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Roast Mortem: 08/28/19
Roast Mortem by Cleo Coyle is the ninth in the Coffeehouse mystery series. Claire and Madame are caught up in coffeehouse explosion when they are visiting an old friend who has offered to give them a vintage espresso machine. Claire manages to rescue herself and a coworker but her ex-mother-in-law and her friend are trapped. The fire appears to be arson and Claire sets out to investigate.
Like so many of the books in this series, time is given to the criminal's point of view. That said, it's known to the reader that there is in fact an arsonist. The reason behind the fires is left unspoken until Claire and company can investigate.
In terms of pacing, and excuse the pun here, it's a slow burn. Although the initial explosion and fire happen early, the aftermath of that event eats up the next third of the novel. Much of it is spent in the hospital in the wee hours after.
The actual mystery investigation doesn't begin in earnest until the last third. Even with this pacing, there's enough of an emotional impact to keep the reader engaged.
Besides the mystery behind the arson attacks, there is a rekindling (sorry again) of family drama of the cousins Mike. Fire Captain Mike still blames Detective Mike for a bunch of things in their past. Some of them deal directly with the family business (fire fighting) and others are even more personal.
Book ten is Murder by Mocha.