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On What Grounds

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Introducing a delightful new series featuring Clare Cosi, manager of the historic Village Blend coffeehouse... Clare arrives at work to discover the assistant manager dead in the back of the store, coffee grounds strewn everywhere. Two detectives investigate. But when they find no sign of forced entry or foul play, they deem it an accident. Still, Clare is not convinced. A Introducing a delightful new series featuring Clare Cosi, manager of the historic Village Blend coffeehouse... Clare arrives at work to discover the assistant manager dead in the back of the store, coffee grounds strewn everywhere. Two detectives investigate. But when they find no sign of forced entry or foul play, they deem it an accident. Still, Clare is not convinced. And after the police leave, Clare can't help wondering...If this was an act of murder, is she in danger?


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Introducing a delightful new series featuring Clare Cosi, manager of the historic Village Blend coffeehouse... Clare arrives at work to discover the assistant manager dead in the back of the store, coffee grounds strewn everywhere. Two detectives investigate. But when they find no sign of forced entry or foul play, they deem it an accident. Still, Clare is not convinced. A Introducing a delightful new series featuring Clare Cosi, manager of the historic Village Blend coffeehouse... Clare arrives at work to discover the assistant manager dead in the back of the store, coffee grounds strewn everywhere. Two detectives investigate. But when they find no sign of forced entry or foul play, they deem it an accident. Still, Clare is not convinced. And after the police leave, Clare can't help wondering...If this was an act of murder, is she in danger?

30 review for On What Grounds

  1. 4 out of 5

    Miranda Reads

    First off, such a freaking brilliant title. Second off, I loved the concept. Coffee themed murders? Yes. Count me in. Third off, I think I liked the title more than the actual book. Clare Cosi, the manager of the historic Village Blend coffeehouse, is in a bit of a complicated situation. There's all the normal stuff - she's working under her ex-mother-in-law (whom she adores) but is sharing a duplex with her husband (whom she doesn't adore) due to her ex-mother-in-law's meddling. And then there's First off, such a freaking brilliant title. Second off, I loved the concept. Coffee themed murders? Yes. Count me in. Third off, I think I liked the title more than the actual book. Clare Cosi, the manager of the historic Village Blend coffeehouse, is in a bit of a complicated situation. There's all the normal stuff - she's working under her ex-mother-in-law (whom she adores) but is sharing a duplex with her husband (whom she doesn't adore) due to her ex-mother-in-law's meddling. And then there's all the not-so-normal-stuff - like the attempted murder on her assistant manager. The cops thinks it's an accident but she knows differently - and one way or another, she will prove it. I loved the premise - coffee, murder and mayhem. I adore the way the characters talked about coffee. Coffee makes a sad man cheerful, a languorous man active, a cold man warm, a warm man glowing. But the actual murder-sleuthing left something to be desired. Clare's sleuthing was just so-over-the-top and painfully awkward. She abides by the whole whole blurt-out-random-questions-and-conveniently-gets-all-the-right-right-answers. And the mayhem mostly consisted of Clare A) thinking about her "pillowy chest," B) conflicting thoughts about her hawt ex-husband is or C) day dreaming about the equally hot cop. Someone throw this woman in a cold shower. So, it's not that the book was terrible per say...It just felt like it was trying too hard. The Finer Books Club 2018 Reading Challenge - A book with a pun in the title Audiobook Comments Read by Rebecca Gibel. Much like the actual text...the audio felt like it was trying too hard. Every character had such exaggerated inflections (a pet peeve of mine). I.e. the New York Coppers were just so very Nue Yahk as they drank their cawfee and tawked abou murdahhh. *shudders* YouTube | Blog | Instagram | Twitter | Facebook | Snapchat @miranda_reads

  2. 4 out of 5

    Jenny

    I'm sorry but these books are mochas for the mind [yes, I DID write that!] and I LOVE them for the total frothy foam brain-fluff that they are. (OK, seriously. I'm done). I'm sorry but these books are mochas for the mind [yes, I DID write that!] and I LOVE them for the total frothy foam brain-fluff that they are. (OK, seriously. I'm done).

  3. 5 out of 5

    PamG

    ON WHAT GROUNDS by Cleo Coyle is the first book in the Coffeehouse cozy mysteries series and takes place in New York City. Clare Cosi is back to manage the historic Village Blend Coffeehouse once again. Ten years ago, she decided to move out of the city to raise her daughter in the suburbs. This time the owner has enticed her back with the promise of a rent-free apartment above the coffeehouse and partial ownership. When returning to the Village Blend, Cleo finds the assistant manager severely i ON WHAT GROUNDS by Cleo Coyle is the first book in the Coffeehouse cozy mysteries series and takes place in New York City. Clare Cosi is back to manage the historic Village Blend Coffeehouse once again. Ten years ago, she decided to move out of the city to raise her daughter in the suburbs. This time the owner has enticed her back with the promise of a rent-free apartment above the coffeehouse and partial ownership. When returning to the Village Blend, Cleo finds the assistant manager severely injured at the bottom of the basement steps. What happened to her? Did she trip and fall or was it something more sinister? There was some humor sprinkled throughout the book, but I did not connect with any of the characters. There is a very slow start, very little action, all kinds of information about coffee, and a weak protagonist. The characters did not always act in a plausible, realistic, or even over the top believable way. However, the last 75 or so pages are definitely better than the first 200. Overall, this was a read that did not live up to my expectations. It was an okay read for me. 1.5 stars rounded up to 2 stars. I don’t plan on continuing the series. However, there are many reviewers that thoroughly enjoyed the book.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Erin *Proud Book Hoarder*

    "Okay, I'm sorry, but decaf drinkers annoy me." It's fun in a "cozy mystery" sort of way to read these books dedicated to drinks, foods, or hobbies. I'm a latte girl myself and thought a fun coffee shop series sounded delish enough to try. I can already tell by this first book that I'll be continuing with this long-running series for awhile. Some mysteries seem focused on themes without teaching the reader much about the subject, but that's certainly not the case here. It almost was too textbooki "Okay, I'm sorry, but decaf drinkers annoy me." It's fun in a "cozy mystery" sort of way to read these books dedicated to drinks, foods, or hobbies. I'm a latte girl myself and thought a fun coffee shop series sounded delish enough to try. I can already tell by this first book that I'll be continuing with this long-running series for awhile. Some mysteries seem focused on themes without teaching the reader much about the subject, but that's certainly not the case here. It almost was too textbookish for the first half, as the author paused from the story as the main character mentally filled in techniques, different equipment, and coffee bean jargon for the discerning learner. It's clear she has passionate opinions about the right coffee techniques and how important it is to pay attention to pretty much everything when it comes to making a stellar cup of java. I liked the tips - really - but it was a little too much for awhile. Finally that dies down some to let the story shine over the coffee, only keeping quips to show the character's personality and tendency to overdo coffee lore to anyone who dares ask her a question or make a compliment. Example writing of this - "(The thing to remember when adding sugar is to use white granulated- it disolves much faster and smoother than cubes or brown sugar.) Some of my customers even add a bit of frothed milk, but this version of espresso "stained" with a bit of milk is technically called a caffe macchiato (machia being Italian for stain, spot, or speckle." The main lure - besides that fragrant smell of coffee described so well it makes me crave a cup myself - is the small and intimate cozy scene of the well-known coffee shop, staffed by quirky characters who come across as convincingly but enjoyably flawed and eccentric. It came alive and flourished under the writer's technique. Cleo Coyle may write matter-of-factly when it comes to coffee bean know-how, but she puts humor convincingly in her sentences when she's whipping up comedic scenes, tension, or amateur snooping. I'm not sure how the character can convincingly keep running into murder victims to where it makes sense and doesn't come across as too outlandish...but for this introduction book, it fit. The murder connection was realistic enough to work (for most of the book they questioned whether it was a murder at all!), and there's plenty of incentive for her to do some investigating. The beginning is a little dry but the middle sublime with a darker ending wrap-up on the last page. Recommended for cozy fans or coffee slurpers. The end of the book has a generous amount of recipes, food and coffee-related.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Jo Anne B

    Disappointed. I thought from the title that this would be a clever, comedic, fun, fast-paced read. Instead it tried too hard, had all the cliches, unlikeable characters, wasn't well-written, and it was insulting. The main character's initials were the same as the author's (despite that being a pen name). In the book, a dance studio owner said that when one of her dancers was nude dancing, she was debasing herself to a lower crowd of people. Hmmm, I think she could have said authors do that too w Disappointed. I thought from the title that this would be a clever, comedic, fun, fast-paced read. Instead it tried too hard, had all the cliches, unlikeable characters, wasn't well-written, and it was insulting. The main character's initials were the same as the author's (despite that being a pen name). In the book, a dance studio owner said that when one of her dancers was nude dancing, she was debasing herself to a lower crowd of people. Hmmm, I think she could have said authors do that too when they use such self-absorbed tactics in their writing. Clare, the main character, didn't really seem to fit her character. I attribute this to lack of character development, description, and depth due to poor writing. I feel like I have to defend the character, like it wasn't her fault. It is just hard to bond to a character when you only catch fleeting glimpses of who they really are.  The storyline of Clare's ex- mother-in-law wanting her to take over part ownership of her coffeeshop was not believeable. Also, giving her a million dollar duplex in Manhatten to live in as part of the deal was far-fetched as well. I also did not believe that what drove Clare to prove that her employee's accident was really a murder was because Clare had a daughter nearly the same age. Clare did not come across as motherly or loving.  It also was not believeable that Clare and her ex-husband found out all the secrets a woman under suspicion had by reading all of her documents, emails, and chats in chat rooms on her laptop in a Hotel room within 5 minutes.  Clare divorced her husband of 10 years in a note because he was always away from home buying coffee beans and doing who knows what. But, all of a sudden, she thinks he has changed (no proof offered or attempt to support this with any reasoning) and lapses with him.  The author tried too hard to link everything in life and every lesson to making the perfect cup of joe. The cat's name was Java. Enough said there. This could have been a better book. It would have been better to have skipped this and had a good cup of fresh brewed coffee. 

  6. 5 out of 5

    Monica

    My first thought upon finishing Cleo Coyle’s on What Grounds is, well, I guess that was OK. I know more about coffee and high society than I ever cared to learn and have passed the last seven plus hours in a tolerable state. I'll probably continue the series because curiosity/quarantine-induced boredom but I'm not exactly clamoring for the next installment. For one thing, I'm not the protagonist's biggest fan and am only slightly more enthusiastic about the supporting characters. Lies by omissi My first thought upon finishing Cleo Coyle’s on What Grounds is, well, I guess that was OK. I know more about coffee and high society than I ever cared to learn and have passed the last seven plus hours in a tolerable state. I'll probably continue the series because curiosity/quarantine-induced boredom but I'm not exactly clamoring for the next installment. For one thing, I'm not the protagonist's biggest fan and am only slightly more enthusiastic about the supporting characters. Lies by omission and judgmental finger shaking are on my top ten list of things to hate in a book. To continue, the repetitive, copy/pasted descriptive phrases told me immediately that I was dealing with a lazy author and an even lazier editor. On What Grounds also suffers from a condition that is quite common among first installments, one characterized by pages upon pages of shop talk, exposition and backstory. Something else that annoyed me was the author’s employment of mini cliffhangers. I counted at least four times (in a book this short, four times is a lot in my opinion) where a piece of news gets delayed. For example, Claire’s ex-husband comes in with urgent news for which we are made to wait because …reasons. Another example is the doctor’s revelation of the victim’s condition. Again, we get to sit through pages of coffee talk and sexual tension before the secret gets revealed. Look, I get why authors do it; this isn’t a mark of bad writing. Still, I personally don’t like it and, when I encounter it, I either skim to the point of the revelation or check out during the suspense building period. This is especially true if the delay is done for the sake of delaying rather than being caused by other, more important circumstances that prevent the narrator from letting us in on the news. There are better, less irritating ways to build suspense and detangle the minor knots of a mystery; leaving me hanging mid chapter and through a time jump will almost always annoy me, especially when I have to sit through lectures on the evils of decaf drinkers, historical coffee scandals and over brewed espresso beans before finding out what was so urgent and juicy. All in all, the best I can say for book one of the coffee shop mysteries series is that it kept me occupied, off social media and away from the news. Three stars.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Erin L

    Yet another book that I wanted to like, but ultimately couldn't. I love cozy mysteries, but I wouldn't consider this a cozy mystery. Sure, there's a mystery buried in there somewhere. But I couldn't get past the coffee info-dump to get to the mystery. And it truly is an info-dump. As Clare is being interviewed about the accident, she's off on a tangent in her head about coffee and storing coffee and preparing coffee and waxing poetic about how she'll convert some coffee drinker to really, really Yet another book that I wanted to like, but ultimately couldn't. I love cozy mysteries, but I wouldn't consider this a cozy mystery. Sure, there's a mystery buried in there somewhere. But I couldn't get past the coffee info-dump to get to the mystery. And it truly is an info-dump. As Clare is being interviewed about the accident, she's off on a tangent in her head about coffee and storing coffee and preparing coffee and waxing poetic about how she'll convert some coffee drinker to really, really good coffee because she's the coffee queen. No really. She makes Greek coffee as good as a Greek mother would, even though she's (gasp!) not Greek! Also, in the middle of the above she tells us all about her life in suburbia, why she moved back to the coffee shop and back to New York. It seems that the Prologue (completely pointless) would've been better served giving us that information rather than telling us that the assistant manager really was murdered and it wasn't just an accident. You know, keep some of the meagre amount of mystery offered. She also displays her amazing detecting abilities while being questioned by the homicide detective. Really? No. Really?? You've just sent your employee away in an ambulance. And all you can think about is coffee and the homicide detectives children? Who appear to be spoiled rotten if they grab at Daddy's coat pocket with chocolate covered fingers EVERY night when he gets home. Give me a break. And finally, (oddly enough) the prologue. Pointless. Also, the whole love triangle thing? I'm over it. There are other, better ways to create conflict. Especially when dealing with murder and mayhem.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Heather G

    I quit reading this after two chapters - I found it completely boring and unexciting. The language used (very dry) and the way too indepth information about brewing coffee did me in. Yuck!

  9. 5 out of 5

    Skyler Autumn

    2 stars I preferred all the coffee jargon then everything got all murder-y and I got bored.... But it was simple read which is what I needed at the time. Review to Come.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Heather

    Book 1. Pretty sophomoric writing. Way, way, way too much how to make coffee detail and over explaining of main character's feelings. HInts at romance with detective but nothing ... Want to like this series and will try next in series but . . . Amazon: Clare Cosi used to manage the historic Village Blend coffeehouse...until she opted for quieter pastures and a more suburban life. But after ten years and a little friendly cajoling from the owner (a fresh pot of Jamaican Blue Mountain was all it too Book 1. Pretty sophomoric writing. Way, way, way too much how to make coffee detail and over explaining of main character's feelings. HInts at romance with detective but nothing ... Want to like this series and will try next in series but . . . Amazon: Clare Cosi used to manage the historic Village Blend coffeehouse...until she opted for quieter pastures and a more suburban life. But after ten years and a little friendly cajoling from the owner (a fresh pot of Jamaican Blue Mountain was all it took), she's back to the grind. With a sprawling rent-free apartment directly above the Village Blend, her cat Java by her side, and plenty of coffeehouse redecorating ideas, Clare is thrilled to return to work. Until she discovers the assistant manager unconscious in the back of the store, coffee grounds strewn everywhere. Police arrive on the scene to investigate. But when they find no sign of forced entry or foul play, they deem it an accident. Case closed. But Clare is not convinced. And after the police leave, there are a few things she just can't get out of her mind... Why was the trash bin in the wrong place? If this wasn't an accident, is Clare in danger? And... are all detectives this handsome?

  11. 4 out of 5

    Jan

    AN UNEVEN BOOK. AT TIMES I LIKED IT AND FELT THE STORY WAS INTERESTING, AND AT TIMES I DISLIKED HOW SHE TALKED AT SUCH LENGTH ABOUT THE INTRICACIES OF COFFEE AND THE VARIOUS ASPECTS OF DIFFERENT “TEXTURE/ATMOSPHERE” THINGS IN NEW YORK CITY AND SO ON. A LITTLE WOULD HAVE BEEN NICE, BUT I FELT LIKE A FIFTH OF THE BOOK WAS DEVOTED TO THIS EXCESSIVE DESCRIPTION (LIKE HOW VARIOUS SPECIALTY COFFEES ARE MADE) WHEN SHE SHOULD HAVE BEEN GETTING ON WITH THE STORY. I ALSO REALLY DISLIKED HOW SHE KEEPS TALK AN UNEVEN BOOK. AT TIMES I LIKED IT AND FELT THE STORY WAS INTERESTING, AND AT TIMES I DISLIKED HOW SHE TALKED AT SUCH LENGTH ABOUT THE INTRICACIES OF COFFEE AND THE VARIOUS ASPECTS OF DIFFERENT “TEXTURE/ATMOSPHERE” THINGS IN NEW YORK CITY AND SO ON. A LITTLE WOULD HAVE BEEN NICE, BUT I FELT LIKE A FIFTH OF THE BOOK WAS DEVOTED TO THIS EXCESSIVE DESCRIPTION (LIKE HOW VARIOUS SPECIALTY COFFEES ARE MADE) WHEN SHE SHOULD HAVE BEEN GETTING ON WITH THE STORY. I ALSO REALLY DISLIKED HOW SHE KEEPS TALKING ABOUT HOW ATTRACTIVE HER EX-HUSBAND IS AND HOW ATTRACTED SHE IS TO HIS HUNKY BODY, DESPITE THAT THEY HAVE BEEN DIVORCED FOR 10 YEARS, HE WAS A SERIAL CHEATER, AND PRETTY MUCH LET HER RAISE THEIR DAUGHTER ALONE. GIVE ME A BREAK -- BY THE TIME YOU REACH 40 YOU AREN’T SWAYED BY GOOD PECS WHEN SOMEONE DOES THAT TO YOU. AND I REALLY DISLIKED THAT THE EX-HUSBAND IS SO UPSET WHEN VARIOUS MEN PAY ATTENTION TO HER. A LITTLE JEALOUS, MAYBE, BUT NOT THE EXCESSIVE WAY HE WAS. I ALSO DIDN’T LIKE THE PLOT DEVISE THAT HER EX-MOTHER-IN-LAW (WHO OWNS THE COFFEE SHOP AND HAS ASKED CLARE TO COME BACK TO MANAGE IT AGAIN), SNEAKILY GETS HER SON AND CLARE BACK IN THE SAME CIRCLE BY PROMISING BOTH OF THEM USE OF THE APARTMENT ABOVE THE COFFEE SHOP. YES, IT’S HIGHLY POSSIBLE THAT COULD HAPPEN, BUT I STILL DON’T LIKE THAT STORY LINE. THE MURDER MYSTERY ITSELF WAS INTERESTING AND HAD GOOD TWISTS, BUT OVERALL I WOULDN'T RECOMMEND IT.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Lisa Kay

    ★★★★☆ I really enjoyed this one by a “new-2-me-author.” It was well written, fast-paced, and held my attention through-out. It conveyed the ambiance of a Greenwich Village coffee house. And I learned a few things about coffee. ☺ There is the obligatory “love interest” triangle, but it wasn’t over the top and even that had a nice twist. I’ll definitely continue the series. P.S. It also satisfied several challenges, namely CaroB’s frustrating “double-decker” – since the author’s first and last name ★★★★☆ I really enjoyed this one by a “new-2-me-author.” It was well written, fast-paced, and held my attention through-out. It conveyed the ambiance of a Greenwich Village coffee house. And I learned a few things about coffee. ☺ There is the obligatory “love interest” triangle, but it wasn’t over the top and even that had a nice twist. I’ll definitely continue the series. P.S. It also satisfied several challenges, namely CaroB’s frustrating “double-decker” – since the author’s first and last name starts with “C” – a challenge which has to be read in alphabetical order!

  13. 5 out of 5

    Susan

    ON WHAT GROUNDS is the first book in the Coffeehouse mystery series. It combines two of my favorite things……coffee and mystery! Clare Cosi has just come back to manage The Village Blend coffeehouse at the request of Madame, the wonderful, loving eccentric who just so happens to also be her ex mother-in-law. This is my first time read the writing duo, Cleo Coyle but for sure, it won’t be the last. I can’t wait to dig further into this series!! That I waited so long to finally get started, really ON WHAT GROUNDS is the first book in the Coffeehouse mystery series. It combines two of my favorite things……coffee and mystery! Clare Cosi has just come back to manage The Village Blend coffeehouse at the request of Madame, the wonderful, loving eccentric who just so happens to also be her ex mother-in-law. This is my first time read the writing duo, Cleo Coyle but for sure, it won’t be the last. I can’t wait to dig further into this series!! That I waited so long to finally get started, really annoys me! The mystery in this story is very interesting and kept my attention. I loved the factual information about coffee and how it should be properly prepared. Yes, apparently I don’t know how to make a proper cup of coffee!😲 When Clare arrives, it’s to find the unconscious body of her assistant manager, Annabelle, lying at the bottom of the service stairs. What the police (led by delicious and sexy Detective Quinn) assume is a tragic accident seems to clearly be foul play to Clare, and she sets out, with the help of her ex husband, Matteo, to prove it. Clare must navigate her confusing feelings with her ex husband, her growing attraction to a certain sexy detective, and follow an almost non-existent trail to find a killer. Hang on readers! It’s a wild and fun ride!! I can’t wait to read the next book in this series! I loved the information on coffee, and I really enjoyed the characters. They are all very relatable and kept me giggling! Recipes are included in the back of the book and on the author’s website. While reading ON WHAT GROUNDS, it’s clear that Clare is a coffee snob, which is kind of funny. We learn how to make a good cup of coffee, in minute detail. Coffee lovers will really love this story.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Betsy

    On What Grounds was the first book I read from Cleo Coyle. The book was fine, but I really did not relate to the characters. The coffee house sounds delightful though. I will probably not continue with the series. 3 stars

  15. 4 out of 5

    Maureen DeLuca

    This was a good enough book as far as cozies go. If you are a coffee lover - you can add another star- I learned more about coffee, coffee beans, how to package coffee, where to package coffee, how to drink coffee, how to grind coffee... etc, etc, etc than I would ever have known about -- or care to for that matter. At one point I was ENOUGH with the coffee beans already!! Having said that - a cute mystery - I read cozies for 'pop corn for my brain' - especially after I read a good thriller or h This was a good enough book as far as cozies go. If you are a coffee lover - you can add another star- I learned more about coffee, coffee beans, how to package coffee, where to package coffee, how to drink coffee, how to grind coffee... etc, etc, etc than I would ever have known about -- or care to for that matter. At one point I was ENOUGH with the coffee beans already!! Having said that - a cute mystery - I read cozies for 'pop corn for my brain' - especially after I read a good thriller or historical fiction type book. When my brain needs more pop corn , I will pick up book number 2 in this series !

  16. 5 out of 5

    Renee M

    The story moved along quickly with interesting details about preparing coffee, dance, and NY society. I’ll have to check but I believe it to be set in the late 70s/80s. At first I just thought it was dated, but since published in 2003 I’m thinking its going for retro and I just missed the dates. Update: Not retro. Which changes my opinion of the story. Now what seemed humorous, seems awkward and dated. :(

  17. 5 out of 5

    Graculus

    Another bookswap experience, this is the first in a series of books featuring Clare Cosi, who has just come back to New York to run her former mother-in-law's coffee house. I'm always somewhat suspicious of characters-who-appear-too-much-like-their-creators (along with the same initials, etc...). Naturally, for this is a crime book, her arrival is coincidental with one of the assistants falling down the stairs and seriously injuring herself - given that the victim is a dancer, and therefore shoul Another bookswap experience, this is the first in a series of books featuring Clare Cosi, who has just come back to New York to run her former mother-in-law's coffee house. I'm always somewhat suspicious of characters-who-appear-too-much-like-their-creators (along with the same initials, etc...). Naturally, for this is a crime book, her arrival is coincidental with one of the assistants falling down the stairs and seriously injuring herself - given that the victim is a dancer, and therefore should be quite light on her feet, was it an accident or something more sinister? Clare is determined to find out, with the assistance (or otherwise) of both an NYPD detective and her ex-husband. Which would all be fine, if a significant chunk of On What Grounds wasn't shoehorned exposition of information loosely about coffee - an infodump of enormous proportions. Once ignored, the story runs along much better, though I can't say I'm desperate to read the next in the series, which is Through the Grinder.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Veronica

    I read this for a challenge but the experience reminds me of why I don't tend to like the cozy mystery genre very much. In this case, our amateur sleuth, Clare Cosi, launches her own investigation into the death of one of her employees - someone she's known, in an employer/employee capacity, for all of a month - because she just knows that her death couldn't possibly be an accident, because I guess dancing students aren't capable of tripping or slipping like the rest of us. Her method of investi I read this for a challenge but the experience reminds me of why I don't tend to like the cozy mystery genre very much. In this case, our amateur sleuth, Clare Cosi, launches her own investigation into the death of one of her employees - someone she's known, in an employer/employee capacity, for all of a month - because she just knows that her death couldn't possibly be an accident, because I guess dancing students aren't capable of tripping or slipping like the rest of us. Her method of investigation consists mostly of ascribing nefarious and sometimes outlandish motives to people and then point blank asking them where they were on the night of the deceased's accident. Because when a total stranger with absolutely no law enforcement credentials comes up to you and starts asking all sorts of suspicious questions it's completely natural to answer them all, right? It's just too much silliness.

  19. 4 out of 5

    SheriC (PM)

    After a full hour of listening to this audiobook, and we've gotten almost nowhere with the actual mystery. Almost all of this time has been spent on exposition. It has given me zero reason to continue soldiering on. Audiobook, borrowed from my public library. Rebecca Gibel gives a good performance. DNF at 14%. After a full hour of listening to this audiobook, and we've gotten almost nowhere with the actual mystery. Almost all of this time has been spent on exposition. It has given me zero reason to continue soldiering on. Audiobook, borrowed from my public library. Rebecca Gibel gives a good performance. DNF at 14%.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Jennifer Wardrip

    I loved this first book in the fun cozy series. It combines two of my all-time favorite things -- coffee and mystery! Clare Cosi has just come back to manage The Village Blend coffeehouse at the request of Madame, the wonderful, loving eccentric who just so happens to also be her ex mother-in-law. When Clare arrives, it's to find the unconscious body of her assistant manager, Annabelle, lying at the bottom of the service stairs. What the police (led by hunky yet aloof Detective Quinn) assume is a I loved this first book in the fun cozy series. It combines two of my all-time favorite things -- coffee and mystery! Clare Cosi has just come back to manage The Village Blend coffeehouse at the request of Madame, the wonderful, loving eccentric who just so happens to also be her ex mother-in-law. When Clare arrives, it's to find the unconscious body of her assistant manager, Annabelle, lying at the bottom of the service stairs. What the police (led by hunky yet aloof Detective Quinn) assume is a tragic accident seems to clearly be foul play to Clare, and she sets out (with the help of her ex-husband, Matteo) to prove it. I can't wait to read the next book in this series! I loved the information on coffee, and I really enjoyed the characters. This is a great read.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Ian

    For Clare coffee isn't just her profession, it's her life. Lured out of a self imposed exile to manage The Grind, Manhattan's premier café, she arrives one morning to discover the body of her assistant manager. The police are convinced it's an accident but things aren't adding up and Clare (with the help of her ex-husband and an exhausted detective) begins her own investigation. On What Grounds is so much more than just a cosy fireside mystery, it's an education in coffee from beans to espresso. For Clare coffee isn't just her profession, it's her life. Lured out of a self imposed exile to manage The Grind, Manhattan's premier café, she arrives one morning to discover the body of her assistant manager. The police are convinced it's an accident but things aren't adding up and Clare (with the help of her ex-husband and an exhausted detective) begins her own investigation. On What Grounds is so much more than just a cosy fireside mystery, it's an education in coffee from beans to espresso. The book is populated with characters you want to get to know and it even managed one or two surprises.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Dorie - Cats&Books :)

    This is the second Coffeehouse Mystery that I have listened to and I really enjoy them. When I'm listening to an audiobook I'm usually sewing, sometimes cooking or cleaning. I need something light enough that I can do two things at once but interesting enough that it will keep me involved. These mysteries fit the bill. I'm not even a coffee drinker! But if you are you will definitely love these books as there is much discussion about types of coffee, how differently they can be brewed, etc etc., This is the second Coffeehouse Mystery that I have listened to and I really enjoy them. When I'm listening to an audiobook I'm usually sewing, sometimes cooking or cleaning. I need something light enough that I can do two things at once but interesting enough that it will keep me involved. These mysteries fit the bill. I'm not even a coffee drinker! But if you are you will definitely love these books as there is much discussion about types of coffee, how differently they can be brewed, etc etc., it was making me crave coffee! Well written cozy mystery!

  23. 5 out of 5

    El

    If you want to know every single tiny detail about coffee and how to make the perfect cup, this is the book for you. If, however, you want to read a thriller with a tantalising plot, interesting characterisation, gripping red herrings and a mystery for you to try to unravel, look elsewhere. I'm still only half convinced that this book isn't a spoof as, on virtually every page, there was a treatise on coffee. This is meant to be a thriller with a dead body and a need to solve the case but all you If you want to know every single tiny detail about coffee and how to make the perfect cup, this is the book for you. If, however, you want to read a thriller with a tantalising plot, interesting characterisation, gripping red herrings and a mystery for you to try to unravel, look elsewhere. I'm still only half convinced that this book isn't a spoof as, on virtually every page, there was a treatise on coffee. This is meant to be a thriller with a dead body and a need to solve the case but all you will learn about is the minutiae of coffee. If I wanted to learn about coffee I'd buy a book about coffee! The author has a serious compulsion about the subject with the result that, even when the protagonist is being questioned by the police about the body found at the bottom of the cellar stairs, her mind wanders off to her obsession. There is no topic about which she can't find a link to coffee. The crime is but a tiny sideline to the main subject - coffee - and the supporting characters are barely pencilled in. Coffee aficionados will adore this book but if you want an intriguing crime thriller I'd suggest another writer.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Tari

    I had to put this down for awhile after not getting it finished in time for a book club discussion, but I'd been wanting to get back to it and see how the Coffeehouse mysteries started--I'd already read the second one for another book club awhile back. I think I enjoyed it more than I remembered enjoying it when I'd only read a few chapters, probably because I didn't feel rushed to read it. I did start back at the beginning not trusting myself to remember anything, lol. I just love Madame's char I had to put this down for awhile after not getting it finished in time for a book club discussion, but I'd been wanting to get back to it and see how the Coffeehouse mysteries started--I'd already read the second one for another book club awhile back. I think I enjoyed it more than I remembered enjoying it when I'd only read a few chapters, probably because I didn't feel rushed to read it. I did start back at the beginning not trusting myself to remember anything, lol. I just love Madame's character! She's awesome and clearly loves Clare like her own daughter. I'm not sure yet if she's trying to get Matt and Clare back together, but after meeting the good detective, I'm definitely Team Det. Mike. Matt was okay as a character, and it was actually pretty funny when he and Clare did some sleuthing together. I hadn't guessed the killer but had a feeling that things weren't quite over when it seemed like they were. I'll be moving on to book 3 sometime I know. This is a long-running series that I'm anxious to visit again.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Noriko

    2.5 stars. It was not so bad, but when asked if I 'liked' this book, it still makes me think thus 2.5 stars. This is the very first time I've listened to a cozy-mystery audiobook and it pains me to say it didn't work as well as I had hoped. I was expecting this book to be exciting, fun and fast-paced uplifting cozy mystery, but it ended up just an okay read for me. First, the writing; I could tell 'coffee' is a key player in this book and the heroine, Clare Cosi is devoted to brewing a perfect c 2.5 stars. It was not so bad, but when asked if I 'liked' this book, it still makes me think thus 2.5 stars. This is the very first time I've listened to a cozy-mystery audiobook and it pains me to say it didn't work as well as I had hoped. I was expecting this book to be exciting, fun and fast-paced uplifting cozy mystery, but it ended up just an okay read for me. First, the writing; I could tell 'coffee' is a key player in this book and the heroine, Clare Cosi is devoted to brewing a perfect cup and coffee is literally her passion, but too in-depth description after description of coffee and history of the coffeehouse, Village Blend, was a bit overdone and did me in. I even felt it killed a natural flow of the story; making the sequence where the tension/intrigues are supposed to be built up feeling choppy and fragmented. It really bothered me as a matter of fact. I did like the dry, sarcastic sense of humor, but it obviously wasn't enough to make up for a bit too much descriptive, info-dumpy writing style. As for the characters, I wasn't emotionally attached to any of the characters. In particular, Madame gets on my nerves a lot (I put it down to the way the narrator performed her part. I just didn't like the quivered voice she employed), I felt she was so pig-headed, stuck-up and haughty. The points that I liked about this book were; 1. Not-so-sloppy initial investigation at the crime scene: The sequence with the detective was pretty realistic and suspenseful, not oh-so perfunctory nor superficial. I liked it. 2. Relationship with Clare and her ex-husband, Mateo: Although Clare insists that there's not a chance that she and Mateo will be a couple again, but there is definitely a waft of romance and it got me intrigued. Well-done. 3. The impromptu impersonation at the charity scene: I cannot give away the plot, but the whole made-up was oh so hilarious. This was the only scene I laughed out loud while listening to the audiobook. 4. Clare, the heroine, was not as obnoxious as other cozy-mystery heroine: I personally cannot stomach a heroine who assumes the police or the law enforcement is untrustworthy or incompetent thus she has to take matters into her own hands. But Clare doesn't fall into this category and I was happy with that. Could have been part of the reason why I could finish this book. As I said, there are good things that got me intrigued, but the culprit reveal was not as exciting nor thrilling as I hoped. I might have been expecting too much from a cozy mystery, but I did feel a bit underwhelmed. I wondered if I could have enjoyed this book much better had I actually read the book instead of listening to the audiobook. Like I mentioned earlier, there are a lot of descriptions and explanations about the intricacies of coffee and characters' feelings. Being detailed is fine, but when it comes to listening to an audiobook, too much can be distracting and we can get sidetracked. I actually had to rewind so many times to make sure I got that right. If you are thinking of trying this book, I recommend picking up a physical copy rather than an audiobook. You might be able to better appreciate the book that way. I am still intrigued to pick up the next book in the series, but next time, I would definitely pick up a physical book. If you like coffee and cozy mystery, this might be worth a try.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Jennifer

    Why read: I love both coffee and cozy mysteries. What impressed me: A great mystery. A great setting. I loved how coffee was incorporated in the story and more importantly, I loved Claire's relationships with the other characters. Between her ex-mother-in-law and her ex-husband, you really get to see some interesting sides to Claire and sets up for future possibilities. What disappointed me: This is another cozy mystery series that can't possibly provide realistic involvement of the main character Why read: I love both coffee and cozy mysteries. What impressed me: A great mystery. A great setting. I loved how coffee was incorporated in the story and more importantly, I loved Claire's relationships with the other characters. Between her ex-mother-in-law and her ex-husband, you really get to see some interesting sides to Claire and sets up for future possibilities. What disappointed me: This is another cozy mystery series that can't possibly provide realistic involvement of the main character in the long run. Recommended: If you love cozies and coffee, this book is definitely for you. Continue series: Yes. I can see the potential to become completely addicted to the series.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Han Le flueff

    Three and a half stars. Do NOT read this book if you are trying to give up coffee. It will have you running to your nearest barista for a hit! I felt this was quite a good introductory novel into the life of Claire Cosi and am looking forward to getting to know her better. The actual mystery in this book wasn't particularly exciting, but there were a few interesting suspects and potential motives to keep you guessing. Am curious to see what the next mystery will be at the Village Blend.... Three and a half stars. Do NOT read this book if you are trying to give up coffee. It will have you running to your nearest barista for a hit! I felt this was quite a good introductory novel into the life of Claire Cosi and am looking forward to getting to know her better. The actual mystery in this book wasn't particularly exciting, but there were a few interesting suspects and potential motives to keep you guessing. Am curious to see what the next mystery will be at the Village Blend....

  28. 5 out of 5

    BLynne

    I enjoyed this book and found it to be a good cozy mystery. I enjoyed the lead character Clare but I was a little irritated with a couple of the other characters, Matt and Madame. I think I will try a couple more books from this series.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Karin

    Clare Cosi has agreed to a share of her mother-in-law's coffee house and to live in the duplex above it rent free because her mother in law would like her to manage it full time again. Clare does this because she'd like to be closer to her daughter, but as soon as she gets there, she finds her assistant manager sprawled on the basement floor. The police rule it an accident, but Clare is not convinced of that. This was quite a fun cosy; how many of them have amateur detectives who listen to opera Clare Cosi has agreed to a share of her mother-in-law's coffee house and to live in the duplex above it rent free because her mother in law would like her to manage it full time again. Clare does this because she'd like to be closer to her daughter, but as soon as she gets there, she finds her assistant manager sprawled on the basement floor. The police rule it an accident, but Clare is not convinced of that. This was quite a fun cosy; how many of them have amateur detectives who listen to opera and run coffee shops? That said, I do not drink coffee, so all of that talk was not my cup of tea (I don't drink much tea, either, just use the idiom), but I liked it enough I plan to read more of them once our library re-opens.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Jennifer Payne

    Short and sweet I love these books!

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