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Uncommon Grounds | [Sandra Balzo]

Uncommon Grounds

A body in a pool of skim milk. An unsavory discovery at any time, but especially inconvenient when the milk puddle is in front of the espresso machine the very morning you're scheduled to open your chic suburban coffee house, Uncommon Grounds. AND the body is one of your partners, leaving you and your other partner - the one who's still alive - as suspects. Which would all be bad enough, even if your husband HADN'T just dumped you for his dental assistant....
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Publisher's Summary

A body in a pool of skim milk.

An unsavory discovery at any time, but especially inconvenient when the milk puddle is in front of the espresso machine the very morning you're scheduled to open your chic suburban coffee house, Uncommon Grounds.

AND the body is one of your partners, leaving you and your other partner - the one who's still alive - as suspects.

Which would all be bad enough, even if your husband HADN'T dumped you for his dental assistant, Little Miss Tooth de Lay, leading you to jettison your old life and invest what little you have left in Uncommon Grounds, which now appears - like your marriage - to be circling the drain.

©2004 Sandra Balzo (P)2012 Sandra Balzo

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

3.8 (101 )
5 star
 (24)
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3.8 (90 )
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Story
3.9 (90 )
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 (28)
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3 star
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2 star
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1 star
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Performance
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  •  
    beatrice Houston, TX, United States 05-08-12
    beatrice Houston, TX, United States 05-08-12 Member Since 2009
    HELPFUL VOTES
    58
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    50
    16
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    4
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    Story
    "I'll have another cup please"

    This is one of the most entertaining new series I have read in a while. I was hooked after the first page. In a small town in Wisconsin, Caron Egan, Patricia Harper, and Maggie Thorsen open up a gourmet coffee shop, UNCOMMON GROUNDS. On the day they open for business, Patricia dies in what seems like an electrocution accident. But the sheriff sees things differently. Sheriff Pavlik thinks someone tampered with the latte maker to intentionally kill Patricia. He begins to look at the business partners first.

    The characters are realistic, likeable, interesting and well-developed. There are many plot twist to keep you guessing. Other than Maggie my favorite character is Sarah. Her blunt sarcastic comments are funny and keep the story rolling at a fast pace.

    I wish the entire 7 book series was available through audiobooks. I bought the rest of the series for my Kindle. If you are a fan of light mysteries you will love this book.

    11 of 11 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Beatrice Houston, TX, United States 05-08-12
    Beatrice Houston, TX, United States 05-08-12 Member Since 2009
    HELPFUL VOTES
    328
    ratings
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    327
    251
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    68
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    Performance
    Story
    "I'll have another cup please"

    This is one of the most entertaining new series I have read in a while. I was hooked after the first page. In a small town in Wisconsin, Caron Egan, Patricia Harper, and Maggie Thorsen open up a gourmet coffee shop, UNCOMMON GROUNDS. On the day they open for business, Patricia dies in what seems like an electrocution accident. But the sheriff sees things differently. Sheriff Pavlik thinks someone tampered with the latte maker to intentionally kill Patricia. He begins to look at the business partners first.

    The characters are realistic, likeable, interesting and well-developed. There are many plot twist to keep you guessing. Other than Maggie my favorite character is Sarah. Her blunt sarcastic comments are funny and keep the story rolling at a fast pace.

    I wish the entire 7 book series was available through audiobooks. I bought the rest of the series for my Kindle. If you are a fan of light mysteries you will love this book.

    10 of 10 people found this review helpful
  •  
    John S. Seattle, WA United States 09-02-12
    John S. Seattle, WA United States 09-02-12 Member Since 2005
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    136
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    "Karen Savage's narration an excellent fit"

    She kept me listening to an otherwise "O.K. but not great" mystery. One suggestion though: slow it down - your protagonist isn't a Federal Express person!

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Judith MIDDLEBURY, VT, United States 05-24-12
    Judith MIDDLEBURY, VT, United States 05-24-12 Member Since 2007
    HELPFUL VOTES
    34
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    "Absolutely a fun story!"
    Would you listen to Uncommon Grounds again? Why?

    Yes, I would. I loved the fun and funny way it was written and performed and because it was a good mystery. I was surprised by "who dune it"


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Maggie, the lead character. Karen Savage, the narrator, really made her come alive.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    I don't know of a favorite scene but I loved the way the character had little "aside" thoughts, comments and conversations with herself through out the entire story.


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    Yes, I laughed a lot. Maggie is really funny.


    Any additional comments?

    I recommend this book as a very well executed, fun, light, enjoyable listen. I hope Sandra Balzo develops this character in future books. And she should keep Karen Savage as the narrator, she is a perfect voice for Maggie. Thanks Sandra and Karen for a fun time!

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Sandra Balzo Pompano Beach, FL, United States 04-29-12
    Sandra Balzo Pompano Beach, FL, United States 04-29-12 Member Since 2012

    Mystery-lover and author of two series--the Maggy Thorsen Coffeehouse Mysteries (Uncommon Grounds) and Main Street Murders set in NC mtns

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Karen Savage as Maggy Thorsen is TERRIFIC!!"

    I have a bit of a bias here (okay, a HUGE bias), since I wrote the book. But . . . .well, this is the first of my nine books (seven in this series and two in another) and the first available as an audio book.

    I auditioned a number of narrators and Karen Savage had me, to paraphrase, at "Chapter One." She IS the voice I hear in my head when I write my books.

    Maggy Thorsen, my protagonist, is not your usual amateur sleuth so she's a little tricky to voice. Maggy's got a bit of a chip on her shoulder--she's funny, cynical and all too human. As narrator, Karen Savage does a wonderful job of portraying a woman you may not always love, but you will unswervingly root for.

    I'm very pleased to have Karen as the voice of Maggy in this first book and, by the end of the year, another three Maggys!

    7 of 9 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Karissa PETERSBURG, IL, United States 01-23-14
    Karissa PETERSBURG, IL, United States 01-23-14 Member Since 2013
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Entertaining and Refreshing"

    Sometimes those 3 for 2 sales do work out...

    Three friends become partners in a coffee shop. On opening day, one friend is found dead and the other two girls become suspects.

    The story moves quickly. Great snarky dialogue and fun relatable characters. The ending is a bit abrupt, but it doesn't leave you hanging.

    The narration was good.

    Not sure I would have tried these books on my own, but I will keep going with this enjoyable series.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    deanna EMERYVILLE, CA, United States 05-11-13
    deanna EMERYVILLE, CA, United States 05-11-13 Member Since 2007

    Cozy Mystery Addict!

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Yeah another mystery series with great characters!"

    Good mystery with characters I want to hear about again. Getting the second book in the series now.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ruby Bellingham, WA, United States 12-14-12
    Ruby Bellingham, WA, United States 12-14-12
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
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    "Set in a Cafe but not around one"
    Where does Uncommon Grounds rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    Its a cozy mystery, so somewhere in the land of how long is this ride again?


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Uncommon Grounds?

    the book has a few good moments, one being the late night spying gone wonky


    Have you listened to any of Karen Savage’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    Yes I have, but this one is the first one that she has stood out to me


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    Its not that kind of book, crazy snarky lightly bitchy, yes. but moving not really


    Any additional comments?

    The only thing that made the book kinda a let down was the ending, to much to soon. the mystery is well written and the romance is just a bitter pill

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    twinsmom Chicago, IL 07-20-14
    twinsmom Chicago, IL 07-20-14 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Read it in print instead"

    This was a very enjoyable cozy with good characters and a good mystery however avoid the audiobook. The reader sounds way too young, in my opinion, and she doesn't do a good job with different voices, especially the men. Also, the quality of the audio is poor. There is a noise in the background, a little like static but not quite. Definitely not the quality I am used to from Audible. I enjoyed this book much more reading it in print. However, a word of warning for the kindle edition-- the formatting isn't very good. There are strange breaks in paragraphs (like extra returns) and occasionally words run together into one giant word. It's readable, but could definitely be cleaner.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Sofiya Turkey 07-20-14
    Sofiya Turkey 07-20-14 Member Since 2010

    Sofiya

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Absolutely mediocre"
    What did you like best about Uncommon Grounds? What did you like least?

    Both the story and the narration are totally unremarkable. No emotions, no thoughts, just a passtime.


    What was your reaction to the ending? (No spoilers please!)

    Honestly, just a relief that the story has ended.


    Would you listen to another book narrated by Karen Savage?

    There is no reason not to. Performance is decent, so if the story is worthy of listening, then why not?


    Was Uncommon Grounds worth the listening time?

    Definitely not.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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