On What Grounds (Coffeehouse Mystery Series #1)

On What Grounds (Coffeehouse Mystery Series #1)

by Cleo Coyle

Paperback(Large Print)

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Introducing a delightful new series featuring Carolyn Cosi, manager of the historic Village Blend coffeehouse...

Carolyn arrives at work to discover the assistant manager dead in the back of the store, coffee grounds strewn everywhere. Two detectives investigate. But when they find no sign of forced entry or foul play, they deem it an accident. Still, Carolyn is not convinced. And after the police leave, Carolyn can't help wondering...If this was an act of murder, is she in danger?

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781587246470
Publisher: Cengage Gale
Publication date: 05/03/2004
Series: Coffeehouse Mystery Series , #1
Edition description: Large Print
Pages: 368
Product dimensions: 6.04(w) x 9.14(h) x 1.01(d)

About the Author

CLEO COYLE is a pseudonym for Alice Alfonsi, writing in collaboration with her husband, Marc Cerasini. Both are New York Times bestselling authors of The Coffeehouse Mysteries, now celebrating over ten years in print. Alice and Marc are also bestselling media tie-in writers who have penned properties for Lucasfilm, NBC, Fox, Disney, Imagine, and MGM. They live and work in New York City, where they write independently and together, including the nationally bestselling Haunted Bookshop Mysteries.

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On What Grounds (Coffeehouse Mystery Series #1) 3.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 133 reviews.
6tessa9 More than 1 year ago
I enjoy reading mystery novels, and I'm always surprised by the inventive settings and plots for murder and mayhem. Recently, while I was waiting for the latest book in my current mystery series, I decided to try something new. I was browsing the mystery shelves, before sitting in the B&N cafe to have my morning hot chocolate and scone, when the cover with "Coffeehouse Mystery Series" caught my eye. I was intrigued, since, here I was at a coffeehouse, looking for a mystery series... Could it be fate? Apparently so! I picked up 'On What Grounds' to read in the cafe, and I was instantly hooked by the novel setting, the interesting cast, and the colorful writing style. I especially liked that it was written in 1st-person, so I felt truly connected with the main character. Of course, the descriptions of coffee-related beverages and food made my mouth water - and I don't even drink coffee! The recipes and tips, related to all things coffee, at the back of the book are a unique touch that makes this series useful as well as entertaining. I have already purchased the second and third book, and can't wait to continue reading!
bookbearPJ More than 1 year ago
If you are a fan of mysteries and coffeehouse coffee blends, this is a fun book to read. Clare Cosi is the manager of the Village Blend. A 100 year old coffeehouse in Greenwich Village, NY. Clare is running the Village Blend for her ex-mother-in-law and lives above the coffeehouse. The problem is Clare has to share this living arrangement with her ex-husband,Matt, who is the coffee buyer for the Village Blends specialty roasts and a womanizer. Joy,their daughter is in culinary school. What happens at the Village Blend next....you have to read for yourself. Follow Clare's curiosity at the events that surround her and the Village Blend.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This was a nice introduction to the series. I was hooked right away and loved the incorporation of the different coffee recipies.
mysterychickCT More than 1 year ago
I really enjoyed this mystery, a great introduction to the characters and their lives in this book. It is a must read for someone who enjoys a light mystery and coffee! The story itself is well written with the reader believing that they are right there on the scene.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Cleo Coyle's Coffeehouse Mysteries are as close as you can get to coffee without actually drinking it. I bought this first in the series because I had check out a couple of others in the series from the library. Clare Cosi is a single mom who used to manage the Village Blend Coffeehouse in NYC for her mother-in-law, lovingly referred to as "Madame". But when she and her cocaine-indulging husband are divorced, she leaves NY and raises their daughter on her own. Now, her daughter is grown and Madame asks Clare to come back and take over managing the Village Blend again. Only, very shortly after taking over the coffeehouse, she finds a body in the basement, and an historic plaque has gone missing. Thus begins Clare's new career as an amateur sleuth. Along the way, she deals with the globe-trotting ex-husband, a very handsome, though somewhat hard-boiled detective, and the college hijinks of her daughter. All the while, serving up gourmet espresso to customers and coffee facts to anyone who will listen. I learned more about coffee in one book than I ever imagined. And while reading it on a rainy autumn evening, I could practically smell the fresh coffee. I think I'll have another cup.
TheBookResort More than 1 year ago
Grab your chocolate. Latte. Cocoa. Chi. Chocolate liqueur. Kahlua® coffee liqueur Swing batter batter swing... We have a winner!!! I am not a coffee connoisseur, but the aroma of a heady brew gets my blood boiling. I love the potent bouquet that attacks my senses whenever I step foot inside a coffeehouse. *Sigh* I love to soak up the atmosphere ~ I sip on delicious hot tea, Poland water &/or grab a bite to eat ~ soup, panini... scones. Oh, those yummy desserts. I relax, read, listen to music, poetry or tune into people engaging in conversations ~ ok, eavesdrop... =Q I just like to settle in & marinate in the creative & energizing ambiance. Clare Cosi is an absolute delight. She is not one of those amateur sleuths you wonder, "where'd she go to school ~ KoKo Puffs U". She is a charming, intelligent & witty protagonist. Clare does not rely on anyone to be her superhero. Her cape is right next to the Sumatra in the storeroom. All of the the impressive characters leap from the page. Oh, Matteo... Joy, Madame, Matteo... *oops, back on track* Tucker, Detective Mike Quinn are absolutely compelling, expressive & irresistible. I love how the coffee info is scattered throughout the book. Some complain this is annoying, but I don't find it irritating or distracting in the least. On What Ground's is the 1st coffeehouse mystery & is a delightful, picturesque, sparkling, lighthearted cozy. Now, I'm in the mood to visit a coffee bar & order an iced raspberry, bottle of Poland & a lemon raspberry bar. Come to mama, baby.
Miccox99 More than 1 year ago
I was googling mysteries that involved food or restaurants and came across this book. I thought that it sounded interesting since the main character co-owns/manages a coffeehouse and I used to own a coffeehouse. I was not disappointed! The author did a great job with developing the characters into believable, fleshed out people and the storyline was quite intriguing with a couple of mysteries layered upon the "whodunit" of pushing Annabelle down the stairs. The twists were quite realistic and you could have seen the big twist, but you might just be surprised! This was an enjoyable and entertaining cozy mystery and I have already checked the next book in the series out of my library!
JoMacall More than 1 year ago
I took a chance and purchased the first two books of the Coffeehouse Mystery series, even though I was not familiar with the author, and I am glad I did. Taking on the running of a celebrated coffee bar owned by her ex-mother-in-law and finding out her ex-husband is part of the package was the first shock. Then finding one of her employees at the bottom of the basement stairs barely alive, complicated matters. Add in some shady characters and a handsome police detective, well, need I say more? Interspersed throughout this riveting story are tips for making the perfect cup of coffee and, at the back of the book, recipes you will want to try. Like the one for a Black Russian. This is a case where you should try it at home...and with a chair nearby! Can't wait to start series #2.
nookbookworm More than 1 year ago
The plot didn't move much. There were some "teases" but it didn't go anywhere with them. There were some interesting twists. Good information for those who love coffee. The average coffee drinker would say, "Neat information" and then hope to get on with the plot soon.
TeensReadToo More than 1 year ago
I loved this first book in the fun cozy series. It combines two of my all-time favorite things -- coffee and mystery!

Clare Cosi has just come back to manage The Village Blend coffeehouse at the request of Madame, the wonderful, loving eccentric who just so happens to also be her ex mother-in-law.

When Clare arrives, it's to find the unconscious body of her assistant manager, Annabelle, lying at the bottom of the service stairs. What the police (led by hunky yet aloof Detective Quinn) assume is a tragic accident seems to clearly be foul play to Clare, and she sets out (with the help of her ex-husband, Matteo) to prove it.

I can't wait to read the next book in this series! I loved the information on coffee, and I really enjoyed the characters. This is a great read.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I enjoyed this book as much as I enjoy my first cup of coffee in the morning. The plot was interesting, with enough red herrings to keep me engaged in the story, and, while the ending could be predictable, I liked it. What I really liked though, was the main character, Claire Cosi and the writing style of Cleo Coyle. Clair Cosi is a woman who is trying to get her life back together after she is enticed into returning as the manager of the Village Blend, a famous coffee shop in Greenwich Village. She finds the body of her assistant manager in the basement and won¿t accept it as an accident. What I like about her is that even though she has conflicts, she handles them well without being self-obsessed or whiney. Claire is a woman I¿d like to talk to over a nice cup of coffee. I liked the writing style of the author as well because she gives just enough detail to allow the reader to flesh out the rest without going too far. She does not go into the painstaking detail (except for the coffee making lessons, which I found interesting) that so many authors seem to do. Coyle also handles the sexual tensions well. Overall, a good read. I will definitely read the rest of the series.
Guest More than 1 year ago
She dances in the light a shadow stalks in the dark. A chillingly choreographed contrast between a stalker and a dancer was used as a mesmerizing opening in this novel the resulting effect was artistic in ambiance, rich with symbolism, and ridden with angst. It was almost too perfectly detailed, that essential difference between an approaching murderer, harboring cold-blooded intent and an unsuspecting victim, flowng through innocent routines in oblivious abandon. From the bone-freezing effect of this short prologue, which is truly a hard act to follow, the evenly-plotted story and sensually-fleshed-out characters move beyond the eerie mood. The concluding whole is one of the best culinary mystery pilots on the market. Ironically, coffee, in some ways, for many of us, is an ultimate 'food' and Coyle's Coffee how-to's are a great bonus, interspersed with just the right touch, just enough detail within the action machinations. The novel was exquisitely executed, and within that excellence, on pages 90 - 92 of the mass market paperback lies a hidden gem of a deeply touching segment woven into a few of the facts exposing NYC citizenry backbone of grit & shared generosity in response to the 9/11 attack on their city. Indeed, the spirit of this novel was like that hidden gem, rich & balsamic, yet lightened through simple strength sensitive to depth, yet uplifting through humor's lifeline, a necessity in the worst of times.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I loved this book! It is about a women who recently returns to a specialty coffee shop and takes over the running of it, only to realize her ex-husband is in the picture now too. Suddenly, a death occurs in the coffee house and Clare bans together with her ex and a cute cop to try to solve the crime. It is fast moving, witty, interesting and yet, there was intrigue. I read a lot of this type of mystery books and can honestly say this book is one of my favorites. I can't wait for her to come out with her next in this series.
SheilaDeeth More than 1 year ago
I've read several authors asking whether blog tours and internet presence really translate into sales, so I suppose this book review is proof for me that they do. I "met" Cleo Coyle in a blog interview where she was promoting her latest book, Holiday Grind, and the concept of coffee and mystery intrigued me sufficiently-plus her name was easily remembered-that I looked up her books on my next visit to a bookstore. There I found and promptly bought book one of her series, On What Grounds. The cover features a tipped over coffee cup, splashed dregs, and a comfortable looking room subtly overwritten with different coffee blends-mmm. Just my kind of thing. Not that I'm going to start making super coffee, buying and grinding the best beans, or baking the excellent recipes the author includes. But just knowing what some of those fancy names mean is satisfaction on its own. And the mystery? That was satisfying too. And the relationships. and the intriguingly savvy coffee-house owner, Madame. Empty-nester Clare Cosi makes a fun heroine-independent, clever, confident but not overly so. Her daughter's left home, as has her former spouse, so she moves back into town, with cat, to run the Village Blend, only to find an unexpectedly absent assistant and unwelcome guest. The assistant's absence is easily explained by the fact that she's lying unconscious at the foot of the stairs, but nothing else is so simple-not even the daughter. Add a policeman learning to savor real coffee, the unemptied trash, and a sign that mysteriously appears and disappears, and you have the ingredients for a fascinating mystery to accompany that cup of coffee. Add Clare's coffee tips and you'll wish you could sit in the Village Blend to drink it. Book two coming soon, I hope, to a bookshelf near me.
Anonymous 2 days ago
Great book! Couldn't put it down.
Anonymous 2 days ago
It was a delight to read It was hard to put down.the ending was awesome.
rokinrev 4 months ago
“‘When we drink coffee, we drink its history, which is also our own history.’” After recently reading the 18th book in this series, I decided to go back to the beginning again. I first read this book as a library loan in 2003, long enough back that I’d forgotten the actual mystery involved so, with a set of “fresh eyes”, I went back to when Joy had moved out of the home Clare had worked hard to keep her safe in, and Madame Blanche DuBois had offered Clare her old job of managing The Village Blend along with the furnished duplex above and a percentage of the business. Then, in a horrible accident, Annabelle, the night manager, is found near the rear exit of The Blend, unconscious and near death having apparently fallen on the stars. But the story doesn’t ring true for Clare and thus begins her first sleuthing “job” as she tries to fit the puzzle together with missing pieces scattered far and wide. Past, present and a strange future come together in dis/harmony as Clare works around, as well as with Matt: her ex husband, and Lt. Quinn, the homicide cop that she is growing to respect. After reading this a second time, I realize just how much I’ve learned about coffee from these books over the years, even subconsciously. I read this in 2 sittings- normal for this type of book, revisiting why I love this series so much. Whether your first or your 31st time, come back and enjoy a cup of mystery at the Village Blend. Highly recommended 5/5
dd196406 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Fun first entry in a series about a coffeehouse in NYC. Love the description of the setting and the people. And the mystery was interesting also. Good chemistry between the characters. Looking forward to others in this series.
Minne2 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Really enjoyed the back story of the coffee business. First library book read on my Kindle.
punxsygal on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
The Village Blend is a historic coffeehouse in Lower Manhattan. After ten years in the New Jersey suburbs, Clare Cosi has returned as manager at personal request of the owner, her former mother-in-law. In addition to the usual employment benefits, Clare has been given an apartment over the shop. The morning she arrives from the burbs ready to move in, she finds the assistant manager on the floor unconscious and barely breathing. Clare immediately calls for help and for the police. The police find little evidence of this being more than a terrible accident. But Clare remains unconvinced of an accident and sets about to see it she can determine what happened and who was responsible. Also, she find that the owner has given rights to the apartment to her ex-husband. Now is she could just get Detective Quinn to enjoy the finer tastes of the Village Blend coffee¿.This was the first of an eleven volume series. And light and enjoyable cozy complete with coffee making tips and recipes. It was a great book to curl up with while enjoying a fragrant cup of coffee.
CommunityBookstop on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Cleo Coyle really stirs things up with this coffeehouse mystery. Her main character Clare comes to work at the Village Blend to find her assistant manager laying dead with coffee grounds everywhere. She calls the police who come down and imply it looks like an accident and not homicide. Clare doesn't buy that anymore than she buys bad coffee. She is quick to put her sleuthing skills to the test to see if she can find out what happened.Clare and her ex-husband Matteo are on track to find out what happened to their employee, with no short list of who did it, there is definitely a lot of colorful suspects. A great book including references to great coffee, and how to make a great coffee. Definitely a cute cozy mystery to say the least.
tututhefirst on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
My sister pointed out the coffeehouse series to me. I am more addicted to coffee than I am to reading, if that is believable. So I really enjoyed meeting the heroine Clare Cosi, her ex-mother in law, and several other fun characters in this opening round of what promises to be a coffee loving clone of Goldi in Diane Mott Davidson's books, or Joanne Fluke's Hannah Swenson.I love them all but I'm not sure I could handle a steady diet of any of them (pardon the culinary pun.) They're all just fun reads to have around when you're in the mood for something delicious, interesting, but not too taxing. Notice I didn't say 'not too fattening' because they're all worth it just for the recipes.
averitasm on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I liked this series so far I have read all that have been published, A nice cozy mystery, with coffee tips and romance a bit. Does get slightly repetitive when you hit the middle of the series but I always learned something new about coffee and recipes in the back. I would recommend for anyone who likes cozy's.
theancientreader on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This is the first offering in what is turning into a very nice little series by author Cleo Coyle. The actual plot of this story has been quite well addressed by a vast number of reviewers here, so I will not linger on that aspect overly long. The setting for this cozy mystery is a historical coffee house in Greenwich Village, NYC. Our heroine has returned after a ten year absence to manage this establishment. She is given part ownership by the owner, a very colorful elderly lady, and more or less free reign. Her apartment is located over the store and is completely free. Since her daughter has left home and moved to New York, she will now be closer to her. There is a catch though. Her benefactress, who is also her ex mother-in-law, has made more or less the same arrangements with her son in an attempt to get the two back together again. Sharing an apartment and a business with an ex philandering husband adds odd wrinkles to the story line. Of course there is a slight case of murder thrown in along with a handsome police detective and a cast of rather colorful and interesting characters.I suppose the big appeal for me with this series is that they are extremely relaxing to read. Also there is the coffee angle, which is the theme tying this story and the next novels together. I happen to be a coffee lover extreme! Having been drinking the stuff for over 50 years now, I thought I knew a bit about the subject. Not so! I have to admit that for page after page I found all kinds of different little gems concerning my favorite drink. Coffee beans, blends, techniques for making the stuff, techniques for serving, history and the list goes on. This book is like a mini-course for coffee lovers and coffee makers. I was absolutely amazed at what I did not know. Least the reader be skeptical, I did actually check on quite a number of facts and statements the author has made in this book and have yet to catch her in error. That is nice.This story is well written, logical and fun. As with most good works in this genre, the author has developed key characters quite well, but has (thank goodness) not lingered on minor characters and has used them as furniture and décor to keep the story moving. And the story does move. Ms. Coyle is obviously a natural story teller and her writing shows. Please don¿t get me wrong; we are not talking Jane Austin or William Shakespeare here. That is not the intent of this book. This is one of those works that is supposed to entertain and do so without a great amount of effort of the reader¿s part. This is good. This is what I look for in a good cozy mystery. To my way of thinking, the author has done her job and done it well. There were aspects of the book which I at first found annoying. Some of the character flaws the author has given her people sort of grate. The ex-husband certainly has a strong sleazy aspect, i.e. he is and was a chronic ladies man and quite unfaithful to his wife. The main character is a bit too forgiving as to her ex-husbands womanizing, the only daughter strikes me as sort of a mindless little thing and all the cat seems to be able to do is yowl and eat. On the other hand, when you think about it, who of us is perfect and without fault? I suppose the author was quite justified in not making her characters perfect. I certainly know I have a few flaws which can be extensively examined by talking to my wife. (Womanizing is not one of them by the way as attested to by the fact that I am one, still alive and two, still married.)This is a nice read and a fast read and it was absolutely enjoyable. I will certainly be reading the other books in the series and when I catch up, am sure I will be anxiously awaiting the next offering.
cyderry on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
ON WHAT GROUNDS by Cleo Coyle This book is the first in the coffeehouse mystery series. The characters are setup well with their interaction and motivations well-defined. At the same time the murder and subsequent investigation are cleverly interwoven with the coffeehouse daily routine.The author has also interjected numerous coffee techniques and tidbits of coffee history. However, I do feel that the character's motivations need to be a little more individualized - less of the standard "I'll force them to work and live together to get them back together" type thing. In future books I hope that the "love triangle" is a little better defined instead of just a vague feeling.Overall, I enjoyed the book, but I wouldn't say that it was great. I look forward to seeing improvements in the future and possibly might even try some "good" coffee.