Introducing a delightful new series featuring Carolyn Cosi, manager of the historic Village Blend, where coffee and crime are always brewing...
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.
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.