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

3.75 of 5 stars 3.75  ·  rating details  ·  7,341 ratings  ·  709 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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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).
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
Heather G
Mar 14, 2008 Heather G rated it 1 of 5 stars  ·  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!
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
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
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 30, 2013 Ian rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  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.
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
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
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
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
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....
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
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
A cute, light-weight murder mystery. Clare Cosi is newly back to work at the Village Blend Coffee House as co-owner with her ex-husband, Matteo. Matteo's mother is trying to get Clare and Matteo back together.
But tragedy comes about soon, when a young barista is found dead at the foot of the back stairs in the coffee house. Fallen or pushed?
Clare helps to solve the mystery with Police Detective Quinn and an attraction develops between them.
This is the first in the Coffee House Mystery series. I
This was fun! I enjoyed all the coffee information...the setting is a prestigious coffee house in Greenwich Village and the narrator a skilled barista, manager, and part owner. The attempted murder of an employee sets up the mystery which Clare must solve to save her business, and this is nicely developed. Other characters include her hunky bad-boy ex-husband who's a coffee buyer, a handsome cop, her ex-mother-in-law (who is the main owner of the coffee house and who is determined to get Clare a ...more
Kym Collar
Setting: NY, NY present day
Genre: Mystery
Clare Cosi is a 39 year old New Jersey divorcee who has been lured back to manage The Village Grind, a coffee house in Greenwich Village. The day she moves into the apartment above the shop, she finds Annabel, the assistant manager, unconscious at the bottom of the basement steps. It is ruled an accident, but Clare believes otherwise. With the encouragement of the detective who was originally assigned to the case, Clare and her ex-husband Matt investigate
Dec 28, 2008 Jennifer rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Coffee drinking mystery lovers who like a little romance on the side
Shelves: 2005, cleo-coyle, mystery
The first in the Coffeehouse Mystery series.

Clare Cosi left her bad marriage 10 years ago and settled into suburbia (Jersey) to raise her daughter Joy. Now that Joy is in college Clare finds herself a little bored. Enter Madam - her former mother-in-law and owner of the historic Village Blend coffeehouse in New York's Greenwich Village where Clare used to manage. Madam offers Clare her job as manager again and throws in the apartment above the shop as well. Clare accepts and loads up her house a
This cozy was just okay for me... There was too much implausibility in it. The coffee shop is set in a prestigious area of NY and the owner is an extremely wealthy woman, "Madame Allegro," and she is also the main character's ex-mother-in-law. Madame is trying to convince Clare to return to her former job as manager of the coffee shop. Although the coffee shop has an interesting history and was supposedly frequented by members of the Bloomsbury group, the descriptions of the coffee shop as in it ...more
When coffee shop employee Annabelle falls down a flight of stairs at work one night and becomes comatose, the police think that it was probably an accident. But shop manager Clare thinks that Annabelle was pushed and begins looking for suspects. Annabelle knew quite a few people who would gain from her death- jealous rivals and a wealthy boyfriend who may not want a poor girlfriend anymore.

I expected this to be a fluff mystery, but though the crime takes place on the first pages, it doesn't beco
Eileen Everly
I was looking forward to this as a breezy beach read, with little character development, just a fun story. So many genre mysteries ("haunted bookshop mystery", "a knitting store mystery", etc) have such two-dimensional characters; no one ever has any conflict but the murderer and victim, etc. But I was pleasantly surprised when this mystery had body and teeth. The setting is right up my alley; I've been known to sit for hours at a coffeehouse, and worked at one like this while I was in med schoo ...more
Kathy Davie
First in the Coffeehouse Mystery series set inside an historic coffeehouse in Greenwich Village in New York City.

My Take
Clare is obsessed with telling us all about coffee. Now, I don't like drinking coffee unless I've added so much milk, sugar, and/or flavorings that there is not much coffee left, but I do adore the smell of it! And the history and culture behind it is fascinating.

What I did not enjoy was Clare's clumsy detecting nor Coyle's clumsy writing; she's got more finesse in writing th
That was not particularly great. It's written in that style where everything is modified in a flowery fashion. That girl didn't walk across the room, her "lithe dancer's frame sashayed daintily across the smooth expanse of floor in the quaint cafe." Hmm.

And yes, the main character manages a coffee shop, but you don't need to devote large chunks of storyline to how to make a perfect espresso (hint: the liquid is supposed to OOZE out of the grounds like honey - this is mentioned at least twice) or
I didn't like the beginning of this book...I just didn't think being told "exactly" how to make an expresso or any other coffee type of drink was necessary. It was boring. However, the second half of the book was a little more interesting. I have a few others in this series, don't know how soon I will read another one.
Apr 29, 2012 Andrea rated it 2 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: people who love coffee and mysteries
Shelves: crime-mystery, 2012
This book kept showing up in my recommendations. I hesitated to give it a chance because of the bad-pun title (and the other titles in the series). I liked the basic story, but my goodness does it take a lot to get the actual story out of it. The book was so descriptive, full of analogies, and 1/3 coffee how-to manual. While all the information about coffee and how to correctly grind the beans, the machines to use, and the process for making the perfect cup was interesting, I'm not a coffee drin ...more
The only reason I gave this a 4 instead of a 5 was because two of the opening chapters should have been reworked a bit so that we get a description of the protagonist's life and view points before she's at the crime scene and talking to the police. It interrupted the flow and made me wonder if I'd gotten a messed up version of the book. However, the rest was golden, in my opinion. I love the way Clare relates everything to coffee. While it's not coffee for me, there are things in my life that I ...more
Delaney Diamond
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
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Cleo Coyle is the pseudonym for Alice Alfonsi, writing in collaboration with her husband, Marc Cerasini. Under the name Cleo Coyle, they've written 14 Coffeehouse Mystery titles, including the latest, ONCE UPON A GRIND, which was honored with a "Top Pick" by RT Book Reviews; a "Fresh Pick" by Fresh Fiction; a Best of the Year reviewers choice by KRL; and chosen as a featured selection of the Myste ...more
More about Cleo Coyle...

Other Books in the Series

Coffeehouse Mystery (1 - 10 of 15 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)
Through the Grinder (Coffeehouse Mystery, #2) Latte Trouble (Coffeehouse Mystery, #3) Decaffeinated Corpse (Coffeehouse Mystery, #5) Murder Most Frothy (Coffeehouse Mystery, #4) French Pressed (Coffeehouse Mystery, #6)

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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.
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