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Uncommon Grounds (Maggy Thorsen Mystery #1)
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Uncommon Grounds (Maggy Thorsen Mystery #1)

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3.6 of 5 stars 3.60  ·  rating details  ·  465 ratings  ·  84 reviews
Maggy Thorsen, displaced PR executive turned desperate coffee maven, sets out to discover who killed one of her partners before their new business can go, quite literally, down the drain. As if that weren’t challenge enough, she has to do it while keeping the town’s tennis moms and senior citizens from ripping each other to shreds, and her third partner — the one who’s sti ...more
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Published 2011 (first published 2004)
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Stephanie
This review originally appeared at www.readinasinglesitting.com

Okay, let’s start off this review by mentioning that I start off my day with a double espresso, believe that stove-top coffee is the closest I’ll get to heaven in this lifetime, and it’s my firmly held opinion that adding syrup, milk, or any type of sweetener to a caffeinated beverage is complete anathema.

And though I have designs on moving to the US one day, the idea of filter coffee or, gasp, microwaved coffee utterly terrifies me.
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Ivonne Rovira
Jan 12, 2014 Ivonne Rovira rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Ivonne by: the website StopYou'reKillingMe
Maggy Thorsen spells her name unusually. But that's not the only unusual thing about her. Although a bit bitter about her impending divorce, she doesn’t let that cloud her judgment — or her curiosity and sense of fair play — and sense of humor. How could you not love a woman who calls the choice between two witnesses shocked by a terrible death “[t]the lesser of two feebles”? Ya gotta love her!

Forty-two-year-old Maggy was living the suburban dream in the fictional small town of Brookhills, Wisco
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Spuddie
#1 Maggy Thorsen mystery set in Brookhills, Wisconsin. Maggy and her business partners Caron and Patricia are set to open their new coffee shop, Uncommon Grounds, in a strip mall in suburban Brookhills. Maggy, late on her first day, opens the door only to find Patricia collapsed on the floor, a pitcher of milk spilled around her. At first it appears to be some sort of natural event but it's later determined that the espresso machine was interfered with and that Patricia was deliberately electroc ...more
Deena
In the interest of full disclosure I confess that I was predisposed to like this book. I recently had the good fortune to have Ms. Balzo as a seat mate on a flight from Atlanta to Harrisburg, and after our interesting conversation I made up my mind to try this series.

That being said, it has been a very long time (read as: years) since I enjoyed a series of this nature. I don't know if my taste has changed or if I have made poor sampling choices. So while I really wanted to like the book, I wasn'
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Fanficfan44
Uncommon Grounds is the selection for the Cozy Mystery Corner Group on Goodreads. This is the first in a cozy series based around a coffee shop. Maggy Thompson, partner in a coffee shop venture to the murder victim Patricia Harper, takes her turn as a sleuth to solve Patricia’s death.

I read another coffee shop based mystery, Cleo Coyle’s Coffee House Mystery series and could not help making comparisons between the two. Unfortunately Uncommon Grounds comes out the loser in this comparison. Maggy
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Wendy
Maggie Thornsen is looking forward to opening her coffee shop with her two friends. However, before they even have the chance one of her friends is found dead in the shop. Maggie is suspect because of the location of the murder and how it happened and she has to clear her name so she isn't closed down for good.

Uncommon Grounds is a fun, enjoyable first book in the series. Maggie is a little rough around the edges and one of her closer friends is a very outspoken, chain-smoking realtor. As with m
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Marie
In Uncommon Grounds, Maggie has arrived at her new coffee shop. Today is supposed to be opening day, but when she finds one of her partners dead on the floor, it looks like that's going to be postponed for awhile. The police have lots of suspects, including Maggie herself. However, Maggie is determined to solve the murder so that she was can find out who killed her friend and finally open her coffee shop. Little does she know that she's about to uncover some secrets that involve not only some pr ...more
Reader's Paradise
Latte’s can be lethal!

Welcome to Uncommon Grounds, come on thru sit a spell or just walk by and take a smell. Come on in check out the menu, at Uncommon Grounds we’re new its true but don’t worry because we’ve got something just for you!

On Opening day of Uncommon Grounds, instead of serving up coffee, they were served with Murder! Patricia Harper, one of the trio of owners is DEAD found laying on the floor seemingly electrocuted while making her favorite latte!

How could this happen, the machine
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Pamela
Maggie Thorsen, former PR exec and current partner in Uncommon Grounds, walks into her new coffee shop on opening day only to discover her partner Patricia dead, death by espresso machine. Who could have killed Patricia, and what does this mean for the future of the shop?[return][return]Signs point to their third partner and friend, Caron, as the possible killer but Maggie won� t believe it and sets out to save her friend and their business. During her mission to find the murderer and save Uncom ...more
Ali
Uncommon Ground is the first in a series by Sandra Balzo. The book centers on a newly separated 40-something who with friends is opening a coffee shop in a seemingly conservative, decidedly religious and mostly Republican small town. We never meet the murder victim since she dies before the book begins, so everything we discover about her character is revealed through and judged by others. Along the way, there is another murder and a series of unbelievable coincidences, so much so that the endin ...more
Sheryl
This was a very enjoyable cozy with good characters and a good mystery however avoid the audiobook. The reader sounds way too young, in my opinion, and the quality of the audio is poor. I enjoyed book much more reading it in print. A word of warning for the kindle edition-- the formatting isn't very good. There are strange breaks in paragraphs (like extra returns) and occasionally words run together into one giant word. It's readable, but could definitely be cleaner.
Vickie
I had a heckuva time finding a copy of this book after putting it on the WWBL after reading a review or synopsis somewhere a while back. Finally located a copy, then it sat in one of the drawers of Mt Git'r'Read until I was in cozy mode. Then I whomped my way through it in rapid fashion.
It's set in a foo-foo coffee shop in a small town where the three friends and partners are hoping that foo-foo coffee will catch on like it does in the big city. And then the murder on the very first opening day
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Kristina
originally posted: http://newborrowedused.blogspot.com/2...

My Thoughts: This was a great read and excellent start to this series. I was hooked from page one and was able to finish it fairly quickly (about a day).
Maggy's character is what you would expect from someone who's trying to pick up the pieces after her husband has left her for his dental assistant. She is fun and quirky but also has her insecure moments where she is not sure of anything that is going on around her. I thought the rest o
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Laura
Maybe I’m being a little unfair. It’s not that Uncommon Grounds as a mystery novel is boring, it’s more that Wisconsin is not depicted as a very fun or interesting place.
I will admit that I didn’t figure out who did it until it was revealed at the end of the novel, so it did keep me guessing, which is something novels that I’ve read for this challenge with a more interesting backdrop did not do. So there’s that…which is pretty big for a mystery novel.
Part of the Maggy Thorsen series, this book i
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Victoria Allman
I must say, I read a lot of mysteries and usually have an inkling of who-dun-it or my suspicions al least. With Uncommon Grounds, I had no idea until the last chapter who had killed Patricia Harper on opening day of her coffeeshop. And to an avid reader, that makes this book a winner.

I was thoroughly engrossed in the story of Maggie Thorsten, co-owner of Uncommon Grounds and suspect in the murder, and the town of Brookhills. It is easy to see why this first book in the series was nominated for a
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Philip
A small town murder mystery. And here I thought it was all about a coffee house except a partner is murdered within minutes of starting the book. I liked it and it kept my interest to the end of who the culprit was.
Jami Zehr
I had a fun time reading this book. I thought some of the concerns and problems (cell phones and email addresses for example) were a bit out dated, the militia thing was a little strange, and the coincidences a little too serendipitous. But, I did like the main character, her wit and charm were exceptional. She was never a damsel in distress who needed to be saved by the lead male character, and her dogged TV detective skills were far more realistic in a small town that she lived in than many my ...more
Gail
Maggy Thorsen has started a coffee shop with three women friends. On opening day, she comes into the shop to find both her partners there already. Caron is standing and staring at Patricia's body on the floor. It turns out Patricia was electrocuted by their fancy coffee machine, electrocuted. It turns out to be murder......

Maggy becomes the target of the investigating sherriff's attention, is it romantic or is she a suspect. Driven by the need to clear herself and Caron as well as her own curios
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Nytetyger
This is the start of a new cozy mystery series where the protagonist owns a coffee shop with two friends, one of which is murdered on their opening day. She spends the whole book whining about her ex husband, and how her life USED to be, solves the murder and possibly starts a romance with the cop who had been investigating the murder. It wasn’t a *bad* read, but it could have been better, and the use in the plot of computers really dated the whole thing – having a fully functional adult who has ...more
Rebecca Pate
This was a great mystery. It is not very often that I am surprised by the ending but this one definitely had a twist. I will be checking out some more of her books soon!
Jackie
Great writing with a complex storyline that will keep you guessing till the end. Can't wait to read her second in the series
Susan
For a first in a series mystery it is not bad. I will try her next one, to see where this series is going.
John
I decided to spring for this one (on sale via an Audible promotion) as I liked Karen Savage's narration of a similar book: Getting Sassy. This one I found a bit flat, and the coffee details became irritating after a while. Doubt I would've stuck through a print reading, but Savage is a good fit for the protagonist here, although she needs to slow it down by at least 50% ... it's as though she's trying to get the book to be as few minutes as possible for a goal!
Heidi
It was OK. Will probably try #2. I liked the main character enough.
Susan
I'd give this 3.5 stars if I could. One of the things I liked about the book is that the murder of one of Maggie Thorsen's partners in her new coffee shop takes place on the very first page. Although Maggie and her other partner discover the murder together, Maggie is the one who does all the investigating and her partner plays a very minor role in the plot. I thought the plot moved along pretty steadily and there is some witty dialogue as well as a developing love interest. I've read another bo ...more
Suzanne
Sep 08, 2011 Suzanne rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Suzanne by: Book Crawl - Wisconsin
Shelves: cozy-mysteries
Not a bad mystery. I like Cleo Coyle's coffeehouse series better. In Coyle's mysteries, I feel like I'm living and breathing coffee, and in Balzo's coffee plays a very distant role. I liked the main heroine, Maggy Thorsen, and I was actually surprised about who committed the murder. The setting and secondary characters were okay - not especially memorable.

I can't say I'd never read any more of this series, but right now I'm in the mood to get the next Coyle coffee mystery!
Linda C
On the day Uncommon Grounds coffee shop is to open, one of the 3 partners is discovered by the other 2 dead by espresso machine electrocution. As Maggy Thorsen starts to ask questions she finds that both of her partners have been keeping secrets. When another death occurs she digs deeper. New county sheriff, Jake Pavlik is also investigating and enjoys challenging Maggy. This was a good start to a series and I look forward to seeing Jake and Maggy working together again.
LeeAnne
What a fun start to this "new to me" series. Maggy Thorsen and two friends decide to open a new coffee shop in town but things get complicated when one of those partners is found dead in the shop on opening day. This is a pure beach read but it is written with humor and it's edgy enough with themes of adultery and domestic terrorism to keep it from being just another cozy. I look forward to the next adventure with Maggy. She's a hoot!
Verena
Uncommon Grounds by Sandra Balzo is a good choice for any reader who has wondered what it would be like to own, run, or work in a coffee shop. That reader should also expect a murder mystery that doesn’t have much depth to the characters or nail-biting excitement. It does, however, entertain with a story that takes place in a Wisconsin suburb, has some snappy dialogue, and keeps the reader guessing about the who, why, and how of the crimes.
PWRL
Jan 28, 2014 PWRL marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2014-new
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Sandra Balzo is an award-winning author of crime fiction, including eleven books in two mystery series--one set outside Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and the other in the High Country of North Carolina. MURDER ON THE ORIENT ESPRESSO, the eighth Maggy Thorsen Wisconsin coffeehouse mystery, was released in December, and the series has been optioned for development as a TV series/film.

Balzo's books have gar
...more
More about Sandra Balzo...
Grounds for Murder (Maggy Thorsen Mystery #2) Bean There, Done That (Maggy Thorsen Mystery #3) Brewed, Crude and Tattooed (Maggy Thorsen Mystery #4) From the Grounds Up (Maggy Thorsen Mystery #5) A Cup of Jo (Maggy Thorsen Mystery #6)

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