Uncommon Grounds, Grounds for Murder, & Bean There, Done That
By Sandra Balzo
Patricia 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 Kingston, Patricia’s closet 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.
This is the blurb for Uncommon Grounds, the first book in the series of the Maggy Thorsen murder mystery books. I am going to review the first three books in this review. These books have been out since 2004 and I believe there are now six books in this series published. Just reading the above synopsis almost makes it sound like these books are a little cheesy. But please, please do not believe that! These books are funny! They are very well paced with action starting right from the beginning and it goes through all the way to the end. Each of these books are exceptionally written from Maggy’s point of view. She is a 40-something divorcee living on the outskirts of
. In each of these books she happens onto someone murdered. If she isn’t the first to find the body then she is somehow personally involved or related to the one murdered. Milwaukee, Wisconsin
These books are reminiscent of The Women’s Murder Club series by James Patterson and the Stephanie Plum series by Janet Evanovich. They are more like a great, creative combination of these two series. Of course there is a love story involved in these too!!! I love good mysteries as long as there is a love story in there somewhere. It does not take over these books. It is part of the background to Maggy so it does not overwhelm and take over the actual mystery involved in each book.
These first three books have a great mystery in each of them. They are quick, clean, easy reads and each one can easily be read in an afternoon. Check out Sandra Balzo and all of her books. She is quick and witty and I love that in an author because she always adds that to her characters. I love how Maggy tries to solve these murders even though she has no background whatsoever in law enforcement. She loves to watch shows on TV about solving crimes. It is fun to see her go on a stakeout – and get totally busted by the
county sheriff. My favorite moment between the sheriff and Maggy is:
Pavlik was staring at me, fascinated. “Why do you do that?”
I looked around uncertainly. “Do what?”
“Start acting like some kind of bad TV private eye all of a sudden. It’s like talking to someone with multiple personalities.”
Really this is good stuff! You laugh out loud all the time during this book. I give these books 4 stars. Go out and get them for an afternoon of fun, love, and murder!