Monday, September 20, 2010

Review: On What Grounds by Cleo Coyle

Title: On What Grounds 
Author: Cleo Coyle 
Genre: Mystery 
Series: Coffeehouse Mystery #1

I felt like this book should have come with a warning: be sure to have a pot of coffee ready with the ingredients to make gourmet coffee handy before opening one page of this book! I made the mistake of starting this book before bed, and I have never wanted a cup of coffee so badly before. When I read book two, it will be read in a coffee shop. (or I'll have all the ingredients to make my own gourmet coffee.)

With her daughter in Culinary school, and her house suddenly empty, 39 year old divorced Carolyn Cosi decides to take her ex mother in laws offer up to once again become the manager of the Village Blend coffee shop. She can hardly say no to the offer, especially since it means she'll be closer to her daughter, and the job comes with a free apartment above the shop.  When Carolyn goes into work one morning, she's surprised to find it closed and her assistant manager is found barely breathing in the back room. Carolyn or C.C. as she's known to her friends, calls the police, and the cute Detective declares it an accident, not an attempted murder. C.C. isn't so sure, so she sets out to find out who could have a grudge against her most trusted employee.

Normally mysteries annoy me with their attention to every little detail in what ever shop the amateur sleuth does, but in this one I really enjoyed learning more about the coffee business and learning new coffee recipes.  I liked the fact that the reader didn't find out who was behind what happened until the very end of the book. There is nothing worse then waiting for the main character to finally get a clue as to what's going on! 

I just had one, teeny tiny problem with this book that almost kept me from liking it. I am almost the same age as the heroine and had a hard time relating to the heroine. A majority of it had to do with the age of her daughter. How could she have a daughter in Culinary School when she didn't get married until she was around the age of 23? Her age when she married was repeated a lot, as was the age of her daughter. I don't know why that bothered me or if I even have my math right. It's just one of those things that started bothering me and I couldn't let it go. Despite this one little thing, I find myself wanting to read the next book in the series.  Thanks to those on twitter who recommended I give this book a try! 

A couple of coffee recipes from the book: 

Screaming Orgasm: 
One half ounce Kahlua, one half ounce amaretto, one half ounce vodka. Add 1 cup chilled heavy cream..  Shake in a container with chipped ice.

Cafe Cannella
Place a very slim slice of orange at the bottom of the cup
Pour hot, steaming coffee over orange
Stir with cinnamon stick which remains in coffee cup to continue flavoring
Add a dollop of sweetened whipped cream & sprinkle cinnamon on top