If you are not supposed to judge a book by its cover, why do they have such distinctive cover art? The whole point behind the cover is to get you to buy it after all. On What Grounds by Cleo Coyle has, what I have been assured is a very typical cozy mystery cover; a genre I never knew existed before. So I was skeptical but interested enough by the cover to give it a shot.

In this book, Clare Cosi left New York and an unhappy marriage to raise her daughter in New Jersey. Now, ten years later she returns to New York and her old job as the manager of the historic Village Blend coffeehouse. Before she even settles down, she finds her assistant manager unconscious at the bottom of the stairs to the storeroom of the shop. Was it just an accident? Or was her assistant attacked?

Coyle interleaves her story with a heaping helping of coffee related tidbits and trivia. The premise, a murder in cozy coffee shop is a bit distressing, however being a cozy mystery there was never a strong feeling of danger for any of the characters. The mystery is satisfying with many twists and turns to keep you guessing.  Outside of the central mystery, a romance brews between the main character Cleo and one of the detectives on the case, a delightful shot of espresso in this coffee flavored mystery.

In the end, this book was a pleasant change of pace for a typically non-cozy reader. I would recommend this book to people who enjoy a quick read. Personally, this was not my cup of coffee, then again I’ve always been a tea drinker. It is perfect for cozy mystery lovers and coffee addicts, particularly those looking to get into a light new series.

Reviewed by Wimberly W.