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Grounds for Murder by Sandra Balzo
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Grounds for Murder (2007)

by Sandra Balzo

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English (3)  Piratical (1)  All (4)
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This was good but it took a very long time to set up. Maggie gets talked into hosting the barrista challenge and the local coffee shop baron winds up dead. Because all her friends are involved Maggie selectively tells Pavlic information causing a problem between them. Love Maggie's snarky attitude on being green over convenience in diapering. ( )
  Kathy89 | Jul 24, 2015 |
Coffee-shop owner Maggy Thorsen is talked into being a last-minute replacement to head up the barista competition at Java Ho, chaired by her toughest business competitor, Marvin LaRoche. The convention is being held in Milwaukee near Maggie’s shop, Uncommon Grounds. Once a high-powered PR person and event planner, Maggy has no problem with keeping the barista competition moving smoothly. She views it as an opportunity to get publicity for her shop AND woo away Marvin’s top barista, Amy of the wild hair and multiple piercings.

But when she stumbles across Marvin’s body while she’s making sure everything is set up properly for the finals (in which both Amy and Marvin’s wife were to compete), it throws the entire convention into an uproar. No one, except possibly Marvin’s wife and young son, is too sad about Marvin’s untimely demise. He was an unscrupulous snake who had alienated just about everyone at Java Ho in one way or another. Investigating the murder is Maggy’s would-be lover county sheriff Jake Pavlik.

Maggy Thorsen is a prickly character; her best friend, Sarah Kingston, is even more so. In fact, there isn’t a major character in Grounds for Murder (except Maggy’s sheepdog Frank) I can think of who could place in a Miss or Mr. Congeniality contest. That’s not to say Maggy isn’t a great character; she is: hard-driving, opinionated, irreverent – and not above browbeating even her own customers. Thank goodness she has a business partner who actually likes people.

Published in both the U.S. and U.K., Grounds for Murder featured American-English spellings but British-English punctuation conventions. Getting accustomed to single quotes marking dialogue took awhile. Other than that, I found everything about Grounds for Murder agreeable: fast-paced writing, a solid plot and not too much emphasis on the romantic angle. Plus the author got right into the murder, not making impatient readers wait. Although I wasn’t reading a large-print edition, the type was quite large –a big plus for over-40 presbyopes.

By Diana. First published in Mystery News, Feb-Mar 2008 issue.

Review based on publisher- or author-provided review copy. ( )
  NewsieQ | Jan 23, 2011 |
I've been waiting for the second book to come out in this series for a while and I was not disappointed in the results. Maggy is a fun, small business owner (coffee shop) who is trying to get her love life on track, enjoys her wine, and has landed right in the middle of a murder investigation again. This was such an easy and enjoyable read. Hopefully it doesn't take as long for the third book to come out. ( )
  LittleTaiko | Apr 6, 2008 |
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"Bright and breezy Maggy makes a charmingly down-to-earth sleuth. A bit of romance and coffee lore provide the froth on top."
added by SandraBalzo | editKirkus
 
STARRED REVIEW "All the right ingredients...Balzo's keep-em-guessing plot and fresh, breezy prose are more than enough to ensure that this series will continue to delight."
added by SandraBalzo | editBooklist
 
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Maggy Thorsen must track a murderer, save her coffeehouse, and - hopefully - put some froth into her love life...

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Sandra Balzo is a LibraryThing Author, an author who lists their personal library on LibraryThing.

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