On What Grounds
by Cleo Coyle
Get it at Amazon
In the first of the Coffeehouse Mysteries, a cozy series set in the fictional Village Blend coffeehouse in Greenwich Village, we met Claire Cosi, divorced writer, coffee addict, mother of a daughter going off to college, and ex-daughter-in-law of the woman who owns the coffeehouse, whom we come to know simply as “Madame.”
Madame, it seems, is dissatisfied with the most recent manager of the coffeehouse, and she has dangled in front of Claire a carrot that cannot be refused: live in the furnished luxury townhouse above the cafe, and resume the management position she left after divorcing her daughter’s father, Matteo, while earning shares of the company.
Claire agrees, and is reflecting upon all of this as she drives into the coffeehouse one morning. Upon arrival, she finds one of her employees lying near death on the floor, and – convinced it was not an accident – becomes an amateur sleuth in order to find the truth. Along the way, she strikes up a friendship with police detective Mike Quinn, and drags Matteo (who has been offered a similar arrangement, but without the management duties) into her investigation.
The plot is fast-paced, the characters representative of the regulars you’d find in any urban coffee bar, and there is enough espresso lore woven through the pages to make anyone crave a venti skinny vanilla latte while reading. To cap it off, author Coyle has included recipes at the back of the book.
This is the first in the series.
Other titles I’ve read in this series include:
Through the Grinder
Murder Most Frothy
Goes well with: A classic cappuccino and a biscotti or two.