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Friday, May 31, 2013

Audiobook Review: On What Grounds by Cleo Coyle

TITLE: On What Grounds 
SERIES: Coffeehouse Mystery, Book #1
AUTHOR: Cleo Coyle 
NARRATOR: Rebecca Gibel
FORMAT: Unabridged audiobook, 7 hrs and 59 mins
GENRE: Mystery
ISBN: 9780792777991
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?


I received this audiobook from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive any compensation for my review, and the views expressed herein are my own. 

I jumped into this cozy-mystery series late at Book #8, Holiday Grind, earlier this year and absolutely fell in love! I then read the next one in the series, Roast Mortem, and now I want to read this series from the beginning to have a better understanding of the characters and, in particular, to learn more about the interesting relationship between the heroine, Clare Cosi, and her ex-but-still-cozy-husband, Matteo "Matt" Allegro.

I am so glad that I went back to the beginning of the series because some of the missing pieces have fallen into place. After Claire and Matt divorced ten years prior, Clare moved to Jersey with her daughter, Joy. Madame Allegro, Clare’s ex-mother-in-law, woos Clare to come back to the coffeehouse with an interesting proposition: A percentage of ownership in the business as well as rent-free accommodations in the furnished duplex above the business. Madame explains that the last manager practically ran the business into the ground, and she needs Clare to come back and resume management of the coffeehouse so that it can bounce back and start turning a profit. Now that Joy is away at college, the time is right for Clare to return to Greenwich Village and she decides to take Madame up on her offer.

The book starts off with the crime: Anabelle Hart, the assistant manager for the Village Blend, has let someone she knows into the coffeehouse after closing. She is found the next morning at the bottom of the basement steps, barely alive and unconscious. The police investigate and decide that it is nothing more than an unfortunate accident, but Clare’s gut tells her that they are wrong. She decides to conduct her own inquiry into Anabelle’s background in an effort to solve the crime.

I really enjoyed this series debut. I was already a fan, and I continue to be. Coyle has the right blend of mystery, humour, flirtiness, and delectable culinary descriptions which makes the series a fun, light read! If you are a cozy-mystery fan, I highly recommend this series!

I’m also already a fan of Rebecca Gibel, who is a flawless narrator. She conveys so much emotion in the tone of her voice, and her distinctive characterizations make it very easy to follow who is speaking in the story.


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