The blog category Master Minds is a collection of mini-biographies of crime fiction authors. This time, I’ll be writing about an author I discovered by accident. Cleo Coyle is the one responsible for the success of the Coffeehouse Mysteries, an amateur sleuth mystery series published by Berkley Prime Crime, a division of Penguin Books.
Cleo Coyle is the nom de plume of Alice Alfonsi, who collaborates with her husband, Marc Cerasini in coming up with a collection of Coffeehouse Mysteries. They also co-wrote the Haunted Bookshop Mysteries under the pen name Alice Kimberly.
The Coffeehouse Mystery series is set in and around a fictional coffeehouse in New York City. It stars Clare Cosi, a divorced coffeehouse manager, whose The Village Blend has been the center of her life and crimes. Throughout the series, coffeehouse manager Clare serves coffee to NYPD detective Mike Quinn who gradually falls for her while she fights her attraction to an ex-husband, Matteo, who survived a near-fatal addiction to cocaine. But because this series is also culinary, each book includes the added bonus of recipes for many of the foods and drinks mentioned in the stories which attracted me mainly to this series.
Alice Alfonsi is a former journalist and author of children’s books, and media tie-ins of famous TV and film brands like Lucasfilm, NBC, Fox, Disney, etc.
Her husband, Marc Cerasini, is a former magazine editor, literary critic, and an author of military non-fiction and thrillers.
But how do they write murder mysteries together without killing each other? It’s their long writing experience. Both were published writers before they met and before they started writing together. So they already know the ins and outs, the pains and satisfaction of writing.
They live and work in New York City where they cook like crazy and rescue stray cats.