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A Cup of Jo (A Maggy Thorsen Mystery Book 6) [Kindle Edition]

Sandra Balzo
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)

Print List Price: $15.95
Kindle Price: $3.99
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Book Description

Maggy Thorsen, cynic extraordinaire, has a few things to feel optimistic about lately. After her original coffeehouse, Uncommon Grounds, was destroyed in a freak May blizzard, Maggy and her best friend, Sarah Kingston, have found the perfect spot to relocate – right next to the new commuter train in Milwaukee.

After successfully securing the spot, Maggy and Sarah plan to piggyback the city’s celebrations for the train and re-open Uncommon Grounds on the same day. In fact, Maggy’s feeling so positive, she even digs deep in her budget and hires a giant inflatable coffee cup to attract more notice to her grand reopening.

All seems to be running right according to plan…until Maggy’s event manager is found dead – and now Maggy must find the killer before the killer finds her!!

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

In Balzo's delightful sixth Maggy Thorsen mystery (after March 2010's From the Grounds Up), Maggy, the co-owner of Uncommon Grounds, a gourmet coffeehouse, which was destroyed during a freak snowstorm, is planning to celebrate the opening of her rebuilt shop at the same time that the town of Brook-hills, Wis., dedicates the new Milwaukee commuter-train line. Maggie is pleased with the giant inflatable coffee cup she hired for the occasion, until it accidentally deflates and reveals the body of missing Brookhills event manager JoLynne Penn-Williams sprawled at the bottom. When amateur sleuth Maggy begins to investigate, she's dismayed that clues point to her boyfriend, county sheriff Jake Pavlik, as the killer. Devastating innuendos that Jake has been unfaithful shatter Maggy, but don't prevent her from seeking the truth. As ever, Maggy's wit and wisdom help keep the pages turning through this lighthearted cozy.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

Poor Maggy Thorsen (From the Grounds Up, 2010) just can’t seem to get her coffee business going. Her original Wisconsin café, Uncommon Grounds, was destroyed in a blizzard. Now, with a new business partner, Sarah Kingston, and a site in a renovated railway depot that serves a commuter line, things should be going well. They hope to have the grand opening when the new rail line is dedicated. Maggy even commissions a giant inflatable coffee cup and saucer for the roof, but unfortunately, Jo, the event manager, turns up dead inside it. The ensuing investigation turns up some surprising information about some of the community’s most upstanding members. The fast-moving plot makes the most of the author’s quirky characters and will have readers wondering if Maggy will ever be able to make a go of it in the coffee business, but they will be happy to read another installment in hopes of finding out. Solid cozy fare. --Barbara Bibel

Product Details

  • File Size: 392 KB
  • Print Length: 192 pages
  • Publisher: NYLA (February 28, 2012)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B007F2HDOC
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #413,999 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Heartwarming, hilarious, and perfectly puzzling! July 20, 2010
Sandra Balzo brews up a great mystery in A Cup of Jo the latest in her Maggy Thorsen series! When Maggy orders a huge inflatable coffee cup emblazoned with the Uncommon Grounds logo to promote her coffee shop, it seems like a great idea... until a body is found inside the giant decoration.

With motives all around and suspects close to heart, it's up to Maggy to sort through clues while trying to maintain a booming coffee business. Trouble has a knack for following Maggy, though, and the twists and turns in this mystery are as abundant as the quirky characters. Balzo fills her Wisconsin town with a great supporting cast of friends and fiends ensuring that Maggy's tale is heartwarming, hilarious, and perfectly puzzling.

The challenge is on for the reader to solve the murder alongside Maggy Thorsen. Armchair detectives everywhere will definitely want to cozy up with A Cup of Jo.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyable Caffeinated Cozy July 8, 2010
Uncommon Grounds coffee house co-owners Maggy Thorsen and Sarah Kingston were checking last minute details for their grand opening in a new location when they began to question why their event planner JoLynne Penn-Williams hired an obnoxious mime for the festivities. And, by the way, why wasn't said planner present and helping them with preparations and the press?

After all, this was a very special occasion for Maggy after she lost her first business due to a freak snowstorm. She was excited about relocating to the Brookhills Junction commuter train station depot where a direct line to Milwaukee 15 miles to the East should bring the the gourmet coffee shop many thirsty customers.

Just as the train carrying the dignitaries arrived, the mime tripped over an air hose to the huge inflated cup and saucer display above the podium area causing the whole display to collapse to the ground. As a hundred people watched the public relations nightmare unfold, Maggy found her missing event planner.

A Cup of Jo is the sixth Maggy Thorsen mystery by Sandra Balzo, and I am sure fans will welcome this new edition. Balzo writes with a sassy sense of humor that makes her stories fun to read. The eccentric characters and entertaining story line keeps readers wondering what can possibly happen next to our heroine.

There is never a dull moment in this story, and the author wisely keeps the reveal to the very end allowing readers the chance to guess who committed the crime and why. Whether you are already a fan or have just discovered this wonderful series, you will definitely want to grab a copy of A Cup of Jo.

A special thank you goes to Sandra Balzo and Severn House publishers for providing an ARC copy for me to review.

A Cup of Jo (Maggy Thorsen Mysteries)
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5.0 out of 5 stars fun caffeine crime cozy October 3, 2010
Thanks to the new train stop connecting Milwaukee to the Brookhills Junction Depot, Uncommon Grounds gourmet coffeehouse is ready to open for business on the first day of the new route. To celebrate their grand opening, owners Maggy Thorsen and Sarah Kingston commission a giant balloon in the shape of a coffee cup and saucer by professional artist Kevin Williams.

Imagine their shock when the two proprietors find the body of Kevin's wife JoLynne Penn-Williams in the bottom of the cup; the cause of death asphyxiation by someone who cut off her breathing. Brookhills County Sheriff Jake Pavlilk eventually arrests Kevin for murdering his wife. Rumors explode that the sheriff and the deceased were lovers and other evidence leads to Pavlik's's arrest. Maggie rejects the notion her lover is a killer, but her insecurities make her wonder if he might be a cheater. She investigates and almost loses her life in the process.

Anyone who enjoys a fun caffeine crime cozy will want to read the Maggy Thorsen mysteries (see From the Grounds Up) as the series contains some of the best amateur sleuths on the market. The obstinate lead protagonist is an interesting person with doubts about her abilities yet also strong convictions that make her need to prove her lover innocent even while she debates his fidelity. With a well constructed whodunit, fans will enjoy A Cup of Jo (or two) as Sandra Balzo provides her readers with a gourmet mystery topped off with a wonderful shocker as to who is behind the victim's death.

Harriet Klausner
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5.0 out of 5 stars a mystery brewed just for you February 22, 2014
Format:Kindle Edition
That's not a typo in the title: Jo is JoLynne Penn-Williams, the events manager for a dedication of the commuter train line that will run between Milwaukee and Brookhills, Wisconsin, a small fictional town located 15 miles west of Milwaukee.

Maggy Thorsen, co-owner of Uncommon Grounds coffee shop, is on hand at the celebration with her partner, the prickly real-estate agent Sarah Kingston, when JoLynne turns up dead, marring the celebration.

Poor Maggy deserves a break: First, in Uncommon Grounds (A Maggy Thorsen Mystery), her marriage broke up when her dentist husband recently left her for his 24-year-old dental hygienist. Then, when Maggy begins a new life and a new business, her coffee shop was destroyed in a freak May blizzard in Brewed, Crude and Tattooed (Maggy Thorsen), and the re-opening nearly spoiled due to mayhem in From The Grounds Up (A Maggy Thorsen Mystery). But Maggy's not about to catch a break in "A Cup of Jo," the sixth novel in the series. Turns out the pretty and petite victim JoLynne, although married, was very promiscuous -- even bedding her sister's boyfriend and, according to rumor, Maggy's main squeeze, sexy Sheriff Jake Pavlik. When she's not waxing jealous about promiscuous JoLynne, Maggy's worried about Milwaukee County Executive Wynona Counsel, who once dated Pavlik, too. It's not a pretty picture, but, considering Maggy's history -- she was oblivious of her ex's philandering -- it's understandable.

So who killed JoLynne?
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Another great from Sandra Balzo
Continuing the series is a no-brainer. Once you start reading these, you'll read the whole lot! Highly recommended for some enjoyable and relaxed reading.
Published 12 months ago by Leah
5.0 out of 5 stars Love it!
This is such a fun read! This one it very close to being my favorite Maggy Thorsen Mysteries! author & illustrator, JD Holiday
Published 13 months ago by J.D. Holiday
5.0 out of 5 stars A cup of jo
This book kept you guessing til the end. I had to keep reading it to see who and why the lady was killed. Surprisingly it was the mime!
Published 20 months ago by unicornlady 1960
4.0 out of 5 stars Fun, light-hearted cozy mystery
This is the sixth story in thec Maggy Thorsen mystery series. The story starts with the grand opening of Maggy, and her new business partner/old friend, Sarah's, new coffee shop... Read more
Published on August 31, 2011 by J Davis
Very disappointing. I have read the other 5 books in this series and the last 2 have been written differently - too many similes and cliches. Read more
Published on November 19, 2010 by ITZME
5.0 out of 5 stars The verbal and mental wisecracking is what makes the book great
"Floppingly flippant" is the perfect phrase to describe the dialog in this book, which is what makes it so entertaining. Read more
Published on October 11, 2010 by Charles Ashbacher
5.0 out of 5 stars Balzo slings one liners that are hilarious even as she takes the...
Sandra Balzo spent twenty years in corporate public relations, event management, and publicity before turning to mystery writing. Read more
Published on October 7, 2010 by Midwest Book Review
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More About the Author

Sandra Balzo is an award-winning author of crime fiction, including eleven books in two different mystery series from Severn House--the Wisconsin-based Maggy Thorsen Mysteries and Main Street Murders, set in the High Country of North Carolina and featuring journalist AnnaLise Griggs.

Film rights for the Maggy Thorsen Coffeehouse Mysteries have been optioned toward development for television or film. Garnering starred reviews from Kirkus and Booklist, Balzo's novels are recommended to readers of Janet Evanovich, Charlaine Harris, Harlan Coben, Joan Hess and Margaret Maron.

Find Sandy online at, Pinterest (, Facebook (Sandra Balzo Mysteries) and Twitter (@SandraBalzo).

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