Once Upon a Grind

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Once Upon a Grind

A Coffeehouse Mystery, #14

This is a wonderful fast-paced, quick-witted, and surprising novel. A stellar story, good recipes, and lots of background history are packed into this amazing book. Ms. Coyle provides a tale full of fun and mystique. She easily creates a special niche in the mystery and suspense section of fictional novels. In fact, I'd even recommend this series to tea drinkers!

Clare Cosi, the coffeehouse manager for the Village Blend, is busy keeping her coffee truck in line with a fairy tale festival in Central Park. But it's not until her ex-husband drops off a bag of rare magical African coffee beans that things start to heat up. Her ex, the coffee hunter for the Village Blend and whose mother owns the Village Blend, tries to get her to go to a Fortune Teller and tells her the "magical" beans are for her consumption, not for customers.

It's not until she makes a cup and drinks it, that she discovers the "magical" properties in said beans. She feels like she's in an LSD moment (not that she's taken illegal drugs before), with the strange effects helping her find the body of one of the festival's princesses. The police think the princess died of a drug overdose, but Clare knows otherwise. Before it's all over, Clare finds another murder link from the past, chases through a secret "Prince Charming Club", and discovers she and her beau are ready to take the next step in their relationship.

Ms. Coyle is able to smoothly insert previous character or storyline history from the series, yet not clutter it up with too much background. Cleo juggles all the characters, history, zany moments, and still finds time to throw in the kitchen sink too! Incidentally, if you're unfamiliar with Cleo Coyle, she is a wonderful blend of talents of the married duo: Alice Alfonsi and her husband, Marc Cerasini.

Book Blurb for Once Upon a Grind

From the New York Times bestselling author of Billionaire Blend comes an enchanting new entry in the "satisfyingly rich" Coffeehouse Mystery series. Includes wicked good recipes. When coffeehouse manager turned amateur sleuth Clare Cosi serves "magic" beans for a Fairy Tale Fall event, she brews up a vision that leads to a sleeping beauty in Central Park; a big, bad wolf of Wall Street; and an East Side enclave with storybook secrets...

Fairy tale fever has descended on New York City. Broadway fans are flocking to Red Riding Hood: The Musical; museums are exhibiting art inspired by the Brothers Grimm; and Clare Cosi and her merry band of baristas give their coffee truck a "Jack and the Beanstalk" makeover for a Central Park festival. Clare's coffee hunter ex-husband contributes a bag of African beans with alleged magical properties. His octogenarian mother entertains customers with readings of the grinds, but Clare remains skeptical--until she receives a vision that helps her find a young model's body in the park's woods. The police dismiss "sleeping beauty" as the victim of a drug overdose. Then Clare uncovers evidence that points to a list of suspects--from a New York Giant to quite a few wicked witches--and a cold case murder that reaches back to the Cold War. Now Clare is really in the woods with a dangerous predator on her heels and an investigation that leads from a secret Prince Charming Club right back to her own NYPD detective boyfriend. If she doesn't solve this mystery, those magic beans predict an unhappy ending.

Night Owl Reviews Oct, 2015 4.00