I’m rediscovering cozy murder mysteries these days (because, Murder & Mayhem) and this is one of last month’s finds:
On What Grounds by Cleo Coyle (Coffeehouse Mystery No.1) (Berkley, 2003)
Mini-book review: A cozy murder mystery that will please romance novel lovers, because, romantic subplot!
Negatives: I listened to the audio book and I did not love Rebecca Gibel’s narration. It sounded like that precious friend of a friend a friend you encounter at parties and what-not (remember those?) who enunciates everything WITH SO MUCH SUBTEXT that you start to feel paranoid over everything. I do find narration highly idiosyncratic though—give it a listen anyway—her voice might melt your toes.
Intersectional feminist queer killjoy criticism: I just… the descriptions of the clothes and makeup and the judgements the characters you were supposed to like made of other people based on their… But that’s me. I’m turning into an utter killjoy. You might not mind.
Best thing: OMG, the descriptions of the coffee drinks, and the love affair with the beans, blends, brews. THAT was sexy.
BLURB: 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?
This is the first in a series that now has 18 titles out.
More about Cleo Coyle: https://www.coffeehousemystery.com/
Get the book: https://www.amazon.ca/On-What-Grounds/dp/B0722TJTN3
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