Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Shot in the Dark by Cleo Coyle - #review #giveaway

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.



When I started reading Shot in the Dark by Cleo Coyne, I was expecting a pleasant cup of coffee from the local diner.  But, Holy Huehuetenango, I got a rich, layered thriller of a mystery that teased my tastebuds and reading time alike!

First off, Clare and her ex-husband, Matt, run a coffee business owned by Matt's mother.  Theirs must not have been a cantakerous divorce - I believe it's rather unusual for a divorced couple to run a business together.  But hey, more power to them.  And things are going rather well, due to being listed as one of the top three hook-up places by the latest hot dating app Cinder.  But there is a scene in the shop with a woman with a gun confronting a prior 'Prince Charming' who turned into wicked step-monster the morning after their liaison.  Several phone-tech savvy customers film the fracas and soon there's a viral video on the internet that threatens to drain the business to the bitter dregs.  All because the latest hot dating app - Cinder.

Several mysteries present for Clare, Madame and crew to investigate:  who was the wicked step-monster, really, as a check of his name reveals no such person exists?  Did Gun Girl know she was shooting blanks out of a prop gun, or did she think it was real?  Who was Heart Girl and why did she wind up dead and floating in the Hudson River?

Clare has at least on question of her own as well:  now that she and Mr. Handsome (police detective) are engaged, when will she agree to set a date for the wedding?

Shot in the Dark is an interesting hook-up of cozy and the big city.  Usually the townsfolk of cozies are all, "How could something like that happen here?"  No such question in the Big Apple, where the saltier response to 'stuff happens' would be applied.

This is the 17th "Coffeehouse Mystery", and if the recipes and story of Shot are any example I'm going to be making tasty coffee drinks, eating yummy snacks and reading HAPPY for a long time to come!



CLEO COYLE is the pseudonym for Alice Alfonsi, writing in collaboration with her husband, Marc Cerasini.  CLEO COYLE grew up in a small town near Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. After earning scholarships to study writing at Carnegie Mellon and American Universities, she began her career as a cub reporter for The New York Times. Now an author of popular fiction and New York Times bestselling media tie-in writer, Cleo lives and works in New York City, where she collaborates with her husband (also a bestselling author) to pen the Coffeehouse Mysteries for Penguin. Together Cleo and her husband also write the Haunted Bookshop Mysteries under the name Alice Kimberly. When not haunting coffeehouses, hunting ghosts, or rescuing stray cats, Cleo and Marc are bestselling media tie-in writers who have penned properties for NBC, Lucasfilm, Disney, Fox, Imagine, and MGM. In their spare time, they cook like crazy and drink a lot of java.




Click on the banner above to go to the tour page, where you will find links to more reviews of this title.  You an also find out how to BECOME A BLOG HOST FOR FUTURE BOOK TOURS while you are there!

(Disclosure:  I received a copy of this book from the author and publishers via Great Escapes Virtual Book Tours and NetGalley in exchange for my honest review.)


  1. Thank you for your review and information on "Shot in the Dark" by Cleo Coyle as well as for being part of the book tour.

    I have had this book on my TBR ever since I first saw the cover. I'd love the opportunity to read it.
    2clowns at arkansas dot net

  2. I love the Coffeehouse Mysteries and enjoyed your review. Thanks for featuring A Shot in the Dark on your Blog!

  3. Those blueberry muffins are looking good!

  4. I love this series so much! I can't wait to read it!

  5. This book sounds great. I need to visit the Village Blend!

  6. This is a must read series. I recommend starting at the beginning and enjoying the roller coaster of a ride! These books are such wonderful fun!

  7. I really enjoyed the description of the book, sounds like a great read. Looking forward to reading "Shot in the Dark".