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Cleo Coyle is the pen name used by the author Alice Alfonsi from Pittsburgh, United States. She has written a number of highly interesting and successful novels along with her husband Marc Cerasini. The husband and wife together have written a total of 14 mystery novels in the Coffeehouse Mystery series, under the name Cleo Coyle. Many of her novels have been honored as Top Pick and Fresh Pick by the leading reviewing magazines such as the RT Book Reviews and the Fresh Fiction. Some of them have even gone on to be reviewed as the best of the year and featured in the Mystery Guild’s selected books. The successful Coffeehouse Mystery series has become a bestselling series with over 1 million copies in print. It has gained a lot of popularity, so much so that the readers have started following Cleo enthusiastically. Almost all the books in the series have become national bestsellers. One of them has even featured in the top 10 bestsellers of the New York Times. Other than this series, author Cleo has also written another mystery series named The Haunted Bookshop Mysteries, which she published under the name of Alice Kimberly. The book contains a total of 5 novels, all of which have also become national bestsellers just like the novels of her first mystery series.
Cleo was born in Pittsburgh and has always dreamed of becoming an author. Today, with the help of her husband, she has become an established author of the Mystery genre. Apart from that, she also writes novels based on the young adult and nonfiction genres. She likes to stay in touch with her fans and hear from them through her website. On her website, she frequently keeps posting coffee picks and recipes and signs up her readers for the free coffee drawings weekly newsletter. When not busy in writing the haunting novels about ghosts and coffeehouses, Cleo and her husband Marc work as the best selling media tie-in writers for the New York Times. Together, they penned down properties for famous corporate companies such as NBC, MGM, Imagine, Lucasfilm and Fox. Cleo and her husband, both were born and brought up in a small town in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. However, they met each other after moving to the New York City, when they started their careers after their graduation. Cleo attended the Carnegie Mellon University, whereas her husband attended the Ohio University. They fell in love with each other and eventually married in a church in Nevada. As of today, they live happily in the New York City and work as authors, independently and sometimes together. They like to cook together and take care of their rescued stray cats.
The first novel of the Coffeehouse Mystery series was published in the year 2003 by the Berkley Books publishing house. It was titled ‘On What Grounds’ and depicted the life story of the main protagonist Clare Cosi. Clare is the manager of a landmark coffeehouse named Village Blend situated in the Greenwich Villag of the New York City. The plot of the novel is set in East Hampton and New York in the United States. In the opening sequence of the plot of the novel, Clare arrives in her coffeehouse just as usual, but this time something bad has happened. The assistant manager of the coffeehouse is found dead in the back of Village Blend’s store room. The police appoints a couple of detectives to investigate the murder of the assistant manager, who come up to the conclusion after investigation that there was no foul play or forced entry. Hence, they conclude it to be an accident and seem to close the case. However, Clare Cosi does not seem to be convinced by the work of the detectives. Her earlier days were not quite happy as she had to leave her husband because of an unhappy marriage around 10 years ago. Because of that, she also had to leave her beloved job as the manager of Village Blend at that time. During those 10 years. She was happy living a lonely life along with her daughter and raising her in the suburbs of New Jersey.
Now that her daughter has grown up and gone for her studies, Clare’s life has once again become very quiet. She is persuaded by the owner of Village Blend, Madame, to return back to her old job as the manager of the coffee house to which she agrees. As she opens the door of the coffeehouse on the first day of getting back to her old job, she finds her assistant manager lying unconscious on the floor in the store of the coffeehouse. The assistant manager was a beautiful and young lady named Annabelle Hart. Around her dead body, coffee grounds were strewn all over the place. Clare rushes Annabelle to the hospital after which a couple of detectives come to the coffee house to investigate the crime. As they do not find any clues relating to an outsider committing the crime with forced entry, they declare it to be an accident. After the detectives leave the coffeehouse, Clare begins to wonder whether it was really an accident or there is someone is trying to hurt her. She begins to ask questions about the things placed wrongly in the store and wonders whether there someone else is in danger. She also seems to be attracted towards the detectives.
The second novel of the series was published under the title ‘Through the Grinder’. It was published in the year 2004 by the Berkley Books publishing house. The novel continues to depict the difficult life of main protagonist Clare Cosi who works as the manager of the coffeehouse named Village Blend. In the opening sequence of the novel, Clare seems to be beginning her new life in New York City in the right direction along with her grown up daughter Joy. She lives close to the culinary school of her daughter and her ex-husband Matt’s office, which is located next to her coffeehouse. To add new happenings in her life, the NYPD detective named Mike Quinn, who helped Clare solve the murder of her assistant manager Annabelle Hart, has become a new loyal customer of her coffeehouse. Detective Quinn likes to hear Clare’s opinions on his cases as much as he likes the lattes made by her. He is particularly interested in knowing her opinion on his latest case related to a suicide. It appears that a regular customer of the Village Blend had jumped to her death in the subway soon after visiting the coffeehouse. Quinn and Clare believe that someone else has his hands in the crime as one more customer is found dead. The investigations lead them to Bruce Bowman as the prime suspect, who unfortunately has a special place in Clare’s heart. He was considered to be a perfect man with good looks and effective personality, but the women that came into his life were found dead one after the other. Now, Clare seems to be in a dilemma whether suspect Bruce as the killer or risk her heart and her life with him.
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