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Cleo Coyle is the pseudonym for author Alice Alfonsi, and her husband, Marc Cerasini.

The duo use the pseudonym when writing popular fiction.

Writing under the pen name Cleo Coyle, the couple has sold more than a million copies of their books, even becoming a New York Times bestseller in the process.

Alice and Marc are also New York Times bestselling media tie-in writers who have penned properties for Lucasfilm, NBC, Fox, Disney, Imagine, Toho, and MGM.

Alice writes children’s books and popular fiction, having previously worked as a journalist, while Marc writes thrillers and military non-fiction books.

They currently live in New York City, where they cook absurdly, rescue stray cats, haunt coffeehouses, and hunt ghosts.

More about Cleo Coyle

Genres: Mystery, Thriller, Young Adult

United States

Pseudonym: Cleo Coyle

Website: https://cleocoylebooks.com

Website: https://www.coffeehousemystery.com/

Coffeehouse

  1. On What Grounds (2003)
  2. Through the Grinder (2004)
  3. Latte Trouble (2005)
  4. Murder Most Frothy (2006)
  5. Decaffeinated Corpse (2007)
  6. French Pressed (2008)
  7. Espresso Shot (2008)
  8. Holiday Grind (2009)
  9. Roast Mortem (2010)
  10. Murder by Mocha (2011)
  11. A Brew to a Kill (2012)
  12. Holiday Buzz (2012)
  13. Billionaire Blend (2013)
  14. Once Upon a Grind (2014)
  15. Dead to the Last Drop (2015)
  16. Dead Cold Brew (2017)
  17. Shot in the Dark (2018)
  18. Brewed Awakening (2019)
  19. Honey Roasted (2021)

Haunted Bookshop

  1. The Ghost and the Bogus (Book 6) (2018)
  2. The Ghost and the Haunted Portrait (Book 7) (2021)

Omnibus Books

  1. Prime Crime Holiday Bundle (2010)

Detailed book overview

Coffeehouse

On What Grounds

Clare Cosi used to manage New York City’s historic Village Blend coffeehouse, until she opted for quieter pastures and a more suburban life. But after ten years away she’s back in action and back to the grind, serving up steaming hot caffeine one cup at a time.

With a sprawling rent-free apartment directly above the coffeehouse, her cat Java by her side, and plenty of redecorating ideas, Clare is thrilled to return to work—until she discovers the assistant manager dead in the back of the store, coffee grounds strewn everywhere.

NYPD Detective Mike Quinn finds no sign of forced entry or foul play and deems the whole thing an accident. But despite the attractive investigator’s certainty, Clare isn’t convinced. Now, if she wants to get to the bottom of things she’ll have to do some sleuthing of her own—before anyone else ends up in hot water...

Author: Cleo Coyle
First Release: 2003
Ebook: B000Q360CI
Publisher: Berkley
Through the Grinder

Business is booming at Clare Cosi's Village Blend, until her female customers start to die. Lieutenant Quinn is convinced that someone has an axe to grind, and, unfortunately, his prime suspect is the new man in Clare's life.

Now Clare will risk her heart--and her life--to follow the killer's trail to the bitter end.

Author: Cleo Coyle
First Release: 2004
Ebook: B000Q9J0MY
Publisher: Berkley
Latte Trouble

It's Fashion Week in New York City -- and Clare's shop, the historic Village Blend, is the location of a prestigious insider's party for loyal customer and iconic designer Lottie Harmon, who is about to launch a collection of coffee-inspired accessories aptly named Java Jewelry. But the event, which is attended by the city's most zealous fashionistas, goes terribly wrong when a customer is poisoned and dies from cyanide in his latte.

A barista, who coincidentally was recently dumped by the victim, is arrested and charged with murder. But Clare knows in her heart that her employee is innocent and begins to investigate the people surrounding the enigmatic Lottie Harmon.

When Clare uncovers a scheme to blackmail one of Lottie's business partners and then that partner suddenly turns up dead, she knows that there is trouble brewing.

Author: Cleo Coyle
First Release: 2005
Ebook: B000OZ0NV2
Publisher: Berkley
Murder Most Frothy

Clare Cosi's new friend, millionaire David Mintzer, has an offer no New York barista could turn down: an all-expenses-paid summer away from the sticky city. At his Hamptons mansion, she'll relax, soak up the sun, and, oh yes, train the staff of his new restaurant. So Clare packs up her daughter, her former mother-in-law, and her special recipe for iced coffee--for what she hopes will be one de-latte-ful summer...

Soon, Clare tends the coffee bar at her first Hamptons gala. But the festivities come to a bitter end when an employee turns up dead in David's bathroom--a botched attempt on the millionaire's life. Thanks to the Fourth of July fireworks no one heard any gunshots, and the police are stuck in holiday traffic. Concerned for everyone's safety, Clare begins to investigate. What she finds will keep her up at night--and it's not the java jitters...

Author: Cleo Coyle
First Release: 2006
ISBN: 978-1597224284
Publisher: Wheeler Pub Inc
Decaffeinated Corpse

When an old friend of her ex-husband develops the world's first botanically decaffeinated coffee bean and smuggles it into the country, Clare Cosi, manager of Village Blend, believes it's a business opportunity she needs to investigate...at least until the first dead body shows up.

Author: Cleo Coyle
First Release: 2007
Ebook: B001HZ3OSW
Publisher: Berkley
French Pressed

Clare Cosi's daughter, Joy, is interning-and falling- for a top New York chef when his kitchen turns cutthroat, and Joy becomes a murder suspect. Clare knows she must catch the real killer-even if it lands her in the hottest water of her life.

Author: Cleo Coyle
First Release: 2008
ISBN: 978-1597227803
Publisher: Wheeler Pub Inc
Espresso Shot

Coffeehouse manager Clare Cosi has been hired to create a gourmet coffee and dessert bar for her ex-husband's wedding. But her main problem is bridezilla Breanne Summour. When people close to Breanne begin to suffer fatal accidents, it's Clare who may get burned.

This culinary murder mystery includes delicious recipes from the story.

Author: Cleo Coyle
First Release: 2008
Ebook: B0017T0CK6
Publisher: Berkley
Holiday Grind

Coffeehouse manager Clare Cosi has grown very fond of Alfred Glockner, the part-time comic and genuinely jolly charity Santa who's been using her Village Blend as a place to warm his mittens. When she finds him brutally gunned down in a nearby alley, a few subtle clues convince her that Alfred's death was something more than the tragic result of a random mugging--the conclusion of the police.

With Clare's boyfriend, NYPD Detective Mike Quinn, distracted by a cold case of his own, and ex-husband Matt investigating this year's holiday lingerie catalogs (an annual event), Clare charges ahead solo to solve her beloved Santa's slaying. Then someone tries to ice Clare, and she really gets steamed. But she'd better watch out, because if she fails to stop this stone cold killer, she may just get the biggest chill of her life.

This very special holiday entry in Cleo Coyle's nationally bestselling mystery series includes a bonus section of delicious holiday recipes as well as a glossary of coffeehouse terms, instructions on making espressos and lattes without an expensive

Author: Cleo Coyle
First Release: 2009
ISBN: 978-0425237885
Publisher: Berkley
Roast Mortem

After local firefighters pull Clare out of a blazing café, she happily comes to their rescue by teaching them the finer points of operating their newly donated espresso machine. But matters really heat up when somebody is torching cafes around the city and firefighters begin to die in suspicious ways...

Believing the two events are related, Clare investigates, staking out a five-borough bake sale and sniffing out clues in the pizza ovens of Brooklyn. When her detective boyfriend, Mike Quinn, is pulled into the fire of a false accusation, Clare is desperate to put out the flames. But will she be able to come to Mike's rescue before someone tries to extinguish her?

Bonus recipes include firehouse favorites.

Author: Cleo Coyle
First Release: 2010
Ebook: B003QHZMAC
Publisher: Berkley
Murder by Mocha

A divorced, single mom in her forties, Clare Cosi is a coffee shop manager by day, an irrepressible snoop by night. When something is wrong, she considers it her mission in life to right it, and murder is as wrong as it gets.

Can coffee enhance your love life? Clare's Village Blend coffee beans are being used to create a new java love potion: a Mocha Magic Coffee that's laced with an herbal aphrodisiac. The product, expected to rake in millions, will be sold exclusively on Aphrodite's Village, one of the most popular online communities for women.

But at the product's launch party, one of the website's editors is murdered. Clare is convinced someone wants control of the coffee's secret formula and is willing to kill to get it. Can she stir up evidence against this bitter killer? Or will she be next on the hit list?

Includes chocolate recipes!

Author: Cleo Coyle
First Release: 2011
Ebook: B004TS7ZDY
Publisher: Berkley
A Brew to a Kill

The Village Blend's Muffin Muse coffee truck is all the rage--in more ways than one. A rival food truck owner is in a rage over the competition. The shocking hit-and-run that follows, right in front of Clare's Village Blend coffeehouse, spurs her into action.

A divorced, single mom in her forties, Clare Cosi is also a dedicated sleuth, and she's determined to catch the ruthless driver who ran down an innocent friend and customer. Then she opens a bag of imported coffee beans and finds ten pounds of rocks--the kind that will earn you a twenty-year jail sentence. Is her ex-husband and business partner smuggling Brazilian crack? Is her staff now in danger?

To clear up this murky brew, Clare must sweet-talk two federal agents, dupe a drug kingpin, stake out a Dragon Boat festival, and teach a cocky young undercover cop how to pull the perfect espresso--all while keeping herself and her baristas out of hot water. Coffee. It can get a girl killed.

Author: Cleo Coyle
First Release: 2012
Ebook: B008EXK5YQ
Publisher: Berkley
Holiday Buzz

Holiday time is party time in New York City, but after a sparkling winter bash ends with a murder, Village Blend coffeehouse manager Clare Cosi vows to put the killer on ice.

At the Great New York Cookie Swap, pastry chefs bake up their very best for charity. Clare is in charge of the beverage service, and her famous Fa-la-la-la Lattes make the gathering even merrier. But her high spirits come crashing down to earth, when she discovers the battered body of a hard-working baker’s assistant.

Police suspect a serial attacker whose escalating crimes have become known as “The Christmas Stalkings.” Clare’s boyfriend, NYPD detective Mike Quinn, finds reason to believe even more sinister forces are involved. Clare isn’t so sure—and when she finds a second bludgeoned baker, she becomes a target. Now Clare is spending the holiday season pouring over clues, and she’s not going to rest until justice is served.

Author: Cleo Coyle
First Release: 2012
Ebook: B008EXO2CC
Publisher: Berkley
Billionaire Blend

In this 13th entry of the series, we return to the Village Blend, a charming coffeehouse in the heart of New York's picturesque Greenwich Village. When a car bomb goes off outside this landmark shop, single-mom and manager Clare Cosi comes to the aid of an anonymous customer, one who turns out to be billionaire tech whiz Eric Thorner.

In gratitude for saving his life, Eric hires Clare to create the most expensive coffee blend on the planet. But as Clare is pulled deeper into Eric's world--a mesmerizing circle of cutting-edge luxuries and cutthroat rivalries--she begins to wonder: Is this charming young CEO marked for termination? Or is he the one making a killing?

To solve this case, Clare will have to bribe a bomb squad lieutenant; conjure up a menu for a "billionaire's potluck"; fix her daughter's love life; stop a Slayer while working with one; and stay alive while doing it. Coffee: it can get a girl killed.

Includes a wealth of delicious recipes.

Author: Cleo Coyle
First Release: 2013
Ebook: B009VMCDV2
Publisher: Berkley
Once Upon a Grind

When coffeehouse manager turned amateur sleuth Clare Cosi serves "magic" beans for a Fairy Tale Fall event, she brews up a vision that leads to a sleeping beauty in Central Park; a big, bad wolf of Wall Street; and an East Side enclave with storybook secrets...

Fairy tale fever has descended on New York City. Broadway fans are flocking to Red Riding Hood: The Musical; museums are exhibiting art inspired by the Brothers Grimm; and Clare Cosi and her merry band of baristas give their coffee truck a "Jack and the Beanstalk" makeover for a Central Park festival. Clare's coffee hunter ex-husband contributes a bag of African beans with alleged magical properties. His octogenarian mother entertains customers with readings of the grinds, but Clare remains skeptical--until she receives a vision that helps her find a young model's body in the park's woods.

The police dismiss "sleeping beauty" as the victim of a drug overdose. Then Clare uncovers evidence that points to a list of suspects--from a New York Giant to quite a few wicked witches--and a cold case murder that reaches back to the Cold War. Now Clare is really in the woods with a dangerous predator on her heels and an investigation that leads from a secret Prince Charming Club right back to her own NYPD detective boyfriend. If she doesn't solve this mystery, those magic beans predict an unhappy ending.

Includes wicked good recipes.

Author: Cleo Coyle
First Release: 2014
Ebook: B00INIXU9Y
Publisher: Berkley
Dead to the Last Drop

"After the White House asks coffeehouse manager and master roaster Clare Cosi to consult on the coffee service for a Rose Garden Wedding, she discovers a historic pot was used as a CIA "dead drop" decades before. Now long-simmering secrets boil over, scalding Clare and the people around her..."

Clare's visit to the nation's capital is off to a graceful start. Her octogenarian employer is bunking with her in a charming Georgetown mansion, and she's invited to work with a respected curator on the Smithsonian's culinary salute to coffee in America.

Unfortunately, Clare's new Village Blend DC is struggling to earn a profit--until its second floor jazz club attracts a high-profile fan, the college-age daughter of the U.S. President. Clare's stock rises as the First Lady befriends her, but she soon learns a stark lesson: Washington can be murder.

First a stylish State Department employee suspiciously collapses in her coffeehouse. Then the President's daughter goes missing. Is she a runaway bride or is something more sinister in play? After another deadly twist, Clare is on the run with her NYPD detective boyfriend. Branded an enemy of the state, she must piece together clues and uncover the truth before her life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness come to a bitter end.

Includes great American recipes!

Author: Cleo Coyle
First Release: 2015
Ebook: B00U5LC1EM
Publisher: Berkley
Dead Cold Brew

After everything Clare and her NYPD detective boyfriend have been through, they deserve a little bit of happily ever after. But while Mike's marriage proposal to Clare is steeped in perfection, the celebration of their engagement is not long lived.

First, a grim-faced attorney interrupts their party with a mysterious letter bequeathing a hidden treasure to Clare's daughter. Next, the world-famous jeweler who designed Clare's ring is found poisoned in his shop. Both events appear to be connected to a cold case murder involving a sunken ship, an Italian curse, a charming jewel thief, and a shocking family secret. With deadly trouble brewing, Clare must track down clues in some of New York's most secret places before an old vendetta produces fresh corpses.

With recipes to die for, including how to make cold-brew coffee at home!

Author: Cleo Coyle
First Release: 2017
Ebook: B01CZCW3BO
Publisher: Berkley
Shot in the Dark

"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.

Author: Cleo Coyle
First Release: 2018
Ebook: B07465ZYKT
Publisher: Berkley
Brewed Awakening

When coffeehouse manager Clare Cosi awakens on a bench in Washington Square Park, she has no idea she's been missing for days, or that her friends and family have been frantic with worry. Now that she's back, everyone is overjoyed, including a handsome NYPD detective who claims to be her fiancé. But to Mike Quinn's crushing distress, Clare doesn't remember him, or much of anything about the last fifteen years of her life.

Clare's missing memory is tied to a crime she witnessed. An acquaintance of Clare's elegant employer--and fellow member of an exclusive Gotham circle known as "The Ladies Who Brunch"--invited Clare to her posh hotel to sample gourmet wedding cakes. 

After their indulgent tasting, they headed to the parking garage, where a camera captured a masked figure with a gun confronting the hotel heiress with Clare looking on. Did the kidnapper take Clare, too? The camera went dark, just like Clare's memory. Soon authorities grow suspicious. Is Clare really a victim? Or merely acting like one? Evidence is mounting that she set the woman up.

To clear her name, Clare must find a way to reclaim her memories and rescue the heiress before this high-stakes crime ends in tragedy. Otherwise, instead of walking down the aisle, Clare may find herself perp-walking to prison as an accomplice to kidnapping and murder.

Author: Cleo Coyle
First Release: 2019
Ebook: B07GQHK51D
Publisher: Berkley
Honey Roasted

While struggling to find a romantic (and affordable) destination for her upcoming honeymoon, coffeehouse manager Clare Cosi whips up a honey of a drink made from honey-processed coffee. Clare plans to serve her outstanding new Honey-Cinnamon Latte at her spring wedding to her longtime honey, NYPD detective Mike Quinn. The culinary world is also abuzz about the amazing honey that Clare was lucky enough to source for her shop's new latte. Produced by Madame's old friend "Queen" Bea Hastings, the rare, prize-winning nectar from Bea's rooftop hives commands a premium price, and top chefs compete for a chance to use it in their signature seasonal dishes.

One night, a swarm of escaped bees blanket the Village Blend's chimney, and Clare discovers Bea's unconscious body after she seemingly fell from her high-rise rooftop-hive setup. The police want to rule it as a tragic accident or possible attempted suicide, but Clare does not believe either theory. Like Madame, she knows this Queen would never abandon her hive. To sort out this mystery, Clare investigates a world of cutthroat chefs, culinary start-ups, and competitive urban beekeepers. But can she uncover the truth without getting stung?

Author: Cleo Coyle
First Release: 2021
Ebook: B08MPWDK78
Publisher: Berkley

Haunted Bookshop

The Ghost and the Bogus (Book 6)

A big bestseller leads to small town trouble. Bookshop owner Penelope Thornton-McClure didn't believe in ghosts, until she was haunted by the hard-boiled spirit of 1940s private investigator Jack Shepard. Now Jack is back on the job, and Pen is eternally grateful...

After an elegant new customer has a breakdown in her shop, Penelope suspects there is something bogus behind the biggest bestseller of the year. This popular potboiler is so hot that folks in her tiny Rhode Island town are dying to read it--literally. First one customer turns up dead, followed by another mysterious fatality connected to the book, which Pen discovers is more than just fiction. Now, with the help of her gumshoe ghost, Pen must solve the real-life cold case behind the bogus bestseller before the killer closes the book on her.

NB: The complete series, written by various authors, include:
1. The Ghost and Mrs. McClure (2004)
2. The Ghost and the Dead Deb (2005)
3. The Ghost and the Dead Man's Library (2006)
4. The Ghost and the Femme Fatale (2008)
5. The Ghost and the Haunted Mansion (2008)
6. The Ghost and the Bogus Bestseller (2018)
7. The Ghost and the Haunted Portrait (2021)
Author: Cleo Coyle
First Release: 2018
Ebook: B078VX9SNF
Publisher: Berkley
The Ghost and the Haunted Portrait (Book 7)

While gathering a collection of vintage book cover paintings for a special event in her quaint Rhode Island bookshop, Penelope discovers a spooky portrait of a beautiful woman, one who supposedly went mad, according to town gossip. Seymour, the local mailman, falls in love with the haunting image and buys the picture, refusing to part with it, even as fatal accidents befall those around it. Is the canvas cursed? Or is something more sinister at work?

For answers, Pen turns to an otherworldly source: Jack Shepard, PI. Back in the 1940s, Jack cracked a case of a killer cover artist, and (to Pen's relief) his spirit is willing to help her solve this mystery, even if he and his license did expire decades ago.

NB: The complete series, written by various authors, include:

1. The Ghost and Mrs. McClure (2004)

2. The Ghost and the Dead Deb (2005)

3. The Ghost and the Dead Man's Library (2006)

4. The Ghost and the Femme Fatale (2008)

5. The Ghost and the Haunted Mansion (2008)

6. The Ghost and the Bogus Bestseller (2018)

7. The Ghost and the Haunted Portrait (2021)

Author: Cleo Coyle
First Release: 2021
Ebook: B08274WCLM
Publisher: Berkley

Omnibus Books

Prime Crime Holiday Bundle

Grab a cup of hot chocolate and cozy up with this collection of six holiday themed mysteries!

HOLIDAY GRIND: A Coffeehouse Mystery by Cleo Coyle

When Village Blend manager and head barista Clare Cosi finds a red-suited body in the snow, she adds solving Santa’s slaying to her coffeehouse menu.

MRS. JEFFRIES & THE YULETIDE WEDDINGS: A Victorian Mystery by Emily Brightwell

The week before Christmas, Inspector Gerald Witherspoon’s staff prepares for the long-awaited wedding of Betsy and Smythe. But an unwelcome surprise falls in his lap: a Yuletide murder.

MRS. JEFFRIES & THE FEAST OF ST. STEPHEN: A Victorian Mystery by Emily Brightwell

When the host of a Yuletide dinner drops dead before the second course, Mrs. Jeffries and the busy sleuths must rally in support of their overworked Inspector.

A CAROL FOR A CORPSE: A Hemlock Falls Mystery by Claudia Bishop

To save their inn from a lawsuit, the Quilliam sisters need to prove a skier's death was no accident. But the slope-side slayer has a message for Meg and Quill: You better watch out...

YOU BETTER KNOT DIE: A Crochet Mystery by Betty Hechtman

When the husband of Molly Pink’s neighbor has gone missing, the crochet fiend gets hooked on unraveling another mystery.

FLEECE NAVIDAD: A Knitting Mystery by Maggie Sefton

When a librarian is murdered, Kelly Flynn and her knitting crew try to separate the lion from the lambs—before someone else gets fleeced.

Author: Cleo Coyle
First Release: 2010
Ebook: B004DI7JNQ
Publisher: Berkley