Holiday BuzzHoliday Buzz by Cleo Coyle is the 12th book in the “Coffeehouse” mystery series. Publisher: Berkley, December 2012

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, until she finds a second bludgeoned baker and becomes a target herself. Now Clare must investigate “Saint Nick,” crash a pro-hockey party, and dodge a pair of reality TV divas–because she’s not going to rest until justice is served.

It’s Christmastime in New York and murder takes no holiday off in this action packed drama. As usual, Clare gets caught up in a murder when she finds the body of her part-time employee and has to contend with an obnoxious detective. Clare is at her best in this delightfully charming tale that has us traipsing after a killer from Manhattan to Brooklyn to Long Island to Washington DC, while successfully participating in a Holiday Cookie swap. What I like most about this book is the relationship between the main characters and how they all pitch in to help Clare in her pursuit of justice in this character-driven mystery. With a lovable cast and good dialogue, this is one of the best books in this wonderfully terrific series.

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