On What Grounds: Coffeehouse Mysteries 1

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Teaser: With her daughter off to college, Claire is coming back to the life she fell in love with years ago. She is coming back as the head manager of The Village Blend, a coffee shop in Greenwich Village, to make it the most successful coffee shop in town. If Claire has one true love, it would definitely be coffee and the joy it brings to the people who drink it.

The problem is that the owner of the Blend is her cheating ex-husband's mother and could potentially make it a very awkward arrangement. It that wasn't stressful enough, Claire opens the shop one morning to find one of her beloved employee's bodies. Not only does she fear for her other employees, but she fears that it could put the shop that she loves so dear out of business.

Short Thought: An intriguing and wonderful mystery for the modern woman.

Expanded Thoughts: In an effort to get away from the fantasy and the historical fiction genres, I decided to pick up this book and give it a shot. What could be better than a contemporary feminine mystery centered around coffee? If fact, what is better than coffee? Nothing, absolutely nothing.

This series opener didn't disappoint. It delivered a simple, easy to read and follow mystery plot that was like a network television series. Very enjoyable, and not complicated or complex at all.

This book has great characters even if they are a little predictable. (It fits with the cozy mystery vibe.) They relate to real life. We get to see Claire as a savvy businesswoman who has gone through some problems that are very relevant to many readers. We get to experience her strength as she continually grows and battles the obstacles put in front of her. Not only does she have to face her ex-husband, run the shop, and keep her daughter in line, but she has to constantly be available for police questioning and suspicions.

I also love this book because it teaches the reader something that isn't common knowledge. Throughout the story, the author cleverly mixes in information about coffee. She goes in-depth about the different processes, beans, and concoctions. I was thrilled. I have been drinking coffee for over 20 years and I didn't know any of that stuff. (Well, except that Decaf is for crazy people, but that's a given.) The descriptions weren't so long that they became boring either; they were very well done. As another extra, there are wonderful recipes at the back of the book. If you took the notion, you could actually try the same foods that are served in the book. I love to cook and learn, so I thought that it was brilliant.

I'm really starting to dig books of this type. I think of them as Chic Mystery, Betty Crocker Style.

Additional Notes: This is the 1st novel in the Coffeehouse Mysteries Series by Cleo Coyle.

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