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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 (125 )
5 star
 (30)
4 star
 (57)
3 star
 (26)
2 star
 (7)
1 star
 (5)
Overall
3.8 (109 )
5 star
 (25)
4 star
 (50)
3 star
 (25)
2 star
 (4)
1 star
 (5)
Story
3.8 (109 )
5 star
 (32)
4 star
 (41)
3 star
 (24)
2 star
 (6)
1 star
 (6)
Performance
Sort by:
  •  
    Amazon Customer 01-03-15
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    7
    3
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    Performance
    Story
    "twists and turns abound"

    great story, with lots of twists and turns...keeps you guessing until the end. enjoyed it !

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Carole 12-16-14
    Carole 12-16-14

    Mystery lover from waaaay back when.... Especially love those dark police/detective procedurals and the comic caper. I'm pretty tough as a reviewer. Writing must be smart and well-edited. Plots must be credible and a bit of twistiness and surprises are always welcome. Favorite authors [partial list]: Donald Westlake, Tana French, David Rosenfelt, Ruth Rendell, Ed McBain,

    HELPFUL VOTES
    22
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    227
    31
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    0
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    "Terrible Narrator"

    I couldn't get past the first 20 minutes of the book. The narrator has a flat, almost monotone voice and leaden pacing. Story may have been interesting--too bad I couldn't finish it!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Sofiya Turkey 07-20-14
    Sofiya Turkey 07-20-14 Member Since 2015

    Sofiya

    HELPFUL VOTES
    3
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    24
    13
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    Story
    "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
  •  
    Carolyn 05-01-14
    Carolyn 05-01-14 Member Since 2007
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    5
    3
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Slow down!"
    Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

    Well I could've been doing housework, but I wasn't. :-)


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

    Seemed a little contrived.


    How could the performance have been better?

    The narrator needs to slow down. I tried listening at 75% speed I was so frustrated with how fast she went--then it just sounded weird. I was getting more used to it by the end of the book,and it wasn't so frustrating that I couldn't finish.


    Did Uncommon Grounds inspire you to do anything?

    Nope.


    Any additional comments?

    I am a non smoker, and highly anti smoking and the character who smoked really annoyed me, and the way the author kept referring to her smoking really annoyed me too. Just a personal grievance though.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Col fayetteville, GA, United States 03-06-14
    Col fayetteville, GA, United States 03-06-14 Member Since 2008

    Like History, Business and Self-Improvement books. 32 year US Army veteran.

    HELPFUL VOTES
    3
    ratings
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    18
    4
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    FOLLOWING
    0
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Good Coffee Mystery"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    I would recommend this book to anyone liking mysteries. The murderer isn't obvious. There are plenty of side stories to keep you engaged.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Maggy and Sara. Maggy is funny and so is Sara. They both have a rye sense of humor and Sara is snarky. Frank the dog.


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

    This was my first book.


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

    There were plenty of laughs throughout.


    Any additional comments?

    I like mysteries and coffee references.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Janice LAGRANGE, KY, United States 02-05-14
    Janice LAGRANGE, KY, United States 02-05-14 Member Since 2005

    I am a retired school counselor (middle and elementary) and an avid reader. I am a lover of great mysteries, quirky protagonists, and medical/scientific non-fiction. I travel a lot and love the freedon audiobooks give me to drive, work, and relax while enjoying a good book. On my ipod I have eclectic musical selections as well as audiobooks. I will strive to never steer you wrong in a review.

    HELPFUL VOTES
    41
    ratings
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    87
    44
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    1
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    Story
    "Surprisingly good"
    What made the experience of listening to Uncommon Grounds the most enjoyable?

    The main character is very real-I like that in a protagonist. She leads a life I can relate to and understand.


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

    The unexpected plot twist at the end.


    Which character – as performed by Karen Savage – was your favorite?

    Maggie, the protagonist


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

    You'll Get a Jolt from that Espresso :-)


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Nicole 02-05-14
    Nicole 02-05-14

    An avid book reader...turned listener.

    HELPFUL VOTES
    0
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    2
    2
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    0
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    Story
    "A Film Noir Narration of a Well Done Cozy Mystery"
    What made the experience of listening to Uncommon Grounds the most enjoyable?

    The story is written very well and it held my interest. I usually listen while I paint or work in my studio so I'm not looking for a complicated story. I really liked the character development though sometimes it was difficult to differentiate between the different character voices.


    Did the plot keep you on the edge of your seat? How?

    There were a couple parts of the book that were fast paced, but i frequently felt on edge because of the way the narrator was reading. It seemed like she had an artificial urgency in her voice at parts when there was no need.


    What does Karen Savage bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    I felt like I was listening to a female version of a film noir inner monologue. For me,though, this didn't really distract from the narration, but I didn't find it necessary, nor did it fit with the words she was reading.


    Any additional comments?

    I really enjoyed this first book of the series and I will continue with it. The narration wasn't ideal, but once I became immersed in the story, I stopped noticing the affectations.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    S FRAMINGHAM, MA, United States 11-22-13
    S FRAMINGHAM, MA, United States 11-22-13 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
    17
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    120
    35
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    1
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    Performance
    Story
    "Meh"
    Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

    No. I gave up mid way. I don't know if it was the main character or the narrator that irritated me.


    Would you be willing to try another book from Sandra Balzo? Why or why not?

    Maybe. If different narrator.


    Who would you have cast as narrator instead of Karen Savage?

    Xe Sand or the one that read "A world without end"


    Could you see Uncommon Grounds being made into a movie or a TV series? Who should the stars be?

    Not sure, I didn't finish.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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