On What Grounds (Coffeehouse Mystery Series #1)

On What Grounds (Coffeehouse Mystery Series #1)

by Cleo Coyle

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780425192139
Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date: 08/19/2003
Series: Coffeehouse Mystery Series , #1
Pages: 288
Sales rank: 156,249
Product dimensions: 6.82(w) x 4.22(h) x 0.78(d)
Age Range: 18 Years

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.

Table of Contents

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On What Grounds (Coffeehouse Mystery Series #1) 3.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 112 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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
scovel More than 1 year ago
This is a murder mystery that takes place in a coffee house in New York. Clare is the old/new manager of the coffee shop when she finds one of her employees dead. She is determined to find out what happened to her. I found the plot slow and the story dull. It was missing everything I like in a mystery and the coffee recipes were - well just okay. I wouldn't go out of my way to read any more in this series.
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.
Faeschild More than 1 year ago
I really hoped for the best with this series. I like the other series (Haunted Bookshop) and wish she would go back to it. This series had potential but it drifted too far into the dissertation on the correct procedures to roast, grind and brew coffee. The mysteries are lost. I read the first one and thought...ok, not bad...a little to heavy with the description of the perfect espresso...maybe the next book will be better. Unfortunately, I was wrong, again too much time on coffee and not enough time on the actual mystery. I actually read the first two books and part of the third. I did the classic skip to the end to find out whodunnit and went...huh??? I had to go back and find out who the murderer and the supposed murderer were...they are not introduced until way into the last third of the book because again she spent far too long describing the perfect espresso.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I won't be reading the next book. It took 178 pages to actually get started with the story! I'm a tea drinker anyway :)
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.
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.
john19713 More than 1 year ago
This one was a bit of a disappointment (in a way). The plot was good and kept me interested (most of the time), but Ms. Coyle tended to ramble from time to time. At times it felt like more of a fashion statement (name dropping, price dropping, etc.) that detracted from my interest of the book. I liked the characters, and they were well developed (mostly), but some of the interactions were too predictable (in my opinion) in how they played out. It was also noticeable (very early in the book) that Ms. Coyle has an overused tendency to add many (way too many!) parenthetical thoughts (as I've been doing here). They become distracting after a few chapters (even annoying at times) and seemed like more rambling thoughts instead of developing the mystery further. As to 'who done it?', I was totally surprised but not shocked (or dismayed, disgruntled, whatever). The book was entertaining enough so that I will probably read the next in the series (I got a B&N gift card for Christmas LOL!). I just hope (before I buy the next book) that Ms. Coyle got over her overused need for parenthetical expressions!
Badkitty70 More than 1 year ago
After 10 years, Clare Cosi is back managing the historic Village Blend coffeehouse after some prodding from the owner, who also happens to be her former mother in law. Thrilled to be back at work, she dives right in and everything seems to be going pretty well. Then one day the store isn’t opened by her assistant like it’s supposed to. Thinking that the girl bailed on her job, Clare opens the coffeehouse only to discover her assistant is there….but she’s unconscious and her fate remains uncertain. With no signs of forced entry, the police write off the incident as an accident but Clare’s gut tells her different and she plans to prove it. “Decaf. A shudder ran through me as I glanced up and saw the wane, pale, overanxious face of the man ordering the decaf. Okay, I’m sorry, but decaf drinkers annoy me. Expectant mothers I can understand, but lifelong decaf drinkers give me the creeps. They’re usually the sort who have a half dozen imagined allergies, eat macrobiotic patties, and pop Rolaids like M&Ms……” This partial excerpt is just one of the many problems with this book. Our protagonist, the ever pompous Clare Cosi, is by far the most annoying character I have ever encountered in a book….and that’s really saying something. She’s a total raging coffee snob (and no, not just towards those that dabble in the decaf once in awhile) as well as a doormat when it comes to her ex and his mother. Although the vast knowledge about coffee is impressive, it was completely unnecessary, not to mention ridiculous, to add so much to the story. Look, I love coffee, that’s why this book intrigued me, but there was a murder and this woman is rambling about how to make the best Greek coffee even though *gasp* she’s not Greek! Like that matters somehow. I’m not Irish, but I can make a bomb Irish stew….just saying. Anyway, there was so much information about coffee that there really wasn’t a mystery. The story was mostly about coffee facts and how to make the best coffee. The mystery, what little I actually remember of it, took second stage. Add a vomit inducing ex-husband that for reasons unknown, she’s still attracted to, and a mother in law who strongly oversteps her boundaries and this book was a total dud. I’m not even going to get into the writing style or any of that because honestly, I just hated this book. The only reason it even gets one star is because I liked the cover.
SleepDreamWrite More than 1 year ago
I'll admit the first half it was okay so that's 3 stars but then the more I read the more I was kind of liking this. And by the end of it I was thinking, I am curious as to where the characters go next and wanting to read more from this series. Also not a coffee person but a cozy set in a coffeehouse does sound interesting.
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