For Clare Cosi,
the holidays
are murder...

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For a free checklist of the Coffeehouse Mystery books in order click here.





To read Cleo's
essay "Brewing
up Murder"


 The essay
appeared in
the Quarterly
Issue of Mystery
Readers Journal  



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Click Here









 What is a
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Hosted a chat
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 To read my
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and get 4 of my
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Read Cleo's
Guest Post at
Mystery Writing
Is Murder

"Genre Blending
and Your Character's
Love Life"

Click here to read.





Cozy Murder
Mysteries Blog

Part 1
click here

Part 2
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Fun Foodie
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How to Clean
Your Drip
Coffee Maker...

Your best tasting
cup of java will
come from a clean
coffee maker!


Just for fun, see actor
Al Pacino's coffee
commercial below.
It was shot in New
York's West Village,
the home of
my Clare Cosi's
Village Blend!







Click »  NYPD: Official Website for New York's Finest

Click »  NY Crime File (Daily News)

Click »  Police Blotter (NY Post)



 How to Make
Cuban Coffee



For more
info on the
Moka Express
stovetop pot
used in the
above video,

Click Here







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Sisters in Crime











 *Starred Review*
~Library Journal



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Introduced by
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Without lots
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How to Make
Coffee in a
French Press


For more
info on the
French Press pot
click the photo

For more coffee
tips, scroll down
this left column...






Cleo's Past 
Coffee Pick was...

Kafe Lespwa
"Coffee of Hope"
from Haiti

Cleo's archives or

click here to
visit Just


See more of
Cleo's past
coffee picks
by scrolling
down the 

right column.









Cleo's TOP-9
Bestseller in

now a

bestseller in


“Fun and gripping…”
~ Huffington Post


 "Some of the most
vibrant characters
I've ever read."
~ Mystery Scene

"This one will keep
your cup
piping hot."
~ Kirkus







To order this very special entry in Cleo's series, click on one of the links below:







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egg * chocolate egg

Leave this field empty Headline:

July 5, 2008

coffee yum & Bidwell Perk in Northern CA

I am from Northern Calif. I love coffee Kona is one favorite, coffee house I like is Bidwell Perk in Chico, owned by a young couple, variety of people go, bright decor, relaxed atmosphere. I love the Coffeehouse Mystery books. Thank you for them.


Cleo's reply: Awesome! Thank you for posting! You are so lucky to live in Northern California. What a beautiful place! And I know your area of the country is SERIOUS about coffee drinking - not to mention on the cutting edge of all things culinary.

Shout-out to your fave coffeehouse, too: Bidwell Perk! LOVE what they say on their site -


"We believe that one of life's simpler pleasures is a wonderful cup of coffee."  


For anyone who wants to learn more about this CM reader's favorite coffeehouse, click here or on the logo to visit their site.




664 E 1st Ave,
Chico, CA  95926





July 3, 2008

I believe the Village Blend is real!

Okay, maybe not the actual coffeehouse named the Village Blend is there, but I can close my eyes and see the place, with sunlight streaming through the french doors and smell the incredible aroma of exotic coffees that make you want to roll around on a pile of warm freshly roasted beans. For me, this has always been a common denominator with my favorite authors, the ability to clearly see the what is being described. And Cleo, you have been added to my Top Ten favorite authors list. Thank you for giving me (and my daughter)a delightful new series to curl up with and drink a fresh brewed cup of Kona while entering a new world.

~~Judy McIntosh


Cleo's reply: Although Cleo is under deadline and can't write more today, she wants you to know that this is an amazingly uplifting post. Thank you! (More to come from Cleo soon)...

July 1, 2008

Is the Village Blend a real place?


I love the books. I was recently in NY and wanted to find the Village Blend. Since you talked about so many historical places, I thought the Blend might have really been there for 100 years too. Let me know. I did not find it.

I love the books and am excited to find out about the other series, the haunted bookshop. I will find them. I love the coffee series and enjoy the humor and romance as well as the mystery.

Thanks so much!


Cleo's reply: Great question! Cleo will reply soon...

June 28, 2008

Coffee Cooking & Espresso Stationary link

There's a great little store down the road from me called Applewood (Just Like Grandma's) Tea parlour. They also sell stuff like lavender spray for your bed sheets and old fashioned things too.

While in there last time I came across a whole line of Coffee stationary like a cookbook that holds recipe cards, note pads, one note pad had a frazzled lady with her hair all over the place and it said "I need my Coffee NOW!, there were grocery list pads with Coffee at the top of the list too lol.

Here's the link for the whole Espresso Line of stationary they carry. Click here for the link.

from Canada's Coffee Coast


Cleo's reply: Hi Chelle! Love the line of products. I checked it out and activated your link. Here's a pic of the Espresso cookbook you described. Very cool - or should I say hot coffee?!

The Applewood tea parlor sounds adorable, too. Nice to have a store like that nearby!

Thanks for the tip from way up North (compared to NYC anyway).

Java joy to you,


June 28, 2008

Coffee Maker Hacked

RE: Jura Coffeemaker

The link below is to an article about Web security for a brand of coffeemaker that can be programmed on the Internet.


The idea -->was<-- to make your coffee via the 'Net. . .but it's vulnerable to hackers who can do fun-for-them things with your Jura coffee maker like: 1. Change the preset coffee settings (make weak or strong coffee) 2. Change the amount of water per cup (say 300ml for a short black) and make a puddle 3. Break it by engineering settings that are not compatible (and making it require a service.


Cleo's reply: Interesting! You know, you've really got to wonder about the mentality of an individual who wants to mess up someone's coffee maker settings. The world is truly full of looney tunes. 

Here's a picture of the automatic coffee/espresso maker you posted about. Love the price tag ($1,798.00) No, I did not make a mistake with the decimal point. This bad boy is nearly two thousand Benjamins. It better make a damn fine cup is all I've got to say!! Actually, after reading about its features, I have to say that I would probably purchase this if I were running a bookshop (say) and wanted to start selling espressos to customers. In other words, it's good for someone who needs no-brainer, good-quality espresso-making technology in a push-button machine (since the thing grinds, tamps, and brews automatically).

Click here to read more about this coffeemaker or (if you've got more bucks than moi!) even purchase it for yourself.


June 28, 2008

Weighing In on the Mike/Matt Debate

In an ideal world she could have it all but I gotta say, both guys come with a lot of baggage. With that being said, who doesn't! I think Mike is the better choice for Clare, don't get me wrong, Matt is a good guy and kudos to him growing up and changing but there's a lack of trust there that might never be able to be built again. Mike also lets Clare be Clare while Matt is constantly trying to make her back into the woman he married. I'm only up to Murder Most Frothy so I have no idea what actually happens with this weird love triangle. I do have to say, I'm not a fan of Breanne. For a guy who likes to do the controlling, it's so odd to see Matt with a woman like her! I think he should be paired with a more down to earth woman who likes sports and can deal with the harsh climates of Africa....I don't know, I think Matt needs a woman like that. That would be an interesting triangle...someone similiar to Clare but not her...oooo, she would be so mad. Ok. Sorry! In conclusion, I like Mike and Clare together :) They just sort of fit comfortably together..and I'm sure the sparks between them doesn't hurt! OH! One more thing. I love how you write about New York, I'm a New Yorker as well. I live in Queens, work and chill in Manhattan but when I read your stories I find myself learning something new about my city.

Thanks for reading my rambling!



Cleo's reply: Cleo to post a reply this weekend! Excellent post!!

June 25, 2008

Welcome Back Java!!!

Just wanted to let ya'll know Java was splendid in French Pressed. Really enjoyed the book. As far as who Clare should choose, that is up to her (Java might just have some say in the matter also). Also finished The Ghost and the Femme Fatale; great as well!

—Catherine Lane of Amarillo


Cleo's reply: Cleo to post a reply soon! (She received your wonderful e-mail, also, Catherine! Thank you! She'll answer both soon!)

June 23, 2008

LOVING the series

Re-posted from e-mail to

LOVING the series....and I'm learning so much about coffee!! I always thought I didn't like espresso, but now I'm thinking that I've never had a really good cup! I'm on the hunt this summer in the Long Beach CA area for a real cup of espresso.

Thanks for writing!



Cleo's reply: To come soon...

June 23, 2008


Re-posted from e-mail to




Cleo's reply: To come soon . . .

June 23, 2008

Thanks for the writing

Re-posted from e-mail to -

I discovered your Haunted Bookshop series quite by serendipity. And, as I had recently spent around six years working in a community library it fit for me on that level as well as being one of the readers who enjoys a good fulsome mystery. Now that I have discovered (or stumbled upon the knowledge) that you also write the Coffeehouse Mystery series, I will be starting on those from the first one. I worked in a small local coffeehouse approximately twenty years ago (here in Sacramento, CA)... back when it was not so "happening" and got to experience being a bar tender and seller of coffee beans. I have been very spoiled for really good coffee ever since too! I make a really "stout" cup of coffee to this day.

Thanks for the writing,




Cleo's reply: To come soon . . .

June 19, 2008


Hi....good news for us coffee lovers !!!!

Click here for the link to the story about coffee and health.

—Mary T, Appleton WI


Cleo's reply: Thanks, Mary! I activated the link so everyone can read the article. This is BIG news and I'll post more about it in my right column soon.

In thanks for stopping by my virtual coffeehouse, here's a virtual latte to warm your heart!

Java joy to you,


June 5, 2008

Poem Remembered - By Poe?!

Hello!! I just started my visits to the Haunted Bookshop, and I'm on the verge of getting hooked.

Loved The Ghost and the Dead Man's Library especially :-) ...

Quick question: Who wrote the poem at the end of the story?




Cleo's reply: You're the first person to ask that question! And the answer is:   I wrote the poem.

THE GHOST AND THE DEAD MAN'S LIBRARY (written under my pen name Alice Kimberly) as well as the "lost" poem attributed to Edgar Allan Poe ("Remembered") were both written by me in absolute tribute to Mr. Poe.

I asked for Mr. Poe's okay to do this, by the way, during a pilgrimage to his gravesite and old home in Baltimore, Maryland. (See photo.)

When I think of Edgar Allan Poe's work and how modern it was, how complex and accurate in presenting psychological pain, I continually marvel at the time he wrote: PRE-Civil War! Astounding. He was a true pioneer with an amazing imagination and the first well-known American writer to attempt to earn a living through selling his writing alone (something I'm struggling to do right now in his tradition - LOL)! Poe's contemporaries, by the way, (James Fenimore Cooper, Nathaniel Hawthorne, etc.) were independently wealthy and did not need the income from their writing.

In my opinion, Poe's work reads as almost one-hundred years ahead of its time, before the establishment of modern psychology in the early 20th century. Yet his stories are as vital, moving, and accurate to the human condition now as they were almost two-hundred years ago.

Edgar Allan Poe was a true genius as well as the father of today's detective story (not to mention a pioneer in the genre of science ficition). My hat continually tips to Mr. Poe, as it will forevermore.

FYI: In college, I wrote a lot of poetry and won an Academy of American Poets award for my work, so I knew I could mimic Mr. Poe's style - in tribute - with some amount of competence. 

I did my best and can only hope that wherever Edgar Allan Poe is now, he is happy to see that HE is very well REMEMBERED indeed!

Thanks for asking, M!

June 5, 2008

oh that Jack!!!!

HI..just finished the Femme Fatale book... a great and fun read...that Jack....what a guy!! You mention several film noir movies I love..incl Laura, Double Indemnity..and Shadow of a Doubt.

One of my favs is Gilda...with Rita Hayworth. I checked out the cover for the Haunted Mansion...and am hooked already...and we have to wait til 09?? I am intrigued by the cover...esp Jack's hat on the post on the staircase.

—Mary T
Appleton WI


Hi, Mary T

Sorry it's taken a little while to answer. I've been buried under a deadline. My head is STILL buried (writing that next Haunted Bookshop, actually - The Ghost and the Haunted Mansion, to pub Jan. 09), but I'm surfacing to say THANKS sincerely for the nice words about the latest book and especially Jack, a hard-boiled ghost any babe would find handy to have around. I know I would!

Don't you just love the old classic movies? I can't get enough of them. Gilda is wonderful as is Double Indemnity - but I think LAURA is probably my fave of the group.

For anyone curious, CLICK HEREto learn more about the movie Laura - it's dark but also fast-paced, a great mystery, and even romantic, with hunky Dana Andrews playing a tough homicide detective who falls head over heels for "Laura". It also has an upbeat ending, too, something a lot of cozy fans appreciate (which is why we're cozy fans)!

Java joy to you, Mary, come on back anytime to my virtual coffeehouse . . .


June 3, 2008

haunted book store

cleo (or should i say alice?)

you did it again! i read femme fatale in one day. its funny, romantic and suspenceful. love all the characters.



Cleo's reply: Hi, Linda! Thank you for your VERY kind words about my latest Haunted Bookshop mystery. I'm jazzed that you took the time and trouble to stop by my virtual coffeehouse to let me know you liked the book.

I wish I could whip you up a real latte or espresso, but alas, since I am only running a virtual coffeehouse, I can only offer you a virtual treat.

In that spirit, here's a virtual plate of delish chocolate brownies in thanks for stopping by.

Java joy to you & I hope you'll enjoy the next Haunted Bookshop, too. It's titled THE GHOST AND THE HAUNTED MANSION and will be hitting the store shelves in January 2009. Click here if you're interested in seeing an exclusive, early Adobe PDF version of the cover art.


June 2, 2008

Thank you for posting Jim Kerick's Memorial Day tribute


I have written before about loving your coffeehouse mysteries and requesting information about NYC coffeehouses, which you so graciously provided. I've also started reading your "Haunted Bookshop" series. I have to admit to enjoying the coffee mystery series more, however, that could be due to the fact that I am such a coffee lover! However, I had to write once again to thank you for posting Jim Kerick's beautiful memo. My father, husband, brother-in-law, and father-in-law were all in the Marine Corps. My first husband was in the Army, before being discharged to the Baltimore City Police Department, where he ultimately lost his life in the line of duty as a police officer. All of these brave men served their country in different wars. I want to thank Jim Kerick for his beautiful memo honoring the brave men and women who made it, and are making it, possible for all of us to enjoy our freedom. May God bless the veterans who made it back from those wars alive, and may He also bless those currently striving to keep us safe and free. I hope none of us ever forgets those who are memorialized on the special day set aside every May who gave their lives so that we may be free.

—Sherry Buchman

New Freedom, PA


Cleo's reply: Sherry, thank you! Jim Kerick posted the following THANK YOU to you, as well:

Hi Sherry,

A reply to you for you note.

Thank you for the sacrifices you and your family have made to this nation and the freedoms we enjoy.

Also thank you for your comments about my writing. I find if very humbling that others relate to what I wrote. I would like to thank Cleo (and her friend Alice) who edited what I wrote and were gracious enough to post it.

—Jim Kerick

June 1, 2008

French Pressed Praise

I just finished reading your latest Coffeehouse Mystery, French Pressed. I really enjoyed it. French Pressed was really excellent and took a close look at the gruesome details of the inner workings of a five-star New York kitchen. Clare’s daughter, Joy, becomes the prime suspect after Joy’s best friend, her boss, and arch rival are all murdered. Clare Cosi sets out to clear her daughter's name and make a coffee deal that could make her much richer.

I have read all six of your Coffeehouse Mysteries and French Pressed is the best yet. Clare is a great coffee-brewing-crime-fighting barista. Just when you think Clare found the murderer another character comes in with a solid motive. Matteo Allegro and Clare Cosi make a great team even if they are divorced. But I’m really happy that Clare and Detective Mike Quinn’s relationship is better than the one Clare had with Matteo.

Joy, Clare and Mateo’s daughter, really got herself into some trouble, almost being convicted of murder and all. In the end, Clare and Joy’s mother-daughter dynamic really helped them through it all. I still can’t believe that Matteo and Breanne Summour are getting married.

Madame, Matteo’s mother and Clare’s ex-mother-in-law and current boss, didn’t seem too happy about it though. When you wrote the epilogue of French Pressed, did you plan on having Madame freak out over Matteo’s engagement like she did?

It was so funny to have Madame tell Clare that Breanne was all wrong for Matteo. Do you think Madame will try and break up Matteo and Breanne’s engagement? Do you think that Matteo is going to get in the middle of Clare and Mike’s relationship? I mean Matteo kind of flipped out when he got home to find them in the coffeehouse together.

With the rate that Clare solves murders, the Village Blend should become a private investigating firm instead of a coffeehouse. I absolutely love your books. Clare is such a dynamic character, her personality becomes more complex with every chapter. Joy, Clare, and Matteo are a very dysfunctional, former family, but still keep it together. Mike Quinn adds some comic relief and crime solving expertise. Madame is in the middle of it all trying to keep Matteo and Clare from killing each other. French Pressed was a great book, I can’t wait to read you next installment in the Coffeehouse Mystery series.




Cleo's reply: WOW! What an excellent post, Nicole. Thank you for your thoughts. Thank you also for letting me know what you liked about the book. It made my night!

Cheers to you!


June 1, 2008

Coffee Stains?

There is a simply amazing stain remover called "Soilove" that I use all the time. It says, "Safely removes blood, grease, ink, beverage stains, food, grass, perspiration and most other stains. For all colorfast fabrics." It's available in stores on the West coast but I order from It hasn't let me down yet on a variety of stains. Best of luck!


DeLand, FL


Cleo's reply: Thanks, Karen! I activated your link for all the stain busters out there!

May 31, 2008

Kona Coffee scented after sun rub

Whole Foods sells an after sun rub that contains and smells like Kona Coffee. ... Can't remember the brand, but it's a green apple color with bits of yellow. It works, and you smell like YUM!


Cleo's reply: COOL! Thanks for posting! BEHOLD the Kona Happy Dance in your honor!


Will look for the KONA sun rub the next time I'm in Whole Foods - a delish place for treats, I must say. I've been to the 2 in New York City - Time Warner Center and Union Square. Our favorite treats for the Coyle house include: three-cheese mac and cheese at the Whole Foods hot foods area; Pre-packaged salads (goat cheese and dried cranberry salad is delish); Peet's coffee; Smoked salmon and fresh bagels. Would eat everything in the place but my Italian ass is taking up enough room in the universe as it is!

Kona joy to you!


May 31, 2008

Starting a B&N Coffee Chat night

Hi. I will contact the B&N store in Bismarck (It's the North Dakotan again) to see if we can set up a coffee klatch night, sharing our tips on cofee. Wish me luck, all.


Cleo's reply: Hey, there! If you end up having a Coffeehouse Mystery reading group one of those nights, let me know! I'll put the date, time, and location in my next newsletter and post it on the site.

That goes for anyone else reading this! Either post your reading group meeting here (date, time, location) or send info to me under subject heading "NOTE TO CLEO" at my mailbox

 I'm happy to post CMreading group meetings in my newsletter and on my sight to help you get the word out. 

Java joy to you!


May 30, 2008

Coffee Deodorant????

Hi Cleo I was doing my grocery shopping today and found deoderant that smells like Vanilla Chai, wonder if they'll come out with coffee scented deoderant too? lol


Cleo's reply:  Good question! See above, someone posted about "Kona" sun rub!

May 27, 2008

Sony eReader

I received a Sony eReader for Valentine's Day and was able to get two of your books from the elibrary. Will you be releasing the rest of your coffeehouse mysteries for the eReader?


Cleo's reply: Hi, there! Here's what my publisher tells me about eBooks on their end:  "We automatically convert all titles into formats for sale through e-book retailers. The formats are: Amazon Kindle, Sony, Adobe, MS Reader, and Palm."

Although I don't know about Sony's plans, I can tell you that Amazon has all of my Coffeehouse Mystery series in Kindle form except Decaffeinated Corpse. When I asked, they said it was scheduled for conversion. My guess is that anything not yet converted WILL be converted in the near future. In the meantime, I'm pretty sure my publisher is now making sure that NEW releases (such as FRENCH PRESSED and the upcoming ESPRESSO SHOT) will be available at the same time as the traditional book.

As for your question, you should probably check with Sony for more specific titles. If you only see a few now, just wait. I'm sure there will be more converted in the future (just like I found out with Kindle).

Ebooks are a whole new world for me, but I'm thrilled to know you're reading my books in ANY format! Thank you!

Java joy to you,


May 27, 2008


Hi—One of my favourite brands of coffee is Raven's Brew. Wondered if you had tried any of thier selections—there are many . Try some and see what you think—they are avaiable by website only, I believe—love the selection of the month.

Blessings and java joy,



Cleo's reply:

Hi, Melanie! OMG, I LOVE the "Raven's Brew" motto "The last legal high." Now you KNOW Clare Cosi would agree. (That's her motto, too, in my Coffeehouse Mystery series!)

The Raven's Brew website is awsome and the original artwork for its packagin is gorgeous. Their coffees look wonderful! I'm very excited about your suggestion! Thank you! I'll try them out.

Anyone reading this can CLICK HERE to visit the RAVEN'S BREW site. (Click on artwork below to see a larger version.)

FYI: I'm especially impressed with the Alaska connection. My sister worked as a physician with the Native American Health Service on Alaska's remote west coast - Bethel, Alaska, a wild and exciting part of that state. I visited her there, and I'll never forget my experience.

I know how important the Raven is to the Alaska natives, too, so I appreciate the name of Raven's Brew. I look forward to trying their coffee on your recommendation!

Blessings and java joy to you, too, Melanie!



May 24, 2008

French Pressed is awesome

I gobble your books whenever I can. I loved the latest. I have a one-speed coffee grinder. In order to grind the beans for a French Press, do I cut down on the amount of time grinding?


Cleo's reply: Hey, there! Thanks for reading and the very nice words about my latest CM, FRENCH PRESSED. As for the grinder...You are right! To make coffee in a French press (also known as a coffee press - pictured here), you want a coarser grind to your beans. (Espresso requires a finer grind and drip a medium grind.) So, yes, grind the beans for less time for a coarser result and that should do the trick!


May 24, 2008

Coffee stains -- how do we get them out

Hello. I purchased some coffee at Trader Joe's in Las Vegas to take to the wilds of North Dakota. The coffee was already ground. The can burst open and the ground coffee is now on my entire wardrobe. I've brushed most of it off, but brown stains remain. ... Who else would know the answer if not Clare? Please help.


Cleo's reply: Dear Coffee Stained...(ACK! I sound like Dear Abby! LOL!)  My only experience with coffee stains is the liquid kind, which I've never had a problem removing via regular laundry. I found the following suggestions on the Web that seemed pretty helpful. I haven't tried them, but maybe they will help you! Good luck and next time buy whole bean coffee! (Small grinders are not that expensive and you really do get a better experience if you grind your own beans. Coffee loses flavor the moment its ground. And it also messes up your luggage when it bursts open in transit. Or so I've heard. LOL!). Thanks for posting and for reading. Let me know if any of this works!

If anyone else has a suggestion, post away!



How To Remove Coffee Stains
From Your Clothes

By Mr Breakfast


(Click here for the link to this article):

Method One - Commercial Stain Remover
Saturate the dirty area with pretreatment laundry stain remover. Wait one minute for the product to penetrate the stain. Launder immediately.

Method Two - Vinegar
To remove coffee (and chocolate stains), mix one teaspoon of white vinegar in one quart of cold water. Sponge on stain and wipe clean.

Method Three - Egg Yolk Solution
Mix the yolk of an egg and a few drops of alcohol with a little warm water. Rub mixture on the stain with a sponge.

Method Four - Baking Soda
Sprinkle a little baking soda on a wet dishcloth to quickly remove coffee and tea stains.

Of the four methods, commercial stain removers do the best job. The other three are effective if you don't have access to laundry supplies -- a restaurant, for instance.

One final tip: if posssible never let a coffee stain set. The more dry the stain, the more rotten your chances are of removing it.


May 24, 2008

Question about Clare's ex-husband

Greetings from Cuba Missouri, home of Our first ever book club started by the owner, Mary and her right hand pal, Jane, are enjoying your coffeehouse mystery series.

We have lively discussions about all your characters but I have one question for our next meeting and I hope you can help me with the answer.

Clare's ex-husband Matteo is the Blend's coffee buyer and an astute coffee broker. I am curious to know if all his coffee buying expeditions are just for the Blend or is he a buyer for other coffeehouses? I would think that the Blend could not possibly sell all the coffee that Matteo must buy since he gone a lot of the time. And if he is also enjoying the playboy lifestyle, how could he possibly afford it? Can the Blend afford him?

We all admit that between the Italian clothes and chisled body that he must be pretty hot. If you could expound a little on what he does, I will get to clue in the girls next week at our meeting. Thanks for your time and look forward to hearing from you.

Cuba, Missouri


Cleo's reply: Hi, Theresa! I LOVE JAVA.NET! And Mary Miller and Jane Reed are coffee goddesses! Jane recently sent me a copy of questions she composed for ON WHAT GROUNDS, THROUGH THE GRINDER, and even more recently, LATTE TROUBLE.

Inspired, I added to her questions and created downloadable PDF documents so that all of my Coffeehouse Mystery (CM) readers can use them. These documents are on my homepage right now, and you'll see, if you download them, that I thank Jane AND mention on the documents. You guys absolutely rock!

Okay, I'll try to answer your question. Yes, Matteo Allegro is quite the globe-trotting playboy. That's Clare's problem with him, of course, and why she divorced him. He's got plenty of virtues and one BIG vice: not being able to stay faithful in his marriage (not unlike a certain admired president I could name).

Yes, I think Matt is very much a man for our time, given our 8 years with a famously philandering president! Anyway, Clare still loves him. That's something she'll never be able to reconcile within herself. They have a daughter together and he's come through for her in many, many ways. AND they've known each other for decades. When someone knows you really well, becomes your friend and not just your husband, it's a relationship that may last a lifetime, even after the marriage dissolves. Relationships are complicated and fluid, and the older you get the more you understand that fixed roles are sometimes not the best way to continue connecting with someone you love.

Anyway, in ON WHAT GROUNDS (Coffeehouse Mystery #1) Matt is introduced as not only a coffee buyer for the Village Blend, which Clare manages, but also as a coffee broker. Look at page 228 of your mass market edition of ON WHAT GROUNDS and you'll see this. A broker would buy coffee in green form from a grower and sell it to a client. Coffee is a huge world commodity and fortunes are made and lost betting on its futures, too. Click here to read more about the coffee futures market. 

Anyway, Matt also has other clients. Not other coffeehouses but other clients. There are plenty of wholesale roasters (in America, Europe, Japan, and other parts of the world) who would want to purchse quality coffeee bean lots. Matt would be able to evaluate and purchase prime lots because of his relationship with growers. When lots are auctioned, he would bid for himself, for the Blend, and for other clients.

For example...

Click here and the link will take you to the place where Matt would purchase Kenyan coffee. I discuss this excellent coffee in FRENCH PRESSED, my latest CM book.

The link above takes you to pictures from the Nairobi Coffee Exchange (NCE) in Kenya. You can read more about how coffees are auctioned there in my posted article on the HOME PAGE. Just go to my Home Page on this website and scroll ALL THE WAY down the page and look for the article in the CENTER column entitled "Cleo's March Coffee Pick: Kenya."

You'll see that I talk about how Kenya coffee is sold - at auction. Matt would go to this auction and bid on a lot that he'd then sell to the Village Blend as well as his other clients. He would take a commission for his time and expertise.

I haven't yet mentioned Matt's other clients because I'm only on book 6 of the series (actually book 7 is already finished! ESPRESSO SHOT is its title and it will be published in late September 2008).

Anyway, there was PLENTY about the coffee trade to talk on Clare's end of things (brewing, micro-roasting, and serving), so I'm waiting for a future book to further explore Matt's role in the coffee trade. For now, it's enough to say that Matt buys for the Blend but he also buys for wholesale roasters and brokers for coffee futures. That's where his money comes from! (But, you know, he's not rich, by any means. Both he and Clare have to work hard for their living and to put their daughter through culinary school.)

Here's a thought, Theresa... if wants to do a reading group around ESPRESSO SHOT in the fall (or any of the books in the series), we can set something up for me to respond to questions LIVE for you. I can't do it BEFORE October because of my tight schedule of deadlines. But I'm setting aside time to promote ESPRESSO SHOT and I'd be happy to "appear" at your reading group via the Intenet. (You don't have to discuss Espresso Shot. You can discuss any or all of the books at that time.)

I can be available to to receive e-mail questions for, say, a 30 minute period. I can answer questions in REAL TIME so everyone there can hear my answers and respond to me or each other. I never tried anything like this but it seems do-able...a kind of digital appearance for you guys at

If you or Jane want to set something like this up, just drop me an e-mail that says " Note to Cleo" at


I hope that answers your question!

Java joy to you and everyone in your reading group at,


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April 16, 2014
Book #6
April 13, 2014