I was standing behind my espresso machine, facing a line out my door. The usual Village Blend regulars were here along with a swell of caffeine-deprived commuters grabbing a java hit before heading home. Nothing out of the ordinary, really, and in most respects the day felt like any other. Except it wasn't. This was the day the fires began. When the smoke finally cleared, the fatalities would number two, and they would not be accidents. The deaths would turn out to be murders and I, Clare Cosi, would be the one to prove it....
Here at The Private Library we continue to be fascinated by the splintering of traditional genre fiction. The process makes for some interesting publishing choices, and not a few unexpected successes.
As mysteries, for example, have undergone this process, the overall genre has splintered into sub-genres like the cosy and the police procedural; these sub-genres -- the cosy, for example -- have in turn splintered into sub-sub-genres like gardening and culinary mysteries; and sub-sub-genres -- the culinary mystery, for example -- have splintered even further into sub-sub-sub genres like the topic of today's post, Cleo Coyle's enormously successful coffeehouse mysteries:
Cleo Coyle is the pseudonym of author Alice Afonsi, who collaborates with her husband Marc Cerasini in penning the novels for this successful mystery franchise. [This duo also is responsible for The Haunted Bookshop franchise under their Alice Kimberly pseudonym.]
By virtually any measure, Afonsi and Cerasini have made this sub-sub-sub genre their own. The first title in the series, On What Grounds (2003) is now in its 15th printing. Espresso Shot (2008) managed a starred review from Library Journal and was a national bestseller in both hardcover and paperback.
Holiday Grind (2009) included an extra-large bonus section of delicious holiday recipes as well as a glossary of coffeehouse terms, instructions on making espressos and lattes without an expensive machine, and tips and recipes for creating your own tasty coffeehouse syrups at home.
One wonders,though, where this process of genre splintering will end. Is the next step beyond coffeehouse mysteries the non-fat, no-foam latte mystery...?