Reviews

Once Upon a Grind, by Cleo Coyle

happy_hiker's review against another edition

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2.0

POSSIBLE SPOILERS. My rating of this book clearly puts me in a minority, since the average rating (206 ratings at the time of this review) is 4.17. I have read many books in this series, but this one just didn't do it for me.

First, I really disliked the whole "magic" beans element - I could not get into that and it just seemed to provide a convenient way for Clare to "know" things she otherwise would not have known.

Second, Clare, a coffee roaster/coffee house manager is NOT a detective, yet she is somehow welcomed into dangerous situations by police investigators (and seems to be allowed to mastermind undercover work) and is now encouraged to go snooping by her law-enforcement boyfriend AND the CIA (and she is immediately given information about a CIA investigation).

Third, the coffee house itself was mainly absent from this book. Conveniently, Clare did not have to work while she became New York's best crime solver. The coffee house atmosphere was one of the things that had drawn me to this cozy series.

And finally, the ending of this book, where Clare recovers from being poisoned by a "genetic-specific" anecdote concocted by some random scientist in the course a couple weeks made me groan in disbelief. Who was Dr. Pepper? A chemist? A biologist? As far as I could tell, he was someone who wanted to analyze the chemical composition of the magic beans and suddenly he was expert enough to do genetics and drug development also?

Why not one star, given this rant? It was fast moving and I guess I enjoyed it enough to take the hit of a two day late fine from the library to finish this.

I have gained some enjoyment from this series in the past, but I will most likely be putting aside this series to focus on my very huge to-read pile.

First book finished in 2015!

wheredobirdsgo's review against another edition

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funny lighthearted medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Plot
  • Strong character development? No
  • Loveable characters? No
  • Diverse cast of characters? No
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? No

3.5

slc333's review against another edition

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3.0

I always enjoy Claire's feisty nature and clever amateur sleuthing. I like how she involved the police (in the form of daughter's boyfriend Franco) in her sleuthing rather than running off half-cocked. I prefer it when Mike is around though rather than flitting in for the occasional weekend so I am really looking forward to the next book.

momentum262's review against another edition

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4.0

A very installment of the series with fairy tale vibes and magic coffee beans that give Claire strangely vivid dreams that seem to predict the future. It's hard to keep the pace of a series 14 books in, but Cleo Coyle does a great job mixing it up and keeping the reader invested in the characters!

heathers_reading_space's review against another edition

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adventurous mysterious fast-paced

4.0

nutti72's review against another edition

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3.0

3.5 stars, not as satisfying as the previous book in the series, however I enjoyed the continuation of the story. Changes abound.....

aspygirlsmom_1995's review against another edition

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challenging lighthearted mysterious fast-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? A mix
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? It's complicated
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

5.0

_kristiew_'s review against another edition

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4.0

I loved this book! I found the storyline fascinating with the secret club and the magic beans. So many different characters were woven into the story, but it was easy to keep track of them and an interesting reveal of the murderer.

arcookson's review against another edition

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4.0

A fun mystery with a fairy tale theme. I liked the characters and the setting and even though I"m not a coffee drinker, I'm looking forward to trying some of the other recipes. This was my first Coffeehouse Mystery; the writers do a nice job of setting the scene; I didn't feel lost, nor do I feel the need to read the earlier books to continue with the series.

hezann73's review against another edition

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3.0

Despite my intense love for this series, I was a bit disappointed by this entry. The murder/mystery part was quite good, but I was kind of turned off by the whole "magic beans" bit.