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On What Grounds [Mass Market Paperback]

Cleo Coyle
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
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Book Description

Sept. 2 2003 A Coffeehouse Mystery (Book 1)
Introducing a delightful new series featuring Clare Cosi, manager of the historic Village Blend, where coffee and crime are always brewing...

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Product Details

Product Description

About the Author

Cleo Coyle is the pen name for a multipublished author who collaborates with her husband to write the nationally bestselling Coffeehouse Mysteries. Although they did not meet until adulthood, Cleo and her husband had very similar upbringings. Both were children of food-loving Italian immigrants, and both grew up in working-class neighborhoods outside of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, before moving to the Big Apple to begin their postcollege careers: Cleo as a journalist and children’s book and media tie-in author; and her husband as a magazine editor and writer. After finally meeting and falling in love, they married at the Little Church of the West in Las Vegas. Now they live and work in New York City, where they each write books independently and together, cook like crazy, haunt local coffeehouses, and drink a lot of joe. Among their many coauthored projects are the Haunted Bookshop Mysteries, written under the pen name Alice Kimberly.

Cleo enjoys hearing from readers. Visit her virtual Village Blend coffeehouse, where she also posts recipes and coffee industry news…

Inside This Book (Learn More)
First Sentence
THE perfect cup of coffee is a mystifying thing. Read the first page
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Front Cover | Copyright | Excerpt
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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Format:Mass Market Paperback
This book is very well plotted and engaged my attention very well from the very start -- it was a book that may not have kept me up until 3 in the morning, but I did look forward to getting back to it and read it rather quickly. Clair Cosi, part-owner of a landmark coffee house in Greenwich Village who is this book's amateur detective, is likeable, and her reason for getting so involved in solving the mystery is credible (unlike other mysteries I've read).
The story begins when Clair finds the crumpled but still living body of an assistant manager in the coffee shop's basement, at the bottom of the stairs. The police investigate and believe it's an accident (the woman is unconscious at this point and in intensive care). Clair finds that hard to believe, and motivated by fears of a disasterous lawsuit as well as affection for the employee, she begins to poke around to see if she can convince the police that this is no accident but a crime scene. There are a number of characters with several possible motives to consider.
WHat I didn't like about the book is the epicurean obsession with coffee. I like a good cup of coffee, but got tired fairly quickly of the tedious descriptions of how to make the perfect cup of espresso, etc. I began to wonder if Martha Stewart had ghost-written this book, particularly with a certain snobbishness present in the descriptions. I really didn't need to hear how Clair is wearing a Valentino while her ex mother in law is wearing an Oscar de la Renta. Her husband's expensive wristwatch by a relatively obscure maker is equally irrelevant, as are the hints of where to get these items the next time you're in New York. That's why I would have liked to edit this book. I hope the real editor of her next book will spare us all the instructions on coffee-making. I intend to read the next in this series to find out.
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Format:Mass Market Paperback
Ten years ago, at the age of twenty-nine, Clare Cosi used to manage the historic Village Blend located in the heart of Greenwich Village, New York, when she left to pursue a life in suburbia where she could raise her daughter. Now, at the age of thirty-nine, she's decided that the slow pace of New Jersey is beginning to bore her, so when she gets a call from Madame (the owner of the Village Blend) to come back as manager, Clare jumps at the chance. However, as she and her cat Java make their way into the Blend, Clare is startled to find Anabelle, the Village Blend's assistant manager, sprawled on the floor, unconscious, surrounded by coffee grounds. When the police arrive, they feel that it was nothing more than an accident, as there is no sign of forced entry, or a struggle, but Clare feels differently. Now she's on the case to find out who had it in bad enough to hurt Anabelle, before the Blend is sued for everything they have.
First off, let me say, I am NOT a coffee drinker. In fact, I can't even stand the taste or smell of the stuff. However, I adored this mystery. It was interesting to read about all of the preparations that you have to go through to make a great cup of coffee, and Cleo Coyle informed us in ON WHAT GROUNDS in a very fun way. Clare is a fun character, who is spunky and nosy, and will capture the hearts of cozy mystery lovers everywhere. Her outlook on life that coffee makes any problem better is hilarious, as are the various quotes about coffee scattered throughout the book. The bottom line: Whether you're a coffee lover or not, you'll love this story. I can't wait for the next one, THROUGH THE GRINDER. Oh, and for those who do love coffee, there are various recipes in the back of the book for different coffees and desserts.
Erika Sorocco
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5.0 out of 5 stars A SOLID MYSTERY WITH DAFFY CHARM Sept. 12 2003
By A Customer
Format:Mass Market Paperback
This truly delightful urban (and urbane) mystery is set in New York City's Greenwich Village, and what a treat it is! Clair Cosi takes over the management of the Village Blend (a long-established landmark coffeehouse with a vivid history) at the insistence of the ailing owner, who is also her former mother-in-law. Clair is reluctant but agrees to take the job in order to stay close to her daughter, now attending a Manhattan culinary institute. But Clair hadn't bargained on murder, nor the interference of an attractive (but cranky) police detective with no palate for coffee. And there was no way that Clair could prepare herself for the return of her insufferable (but altogether charming) ex-husband.
What sounds like a set up for a romance novel becomes an edge-of-the-seat murder mystery that could only happen among the colorful denizens of The Big Apple. Clair's hunt for the killer takes her to a modern dance class crowded with catty suspects, a toney New York charity ball complete with society schemers, a crazy scene in a Christopher Street bar, and an unexpected confrontation with a cold-blooded, calculating killer.
Most delightful is the witty dialogue, especially the repartee between Clair's roguish ex, who can't help but charm her! And the hard-bitten New York homicide detective is a great character, too.
Some of the dialogue in ON WHAT GROUNDS is reminiscent of those old Nick and Nora Charles movie mysteries, but with a decided, 21st century twist. This wonderful blend of humor, mystery, and charm will go down like a creamy carmel latte!
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Most recent customer reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars On What Grounds
If you're a coffee drinker and just can't let go of that cup for anything, then this book is for you. But would you put that cup of coffee down if a murder just took place? Read more
Published on July 9 2004 by L. Hobson
4.0 out of 5 stars Ultra-Caffeinated Cozy
"I have measured out my life with coffee spoons."
T.S. Eliot, The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock
With that apt quote begins Cleo Coyle's first in what appears... Read more
Published on May 23 2004 by TundraVision
4.0 out of 5 stars Wasn't sure at first....
Like I said, I wasn't sure about this one at first. But once I started it, I couldn't (or didn't want to) put it down. Can't wait for the next one.
Published on May 11 2004 by "wbbugsy"
5.0 out of 5 stars Grounds for Pleasure
I really enjoyed the mystery, the writing, and the coffee tips in this book. I'm looking forward to the next installment!
Published on April 28 2004 by Mkm
5.0 out of 5 stars Cool Beans--Coffee, that is!
Lots of fun. Hey, I'm addicted to coffee, so what can I say?
Published on April 27 2004 by Bee-Bee
5.0 out of 5 stars Who knew coffee could be so entertaining?
This cutting-edge cozy is set in a Greenwich Village coffeehouse and features a well-rounded, interesting cast of characters centering around Clare, the manager of the Village... Read more
Published on April 22 2004
1.0 out of 5 stars Worst book I've read in a long time
If you like endless descriptions of coffee making and unrealistic characthers, this book is for you. There is nothing about this I could relate to or recommend. Read more
Published on April 22 2004
5.0 out of 5 stars Warm and cozy
Cleo Coyle's first book in the Coffeehouse Mystery Series is a charming read. Not only does she create memorable characters and a nice, cozy mystery, she also provides a host of... Read more
Published on Jan. 9 2004 by Chelle
5.0 out of 5 stars LIKED IT A LATTE!
Okay, I got the bad pun out of the way. Seriously, this is a really good mystery and fun. I'll admit it was the coffee stuff that got me to buy the book, but it was the story and... Read more
Published on Sept. 14 2003
5.0 out of 5 stars Book reviewer--and fan of cosies
Clare Cosi is ready for a change. As a single divorced mother, her daughter is finally grown and off to chef's school. Read more
Published on Sept. 11 2003
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