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Uncommon Grounds (Maggy Thorsen Mystery #1)

3.61 of 5 stars 3.61  ·  rating details  ·  586 ratings  ·  102 reviews
Patricia Harper has been killed by an espresso machine hot-wired to electrocute its owner - and in Uncommon Grounds, her very own gourmet coffee store, on opening day. Maggy Thorsen, displaced PR executive turned coffee maven, wants to know who killed her partner and put the future of Uncommon Grounds in jeopardy. Maggy desperately needs the store to succeed, so she joins ...more
Paperback, 245 pages
Published September 2nd 2005 by Five Star Trade (first published 2004)
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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.
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
Feb 06, 2015 Maria rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Maria by: Nancy Roessner
Shelves: murder-mystery
I got this free on Kindle. I really liked this book, about a group of friends who open a coffee shop and on the morning of the grand opening, one of the partners is found dead at her post. What follows is a pretty good whodunit that kept me guessing almost to the end. The story is filled with good character development (although the plethora of names kept me confused most of the time, I chalk that up to my own mental deficiencies!), the humor was not forced and at times chuckle-worthy.

I would ha
Interesting and humorous. Would've given 4* but for foul language throughout, which detracted from main characters', otherwise, comely traits. (no F-bombs) and Christians are, again, the bad guys. TTS-enabled eBook 2004 ...more
#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
First Balzo book I have read, well listened to and it was what I would call a cozy mystery. Not bad for a mystery, keep me interested the entire book and I loved the twist to the plot. Took me a minute to figure it out and when I did I was shocked. Anyway, don't want to give anything away but this is a really quick easy read if you are looking for that.
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'
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
Fun. I've had the worst luck with the cozy mystery, until this and then The Edith Wharton Murders, which was a reread.

So I totally guessed who the murderer was, which was very unusual for me because I rarely bother, but I just knew.

(view spoiler)

Except I really kind of liked the character, who grew on me up until his "and I would have gotten away with it too, if it
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
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
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
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 Uncomm ...more
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
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.
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
originally posted:

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
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
Three friends start a gourmet coffee shop, but before the first week is out, one of them is DEAD! What is going on in this little town. Who will take care of the two children? Is the sheriff in love with Maggy? What does this have to do with a robbery? This is a small book which has the answers.
Brooke Kruhm
Never could guess who done it!

As an ex-barista I love books about coffee! This mystery kept you intrigued til the very end with quite the twists and turns! A great light fun read for any coffee connoisseur!
Toinette Howe
Quick read

Nice who done it. A Surprise ending. I Look forward to reading more "Maggie" stories. Good read for that night at home.
Kimberly Ingram
A great who dunnit.

This book will leave you guessing until the end. Who dunnit? I was surprised by the answer. Great fun read.
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
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
I loved it and am planning to continue reading the series. A good mystery. Fluffy read that was not too long.
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
Brock Snyder
It's pretty good for the type genre it is. I definitely see why people like these. I love coffee.
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!
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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 about Sandra Balzo...

Other Books in the Series

Maggy Thorsen Mystery (8 books)
  • 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)
  • Triple Shot (Maggy Thorsen Mystery #7)
  • Murder on the Orient Espresso (Maggy Thorsen Mystery #8)
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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