Once Upon a Grind
(A Coffeehouse Mystery)
14th in Series
A Berkley Prime Crime Mystery
The Berkley Publishing Group (December 2, 2014)
Published by The Penguin Group
Hardcover: 416 pages
E-Book File Size: 1610 KB
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.
This was an truly enchanting story and so much fun to read! I stayed up until early in the morning reading telling myself “just one more chapter” again and again. It is stories like this one that give readers like me “book hangovers” but they are so worth it.
Clare and the Village Blend crew are taking part in the Fairy Tale Fall Event in Central Park. The coffee truck has a Jack and A Beanstalk theme complete with magic coffee beans and coffee grind readings. All is going well until Clare’s ex-husband is pulled in to replace a Prince Charming that failed to show up at the festival. He is paired with a beautiful princess for most of the day and then she goes missing. The search is on until they find the “sleepy beauty” in the dense part of woods in the park. Only she is not sleeping, she is dead and Clare’s ex becomes the prime suspect in her demise. The magic coffee beans and the visions they give Clare not only helped find the missing princess but they may help her to find the real killer.
So much happens in this story but it unfolds so naturally it is not overwhelming at all. The clues lead to a secret club and a cold case murder. Clare’s boyfriend, Detective Mike Quinn, is on temporary assignment in Washington D.C. but he is still head of a task force for the New York Police Department so he is up to speed on this case. In fact his ex-wife may even be involved since the princess who died was also working as a mother’s helper for her taking care of his kids. Coyle has woven quite a tangled web in this mystery linking people and events together you would never imagine and Clare is right in the middle of it all.
There are also things going on outside the main mystery. The subplots deal with some Village Blend employee drama and decision Clare is wrestling with. Matt and Clare may not be romantically involved anymore but they do work well together. I really admire the way the authors have thought outside of the box and let their characters evolve in many directions. It keeps this series fresh and each book better than the last.
This is a must read for cozy lovers. Whether you have read all the books in this series or this is your first Cofffeehouse Mystery I just know you will love this story. Just a little warning – this is not a book you can read a few chapters and set it aside. This writing team uses the same technique as suspense/thriller authors like James Patterson. Short chapters that lead right into the next one and the next one and the next one and before you know you are at the end. So don’t start this book if you have to work the next morning. This is the perfect book for a lazy weekend day snuggled up in front of your fireplace in a comfy chair. 10 Starfish!!
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Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. Receiving a complimentary copy in no way reflected my review of this book. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”
Comments on “Review/Giveaway – Once Upon A Grind by Cleo Coyle”
While reading your books the aroma of coffee permeates my mind.
Barbara – I have a saying drink (and read) with joy – and, by java, you’ve got it. Truth is, plenty of non-coffee drinkers (even dedicated tea drinkers) tell me they enjoy our books, and I know why. Marc and I do our best to create a fun, cozy atmosphere with characters who will feel like friends. Now readers like you have become friends, and we sincerely thank you!
Sounds like the best one yet 🙂
Gram – Thank you for dropping by today. “Best one yet…” Well, we’ll see! That’s what a number of longtime readers are saying, but every reader must judge for herself (or himself. My partner in crime-writing is my husband and we have many male readers, too). In any event, Marc and I appreciate your vote of confidence!
I could never go back and catch up on all the series, but will purchase some of the previous ones and get caught up. Looking forward to reading this one, too.
Patricia – No worries on catching up. Marc and I write ever entry so it can stand alone. There are character arcs throughout the series, but we always explain the relationships so new readers will not be lost.
For anyone brand new to our series (or coming back to it after a few years), the Village Blend landmark coffeehouse in the heart of New York’s Greenwich Village is an entertaining place to visit–and an intriguing one, where coffee and crime are always brewing. Our very kind readers have allowed us to write 14 installments thus far in our series, and you can jump in anywhere.
Every book has a different focus, a different theme, whether its food trucks and hit-and-run murder; the fashion industry; an aphrodisiac coffee killer; or a bridezilla’s wedding at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. The best part – if you enjoy your first Coffeehouse Mystery, you’ll have 13 more books to choose from, and we hope you’ll join other readers in returning to the shop every year for a new mystery.
Patricia – We hope you get a chance to read ONCE UPON A GRIND. It’s a great ride!
looks great, thanks for the chance 🙂
You’re very welcome, Lisa, thanks for dropping by!
Love this series and look forward to this book.
Becky – You are always so supportive, thank you, and good luck in the drawing!
One of my most very favorite series!!!!! 😛
Alicia – you’re the best. Thank you for your longtime support of The Coffeeouse Mysteries. Marc and I sincerely appreciate it! We hope you enjoy the new entry. We had a great time writing it and it’s a real ride for the characters and the reader!
This series is so much fun to read. Started way back with book one and am all caught up to this one.
I still have some catching up to do on this series, and am loving it. Thanks for the chance to win.
Drinking good coffee and reading about Clare’s escapades—-what could be better??
I LOVE this series and impressed how it stays fresh. Please keep it going!
LOVE this series!!
Life is good with coffee and a book. Coffee in a book, life is great.
Coffee and a good book, life is good. Coffee in a good book, life is great.
I loved Once Upon a Grind. The plot was cute and very entertaining. I’m starting the whole series over again in audiobook format.
Have read all but your last 2. They are on my Christmas list and was told I was getting them. Wish you had a lot more.
This sounds really good. I look forward to reading it.
This is one of my first cozy series that I started with way back when and I have absolutely loved each and every book. I love to learn something new every day and with this book, I found myself feeling so knowledgeable about coffee, various areas of the world, etc. etc. I just love the connection between the characters and the stories and for anyone who has not read this series yet, do yourself a favor and get yourself going on this Coffeehouse Mystery series as soon as you can. If it sounds as though I love this series, you guessed correctly!!!! Keep up the great work Cleo/Alice and Marc. Thank you for all the wonderful reading hours that you have given to me over the years. <3
Cynthia – Bless your heart, thank you so much for the lovely and thoughtful note!
FaIth tale murder in NY. You guys always manage to come out with great original story lines
YOUR SERIES SOUNDS GREAT! MERRY CHRISTMAS! GOOD LUCK WITH YOUR BOOK AND THANKS FOR THE GIVEAWAY!
Hearing so many good things about this one and love the premise – can’t wait to read.
I’ve wanted to read this series for awhile now. It sounds really good.
I love all the different facts about New York and coffee in these books. The characters are becoming my quirky friends that draw me into every book, and also give me big laughs.
Coffee shops and bookstores! Two of my very favorite things in the world! And I am glad that they are pretty much stand alone books. I will be looking for them when I can get to a bookstore. Thank you!
Cannot wait to read this book!!!
Congrats, Cleo & continued success!!!
Thank you for the contest! I can’t wait to read the book.
Please enter me in the contest.
I have “Liked” both your and Cleo’s Facebook pages.
I have pinterest the book @
I have shared the contest on my facebook (JL Scott)
Oh how this giveaway would be AMAZING to win!!!!! Praying that I am given the opportunity! This would make my year!
I love this series and have been anxiously awaiting the newest release!
Thanks for the opportunity to win. I love Cleo Coyle!
Looking forward to having time off and cuddling with my two rescue kitties, Ellie and Gracie Girl, a cup of coffee, either the Gingerbread Cookie Sticks or Eggnog Muffins, and your Book!!!! Icing on the top would be waiting for this wonderful giveaway to arrive at my house!!!!!
I love the Coffee House series by Cleo Coyle! the books sit on the shelf with my cookbooks! You never know when a special treat will be necessary! 🙂 Such a great read on a chilly winter night! 🙂
I love the Cleo Coyle Coffee House series. They are so much fun! I would love to win this book.
My question: Are you a coffee drinker? If so, what’s your favorite coffee drink?
I’ve read the first 12 in this series. Loved them! Thank you for the chance to win the latest in the series!
I picked up two of your books and now am addicted with the smell of coffee in the coffee house and will have to drop in often. Looking for more, now …Thank you for the opportunity to win a copy of your book … Looks like I’m a day late and a couple dollars short. Happy New Year to you and your family.
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