* * * *

 * * * *


Click here 
to visit Cleo's Facebook Page. If you read her books, she will be delighted to accept your friend request. See you there!











For Clare Cosi, 
the holidays 
are murder...

Holiday Buzz

To learn
more or buy

 Or to find an 
near you, 










Click here to learn about Cleo's Haunted Bookshop Mysteries, written under the name Alice Kimberly








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  



To read
Cleo Coyle's
WIki Entry
Click Here



Cleo Coyle

Click here
to read it.






What is a
cozy mystery?
The Cozy
List tells you!

Click here
to learn more...




Cleo Here




is the "most popular
coffee publication
on the planet."

Read Cleo's 
interview with
Sprudge by

clicking here.




Hosted a chat
with Cleo.


Read it by...





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
click here


Fun Foodie
Book Resort
with Cleo


Cleo's Q&A
with the





Book Club





How to Clean
Your Drip
Coffee Maker...

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





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






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 video

* * *

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

Click Here






 *Starred Review*
~Library Journal


To learn more 
or buy...







How to Make
Coffee in a
French Press

To see video
click here.








Cleo's Past 
Coffee Pick was...


Kafe Lespwa
"Coffee of Hope"
from Haiti

Click here to
visit Just Haiti.org
and sample the
coffee for




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

right column.












“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
















































































Welcome to Cleo's

Coffee Talk

Message Board!



 Readers are also welcome to "Friend"
Cleo on Facebook by clicking here.

You can also e-mail Cleo at this address... 

egg * chocolate egg

Leave this field empty Headline:

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 Java.net. 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 Java.net 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 Java.net 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 Java.net 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 Java.net.

If you or Jane want to set something like this up, just drop me an e-mail that says "Java.net Note to Cleo" at VillageBlend@aol.com.


I hope that answers your question!

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


May 23, 2008

Not a fan of spooky but liked Haunted Bookshop!

Hey Cleo, I Just finished "The Ghost & Mrs McClure" and I loved it! Okay, so I was a bit hesitant to try this series because I generally don't like spooky, paranormal type subjects. As a die hard fan of the Coffee House series I should have known that if you wrote it - I would enjoy it, LOL! It's really wonderful and I can't wait to read the next book. Thanks so much for another great series. You rock!

–Karen from DeLand, FL


Cleo's reply: SO great to hear from you again, Karen. You rock, too! Everyone, Karen is the CM reader who suggested I try Land of a Thousand Hills Coffee. I tried it. Loved it. Featured it in February as my monthly coffee pick.


For anyone who'd like to learn more or purchase this great coffee, click here. I LOVE the "Rwandan Blend"

Ever since I posted about this roaster, I've been hearing from people who fell in love with the quality of their beans. DELISH. The coffee comes from Rwanda. The artisan farmers really know what they're doing and so does the roaster. Really high quality.

AND when you purchase their coffee, you are automatically contributing to a fund that helps Rwandan widows. That country went through a terrible genocide not long ago and they're still recovering. It's great to DRINK COFFEE AND DO GOOD! (their motto)...

So a big shout-out again to Karen in Deland, Florida, for letting us all know about it!! Thanks again, Karen. Stop back again anytime.

Java joy and blessings to you,


May 22, 2008

Java is back!!!!!!

I was tickled to read of Miss Java's relationship-boosting role in you latest! Then, to see a posting from me on this site, tooo, woweee! I totally approve of coffee -inspired named pets- just ask my 3-legged sweetie cat-Mr. Mocho!!!(It was Mocha until the vet decided she was a he!!) Thanks for the great reads! Here's to more Java high jenks!!

—Roxy georgetown tn


Cleo's reply: Thanks, Roxy! And thanks for the post about Java. Sending warm fuzzy thoughts to you and your Mr. Mocho! He and my Mr. Felloes sound like a pair!

Java joy to you and come on back now, y'hear?



May 22, 2008

Congrats Cleo!!

Hello! It’s me, the java junkie (aka Christie)...

I've been meaning to drop a line or two to congratulate you on your #1 IMBA best seller! It’s so amazing to witness an author’s recognition, especially when your Coffeehouse Mystery series only gets better and better with each new addition. Also, the early cover version of THE GHOST AND THE HAUNTED MANSION looks fabulous. The color scheme really works. It might be my favorite yet! Any chance for information or a cover sketch on your next Coffeehouse Mystery: ESPRESSO SHOT? I’ve got nothing but coffee to keep me company (for the whole summer); I’m dying for anything you can offer. Once again, congrats on your #1 best seller: FRENCH PRESSED!!



Cleo's reply: Hi, Christie!! Great to hear from you again! THANK YOU for your enthusiasm about the #1. Isn't that great? Thanks to YOU and all the readers who are helping the series take off. I'll keep my fingers crossed that you and everyone will continue to enjoy the misadventures of Clare and her barista gang.

Also glad to hear that you're liking the cover for the upcoming Ghost and the Haunted Mansion. I think it's nice, too.

I'll be writing a lot more about Espresso Shot during the summer. I have cover art, too, and I'll be posting it soon. No worries! Thanks for being such a supportive reader, believe me your words are MUCH appreciated!

Java joy to you (and stop back for sure to hear more about the September Coffeehouse. It's a wild ride for Clare! That's for sure!)...


May 21, 2008

Coffee-drinking Spaniels

Hello, Cleo!

We are the owners of two "Coffee" (Cocker) Spaniels! If I or my hubby walk away from our coffee cup for a second, it's gone! Thought it was because of the half-and-half, but they like it black too—weird! I have a picture on my cell phone of the 14-yr-old Cocker drinking out of my cup. Here it is! Look forward to your next Clare Cosi novel!..I have all of your books and have enjoyed all of them! Pass them on to friends, but I always make sure they are returned to me! Be well.



Meet Maisy Jo, a 14-year-old coffee-drinking cocker spaniel! Owned and loved by Coffeehouse Mystery reader Victoria.



Cleo's reply: Thanks for the adorable story, Victoria! And thanks for the picture, too. Java joy to you and your hilarious coffee-drinking pups!


May 18, 2008

Love your books


Thought I would drop you a line to let you know how much I have enjoyed your coffeehouse mystery collection. I am in a book club at our new, most wonderful, coffeehouse/bookstore in Cuba, MO - JAVA.NET, and Mary, the owner, started the book club with your series.

We just finished reading the third in the series, Latte Trouble, and am excited about the next one. Our son lives in St. Louis which is about 90 miles from our home and while visiting him I left Latte Trouble at his house before I was finished reading it! Well, I just HAD to go buy another copy because I couldn't stand not being able to finish it!!

Thanks for the series and keep up the good writing. I am anxious to read the Haunted Bookstore mystery series also and will ask Mary to get those in at the JAVA.NET.


Cleo's reply: I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE Java. net. What a wonderful group you all are! 

You are SO sweet for dropping by my "virtual" coffeehouse (wish I had a real one, of course, but maybe someday!).

I am delighted and thrilled that you are enjoying my books. You made my night with the Latte Trouble story! LOL! PLEASE stop back again and let me know how the reading group went!

My books seem to spark a lot of conversation! I know they're not everyone's cuppa tea (LOL) but that's a good thing for getting people to talk about what they do and don't like. I enjoy writing popular fiction and hearing what readers have to say. I'm learning A LOT from this website alone. And it's readers like you, who take the time and trouble to drop me a line, that help me develop as a writer. Thank you again!

Java joy to you,


May 17, 2008

Boy was I wrong (whodunit)

Hi Cleo:

Well kiddo you did it again. What a great book in fact I think it's the best so far in the Haunted Bookshop series. And boy was I wrong. Of course that's what I get for trying to out guess you and I get wacked in the end. But that is why I love your books, you keep us waiting until the final chapter to find out "who done it". Great job, needless to say—but I will anyway—and I look forward to the next installment regarding Penelope and Jack and of course Clare and the crew.

Take care,
Grandma Rusty
Plainfield, IN


Cleo's reply: Ha-ha! LOL! "Grandma Rusty" of Indy! Wonderful to hear from you again. I'm very happy to hear you enjoyed the latest Haunted Bookshop (The Ghost and the Femme Fatale).  

The book was a lot of fun to write - it's the first one in the series that actually links the present-day mystery directly with a case from Jack's private detective past. I thought it worked pretty well and it seems as though the fans thinks so, too (so far, anway!).

Thanks again for reading and for stopping by my "virtual" coffeehouse to share. Come on back anytime!

Here's a delish plate of "virtual" Italian cannoli for you to virtually enjoy from one of my favorite East Village bakeries, Veniero's (established 1894).

Click here to read more about this historic cafe. The Village Blend may be a fictional coffeehouse, but Veniero's is a real cafe in the East Village of NYC that's a very nice place to stop in and have a cappuccino and plate of Italian cookies. (And the pastry case in the front of the store will have you ordering a big box o' YUM to go, too!)

Java joy to you, GR,

May 15, 2008

Coffee shop to be noted in NC

I adore both the Coffehouse and the Haunted Bookstore mysteries and have snatched them off the shelves as soon as they hit them. Alas, early May found me mid- move to Thomasville, NC (furniture mecca of the world) and so busy with unpacking that when I found a moment to sit and relax with the two newest, I fell promptly asleep before a whole paragraph was read. Clearly I needed coffee! Actually before I had even left the old home I was doing on line research on local coffee shops. Since I have been here I have found a GREAT new coffee home, DeBeen Expresso, 709 Lexington , High Point NC. Great coffee, fun and relaxing atmosphere. I was delighted to see from your acknowelgement in French Pressed Cleo/Kimberly has been to NC. Come on back down to visit (and furniture shop!) and I will buy you a cup! It's the very least I can do for one of my favorite authors!


Cleo's reply: Hi, NC Reader! You had me laughing! Will write more soon on this reply. For sure, I'll check out DeBeen coffee shop and put a link up if I can find it!

May 14, 2008

French Pressed

Hi Cleo,

I picked up French Pressed the other day. (For some strange reason I have to go to a different store than I usually do to get yours now rather then order it in.) I read the whole thing in one night. It couldn't have come out at a better time as I recieved some devestating news the day before I bought it and it helped to lose myself in the story.

Unfortunatly or maybe fortunately I find I when I read books by my favorite authors I get so lost in them that when I finish the book I get momentarily confused as to where I am when I first close it. Your book now makes 126 books on my book shelf and all but 1 of my fave authors are still writing books, too, 200 here I come lol. I just wish that coffee would taste as good as it smells. The only coffee I like (I'm getting ready to cover my head and hide lol) is that instant international stuff Maxwell House puts out, I wish they hadn't discontinued the Swiss white chocolate kind, that was the best!

Keep up the good work, I can't wait to find "The Ghost and the Femme Fatale"

—Chelle of the Canadian Coffee Coast


Cleo's reply: Chelle, my fave Canadian reader! SOOO great to hear from you again! I was worried when you said the book wasn't releasing in Canada at the same time as the US and you were seeing some discussions on the board about the plot elements. I'm glad you decided to pick up the book anyway and read - and very glad you enjoyed it. NOW I'm worried about your devastating news. I hope you are okay - if it's any help at all, I'll quote one of my New Year's Resolutions (for you and all of us...) 

Be Brave

As the saying goes, "Fear is the little death." And there's a lot to be afraid of out there. Loss, illness, failure, ridicule, lonliness, pain. Sometimes it feels like dread is the human condition, but it doesn't have to be.

Surviving is the first step to flourishing. Or as the screenwriter of Finding Nemo put it: just keep swimming. No matter what happens, just keep swimming.

While the fearful remain mired in paralysis, the brave take one step forward. Or to quote the amazing Christy Brown (Irish writer and painter who surffered from cerebral palsy): "Hamlet was a cripple."

Just keep swimming, just keep swimming. That kind of bravery can get you through anything.


So, Chelle, I hope you are okay and things work out well for you. Keeping you in my thoughts.

Java joy to my fellow "North American" homegirl,


May 14, 2008

Java Junkie & Rapid Reader

Not one day goes by that I don't gulp massive amounts of coffee. From Starbucks to my machine at home, I drink it up like its water. Most of my family thinks I've got an addiction, but it's far better than most of the others out there. Of course, my "addiction" tends to extend to anything and everything related to coffee, especially coffee cups. I've got so many coffee cups that I'm running out of room in my cabinets, and I still keep my eye out for more, which is how I spied your Coffeehouse Mystery series. Sure, the coffee mug is small and tiny on the spine of your books, but my eyes picked it up right away. I wasn't disappointed, either.

Your series is great. I just love every book. I love your latest, too. FRENCH PRESSED had me begging for more. Between Clare and Mike's progressive relationship and the cases (including the May-September), I couldn't get enough. Still can't, and I've read the book again. So you can definitely count on me to buy the hardback of ESPRESSO SHOT. There's no way I'd wait for the paperback.

On another note... Since I'm all caught up with your Coffeehouse Mystery books, I went out and bought all of your Haunted Bookshop books (all at the same time). You had me with the other series, so I thought you'd have me with this series, too. And sure enough, you did.

I read all four books nonstop and finished them so quick (just in three days) that I'm left only slurping coffee. Just call me the rapid reader. Though, I think it has more to say about how good you write than it does about my need to read. Can't wait until I can read more. Both ESPRESSO SHOT and THE GHOST AND THE HAUNTED MANSION look promising.

Java Junkie & Rapid Reader,


Cleo's reply: Awesome, Christie! You made my day! I laughed about the coffee cup collection -

My husband I have been through A LOT of coffee cups over the years. We have an entire cupboard full, too. We are now drinking our daily coffee from a small collection of Krispe Kreme cups. They're very retro, like the old diner coffee cups, very thick and heavy ceremic so they hold the heat of the coffee for a long time, which is important when you want to savor (rather than bolt). I know thermal cups will keep coffee warm, and they're good on-the-go, but they have an icky mouth-feel to me, and there's really nothing like the old-fashioned feeling of the thick ceramic diner cup - (David Lynch would understand - "Twin Peaks" fans know what I'm talking about...)!


This Kripy Kreme ceramic coffee mug is actually a new version of the original Krispe Kreme mugs that my husband and I bought and use daily to drink our coffee. Click here to learn more from the Krispe Kreme site or purchase the mug for yourself. (I like their coffee, too, by the way, but unfortunatey this chain really blew it in New York City. They could have owned Manhattan but bad management of the franchise has reduced this excellent baker to barely a burp of a presence amid 13 million possible customers. BOOOOOO to the Krispe Kreme franchisee from NYC who denies us New Yorkers the best donuts in the USA. (Okay, I'm done venting. But if you live in a town where you can get these delish donuts easily, count yourself lucky!)


Anyway, Christie, my point is: You are most definitely in the RIGHT place with your coffee habit. Welcome to the party. And I'm thrilled you found the Haunted Bookshop series to your liking, too. Be careful, Jack Shepard, ghostly PI, has been known to haunt my fans. (They start hearing him in THEIR heads, too, just like Pen!) But he's a pretty good guy to have haunt you, so I wouldn't worry too much.

Come on back anytime and let me know how the world's turning in your part of it. I love hearing from readers...aka my Village Blend's "customers"!


May 13, 2008

The Ghost and the Haunted Mansion - when will it be available

When will 'The Ghost and the Haunted Mansion" be available? I am so glad that you have continued the series.




Cleo's reply: (And I am so glad you're reading it!) Thank you for your question, Janet. I am very pleased to tell you that the next Alice Kimberly book is due to hit store shelves in January 2009. Here's an exclusive sneak peek at the cover! Just click below and you'll see it in PDF format.


Haunted Bookshop Mystery #5



by Alice Kimberly

Coming January 2009


Click here to see an early, exclusive
sneak peek of the book's cover art
(in PDF format)

May 10, 2008

Great Great books!!!

I adore these books! They came as a great relief while I was working on my masters thesis. I could pick up one of these books, curl up and let myself relax. I can almost smell the Village Blend and imagine myself sitting at a table reading either one of the these books or reading about my now favorite ghost, Jack, and enjoying a great cup of coffee! I loved all of these books so much that I gave them all to my mother and told her she must read them!! She in turn recommended them to a friend to give to her daughter for her 16th birthday! So for all of us, we look forward to more books!!

—Laura Rhoades-Stovall, my mother Sheryl Rhoades, and all our friends.


Cleo's reply: Thank you, Laura! A shout-out to you, your mom (Sheryl), and all of your friends for your beautiful note.

Through the years, I've read and appreciated the heavier tomes, but I'm on board with what dance instructor Cassandra Canelle says in On What Grounds. In my view, one of the better uses for art  is to lift us up when we are pressed down. (Not unlike a nice, hot cuppa joe, eh? LOL!)

Here's a virtual bouquet to your mom for Mother's Day - and for all the mom's out there (like Clare) who love their children so hard it hurts.

Java joy to you,



May 9, 2008

Addicted to your books!

Hi Cleo,

I absolutely love your books—I'm about as addicted to them as I am to coffee and tea! I even have the September 30 release date of Espresso Shot marked down on my calendar. There are few authors that I will buy in hardcover, but like I said, I absolutely love your books. The recipes are great, too. And I really like the way you work in all sorts of coffee tips and techniques into the story. (Like making Greek coffee in On What Grounds, which I really enjoy on rough mornings!)

I also made the corn bread recipe that you had in French Pressed, which was yummy. I got my mom hooked on your books and she has tried several recipes and loved them all. My mom actually had trouble finding French Pressed in the stores (she lives in the Austin, Texas area). She finally found it in a small book store in Mobile, Alabama, while she was visiting her sister (and now my aunt is intrigued by the books and might start reading them, too!).

I just have to add one more thing—I am so glad that you got Clare and Mike together. But I have to tell you, if you break them up or somehow get rid of Mike, I don't know if I could continue to read the books! So, thanks for creating such a great series of books and keep them coming!

Saginaw Michigan


Cleo's reply: Hi, Nicole and welcome to my "virtual" coffeehouse!  I'm glad your mom was able to find my book (eventually!). And I want to thank you sincerely for being such a loyal reader.

(Please don't worry about Mike leaving the series. It's taken 6 books for Clare to get her man and he's not going anywhere! That's not to say it will always be smooth sailing for them. Everyone in a relationship knows there are good times and bad, ups and down, and Clare and Mike will have their trials like any couple. LOL!) 

Come on back anytime to my virtual Village Blend - here's a  fresh baked plate of "virtual" cornbread for you to enjoy with your next cuppa joe, in honor of your trying my cornbread recipe from the recipe sectinn of FRENCH PRESSED!

Java joy to you,


May 6, 2008

New Penelope and Jack Fan!

Love your coffeehouse mysteries. Remember me? Chocolate Orance coffee fan? Just finished The Ghost and Mrs. McClure and I am now hooked on those. I love a good ghost story! Will definitely be reading those as well as Clare's now. Keep em coming!!!


Cleo's reply: Hi, Chocolate-Orange fan! Yes, I remember you! To show you the power of suggestion, I've actually been thinking about orange-chocolate-and COFFEE flavored recipes ever since you mentioned your favorite flavor combo. Stay tuned - it may take a year or so, but I'm determined to do something with that flavor combination!

Of course, I'm THRILLED to hear you like the "Ghost" mysteries, too. I never know if the Coffeehouse fans will take to that second series. But it seems like it's mostly a hit with Clare's readers, too. Thank you very much for stopping by and letting me know. Every single reader's opinion is meaningful to me!

Here's a delish slice of "virtual" chocolate orange cheesecake in thanks for stopping by my "virtual" coffeehouse. Come on back again, anytime, y'hear?!

Java joy to you,



Chocolate Orange Cheesecake. YUM!


Click here or on the pic
to get the recipe from Ghirardelli.com




May 4, 2008

So true

Yes when there is a book I "HAVE" to have, I go the internet and get it quicker. Can't wait for the next installment of your books. LOVE THEM.

—Barbara Belfair


Cleo's reply: LOL! All authors (heart) the kind of reader you are ! Cheers, B, and thanks again.

May 4, 2008

Femme Fatale ....and new coffee

I see someone else got a copy of the new Ghost book also. My copy is waiting for me at our library. Evidently libraries must get books before they are out in the stores ?? and..I found a new coffee...Door County brand...a place I have mentioned before. It is Bananas Foster. I must admit I did not know why the name...but....soon found out. My daughter told me it is a very famous dessert...and then I remembered..the one you light up ! and I googled a bit..and found this...


Sounds very good...has anyone tried it ?

—Mary T 
Appleton WI


Cleo's reply:  Hi, Mary! Great to hear from you again. I remember having Bananas Foster years ago. Yum! I activated your links to Door County Coffee, where folks can order that special flavor in their cuppa joe. I also checked out your link to Brennans, that legendary restaurant in New Orleans. OH, MAMA! I WANT THEIR BANANA'S FOSTER NOW!  Looks absolutely mouth-watering!

Click here to see Mary's link to the recipe for Bananas Foster, courtesy of Brennan's restaurant. Here's virtual version, too! Wish I could make it for all of us to sample right now because I haven't had breakfast yet and I am HUNG-ry!

Cheers, Mary! Thanks for writing and I hope you enjoy the new Alice Kimberly "Ghost" mystery!


May 4, 2008

The Ghost and The Femme Fatale

I've just finished reading the latest in the Haunted Bookshop series and it's a winner! Lots of interesting characters, twists and turns and a stunning surprise for an ending. Buy the book (sorry...couldn't help myself ) and enjoy a great mystery!


Cleo's reply: Thank you for your very kinds and LOL on "Buy the Book" - (for those of you who haven't read the Alice Kimberly mysteries that's the name of the Rhode Island bookshop she co-owns.) May good karma head your way today!

Java joy to you,


May 4, 2008


I usually read culinary mysteries, but happened to pick up French Pressed and you hooked me. I really enjoyed it, I've gone back and am now on #2 of the original books extremely entertaining and looks like I've found a new author. Thanks



Cleo's reply. Hi, Karen! Thank YOU for taking the time and effort to let me know that you are enjoying the books. I am thrilled to count you as a new reader. I hope you will continue to visit my Village Blend (on the net and on the page) for years to come.

In thanks for stopping by my "virtual" coffeehouse today, here's a virtual big cookie for you to enjoy with your next cuppa joe.

Cheers to you!




May 4, 2008

Fairly New Fan

I picked up On What Grounds at a used book store a few months ago and just finished Decaffeinated Corpse (I'm happy to add I've paid full price since.) I've got French Pressed ready to go, but need to take a break to read a book group book. (Ann Patchet's The Magician's Assistant.) I'm happy to say that I've turned on a few friends to the Coffehouse series, as well. I wanted to share a coffee / cooking story with you.

Last May it was my turn to host our book group. Since the book was set in Seattle, I opted for a coffee theme. I was at a loss for a coffee appetizer, so I served an antipasto platter. I made a pot roast with veggies cooked in coffee and served it with a salad of fresh greens and a coffee based vinegarette. For dessert I served molten lava cakes with coffee ice cream. My friends are still talking about it.


Cleo's reply:  Wow! You and Clare should definitely get together and swap recipes! I am honest-to-goodness intrigued by the veggies cooked in coffee AND the coffee vinegarette. (If you care to post your recipes here, just include (c) 2008 to your first and last name! Believe me, you own the recipes!)

I'm very happy to hear that you are enjoying the CM series. It's very gratifying to hear that although you began reading my series with a USED book, you continued with NEW purchases. GOD BLESS YOU! (Of course, royalties are what pay my electric bills, which is what keeps my dang laptop going, which is how I write the books in the first place, and I can't earn a royalty on a used book sale, BUT you are proof that a used book sale can turn a potential reader into a fan). So, of course, I am thrilled that you let me know that!

I can't thank you enough for spreading the word and letting more people know they might enjoy my books, too. I know it's not everyone's cup of tea (ooooh, groan!), but I do hope that anyone who likes light, amateur sleuth stories and/or culinary tales will enjoy my books.

Come on back anytime and post again. And in thanks for stopping by my "virtual" coffeehouse, here's a delish dish of coffee ice cream for ya!

Fresh-brewed good fortune to you,


May 4, 2008

How one bad cup can ruin a beautiful breakfast!

Hi Cleo,

Just a quick note to say hello and to let you know that I just finished your last novel French Pressed. I loved it. They just keep getting better. I am so looking forward to Espresso Shot. I have marked the calender for the release date. I so enjoy your books. I to enjoy a good cup of coffee with a meal.

I had an interesting experience a few weeks ago. I along with my husband had gone out for breakfast. The meal itself was good but the coffee was terrible. It really ruined the entire dining experience. If you have a good cup of coffee it is just that a good cup of coffee. A bad cup with a good meal just isn't the same. Something is missing!

Anyway thanks for the wonderful reading experience with all of your books. I have enjoyed them all. Keep up the good work. Looking forward to the next instalment in the series. Thanks for the wonderful escape into the coffeehouse. I can smell the coffee brewing as I read.



Cleo's reply: Hi, Sandy! Thank you SO much for telling me about your bad coffee experience! It's an absolute validation for my own view that one bad cup CAN ruin a good meal. (This, of course, is the basis for the scene in the opening of French Pressed, when Clare's perfect gourmet meal is ruined for her when the restaurant pours her crap coffee.)

People who don't drink coffee must think I'm crackers, but it's a huge deal if a good meal is an important part of your day. We all work so hard, you know? A nice meal with friends or family is the best treat some of us have. So the good cuppa joe is one less disappointment in a trying day! (Not to mention the fact that we paid to be served a product and we expect it to be drinkable for heaven's sake!) LOL!

Thanks for writing, Sandy! And thanks, also, for the wonderful words about the books. I hope you continue to enjoy them! Drop back again anytime to my "virtual" coffeehouse. Here's a "virtual" latte art pour for you to enjoy!





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On What Grounds Cover Through The Grinder Cover Latte Trouble Cover Murder Most Frothy Cover Decaffeinated Corpse Cover French Pressed Cover Espresso Shot Cover Holiday Grind Cover Roast Mortem Cover Murder By Mocha Cover A Brew To A Kill Cover Holiday Buzz Cover Billionaire Blend Cover Once Upon A Grind Cover Dead to the Last Drop Cover Dead Cold Brew Cover
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November 15, 2017
Shot in the Dark on Audible
November 14, 2017
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