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Shot in the Dark: 09/02/20
Shot in the Dark by Cleo Coyle is the seventeenth in the Coffeehouse mysteries. Clare and Mike are trying to settle on the date and venue for their wedding but they can't find a place that meets expectations, and size for a price they can afford. Regardless, they're happy to have found each other as the dating app craze has hit Village Blend and surrounding neighborhood hard.
Clare's first made aware of dating apps when a woman attempts to shoot her date in the upstairs seating area. Videos of the event are quickly posted and just as quickly go viral. As Clare is trying make a recovery plan for the Village Blend, she finds a woman floating in the river and discovers she was a developer for a local dating app.
To help solve the murder, Clare goes undercover, posting a fake profile on the dating app in question. It's supposed to safe for women to use but that's clearly not the case.
Dating apps have been around for a while, nearly as long as the series, but Clare seems especially clueless. The question arises, then, when is Shot in the Dark taking place? Have only a few years elapsed in 2003 in plot time? Or is it supposed be closer to the actual time elapsed in publication time?
Ignoring Clare's odd ignorance of dating apps, the mystery is entertaining, albeit a bit on the obvious side. The murderer doesn't announce themselves per se, but they come damn close.
Book eighteen is Brewed Awakening (2019).