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On What Grounds (Coffeehouse Mysteries, No. 1) Mass Market Paperback – September 2, 2003
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After getting a divorce from her husband Matt and raising their daughter Joy in New Jersey Clare Cosi came back to New York to manage the Village Blend a coffee shop in Greenwich Village which is owned by her former mother-in-law Madame. It seemed like a great deal to Clare. She could live in the apartment above the Village Blend rent free. However, Clare later finds out that her ex-husband Matt also has the right to live in the apartment when he is in town. This was Madame's way of playing match maker. Matt is the coffee buyer for the shop and travels a lot. Unfortunately he does have an eye for the women. However, he still loves Clare.
The day Clare moves into the Village Blend she finds one of the employees, Annabelle, at the bottom of the stairs. Clare refuses to believe that this is an accident. She believes that Annabelle was murdered. When the police arrive Clare meets Detective Mike Quinn who is married. I have a feeling that Detective Mike Quinn is going to be become more to Clare than just the detective investigating a possible homicide.
You will also love the recipes at the end of the book. I can't wait to read the next one.
Managing The Village Blend almost gives Clare a new lease of life. Almost because she arrives to unpack her things only to find a dead barista, who's a talented dancer, and an ex-husband who is also part manager. How many times must she tell Madame that Matt and her are not getting back together?
But these thoughts are pushed aside as Clare is convinced that the death of Anabelle (the dancer barista) is not accidental. In her determination to solve the case, she is unnerved by her attraction to the handsome, married, detective as well as the little sparkle between her and Matt. So much for an easy move back to Manhattan! Clare thanks God for a heavenly (and well made) coffee that will get her through all of this.
As the first in a series of 'coffeehouse' murders, Coyle's lighthearted murder-mystery is certainly an engaging read. Clare's passion for coffee is literally on every page and the detail given to make a perfect cup is executed simply. The characters met are few but all have a significance in the unraveling of the mysterious death. Dialogue keeps the flow from chapter to chapter but in a slow, sip and savor the coffee kind of way.
Whilst I enjoyed reading this novel, I found that the explanation/process to make a coffee and/or when Clare is making a cup a little repetitive. I appreciate that coffee is the underlying theme but once you've read how it's made, rest assured the reader knows Clare will make it that way each time. However, I loved the recipes to things mentioned e.g. a cappachino cheesecake and the main character's tenacity as well as the hint of lingering romance between ex-husband and wife. It's well written in effortless way and it's a series that I'm looking forward to reading more of.
A recommended read especially for those who like food themed mysteries!
1 1/2 ounces Raspberry syrup.... to combine ingredients it states: Pour the syrups into the bottom of a 12 oz. cup. Why not just list. It as 3 ounces.... UNLESS they forgot to list WHAT flavors. ??
Page 254:: typo: halfinebriated.
Learned a bit about why my coffee's don't turn out all that great. Turns out there's a bit mote to keeping coffee in the freezer, and a lot of other reasons. The "How-to's" are worth buying and reading this book. Boy does that Cheese cake sound DELISH!!
Plot was fair, Characterizations much better, several spots of unexpected good humor.
I highly recommend this book.