A Light Weekend Roast

On What Grounds by Cleo Coyle

I’ll start this review out by saying that I’ve just had spacers put between my teeth for my upcoming braces and needed something light to take my mind off of the pain this weekend.  And with that in mind, the first installment of Cleo Coyle’s coffeehouse mysteries is just what the orthodontist ordered.

This mystery centralizes around the death of Annabelle Hart, an assistant manager/barista at the historic Village Blend coffeehouse in Greenwich Village.  Clare Cosi, the protragonist and part owner of the coffeehouse, takes it upon herself to solve the girl’s murder after the police write it off as an accident.  Seasoned with interesting coffee tips and lore (I will no longer refrigerate my beans!) Coyle’s story is fun, original and a mystery until the final pages.

While my favorite part abot this series is its coffee theme, my least favorite is possibly the self-indulgence of the narrator.  Like the series’ holiday mystery, Holiday Grind, On What Grounds is guilty of giving its narrator a pretty high opinion of herself.  A second criticism I have of the book is its poor editing.  It’s Victoria’s Secret, not Victoria Secret, and Engstrum, not Engstum.  Aside from this minor critique, I found the book a lot of fun.


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