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Grounds for Murder (Maggy Thorsen Mystery #2)
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Grounds for Murder (Maggy Thorsen Mystery #2)

3.67  ·  Rating Details ·  371 Ratings  ·  53 Reviews
A sharp and amusing mystery from a talented writer - Set in Milwaukee at a scaldingly competitive trade show for the coffee industry, events reach a head when coffeehouse-owner Maggy Thorsen discovers a body under a table at the conference centre. As the reluctant conference coordinator and a potential suspect Maggy must track down the murderer, save her coffeehouse and ho ...more
Hardcover, Large Print, 318 pages
Published January 1st 2009 by Severn House Publishers (first published December 1st 2007)
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(showing 1-30)
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A second laugh-out-loud funny book in this series, Grounds for Murder was an engrossing book. My only complaint is the use of a flashback the author used. Though she did a good job writing it, I can't stand knowing something with the characters clueless. Besides that, however, this was a good book that had me laughing.
Ivonne Rovira
Dec 29, 2013 Ivonne Rovira rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This marks the second Sandra Balzo that I’ve devoured. Both mystery novels have been delectable light cozies that are perfect when you really need to escape.

Maggy Thorsen, the not-so-gay divorcée and co-owner of the coffee shop Uncommon Grounds, returns in Grounds for Murder. She and her new best pal Sarah Kingston work together on a convention for specialty coffee shop owners, which is called Java Ho. Naturally, the pair literally stumble onto a dead body, that of the loathsome Marvin LaRoach.
Feb 24, 2009 Alissa rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mysteries, 2008
This is the sequel to “Uncommon Grounds” which was published a few years ago to much critical acclaim. This book was ok, but I think suffers from a sophomore slump.

Maggy Thorsen, is the divorced owner of the coffeehouse “Uncommon Grounds.” It’s time for the annual “Java Ho” a coffee trade show and Maggy gets roped in to running the barista competition. The book opens with Maggy discovering a dead body of the conference coordinator and then flashes back for the next 100 pages to catch the reader
Jul 15, 2008 Patricia rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This series is becoming one of my favorite series. I like Maggy, Sarah, and the Sheriff. Those three characters seem like ones that will be the main characters of the series.

I'm looking forward to reading the next one in the series.

Jan 27, 2012 Marie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
In Grounds for Murder, Maggy Thorsen has reluctantly agreed to manage the barista competition at Java Ho, a speciality coffee convention. There's tons of competition going on behind the scenes too, but when Maggie finds a body underneath one of the tables, things get even uglier. She soon finds out that nearly everyone had a beef or argument with the victim, including herself. To clear her name, she talks to all those involved to see if she can smoke out the culprit.

I really liked this cozy mys
Nov 24, 2009 Spuddie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
#2 Maggy Thorsen mystery. Maggy is co-owner of Uncommon Grounds, a coffee shop in Brookhills, a suburb of Milwaukee, Wisconsin. She and her business partner Caron are struggling to keep things going, what with the death of their other partner in the last book, and trying to stay ahead of the chain coffee stores springing up. Maggy, planning to attend Java Ho, a coffee convention being held locally, agrees reluctantly to host the Barista Competition, hoping for some good publicity for Uncommon Gr ...more
Jul 18, 2010 Nancy rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Grounds for Murder definitely hits the ground running, unfortunately it begins on a manic pace and by mid book, with it's snippy comments from the main character, the reader feels overwhelmed by what is being thrown at them with no real feel for the end goal of proving who killed LaRoche and why. This book came across more along the vein of throw it on the wall to sees what sticks, then the usual slow meandering pace that most cozies take.

Maggy Thorsen is coordinating the annual JaveHo coffeehou
Apr 07, 2013 John rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I had read the first book in the series, recalling that I hadn't been all that wild about it. Still, this one was showing at a steeply discounted price, so ... why not pick it up? Answer: weak plot, unlikeable characters, and creepy overtones to both. In order to get into the book, one has to find the world of coffee interesting; if not, there's a lot of coffee-related detail to slog through. We start with a sort of prologue of finding the corpse at the Java Ho! convention, and are promptly yank ...more
Sep 29, 2012 Natalie rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This wasn't a BAD book. I actually enjoyed the plot and the overall mystery. But the book is sort of crass. It starts with the phrase "Slut in a cup" (referring to a trophy that ended up looking more like a bare-breasted woman than someone making coffee). That really set the tone for the whole book. I think maybe it's just geared towards a different demographic - like the single kind. Not only that, but she makes a whole lot of fun of someone who's cloth diapering her child, which I did with bot ...more
Oct 24, 2011 Kristina rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Can also be read here:

My Thoughts: This series is quickly becoming one of my favorites. Maggy seems to be getting stronger as the series moves forward. The only problem I had with the book was the way it started. We start with the dead body and then spend the first half of the book getting back to that point. I would have preferred if we had just started at the beginning.
The characters of Brookhill were entertaining as usual. Sophie and Henry and the Red
Maggy runs a coffee shop with her friend. She is asked to oversee a barista competition at a specialty coffee convention being held in her hometown. One of the judges, a man who owns a chain of coffee shops in town turns up dead under a table to be used for the competition; Maggy investigates. OK story and some OK characters – these may be good as part of an ongoing series. Maggy’s friends (Susan, her business partner Caron) are very unlikable (they are mean) and Maggy herself seems somewhat inc ...more
Crystal Chm
I really didn't care for the 1st book in the series, Uncommon Grounds. Too slow in moving. The second book, however, I truly enjoyed which is why I may have overrated this one just because I was surprised I liked it after the 1st. Tons of humor can be found here and the plot was good as well. Sometimes I find the plot to be lacking if the characters are really good in cozies, or vice versa. With Grounds for Murder, the author manages to pull off both a good storyline and engaging characters with ...more
Jami Zehr
Sep 26, 2011 Jami Zehr rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I actually enjoyed this book immensely. While I agree that there are character flaws, questionable plot line tie-ins, and the pacing could have been better, I thought it was far funnier than Uncommon Grounds. This book actually had me chuckling out loud to an empty living room, as Maggy’s wit was in fine form. I enjoyed reading about a coffee convention, I liked the slow evolution of Maggy’s relationship to the sheriff, and I was more than amused by the antics of Maggy’s side-kick Sarah. Some of ...more
Coffee cozy

Book two of the Maggy Thorsen series featuring the coffee shop co-owner and her sheriff boyfriend. It has the usual ingredients: a murder, an independent woman as a reluctant sleuth, a handsome love interest with legitimate investigative skills and resources, a quirky friend as "sidekick", an annoying female acquaintance-cum-irritant with circumstantial benefits, and a pet who provides occasional comic scenes. A bit of mystery, a bit of heat, and a bit of ambivalent exasperation with
Apr 22, 2015 Anastasia rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Grounds for Murder by Sandra Balzo is the 2nd book in the Maggie Thorsen mystery series. Coffee shop owner Maggie is asked to assist in putting on a barista competition and exhibition, Java Ho. A competitors coffee house is burned down and the supervising judge of the competition Marvin La Roach is found dead by Maggie who then investigates.A quick and entertaining read, spoilt a little by the complicated solution. I enjoyed getting to know the characters and look forward to catching up with the ...more
Aug 13, 2010 Bonnie rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
A entertaining, easily read, who done-it.

I didn't begin with the first in the series but didn't have any trouble picking up the characters mid-storyline, if there is a continuation within the character development.

I recommend it highly for anyone who has a beach day, a rainy-curl-up-with-the-cat-on-the-couch day or a waiting-at-the-gate airport day coming up and wants to leave the half read dog eared copy of War and Peace at home.
Shirley Worley
Grounds for Murder is a quick-to-read cozy mystery. The main characters from the first book are in usual form and a few new ones are introduced by means of a coffee convention, where the murder takes place. Compared to others mysteries, the plot is a bit low-key and fortunately the book isn't overwhelmed with detailed instructions on coffee making. The romance brewing between Maggy and Detective Pavlik seems a bit slow, almost boring. But all in all, a delightful read.
Dec 13, 2010 Vickie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nook
Funny, good mystery with coffee background. What's not to love? This time around, Maggy has been wrangled into organizing the annual coffee conference and trying to deal with the overbearing owner of the HotWired coffeehouse chain just adds to the chaos. And then there's the murder....
I do love this series and so glad I have a Nook so I can get instant gratification when I upload each book in the series. Don't have to wait for the mail or a trip to the bookshop to get my coffee/Maggy fix.
Jan 21, 2014 ChrisGA rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: z-read-2014
I enjoyed this second in the coffeehouse cozy mystery series, but was at a loss to figure out who were the good guys and who weren't . Lots of issues referred to briefly, lots of suspects, some really surprising secrets and an intriguing mystery. Maggy is growing on me. Sandra is still a little too Sandra for me.
❂ Jennifer
Jan 04, 2011 ❂ Jennifer rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: cozy-mystery
I am really enjoying this series so far. I like the story lines and the characters are very well written and vivid. This book was excellent, in my opinion and I'm really looking forward to reading the next one in the series.
Linda Smatzny
This is the second book in the Maggy Thorsen Mystery series. This time Maggy gets involved with murder when she finds the body and handles the murder weapon. The story takes place at a convention of coffee house owners and vendors. This series has humor along with the mystery. Easy fast read.
Jeannie and Louis Rigod
This was a fun and quick mystery to read. I really enjoyed the humor and the plot. The characters were interesting and kept me invested in the novel. The twist at the end was unexpected but thoughtful.

Will read the next in the series, once it is found in the TBR pile.
Jun 18, 2012 Peggy rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Another light mystery read about a coffee convention in Milwaukee! Kept me reading and finished it quickly. Fun to read a story that takes place in your own town! Looking for a summer read. These fit the bill!
Wendy Dingwall
Nov 09, 2012 Wendy Dingwall rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
Entertaining cozy mystery. Maggy Thorsen's a witty protagonist and persistent sleuth, especially when it involves her coffee house and coworkers. The coffee conference made for an interesting setting with lots of complex suspects to keep me guessing up until the very end.
Kay (Brigidsmomma) Compton
I loved it! I accidently read book 3 before book 2, but with this series, this wasn't such a big deal. Loved the plot and the storyline and the characters were really well done. A good read, and I am looking forward to more of these to read!
Jun 06, 2014 Jackie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Another great Balzo book with twists and turns offering multiple possibilities on whom the murderer might be. Always a complex reasoning for the murder. She is an interesting author and she makes you want to continue to read her books to follow the Maggie/Pavlik romance.
This was okay. It did seem a bit rushed, and the plot and characterization could have been expanded. I did like the first person narrative and Maggy's thought process. She seemed a bit too preoccupied with her love interest.
Aug 07, 2009 Cathy rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
the plot was good, and anything centered around coffee gets my vote, but mygoodness- what a protagonist! Bitter, sharply sarcastic- I couldn't stand her. Who would frequent her shop????
Dec 31, 2012 Karen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Cute fun read.
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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 (9 books)
  • Uncommon Grounds (Maggy Thorsen Mystery #1)
  • 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)
  • To the Last Drop: A Coffee House Cozy Mystery

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