Sunday, December 28, 2008

Decaffeinated Corpse by Cleo Coyle

After finishing Age of Innocence I was ready for a light, fluffy, non-thinking mystery. Cleo Coyle's stories are the perfect anecdote to that requirement. I picked up the 5th book in the series and read it in two or three sittings. It was everything it promised, light, fluffy, not too thought provoking.

Actually, I liked this book the least of the series. The killer was not as obvious as it had been in previous books, but neither was the plot. There was wayyy too much descriptions and wayyy too little plot. For a book that is a very short 288 pages, the authors spent too much time describing New York neighborhoods. In one scene Clare and her mother-in-law are chasing a limo and an SUV through parts of Manhattan. It could have taken 3-5 sentences. Instead, the chase took over five pages. Clare had to wax poetic about every neighborhood they drove through. For each area she had to describe the neighborhood's fall from grace and its resulting recent gentrification. All of these details had basically nothing to do with the story.

In addition, there is a lot of information about decaffainating coffee. That bothered me less. After all, the characters in the book have made fun of and complained about decaf coffee for four books. As a decaf drinker myself, I took offense. In this book they had to eat their words as they found a worthy cup of decaf coffee. I am actually curious to know how realistic their descriptions were. But, I don't know that I'll take the time and effort to look it up myself. Nonetheless, even those descriptions got to be a bit much. I did not need to know the average rainfall and acreage of coffee beans in Brazil and the Caribbean islands. Maybe it's just me.

All in all, if you like the series, a good break. But, not a book to go out of your way to find.

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