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 took), she's back to the grind. With a sprawling rent-free apartment directly above the Village Blend, her cat Java by her side, and plenty of coffeehouse redecorating ideas, Clare is thrilled to return to work. Until she discovers the assistant manager unconscious in the back of the store, coffee grounds strewn everywhere. Police arrive on the scene to investigate. But when they find no sign of forced entry or foul play, they deem it an accident. Case closed. But Clare is not convinced. And after the police leave, there are a few things she just can't get out of her mind… Why was the trash bin in the wrong place? If this wasn't an accident, is Clare in danger? And… are all detectives this handsome?
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I enjoyed the story. I learned a lot about coffe and craved it all the time while I listened to this book. I did not like the introduction of the ex husband into the plot. That just felt awkward. But I loved all the rest. Rebecca Gibel did a nice job narrating. She wasn't the greatest at male voices, but I guess that's hard to pull off when you're a woman. I do think it's a mistake narrators typically make. Women try to over-narrate men (by making them sound kind of dumb) and men try to use high pitched voices that make female characters sound like cartoons. It wasn't the worst male-voice impression I've ever heard. In fact, Gibell is one of the better narrators.
Science writer in America's heartland
I started listening to "On What Grounds" with very low expectations. I was interested in exploring fiction in the mystery sub-genre where activities such as crafts or cooking propel the plot. I've read books where knitting is the focus, and jewelry making, and baking, and now this. Sadly, I have found the writing in some of the others to be lacking. In this one, however, the cafe was central to the plot and the descriptions and dialog were rich and authentic. It stands out from the others in this genre, and I plan to read more of the series.
It was ok. The first time I read it I had to put it down because it was boring and I couldn't get into it. The second time I picked it up, it was a little better. The characters and plotline seemed a little more interesting. I really can't say much about the book because there isn't much to say. I won't be buying the rest in the series.
I have listened to almost all of the books available in this series available on Audible. And, let me say, you're really going to love it! First of all, it has the perfect cast of characters: the sweet mother-in-law, the annoying ex-husband, the super loved adult daughter, a hot detective, and a hilarious group of baristas. This mystery contains just the right amount of drama and humor. It's one of those books you can't put down. If there is anything wrong with the book, I would say it's what you always see in this genre. There's definitely point when you want to scream at the main character, Clare Cosi, "Don't go! Don't do it!" But again, I think that's an innate part of the mystery genre. Other than that, I love the main character. She's witty, smart and strong, yet loving and genuine.
The narrator is perfect for this novel and the rest of the series. She does an excellent job with the various voices. She speaks clearly and is able to keep your attention.
Bonus: This is a great book for coffee lovers and foodies. If you like to try out new recipes, Clare Cosi normally describes one or two recipes in enough detail for you to try it out in your kitchen. Also visit Cleo Coyle's webpage for additional recipes.
The mystery part of this was good, very good. The coffee addiction is out of hand. I stopped listening twice because I just couldn't stand another cup of coffee as a metaphor for life. The worship of coffee became a little annoying. The story was worth slogging through all those wet grounds though.
The story has a promise of a good "cozy mystery," but it does not deliver. To me, there were too many annoying moments, unexciting and repetitive coffee factoids, and self-righteous characters.
It is hard to separate author's efforts from the narrator's contribution - but together they succeeded at making their characters sounding like pompous narcissists. I could not connect or like either of them.
As mysteries go, this one is good enough. As coffee goes - the author did not tell us anything we cannot read on a box of any espresso-maker, really. And, as characters go, nobody to like. As for the location, it feels like the author tries hard to sell it, but she does not show us anything, so that we would have a chance to like it ??? all these things make it a major miss for a mystery series. At this time I am pretty sure I am not going to buy any more books from this series. ??? And I had such high hopes, since I love coffee and mysteries. Oh well???
Not really. I thought he over-did it, and probably the credit for how pompous and self-righteous the characters sounds should go to her only.
I did not read the book.
The ex- mother-in law is a really charming character. A little meddlesome , a little pushy but always a distinguished older woman with a lot of hutzpah. The characters personality traits are well thought out and follow through all the way to the end. The story flows nicely with just enough information on the qualities and characteristics of coffee and the many different ways in which to process, roast, grind and brew it tossed in for some interest. I found myself craving a nice , warm cup on several occasions.
The author does a good job of tying all the characters together with giving you enough information for you to form their personalities without droning on and on. she ties each character together in a nice, cohesive flow. The story is light and makes the read very easy to listen to.
The narration was very nicely done.
71 year old avid reader using either my eyes or ears. I make earrings that I donate to shelters and while I work, I listen to wonderful books. I also keep in mind that you have to kiss frogs to find princes - time's too short to bother with losers.
A little detective work by a woman who owns a coffee house in lower Manhattan, has a sexy ex-husband and lots of friends and acquaintances. Light for a murder mystery, fun and easy. I've read four books of the series and although they get fluffier and a bit sillier, they are still worth reading.
West Sunbury, Pa.
This book was a fun and interesting listen, it also added some good tidbits about the history of coffee. All in all it was an easy listen fireside book. I will continue with the series.
This book comes across more like a Harlequin Romance than a crime/mystery novel.
A little too affected,,, too cute for my tastes.
I'm only a short way into it, but I'm desperately looking for a real-life/live character. Everyone in the book is just too cartoonish, stereo-typed... characters, not people.
Too many brand names and designer labels.
And I'm not convinced the coffee information comes from anything other than book research.
Don't think I'll be reading anything else in the series.
Three stars is a little generous, but two would be too low.
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