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On What Grounds by Cleo Coyle
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On What Grounds

by Cleo Coyle

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A light entertaining start to a series - just what I needed to "cleanse my palate" after reading Pride and Prejudice and Jane Eyre back to back. Lots of coffee facts, which had me craving a latte or expresso! I'll be continuing this series. ( )
  janb37 | Feb 13, 2017 |
This hilarious and delightful cozy mystery is the perfect blend of coffee, romance and New York setting. Get a jump start on this fun series!
  mcmlsbookbutler | Oct 17, 2016 |
At first a little TOO textbooky with coffee tips (although they're interesting), but the humor picks up and it becomes a fun mystery soon enough. Love the characters and setting so far. Will continue series. The end of the book has generous amount of recipes. Review soon. ( )
  ErinPaperbackstash | Jun 14, 2016 |
Review Originally Posted At: FictionForesight

Clare Cosi is the newly reinstated manager at the Village Blend, an artisanal coffee shop in Greenwich Village. The ambiance of the small shop is shattered when she discovers her new assistant manager dead, appearing to have fallen down the stairs. While the police feel that it is a workplace hazard that led to her death, Clare can’t help but feel that foul play was involved. Will she be able to figure out what really happened, or will her investigation lead to her own demise?

This is a book for coffee lovers. From the setting of a coffee shop to a woman who loves the chatter about the history and preparation of coffee, there is no doubt that this book touts coffee as the best beverage of all time. And don’t even mention tea, as that is swill according to Clare. As fanciful as a woman loving coffee and wanting to give the reader all of the details of the preparation and consumption of coffee is, the writing leaves a lot to be desired.

The murder mystery was definitely lacking, in that it got buried underneath the facts about coffee. I read one line of dialogue and then a paragraph about how to make espresso, and while at first it was charming and unique, it soon turned to tiresome before it even hit the halfway point. That no one had told Coyle to cut back on the coffee facts and add in some more meat to the story is a shame, because what I saw in the mystery plot left me wanting more than what was given.

The assistant manager, Annabelle, was a sweet girl with a steady boyfriend who was going to college and dancing on top of it. She wanted to be someone in the dancing community, and she had the talent and drive for it. Clare, a woman with her own adult daughter, relates to Annabelle and feels miserable when she is found dead. That is, until the police start warning her that they feel it was an accidental death due to workplace negligence, which would mean a lawsuit from Annabelle’s previously absent mother. To top it off, Clare has to deal with her ex husband, Matteo, who shows up at the wrong point in time and wants to try to work things out with her.

The problem with how this was mapped out was that the majority of the book ends up being dedicated to the romance between Clare and Matteo, and then another quarter is dedicated to long rants about coffee, which leaves a slim amount to discuss the mystery. As a result, we really don’t get an investigation on Clare’s end, and we only find out the killer because she stumbles into his/her lair where all is admitted. I am disappointed, as it was shown that Clare was supposed to have a good eye for detail in the beginning, when she was trying to identify with the inspector.

I gave this three stars because it wasn’t a horrible read, just disappointing. I wonder if this is the author’s first book as a whole, or if it was just that Clare doesn’t have a distinct enough voice yet for the author to let her shine, as she should. This series has grown to 14 books so I am hoping Clare got better as the books move forward. It’s definitely worth a read if you want something light, like to read about coffee facts and romance.

(www.FictionForesight.com) ( )
  FictionForesight | Apr 26, 2016 |
Great mystery surrounding a coffee house with fabulous recipes and coffee making tricks ( )
  TheYodamom | Jan 29, 2016 |
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Epigraph
I have measured out my life with coffee spoons.
T.S. Elliot,
The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock
Dedication
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She was a dancer. Young, slender, pretty, but not particularly beautiful. And not special.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Book description
coffeehousemysteries.com- Ten years ago, Clare Cosi left an unhappy marriage along with a job she loved: managing the historic Village Blend coffeehouse in New York's Greenwich Village. For a decade, she was happy raising her daughter in the quiet suburbs of New Jersey; but now that Joy is grown and gone, life has gotten way too quiet for Clare. With a little cajoling from Madame, the Blend's flamboyant, elderly owner (not to mention a persuasive pot of Jamaica Blue Mountain), Clare agrees to return to her old job - and right from the start she gets one heck of a jolt. On her first morning back as Village Blend manager, Clare unlocks the front door to find her beautiful, young assistant manager, Annabelle Hart, unconscious in the back of the store, coffee grounds strewn everywhere. As Annabelle is rushed to the hospital, police arrive to investigate, but Detective Mike Quinn finds no sign of forced entry or foul play, and he deems it an accident. Clare disagrees; and after Quinn leaves, there are a few questions she just can't get out of her mind, like why was the trash bin in the wrong place? If this wasn't an accident, are her other baristas in danger? And are all NYPD detectives this attractive?
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 042519213X, Mass Market Paperback)

Book #1 in New York Times bestselling author Cleo Coyle's Coffeehouse Mystery series...
"The perfect cup of coffee is a mystifying thing. To many of my customers, the entire process seems like some sort of alchemy they dare not try at home...."

Ten years ago, Clare Cosi left an unhappy marriage along with a job she loved: managing the historic Village Blend coffeehouse in New York's Greenwich Village. For a decade, she was happy raising her daughter in the quiet suburbs of New Jersey; but now that Joy is grown and gone, life has gotten way too quiet for Clare. With a little cajoling from Madame, the Blend's flamboyant, elderly owner, Clare agrees to return to her old job, and right from the start she gets one heck of a jolt. On her first morning back as Village Blend manager, Clare unlocks the front door to find her beautiful, young assistant manager unconscious in the back of the store, coffee grounds strewn everywhere. As Anabelle is rushed to the hospital, police arrive to investigate, but Detective Mike Quinn finds no sign of forced entry or foul play, and he deems it an accident. Clare disagrees; and after Quinn leaves, there are a few questions she just can't get out of her mind, like why was the trash bin in the wrong place? If this wasn't an accident, are her other baristas in danger? And are all NYPD detectives this attractive?

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:01:14 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

Clare Cosi is happy to return to managing The Village Blend, a coffeehouse in New York, even when she finds the assistant manager unconscious among the coffee grounds.

» see all 2 descriptions

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Cleo Coyle is a LibraryThing Author, an author who lists their personal library on LibraryThing.

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Cleo Coyle chatted with LibraryThing members from Dec 16, 2009 to Dec 30, 2009. Read the chat.

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