A review by happy_hiker
Once Upon a Grind, by Cleo Coyle


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!