Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Coffeehouse Doughnut Muffins + a Contest for You and Your Book Club from Cleo Coyle

It’s Book Club Week at Mystery Lovers’ Kitchen, and I'm happy to send a shout-out to all the book clubs who've given our books literary love. Cheers to you!

Cleo Coyle has a partner in
crime-writing—her husband.
Learn about their books
by clicking here and here.

If your book club plans to feature a Coffeehouse Mystery or Haunted Bookshop Mystery, I would love to know. Drop me a line at my public e-mail box: 


And if you're new to this site or our series, scroll down to my FAQC. But first...

* * *


Marc and I are still celebrating our new release, as well. Billionaire Blend, a bestselling hardcover last December, is also a bestseller in paperback. Our blog tour wraps up with a guest post and giveaway hosted by the very kind Mason Canyon at her wonderful blog Thoughts in Progress

To visit Mason's Thoughts in Progress blog and
enter her Billionaire Blend giveaway,
click here.

* * * * * *


(Frequently Asked Questions of Cleo)

1) Question: Which of your books should I read first?

Answer: There are 13 books in our bestselling Coffeehouse Mystery series, with the 14th Once Upon a Grind, coming out in December of this year. But you don’t have to read them in order. Each stands alone and focuses on a different theme.

2) Q: Do you have Reading Group Guides for my book club?

A: Yes! You can download free Book Club Discussion Questions for many of our books at our Reading Group Guide page, just click here

Book Club 

Discussion Guide 

Writing Contest!

Tonight in our brand new Coffeehouse Newsletter we're launching a fun fall contest with our readers to help us create the book club guide for Billionaire Blend. If you'd like to join in the fun, check your e-mail boxes Saturday night (9/6) for our September Newsletter. Or...

To subscribe to our periodic
Coffeehouse Newsletter, click here.

3) Q: What are your books about?

A: My husband and I have been living and working in New York City for three decades, and our Coffeehouse Mysteries—a unique blend of crime, humor, action, and romance—are set in and around the Village Blend, a landmark coffeehouse in Greenwich Village. The coffeehouse is managed by Clare Cosi, a divorced, single mom who continually finds herself mixed up in murder. View the series trailer by clicking the arrow in the window below...



4) Q. Who else is in the cast besides Clare?

A. Clare Cosi is often assisted in her city-wide sleuthing with a colorful cast of characters. 

Click here to visit their avatar page and read about them in their own words. In brief, they include...

Madame Dreyfus-Allegro-Dubois, the octogenarian owner of the century-old Village Blend...

Her adult son, Matt Allegro, a globe-trotting coffee hunter...

A quirky family of young baristas, whom Clare not only manages but often mothers, and...

A good man and smart cop, NYPD Detective Mike Quinn, who becomes emotionally involved with Clare over the course of the series.

5) Q: What is the exact order of your titles?

A: For a checklist with the correct order of all 13 titles in the series and brief descriptions of every plotline, click here. If you’d rather read this information on a website, simply click here and scroll down.

6) Q: Are your books available in audio?

A: Yes. They’re produced by AudioGo (BBC America Audiobooks) and distributed by our new audio partner, Blackstone Audio, and you can see the entire line in CD format by clicking here. They’re also available in digital downloads. Click here to see a list of digital download audio books.

7) Q: What book would you select for a book club discussion?

A: Billionaire Blend! It's the latest Coffeehouse Mystery to be published, and the subjects are both timely and timeless. As the book's epigram warns: 

"Money often costs too much..." 

~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

Even better, as your book club discusses the book, you can jot down possible questions to enter our Billionaire Blend "Book Club Discussion Guide" Writing Contest and you or your entire club could win some fun prizes. More details in my new newsletter. 

In the meantime... 

To read an excerpt
from Chapter One of 
Billionaire Blend,
click here.

To take a peek at the book's
recipe section (with foodie photos),
click here.

Cleo Coyle’s 
Coffee Shop
Doughnut Muffins

Delicious muffins are always on the menu at our fictional Village Blend, the century-old coffeehouse in New York's picturesque Greenwich Village.

Clare bakes up these amazing Doughnut Muffins in our 9th entry, Roast Mortem (a murder mystery about arson that's also a tribute to firefighters). Tender and sweet, these muffins are dusted with cinnamon sugar and one bite will remind you of an old-fashioned cake doughnut, the kind you might order at a diner counter with a hot cuppa joe. 

These Doughnut Muffins would make a fantastic snack for any book club. Served with coffee, tea, or cocoa, they'll make your discussion of Clare Cosi's latest case even more cozy. :)

Cleo's Coffeehouse
Doughnut Muffins

Makes 12 standard-size muffins 

For the batter:

12 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs, lightly beaten with fork
1 cup whole milk 
2-½ cups all-purpose flour
2-½ teaspoons baking powder
¼ teaspoon baking soda
¼ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon ground nutmeg

For the cinnamon-sugar topping:

½ cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 tablespoons butter, melted

Step 1—Prep your oven and pan: First preheat your oven to 350° F. This recipe bakes up nice, coffee shop-sized muffins with generous tops, so lightly spray the tops of your muffin tins with non-stick cooking spray. This will prevent the tops from sticking to the pan. Line the muffin cups with paper holders.

Step 2—Make the batter: Using an electric mixer, cream the butter and sugar until fluffy. Add in the eggs and milk and continue mixing. Stop the mixer. Sift in the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and nutmeg and mix only enough to combine ingredients. Batter will be thick. Do not over mix at this stage or you will develop the gluten in the flour and toughen the muffins.

Step 3—Bake: Using two tablespoons (one to scoop, the other to scrape in the thick batter), fill each cup to the top, dividing any remaining batter among the 12 cups.

Bake for 20-25 min­utes, or until the muffin tops spring back lightly when touched and a toothpick inserted in the center of a muffin comes out clean. After a few minutes out of the oven, remove muffins from the pan and cool on a wire rack. (Muffins that remain long in a hot pan may end up steaming, and the bottoms may become tough.)

Step 4—Finish with cinnamon-sugar topping: Mix together the sugar and cinnamon in a shallow bowl. Melt the butter, brush it lightly over the muffin tops...

Roll the buttery tops in the bowl of cinnamon-sugar.

Eat (and read) with joy!

~ Cleo Coyle

New York Times bestselling author of
The Coffeehouse Mysteries

Yes, this is me, Cleo (aka Alice). 
Friend me on facebook here.
Follow me on twitter here
Visit my online coffeehouse here.

Download a Free Title Checklist for
all 13 Coffeehouse Mysteries
(with mini plot summaries)
clicking here.

Download free Coffeehouse
Book Club Discussion Guides
by clicking here.

Haunted Bookshop

Get a free title checklist,
with mini plot summaries,


  1. Love the donuts Cleo--and congrats again on Billionaire Blend!

  2. Does Cleo/Alice EVER slow down? Must be all the coffee! :)

  3. Well done on your Billionaire Blend and best wishes on Victoria Abbott's The Wolfe Widow. Grand reading all around.
    Now to bake up some lovely muffins, make some tea, and sit down to read.
    Glad to be back in internet connection land.

  4. Congrats on Billionaire Blend being out! And same to Victora for The Wolfe Widow. What fun reading. Love the contest to drum up questions for BB. Nice fun for readers to pitch in.

    Daryl / Avery

  5. Great post, Cleo! I love the muffins, the contest, the photos, everything! Congrats on BB! That's wonderful. And thanks for the shout out on The Wolfe Widow.



  6. Thanks for the comments, everyone, and congrats again, MJ and Victoria, for a Happy Book Day!

    ~ Cleo Coffeehouse Mystery.com
    “Where coffee and crime are always brewing…”
    Cleo Coyle on Twitter

  7. Great looking muffins!

    littleone AT shaw DOT ca

  8. Love muffins rolled in sugar. Yum!