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On What Grounds (Coffeehouse Mystery, #1)
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On What Grounds (Coffeehouse Mystery #1)

3.73  ·  Rating Details ·  8,873 Ratings  ·  863 Reviews
Introducing a delightful new series featuring Carolyn Cosi, manager of the historic Village Blend, where coffee and crime are always brewing...
ebook, 288 pages
Published September 1st 2003 by Berkley Books
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(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Jul 12, 2008 Jenny rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I'm sorry but these books are mochas for the mind [yes, I DID write that!] and I LOVE them for the total frothy foam brain-fluff that they are. (OK, seriously. I'm done).
Erin ☕ *Proud Book Hoarder*
"Okay, I'm sorry, but decaf drinkers annoy me."

It's fun in a "cozy mystery" sort of way to read these books dedicated to drinks, foods, or hobbies. I'm a latte girl myself and thought a fun coffee shop series sounded delish enough to try. I can already tell by this first book that I'll be continuing with this long-running series for awhile.

Some mysteries seem focused on themes without teaching the reader much about the subject, but that's certainly not the case here. It almost was too textbooki
Jo Anne B
Disappointed. I thought from the title that this would be a clever, comedic, fun, fast-paced read. Instead it tried too hard, had all the cliches, unlikeable characters, wasn't well-written, and it was insulting. The main character's initials were the same as the author's (despite that being a pen name). In the book, a dance studio owner said that when one of her dancers was nude dancing, she was debasing herself to a lower crowd of people. Hmmm, I think she could have said authors do that too w ...more
Lisa Kay

I really enjoyed this one by a “new-2-me-author.” It was well written, fast-paced, and held my attention through-out. It conveyed the ambiance of a Greenwich Village coffee house. And I learned a few things about coffee. There is the obligatory “love interest” triangle, but it wasn’t over the top and even that had a nice twist. I’ll definitely continue the series.

P.S. It also satisfied several challenges, namely CaroB’s frustrating “double-decker” – since the author’s first and last name start
Aug 01, 2012 Heather rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audio, 2012
Book 1. Pretty sophomoric writing. Way, way, way too much how to make coffee detail and over explaining of main character's feelings. HInts at romance with detective but nothing ... Want to like this series and will try next in series but . . .

Clare Cosi used to manage the historic Village Blend coffeehouse...until she opted for quieter pastures and a more suburban life. But after ten years and a little friendly cajoling from the owner (a fresh pot of Jamaican Blue Mountain was all it too
Heather G
Mar 14, 2008 Heather G rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: No one
I quit reading this after two chapters - I found it completely boring and unexciting. The language used (very dry) and the way too indepth information about brewing coffee did me in. Yuck!
Erin L
Mar 14, 2011 Erin L rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
Yet another book that I wanted to like, but ultimately couldn't. I love cozy mysteries, but I wouldn't consider this a cozy mystery. Sure, there's a mystery buried in there somewhere. But I couldn't get past the coffee info-dump to get to the mystery. And it truly is an info-dump. As Clare is being interviewed about the accident, she's off on a tangent in her head about coffee and storing coffee and preparing coffee and waxing poetic about how she'll convert some coffee drinker to really, really ...more
Feb 16, 2013 Jan rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I like this book and I'm not even a coffee drinker.....

I think if you are a big coffee person, you might even like this more, you do get a lot of information about coffee and how it is made and such.... I like the characters in this book, but I think I enjoyed the mystery more, it really kept me guessing until the very end.... and I really think there were more layers to this mystery than you usually find in a cozy mystery, I will definitely read another book in the series....
Apr 30, 2013 Ian rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: lovers of coffee and cosy fireside mysteries.
Recommended to Ian by: Lisa Kay
For Clare coffee isn't just her profession, it's her life. Lured out of a self imposed exile to manage The Grind, Manhattan's premier café, she arrives one morning to discover the body of her assistant manager. The police are convinced it's an accident but things aren't adding up and Clare (with the help of her ex-husband and an exhausted detective) begins her own investigation.


On What Grounds is so much more than just a cosy fireside mystery, it's an education in coffee from beans to espresso.
Jennifer Wardrip
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
Apr 19, 2009 Paula rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: crime, series
Another bookswap experience, this is the first in a series of books featuring Clare Cosi, who has just come back to New York to run her former mother-in-law's coffee house. I'm always somewhat suspicious of characters-who-appear-too-much-like-their-creators (along with the same initials, etc...).

Naturally, for this is a crime book, her arrival is coincidental with one of the assistants falling down the stairs and seriously injuring herself - given that the victim is a dancer, and therefore shoul
Han Le flueff
Three and a half stars.

Do NOT read this book if you are trying to give up coffee. It will have you running to your nearest barista for a hit!

I felt this was quite a good introductory novel into the life of Claire Cosi and am looking forward to getting to know her better. The actual mystery in this book wasn't particularly exciting, but there were a few interesting suspects and potential motives to keep you guessing. Am curious to see what the next mystery will be at the Village Blend....
Mar 24, 2009 Donna rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery-suspense
Apparently the authors of On What Grounds, a couple using the pseudonym Cleo Coyle, have a lot or arcane knowledge about coffee and set out to write a series of theme-related, recipe-laden cozy mysteries centered around the proprietress of a coffee house. (My Italian friend tells me that the "s" in the main character's name, "Cosi," would be soft, so the word sounds like "cozy.")

Unlike some authors of similar series, "Ms. Coyle" has a credible writing style; the dialog, development, and motivat
Jan 27, 2011 Denise rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Owning, running, managing a self owned business is never easy but things get even more stirred up when a local coffee shop girl ends up at the bottom of the basement steps. The new manger with some involved history in the shop (her ex husbands family owns it) finds herself doing some mystery solving. The police depart while helpful is more set in placing the fall as an accident, but there is more than meets the eye (in more ways than one) to the fallen girl.

A fun fast paced story that made me wa
Apr 02, 2012 Jennifer rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery-cozy
Why read: I love both coffee and cozy mysteries.

What impressed me: A great mystery. A great setting. I loved how coffee was incorporated in the story and more importantly, I loved Claire's relationships with the other characters. Between her ex-mother-in-law and her ex-husband, you really get to see some interesting sides to Claire and sets up for future possibilities.

What disappointed me: This is another cozy mystery series that can't possibly provide realistic involvement of the main character
Aug 06, 2016 Linda rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: challenge
Good start to the series and I look forward to reading more! I like the characters and the pace of the story was good. At times there were almost to many coffee facts but this book was still very enjoyable.
Feb 28, 2014 Ellen rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
If you want to know every single tiny detail about coffee and how to make the perfect cup, this is the book for you. If, however, you want to read a thriller with a tantalising plot, interesting characterisation, gripping red herrings and a mystery for you to try to unravel, look elsewhere. I'm still only half convinced that this book isn't a spoof as, on virtually every page, there was a treatise on coffee. This is meant to be a thriller with a dead body and a need to solve the case but all you ...more
Book Concierge
This is a cozy mystery which takes place in and around a Greenwich Village Coffee Shop. Clare Cosi is convinced to return to managing The Village Blend by the owner, who is also her former mother-in-law. The recently fired manager had stolen an antique (and historically important) plaque from the business, but her new assistant manager is doing a great job. Or she was until the morning Clare finds Anabelle at the bottom of the basement stairs, barely breathing. Did she fall? Or was she pushed? C ...more
Feb 08, 2010 Sheila rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery, cozy
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 cov ...more
Cute book. I'm a coffee lover and chose this series because of the coffeehouse setting, but the coffee talk was a bit much in the first half of the book. For example, listing how to properly store coffee seemed overdone, but I loved how the author wrote the coffee descriptions in the scene where Clare takes over the expresso bar for an overwhelmed Quinn. I felt like the mystery was on the backburner a lot. Once it was at the forefront, the pace picked up nicely. I'm not used to cozy mysteries wi ...more
Jan 27, 2016 Lauren rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
If you can get past the beginning where an extremely privileged white woman waxes poetic about every tiny detail involved with coffee, then you'll find a decently entertaining story that's more human drama set against the backdrop of a mystery than your traditional cozy. However, getting through the beginning is roooooouuuuuugh. I really didn't think I'd finish it, but I kept on and I'd say it was worth it. I'm not sure if I'll continue with the series, though.
May 28, 2016 Margaret rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fluff, mystery
Cute little mystery, a US version of a cozy, I guess. Set in a Greenwich Village coffeehouse. I learned a little about coffee and came across a few interesting recipes. The last 20 pages or so were a little too cute for my taste, but I might pick up others in this series when I need some mindless entertainment.
Delaney Diamond
Nov 23, 2011 Delaney Diamond rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery-thriller
This is my first book by the author, and it won't be my last. Clare Cosi takes over her ex-mother-in-law's famous coffee shop in New York. It's a landmark business with a loyal clientele.

The drama starts when one of Clare's employees is found hurt in the coffee shop. Although the cops think it's an accident, she doesn't. With the help of her Italian husband (who sounds hot, by the way--too bad he's no good), they start sleuthing to get to the bottom of the "accident."

Recipes are included in the
Oct 19, 2015 May rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mysteries
This is the first in the Coffeehouse Mysteries book series. I wish I could give half-stars as ratings because this book definitely deserves a 3.5 star rating.
Clare Cosi is the manager of a niche coffeehouse who finds her assistant manager at the bottom of the staircase. She is convinced her assistant manager was pushed, but there's no real evidence of foul play. Along the way to solving the mystery, you meet her charming and philandering ex-husband, the owner of the coffeehouse (who happens to
Mar 02, 2016 Karen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Book 1, coffeehouse mystery series. Ten years ago, Clare Cosi left an unhappy marriage along with a job she loved: managing the historic Village Blend coffeehouse in New York's Greenwich Village. For a decade, she was happy raising her daughter in the quiet suburbs of New Jersey; but now that Joy is grown and gone, life has gotten way too quiet for Clare. With a little cajoling from Madame, the Blend's flamboyant, elderly owner, Clare agrees to return to her old job, and right from the start she ...more
Moriah Venable
This is me writing this review for a second time because I accidentally erased it. It's not as good as my first one, but I hope everyone enjoys it anyway.

Published in 2003, 'On What Grounds' is the first book in the Coffeehouse mystery series. Clare Cosi is a 39 year old single mother who returns to Ne York to manage the Village Blend, a coffeehouse she formerly use to work at before leaving for New Jersey ten years prior after divorcing her husband. Arriving at work one morning, she notices the
Clare O'Beara
I sort of liked this book but never really got into it; seemed to me the author did not really get into it. Cleo Coyle (a pseudonym) writes each chapter with an obligatory lecture on coffee blends or brewing even when the protagonist, a coffee shop owner, is supposed to be in shock from discovering a dead body. She also ends a chapter midway through a conversation and the next chapter picks up the next line. Why? Word count per chapter? If this was a scene in a stage play the curtain would not f ...more
I really debated over rating for this one. On the plus side - LOVE the coffee descriptions and I really liked the characters here. On the down side, this book used one of the most annoying writing devices known to man. I rarely use the "highlight" function on my Kindle but I did in this book specifically so I could quote in this review. In Chapter 17 we had "What Dr. Foo said about Anabelle's condition shocked me, but didn't change my plans". What's wrong with this sentence? Nothing grammaticall ...more
mitchell k dwyer
The Village Blend is a Greenwich Village institution, a one-hundred-year-old coffee shop that prides itself on the superb quality of its product, but it has seen better times. Clare Cosi, who was once married to the owner’s son, returns to the shop she managed in her younger days in order to right the ship. A few weeks into the recovery, however, one of Clare’s baristas is found unconscious at the bottom of a flight of the café’s stairs. With no evidence of foul play, the police department rules ...more
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Cleo Coyle is the New York Times bestselling pseudonym for Alice Alfonsi, writing in collaboration with her husband, Marc Cerasini. Under the name Cleo Coyle, they've written 15 Coffeehouse Mystery titles, including the latest, DEAD TO THE LAST DROP, which was chosen as a Baker & Taylor Fall "Trends" Pick, a "Most Wanted" selection of the Mystery Guild, and honored with four Best of Year list ...more
More about Cleo Coyle...

Other Books in the Series

Coffeehouse Mystery (1 - 10 of 16 books)
  • Through the Grinder (Coffeehouse Mystery, #2)
  • Latte Trouble (Coffeehouse Mystery, #3)
  • Murder Most Frothy (Coffeehouse Mystery, #4)
  • Decaffeinated Corpse (Coffeehouse Mystery, #5)
  • French Pressed (Coffeehouse Mystery, #6)
  • Espresso Shot (Coffeehouse Mystery, #7)
  • Holiday Grind (Coffeehouse Mystery, #8)
  • Roast Mortem (Coffeehouse Mystery, #9)
  • Murder by Mocha (Coffeehouse Mystery, #10)
  • A Brew to a Kill (Coffeehouse Mystery, #11)

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“The perfectly measured burr of a dispassionate detective had suddenly changed into the explosive boom of a take-no-shit street cop.
Suffice it to say, I froze.”
“Coffee makes a sad man cheerful, a languorous man active, a cold man warm, a warm man glowing. It awakens mental powers thought to be dead, and when left in a sick room, it fills the room with a fragrance…. The very smell of coffee terrorizes death.” 1 likes
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