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.