Uncommon Grounds by Sandra Balzo

(Maggie Thorsen, #1)

Independent Mystery Booksellers Association BestsellerRobert L. Fish Award-winning authorAnthony Award-nominated authorPatricia Harper is dead, killed by a hot-wired espresso machine in Uncommon Grounds, her very own gourmet coffee store! Maggy Thorsen wants to know who killed one of her partners. Maggy needs the store to succeed. Starting over after her divorce, she's quit her PR job to open the coffee store. And if things aren't already tough enough, she begins to suspect one of her friends is responsible for Patricia's murder. Maggy joins forces with Sarah Kingstown, Patricia's closest friend, to investigate her killing. Together, they uncover unsavory small-town politics, bribes, kickbacks, and rampant infidelity. Before she's through, Maggy's sense of right and wrong will be shaken to its foundations. For once in her life, she is forced to draw her own line in the sand, and be prepared to defend it.

There's something fun about coffee shop and tea house cozy mysteries. This first book in a new-to-me series didn't disappoint. It was cute, funny, intriguing enough to work - will check out more of the series when I get a chance.

Maggy Thorsen and two associates open a new coffee shop business, but the day of the opening is delayed with one of them is found dead next to the latte machine. The three aren't close friends, but they had set plans that are compromised by one of them being knocked off. Maggie must solve the crime not only to drum up business, but to clear our the suspicions of the pesky (but interesting) detective that keeps sniffing around.

Although I guessed the villain through logic of deduction, the mystery was still a good one, especially since it involved a side mystery of a machine. There's plenty of tension setting a steady risk at stake and pacing, but the book shines the strongest through characterization. That and the humor earned it a four star rating.

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