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On What Grounds

(Coffeehouse Mystery #1)

by
3.70  ·  Rating details ·  13,932 ratings  ·  1,492 reviews
Introducing a delightful new series featuring Clare Cosi, manager of the historic Village Blend coffeehouse...

Clare arrives at work to discover the assistant manager dead in the back of the store, coffee grounds strewn everywhere. Two detectives investigate. But when they find no sign of forced entry or foul play, they deem it an accident. Still, Clare is not convinced. A
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Mass Market Paperback, 275 pages
Published September 1st 2003 by Berkley Books
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Patty I think this refers to a "vertical duplex". The shop is on the first two floors and the apartment is located above the shop. So there is effectively o…moreI think this refers to a "vertical duplex". The shop is on the first two floors and the apartment is located above the shop. So there is effectively only one living area above the shop. The apartment does have its own entrance from the back garden as well as a private staircase from the second floor of the coffee shop. Instead of the two areas being side-by-side, they are one on top of the other.(less)
Jennifer No recipes. Throughout the book are descriptions of different types of coffees and how various espresso drinks are made. However, I wouldn't call it r…moreNo recipes. Throughout the book are descriptions of different types of coffees and how various espresso drinks are made. However, I wouldn't call it recipes like you might see in other books of this type which include baking and recipes(less)

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Average rating 3.70  · 
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 ·  13,932 ratings  ·  1,492 reviews


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Miranda Reads
First off, such a freaking brilliant title.

Second off, I loved the concept. Coffee themed murders? Yes. Count me in.

Third off, I think I liked the title more than the actual book.

Clare Cosi, the manager of the historic Village Blend coffeehouse, is in a bit of a complicated situation.

There's all the normal stuff - she's working under her ex-mother-in-law (whom she adores) but is sharing a duplex with her husband (whom she doesn't adore) due to her ex-mother-in-law's meddling.

And then there's
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Jenny
Jul 12, 2008 rated it really liked it
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). ...more
PamG
Sep 26, 2020 rated it it was ok
ON WHAT GROUNDS by Cleo Coyle is the first book in the Coffeehouse cozy mysteries series and takes place in New York City. Clare Cosi is back to manage the historic Village Blend Coffeehouse once again. Ten years ago, she decided to move out of the city to raise her daughter in the suburbs. This time the owner has enticed her back with the promise of a rent-free apartment above the coffeehouse and partial ownership. When returning to the Village Blend, Cleo finds the assistant manager severely i ...more
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
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Jo Anne B
Aug 24, 2011 rated it it was ok
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
Monica
May 16, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: quick-reads
My first thought upon finishing Cleo Coyle’s on What Grounds is, well, I guess that was OK.

I know more about coffee and high society than I ever cared to learn and have passed the last seven plus hours in a tolerable state.

I'll probably continue the series because curiosity/quarantine-induced boredom but I'm not exactly clamoring for the next installment.

For one thing, I'm not the protagonist's biggest fan and am only slightly more enthusiastic about the supporting characters.

Lies by omissi
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Erin L
Feb 05, 2010 rated it did not like it
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
Heather G
Feb 26, 2008 rated it did not like it
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!
Skyler Autumn
May 09, 2018 rated it it was ok
2 stars

I preferred all the coffee jargon then everything got all murder-y and I got bored.... But it was simple read which is what I needed at the time.

Review to Come.
Heather
Aug 01, 2012 rated it it was ok
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 . . .

Amazon:
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
...more
Jan
Feb 16, 2013 rated it it was ok
AN UNEVEN BOOK. AT TIMES I LIKED IT AND FELT THE STORY WAS INTERESTING, AND AT TIMES I DISLIKED HOW SHE TALKED AT SUCH LENGTH ABOUT THE INTRICACIES OF COFFEE AND THE VARIOUS ASPECTS OF DIFFERENT “TEXTURE/ATMOSPHERE” THINGS IN NEW YORK CITY AND SO ON. A LITTLE WOULD HAVE BEEN NICE, BUT I FELT LIKE A FIFTH OF THE BOOK WAS DEVOTED TO THIS EXCESSIVE DESCRIPTION (LIKE HOW VARIOUS SPECIALTY COFFEES ARE MADE) WHEN SHE SHOULD HAVE BEEN GETTING ON WITH THE STORY. I ALSO REALLY DISLIKED HOW SHE KEEPS TALK ...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
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Susan
Jan 17, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: library
ON WHAT GROUNDS is the first book in the Coffeehouse mystery series. It combines two of my 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. This is my first time read the writing duo, Cleo Coyle but for sure, it won’t be the last. I can’t wait to dig further into this series!! That I waited so long to finally get started, really ...more
Betsy
Apr 29, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: z-2013-oct
On What Grounds was the first book I read from Cleo Coyle. The book was fine, but I really did not relate to the characters. The coffee house sounds delightful though. I will probably not continue with the series. 3 stars
Maureen DeLuca
Jan 06, 2019 rated it liked it
This was a good enough book as far as cozies go. If you are a coffee lover - you can add another star- I learned more about coffee, coffee beans, how to package coffee, where to package coffee, how to drink coffee, how to grind coffee... etc, etc, etc than I would ever have known about -- or care to for that matter. At one point I was ENOUGH with the coffee beans already!!

Having said that - a cute mystery - I read cozies for 'pop corn for my brain' - especially after I read a good thriller or h
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Renee M
Mar 11, 2018 rated it it was ok
The story moved along quickly with interesting details about preparing coffee, dance, and NY society. I’ll have to check but I believe it to be set in the late 70s/80s. At first I just thought it was dated, but since published in 2003 I’m thinking its going for retro and I just missed the dates.

Update: Not retro. Which changes my opinion of the story. Now what seemed humorous, seems awkward and dated. :(
Graculus
Mar 28, 2009 rated it it was ok
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
...more
Veronica
Mar 07, 2019 rated it it was ok
Shelves: cozy-mystery
I read this for a challenge but the experience reminds me of why I don't tend to like the cozy mystery genre very much. In this case, our amateur sleuth, Clare Cosi, launches her own investigation into the death of one of her employees - someone she's known, in an employer/employee capacity, for all of a month - because she just knows that her death couldn't possibly be an accident, because I guess dancing students aren't capable of tripping or slipping like the rest of us. Her method of investi ...more
SheriC (PM)
After a full hour of listening to this audiobook, and we've gotten almost nowhere with the actual mystery. Almost all of this time has been spent on exposition. It has given me zero reason to continue soldiering on.

Audiobook, borrowed from my public library. Rebecca Gibel gives a good performance. DNF at 14%.
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Jennifer Wardrip
May 10, 2008 rated it it was amazing
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
...more
Ian
Apr 27, 2013 rated it really liked it
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.

description

On What Grounds is so much more than just a cosy fireside mystery, it's an education in coffee from beans to espresso.
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Dorie  - Cats&Books :)
This is the second Coffeehouse Mystery that I have listened to and I really enjoy them. When I'm listening to an audiobook I'm usually sewing, sometimes cooking or cleaning. I need something light enough that I can do two things at once but interesting enough that it will keep me involved. These mysteries fit the bill. I'm not even a coffee drinker! But if you are you will definitely love these books as there is much discussion about types of coffee, how differently they can be brewed, etc etc., ...more
El
Feb 21, 2014 rated it did not like it
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
Tari
Mar 26, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2020-print-book
I had to put this down for awhile after not getting it finished in time for a book club discussion, but I'd been wanting to get back to it and see how the Coffeehouse mysteries started--I'd already read the second one for another book club awhile back. I think I enjoyed it more than I remembered enjoying it when I'd only read a few chapters, probably because I didn't feel rushed to read it. I did start back at the beginning not trusting myself to remember anything, lol.

I just love Madame's char
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Jennifer
Sep 05, 2010 rated it really liked it
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
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Han Le flueff
Jan 06, 2015 rated it liked it
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....
...more
BLynne
Apr 30, 2017 rated it liked it
I enjoyed this book and found it to be a good cozy mystery. I enjoyed the lead character Clare but I was a little irritated with a couple of the other characters, Matt and Madame. I think I will try a couple more books from this series.
Karin
Clare Cosi has agreed to a share of her mother-in-law's coffee house and to live in the duplex above it rent free because her mother in law would like her to manage it full time again. Clare does this because she'd like to be closer to her daughter, but as soon as she gets there, she finds her assistant manager sprawled on the basement floor. The police rule it an accident, but Clare is not convinced of that.

This was quite a fun cosy; how many of them have amateur detectives who listen to opera
...more
Jennifer Payne
Short and sweet I love these books!
Juli
Jul 03, 2016 rated it liked it
I am a die-hard cozy mystery fan. A cute theme, an endearing pet of some sort and a sprinkle of murder on top -- love it. The kitcsch-ier the better, as far as I am concerned. Perfect summer reading for me.

I also love coffee. My morning cuppa is my daily treat that gets my day started.

So, when I came across the Coffeehouse Mystery series by Cleo Coyle, I thought it would be a great blend of two of my favorite things.

I wasn't wrong.

However, this first book in the series did point out I am wrong a
...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. With over 1 million books sold, they have gained an enthusiastic following. As Cleo Coyle, they write the long-running Coffeehouse Mysteries as well as the popular Haunted Bo
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Other books in the series

Coffeehouse Mystery (1 - 10 of 19 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.”
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“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.” 3 likes
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