Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Review and Giveaway: Once Upon a Grind

Once Upon a Grind (Coffeehouse Mystery - Book 14) by Cleo Coyle

Publication Date: 12/02/2014
Publisher: Penguin Group
Imprint: Berkley Prime Crime
Genre: Cozy Mystery
Pages: 416
ISBN-10: 0425270858
ISBN-13: 978-0425270851

(Received for an honest review from Berkley Prime Crime)

Purchase: Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Indiebound, itunes

Cleo Coyle on the WEB: websitetwitter, facebook, goodreads

Books in the series

Coffeehouse Mysteries

  1. On What Grounds
  2. Through the Grinder
  3. Latte Trouble
  4. Murder Most Frothy
  5. Decaffeinated Corpse
  6. French Pressed
  7. Espresso Shot
  8. Holiday Grind
  9. Roast Mortem
10. Murder by Mocha
11. A Brew to a Kill
12. Holiday Buzz
13. Billonaire Blend
14. Once Upon a Grind

Coverart: Click the Image for a larger, clearer view of the covers in this series.


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 roasts "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.


The Coffehouse Mystery series continues with the latest installment by Cleo Coyle, Once Upon a Grind. Most fairy-tales start with once upon a time and end with happily-ever-after, but this book is about magic beans and murder. Coyle once again impresses with a knack for good storytelling, intelligent characters and the perfect cup of joe. Get your favorite beverage ready, along with a free evening and a cozy blanket, because once you start this book, you won't be able to put it down til the very end!

What I liked:

Two of the biggest names in cozy mysteries in one week. I'm on a roll! I love Cleo Coyle's Coffeehouse Mystery series with a passion. I am a coffee drinker myself and loved the initial theme of the series and all of the interesting situations Coyle puts her heroine, Clare Cosi into. Clare, along with everyone at the Village Blend is an intelligent and resourceful character. Coyle's way with characterization is exceptional, but I think it's the overall dynamic between the characters that has kept this series just as popular today as when it first started.

In the latest addition to the series, Once Upon a Grind, Coyle uses a fairy-tale theme but imbues it with a bit of murder. Being a fan of magic and fairy-tales started young with me and a book of classic tales my sister and I poured over as children. So, I was excited by the theme of this book and was totally caught up from the first chapter. Who would want to kill a princess? Coyle has the pulse of the cozy community and publishing at large. Fairytales are all the rage, but it takes a unique spin to set any book apart from the masses and Coyle does it with style. Her book may have a magical theme but it's still all about the coffee. Loved every word of it!

Clare is once again thrown into a murder investigation when a she participates in a fairy-tale themed festival in Central Park with her coffee truck. I loved the playful spirit of the festival and the reading of the coffee grinds and such. The coffee truck had a Jack and the Beanstalk theme and everything was going great, when one of the princesses is found dead in the woods. I loved the interplay between Clare and Matteo in this installment of the series a lot. Matteo is always getting mixed up in something and this time it's coffee beans with magical properties. They relationship Clare has developed with Matteo, who happens to be her ex-husband throughout the series is one of the best parts. I like them together, but not romantically and it works so well. Coyle gives readers intelligent and likable characters that she has developed throughout 14 books. Simply amazing!

The mystery reaches far and wide from Wall Street to the East Side and even into the past. A murder that took place as far back as the Cold War is involved and this one has lots of twists and turns to keep readers off their game. It still amazes me how cut-throat the coffee business can be and it is so intertwined with just about every other kind of business out there. There were some red herrings in this one and it was not predictable at all. Coyle once again delights readers with her latest book and keeps them coming back for more!

Bottom Line:

There are some big names in cozy mystery genre and Cleo Coyle is one of them. This husband and wife writing team has produced a long lived series that just keeps getting better with every book. Once Upon a Grind is one of my favorites out all fourteen books in the series. I loved the fairy-tale theme and the interactions of all of the regulars at the Village Blend. This is a series you can't afford to miss! From the amazing cover art to the final words of the book to the fantastic and tasty recipes, you'll be hanging on every word!

Once Upon a Grind is available NOW from your favorite bookseller.

I'm giving this one 5 out of 5 apples from my book bag!

About the Author:

CLEO COYLE is a pseudonym for Alice Alfonsi, writing in collaboration with her husband, Marc Cerasini. Both are New York Times bestselling authors of The Coffeehouse Mysteries, now celebrating over ten years in print. Alice and Marc are also bestselling media tie-in writers who have penned properties for Lucasfilm, NBC, Fox, Disney, Imagine, and MGM. They live and work in New York City, where they write independently and together, including the nationally bestselling Haunted Bookshop Mysteries.

Giveaway Details:

The publisher is sponsoring a giveaway for one copy of Once Upon a Grind by Cleo Coyle.

~ You must be an email subscriber to participate.
~ US addresses only.
~ The deadline to enter this giveaway is Midnight EST, December 17th.

1. Please leave a comment. What's you favorite coffee flavor and your favorite place to get it?

2. Please fill out the FORM.



Caramel Macchiato (sp?) at Starbucks is my favorite, but there is also a French Vanilla K-cup for the Keurig that's really good.

Carol M said...

I don't like flavored coffees. I usually just make it at home.

Linda Kish said...

I like a French Vanilla K-cup for my Keurig at home. If I go to Starbucks, I like a Caramel Frappuccino.

lkish77123 at gmail dot com

Unknown said...

salted carmel with vanilla and toffee shots..starbucks!

Karen B said...

I don't drink flavored coffees - just stick with my instant Folgers at home!

Unknown said...

I like a dark espresso roast.

holdenj said...

Is plain black coffee a flavor?!? I usually make it at home, or treat myself to a cup from Starbucks if I'm out and about.

skkorman said...

My favorite flavor is peppermint mocha, made by Coffee-Mate!

skkorman AT bellsouth DOT net

Debbie K said...

I usually have an unflavored latte at Starbucks.

Rita Wray said...

I like regular coffee I make at home.

Toni said...

At home I prefer Nantucket from Green Mountain. If I'm out my new favorite is Chestnut Latte at Starbucks

traveler said...

I like regular coffee with no flavor. saubleb(at)gmail(dot)com

Kimberly Wyatt said...

I don't drink coffee. Its just not for me but I do love this series.

Meg C. said...

Great series even though I'm not a coffee drinker myself.

lag123 said...

I Luke French Vanilla. No favorite place to buy it.
lag110 at mchsi dot com

Dotty Kelley said...

I like the Cinnabon flavored Keurig K-cup.
dotkel50 at comcast dot net

Sue Farrell said...

I like to try various flavors but always come back to French Vanilla. Love to drink in in my big easy chair at home.

Cleo Coyle said...

Author Cleo Coyle here, dropping by to say thank you to Deb for her terrific review of ONCE UPON A GRIND. Marc and I had a great deal of fun writing this entry in our Coffeehouse Mystery series, and we are absolutely delighted to learn that Deb had just us much fun on the reading end of the process!

Warmest wishes to everyone. May you all have a delicious holiday season!

~ Cleo Coffeehouse
“Where coffee and crime are always brewing…”
Cleo Coyle on Twitter

bn100 said...

don't have a fav; coffee shop

Anita Yancey said...

I like French Vanilla, but I only drink coffee at home. Thanks for having the giveaway.


Robin Coxon said...

I'm a hazlenut coffee lover. Generally I buy it wherever I can find it but in some cases I usually end up at Starbuck's.

Karin said...

I just usually drink my Folger's --black-- at home. Sometimes I treat myself to English Toffee or Pumpkin Spice at the Marketplace Grocery/Gas Station

Mary V said...

I love Starbucks season coffees like Pumpkin Spice and Gingerbread Lattes.