Review: On What Grounds by Cleo Coyle


On What Grounds
by Cleo Coyle
Narrated by Rebecca Gibel
Series: Coffeehouse Mystery #1
Genre: Mystery (cozy)
Published by Berkley, 2003 (AudioGo, 2011)
Audiobook, purchased
275 pages
7 hours, 59 minutes
Grade: B
Narrator Grade: A-
Synopsis: Introducing a delightful new series featuring Clare Cosi, manager of the historic Village Blend coffeehouse…

Clare arrives at work to discover the assistant manager dead in the back of the store, coffee grounds strewn everywhere. Two detectives investigate. But when they find no sign of forced entry or foul play, they deem it an accident. Still, Clare is not convinced. And after the police leave, Clare can’t help wondering…If this was an act of murder, is she in danger?

The perfectly measured burr of a dispassionate detective had suddenly changed into the explosive boom of a take-no-shit street cop.
Suffice it to say, I froze.
“Aw shucks,” I told the reporter, “It’s all in the grounds.”


  • I really enjoyed the narrator of this book. She does a great job with the different voices. Madame and Tucker are especially good characters when we hear them speak.
  • I like Clare a lot. I like the coffee shop and the people Clare encounters there.
  • Java Jive, Clare’s Siamese cat, is fun to read about–especially since I like cats.
  • I like Clare’s ex-husband, too, and hope he shows up in more of the books.
  • Lieutenant Quinn, the policeman in charge of the case, was also a pretty good character. I wasn’t sure why he encouraged Clare to investigate this mystery on her own though.
  • Because this is a cozy mystery and Clare isn’t a police officer or private investigator, Clare doesn’t have a professional reason for people to talk to her. And yet people do talk to her. However, the author handled that aspect of the story pretty well.


  • There’s a little too much information about how to brew the perfect cup of coffee. However, I do enjoy coffee and the narrator made it sound very interesting!

And a few thoughts . . .

  •  I liked the narrator so much that I need to read the next book to see whether it’s the narrator and her distinctive voices I liked so well or if I also like the writing and the mystery!

Have you read this book? How did you like it?

  • 2014 Goodreads Challenge (Hoping to read 100 books this year)
  • Audiobook Challenge–hosted by Hot Listens and The Book Nympho blogs
  • New Author Challenge–hosted by the Literary Escapism blog