso shots flowing. Then one dark night, another kind of shot leaves a dead body for her to find.

The corpse is a successful entrepreneur who became notorious for his “hit it and quit it” behavior: prowling for women on dating apps, then devastating his conquests with morning-after insults. Though the NYPD quickly arrests one of his recent victims, Clare finds reason to believe she’s been framed.

Now, with the help of her ex and crew of quirky baristas, Clare starts “swiping” through suspects in her own shop, determined to find the real killer before another shot rings out.

Includes a bang-up menu of tempting recipes.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

These dating apps have been the rage and this one is supposed to unique. Clare’s ex seems to have a new addiction, meeting new “Cinderella’s”, sometimes more than one a night. The new hot meeting place for this new app Cinder just happens to be the Village Blend. Business is jumping until gunshots are fired in the upstairs lounge. The place clears out quick and the cops arrive to make the arrest. Luckily no one was hurt but can the Village Blend survive the bad PR?

The next night when Clare ventures out to pick up her boss from a date gone wrong she finds a girl’s body floating in the water. She recognizes the girl as one of her customers and is shocked to find she has a memory stick with 5 copies of the viral video of the shooting the night before. Panicking about how this is going effect her business Clare reluctantly teams up with the creators of Cinder to host a night that will hopefully bring business back. But then, another dead body is found, the police are back and may have arrested the wrong person.

Can Claire match the right suspect to the crime before there’s another “shot in the dark”? And will she have a job after everything that has happened?

I love this series! I love these characters! I can’t believe this is the 17th book in this series. The authors do an excellent job of making each story fresh and new for their fans while also giving new readers plenty of detail to be able to jump right into this series even at book 17.

Clare Cozi manages the Village Blend along with her ex-husband. The place is actually owned by her ex-mother-in-law. She has a great staff, a wonderful fiance’ and a level head on her shoulders. She just doesn’t understand this new dating app craze.  Her staff does their best to help her out. Her ex has taken the whole thing to the extreme but he is not alone. Even his mother is using an app to line up dates. These characters are delightful. They jump off of the page. Their dialogues are snappy and at time laugh out loud funny.

The authors have hit the mystery part of this story out of the park. Twists, turns, drugs and fitness clubs wrapping it together with this dating app phenomenon that is taking over the world. The story is very fast paced and the authors set up the chapters in such a way that you keep saying “just one more chapter” again and again. This book was impossible to put down.

The Village Blend and New York are a spectacular setting for this story. The author’s descriptions create a visual masterpiece for readers to enjoy. I can smell the coffee, the rich blends, along with delicious baked goodies too.

In addition to all the action, a light is shined on this “face in your phone” society in which we are living. Maybe because I am a dinosaur that doesn’t have a cell phone I see it more than others. I go to dinner with my family and look around the table and everyone but me and my grandchildren have their heads buried deep into whatever is happening on their phones. I do realize that if the children had cell phones I would be on my own.  I love new technology but am not a fan of all the time they take away from daily life. For my family, I do make a conscious effort to say “phones down, family time.”

Cleo Coyle never disappoints. Wonderful characters, intriguing mysteries, and just the right amounts of humor and romance. Each new story becomes another favorite. This was such an entertaining story with so many exciting moments. It truly was a perfect escape!!

Your Great Escapes Travel Agent

About the author

CLEO COYLE is a pseudonym for Alice Alfonsi, writing in collaboration with her husband, Marc Cerasini. Both are New York Times bestselling authors of the Coffeehouse Mysteries, now celebrating fifteen years in print. Alice has worked as a journalist in Washington, D.C., and New York City, and has written popular fiction for adults and children. A former magazine editor, Marc has authored espionage thrillers and nonfiction for adults and children. Alice and Marc are also bestselling media tie-in writers who have penned properties for Lucasfilm, NBC, Fox, Disney, Imagine, and MGM. They live and work in New York City, where they write independently and together, including the popular Haunted Bookshop Mysteries. Look for a brand new entry in their Haunted Bookshop Mysteries this October: The Ghost and the Bogus Bestseller.

Visit their website at

CLEO’S NEWSLETTER: Fun contests, bonus recipes, book news, and videos. To sign up, simply write an e-mail that says “sign me up” and send it to CoffeehouseMystery@gmail(dot)com

You can also follow Cleo on Facebook as well as Twitter and Pinterest


* An autographed copy of SHOT IN THE DARK in its beautiful hardcover first edition.

* An autographed set of Cleo Coyle’s collectible recipe cards.

* A sturdy, canvas Coffeehouse Mystery tote bag with a favorite saying of Clare’s octogenarian employer, Madame: “Survive everything. And do it with style.” And…

* A 12-ounce porcelain “Gimme coffee!” latte cup and saucer, made in Italy!

The contest is open to anyone over 18 years old
with a US mailing address.

Duplicate entries will be deleted. Void where prohibited.

You do not have to be a follower to enter but I hope you will find
something you like here and become a follower.

Followers Will Receive 2 Bonus Entries For Each Way They Follow.
Plus 2 Bonus Entries For Liking My Facebook Fan Page.

Leave a comment for the author for 5 Bonus Entries.

Add this book to your WANT TO READ shelf on GoodReads for 3 Bonus Entries.

Pin this giveaway to Pinterest for 3 Bonus Entries.

If you publicize the giveaway on Twitter or Facebook or anywhere you will receive
5 Bonus Entries For Each Link.

Contest Will End May 9, 2018, at 11:59 PM CST
Winner Will Be Chosen By
Winner Will Be Notified By Email
and Will Be Posted Here In The Sidebar.

Click Here For Entry Form

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. Receiving a complimentary copy in no way reflected my review of this book. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”


56 thoughts on “Cozy Wednesday with Cleo Coyle – Author of Shot in the Dark #GuestPost / #Review / #Giveaway @BerkleyMystery

  1. I love Cleo Coyle’s mysteries and have quite a few of them. This one sounds like a winner!

  2. Enjoyed reading the guest post with Cleo Coyle. Absolutely LOVE the cover of “Shot in the Dark”. Everything I have read about the book, including your review, just makes me want to read the book all the more. I do have it on my TBR list and I appreciate the opportunity to win a copy – thank you.
    2clowns at arkansas dot net

  3. I love this series and am very excited to read this latest installment. And the recipes are *always* to die for! Thanks for the review and the chance to win!

  4. I can’t wait to spend more time with Clare, Mike, Matt, Madame and the Coffeehouse gang. The Coffeehouse Mysteries are one of my favorite series, and I have found myself re-reading them because some days you really need a cup of espresso and a dose of Clare Cosi!

  5. Thanks for this wonderful giveaway. Cleo’s mysteries are always special and captivating. I wouid enjoy this new book greatly.

  6. These are by far my favorite mysteries. There are always new and interesting tidbits about the characters as well as a great mystery that usually takes you all over New York. Hope they never stop.

  7. I am looking forward to reading this! There is more than the mystery to solve with Clare. I love the coffeehouse atmosphere, the recipes, seeing New York via the story.

  8. Cleo Coyle is my favorite cozy mystery writer. I LOVE the Coffeehouse series and this new one looks so good. I can’t wait to try some of the recipes.

  9. Can’t wait to read it! I’m following on Facebook and on good reads I posted want to read. Love this series.

  10. I love this series, and always have a shot or two of coffee/espresso while reading about Clare and all of her escapades!

  11. So excited for the new book. I am also from Western PA & enjoy the “burg” & Italian references.

  12. Can’t wait to get ahold of this book to read it! This is one of my favorite series. Thanks for the great book review and the awesome giveaway!

  13. Wow.. what a great opportunity. I have read the first 16 and I am excited to read another, “I cannot stop reading dude”.

  14. I’m so excited to read Shot in the Dark. anticipation is good, right? My book club book must be finished first and then I can settle in for my favorite author.

  15. I love reading the Coffeehouse Mysteries by Cleo Coyle. Thank you for the opportunity

  16. A fantastic series with fantastic recipes! Thank you for your writing prowess, “Cleo”!!

  17. I love this series of the coffeehouse. Of course I love coffee too. Thanks for the giveaway.

  18. I love this series and have read every book. My family would say I love the series because I’m a coffee-crazed person but it’s really because I love the characters and have enjoyed the journey from book one. The recipes are great and it’s fun to try them out on my family and friends. It’s always a win when you find something new and tasty that they love. I can’t wait to find out what everyone is up to in the new book. Thanks for the chance to win. I would love a signed copy of the book.

  19. This is a new series for me. I am excited to start it ? thank you for the chance. ❤❤

  20. Can’t wait to read this new book – one of my favorite series!

  21. I love the Coffeehouse Mysteries and definitely need my fix of Clare Cosi & Crew, just like the Village Blend customers need their coffee/espresso!

  22. I love the coffee house mysteries! Found the first one by accident, and hunted down all the rest …excellent books…and I tried the donut muffins…I had one! Hubby has eaten the rest!

  23. Just jumping in to say THANK YOU to everyone for your lovely comments. Big thanks also to the amazing Dollycas (Lori) for taking the time to read and review SHOT IN THE DARK. We’re thrilled to know you enjoyed our latest Coffeehouse Mystery!

    Marc and I also want to send our heartfelt thanks to our longtime readers. Without you, we simply wouldn’t be here, telling new readers about our latest work. We truly appreciate all the kind support you’ve given to us, our books–and our Coffeehouse characters–for going on fifteen years. May you continue to read with joy…and keep in touch!


    ~ Cleo Coyle, author of
    The Coffeehouse Mysteries
    and Haunted Bookshop Mysteries

Comments are closed.