Friday, September 23, 2011

Through the Grinder by Cleo Coyle

60. Through the Grinder - book 2 in the Coffeehouse series
by Cleo Coyle
mystery, 2004
Kindle book, 37
ninth book for the Foodie's Reading Challenge
finished, 9/4/11

For me, a good sign that a series is going to go the distance is when the second book is as good as the first. Through The Grinder is an excellent installment in the Coffeehouse series. It is darker and more disturbing than On What Grounds. The murderer stakes out the prey, and the reader sees it happen. This killer is full of hatred and venom toward the victims. Two women customers at the Village Blend commit suicide one after the other. I was pleased to see that the policeman we met in On What Grounds, Detective Quinn, is back. He doesn't think they took their own lives. They were happy young women with no signs of problems.

Meanwhile, life goes on at the Blend with a twice monthly event put on by a local church called Cappuccino Connection night. It is a way for people to meet potential romantic partners through five minute encounters. This 'speed dating' as well as online dating sites play a large part in this book. I know people have met great partners this way, but I think I'd rather be single than get involved in any of them.

When our heroine Clare Cosi's daughter Joy becomes interested in the idea, Clare decides to attend to make sure the men are alright for her daughter, while saying she is doing it for herself. Much to her surprise, she does meet someone quite appealing. This meeting sets off a chain of events in which the Cappuccino Connection connects more than prospective couples. It also provides a connection to solving murders!

I've noted before that a trait of some cozy mysteries is that the amateur sleuth gets herself into circumstances most of us would run away from. In the last book I was pretty happy because Clare didn't do this. In this book, however, she gets herself involved in what could have been a very dangerous situation. She believes in her own instincts and proceeds against the advice of Detective Quinn. I like it that she trusted herself, but I thought she was a bit too trusting in someone else.

But still, I loved the book. I enjoy the people who work at the Blend and the customers who come in for coffee. And most of all I love Clare Cosi and her family and friends. She's a wonderful person and, as I said in the book report on the first book, she's someone you'd like to have as a friend.

Now I shall show myself as the book geek I really am. Because Holiday Grind is the eighth in the series, and I like to read holiday books as December approaches, I have set myself a little Coffeehouse reading schedule. My plan is to read the third book in the series, Latte Trouble in January, Murder Most Frothy in March, Decaffeinated Corpse in May, French Pressed in July, Espresso Shot in September, and Holiday Grind in November. Then in 2013, I'll read Roast Mortem and the book I won in the drawing, Murder by Mocha. And probably there will be a new one coming out that year as well.

This is my ninth book for the Foodie's Reading Challenge. If you are interested in food related books over several genres, please do visit here and click on the tabs at the top of the page.

I meant to tell you that in addition to winning the drawing for Murder by Mocha, I also won this adorable cup and saucer! The company has an online store, if you are interested.

This series has been bad for my pocketbook. In the first book I read about Kona coffee so thought I'd try some. Well, I'm here to say it is the smoothest, most delicious coffee I've ever tasted. But it is really expensive. I limit myself to a couple cups a week. This is the kind I've been buying.


  1. Congratulations on your win! And... if it was me, I'd probably schedule my reading so that I'd read books 3-7 very soon, so that the 8th one would be waiting for me just in time for the Holiday season :-) Why wait until 2012?

  2. Don't these books make you long for a cup of coffee as you read them? I think I can almost smell coffee as I read, even if I don't actually have any brewing. I need to go back and see where I am in reading this series. Think I might be a book or two behind. Glad you are enjoying them!

  3. Well, I did think of that, Librarian, but I have other reading schemes going on between now and December. :<) The RIP challenge, another book for the Foodies Challenge, some others I've put out on the table, and I've got a couple holiday ones I want to read as well. So, I'll have to wait till January to begin reading the Coffeehouse books again.

    Kay, I just adore this series, and am glad to hear you do, too. Have you written about any of them and I missed it??

  4. No, I don't think I've ever written about this series. I checked to see. I know I highlighted the latest a while back as a book I was waiting on. When I'm back posting again, I think I'm going to write some posts about specific series that I like, especially ones that I've never written a review for. This should be part of the bunch I think.

  5. Great review -- love the schedule -- and you are HOOKED on the series if not the Kona coffee! I'm pretty sure I told you that I read the first book upon your recommendation (even though I'd given up on cozies in my old age) and I did enjoy it. I never thought about adding these book to Margot's challenge, which I've fallen way behind on. The coffee recipes in the first one were great.

    Off to Kindle ;>) Thank you.

  6. Kay, I look forward to this! I really love series reading - whether mysteries or just fiction. It's like visits with old, well-known friends. I find myself thinking about the characters if I haven't read about them in a while. And just like with friends, not every visit is stellar. :<) But I go back. Lately, I've been missing Hamish Macbeth. Though I didn't care for the last one I read, I'm ready for the next!

    Sallie, you are right! Sometimes a good cozy is just what I want to read. And this series is great.

  7. Nan, I LOVE these books! I've read them all and am finishing Murder by Mocha on my Kindle now. One thing -- I'm a tea drinker. I can tolerate coffee, but I'm really a tea drinker. But these books have intrigued me with the whole world of coffee -- so much so that I got a burr grinder, a French press, and fresh beans to grind. I'm actually learning French pressed coffee tastes better made that way, so I am liking coffee a lot better now! (But I still like tea better!)

  8. Jill, aren't they just so great! After many years and many unsuccessful coffeemakers, we tried the café press, and love it. It is quiet, simple, and beautiful. And I like feeling like Jean Pargiter in As Time Goes By when I use it. :<) I did a little blog picture post on it four years ago.

  9. a travel agent, my customers used to bring me back Kona coffee from Hawaii. I loved it!
    And I love the coffee cup and the saucer with the exclamation mark is just too darn cute. Enjoy your win!

  10. Lucky you, Kay! Do you ever buy the 100% Kona in your local stores now?
    If you go to the link, you too could have this cute cup and saucer. :<)

  11. I was excited to see the gimmee coffee! mug . . . their original location is very near to where I live :-)

  12. Have you been there, Nan? Such a fun business!

  13. I had some delicious Kona coffee at my brother's and I agree. It's delicious!

    I'm anxious to dive into this series. It sounds like a winner and perfect to curl up with this winter. Thanks for the great reviews, Nan.

  14. Les, I do think you'll like the series. It has a fun atmosphere plus a mystery.

  15. Kona coffee! I fell in love with it years ago when we went to Hawaii but found it too expensive when we got home. Macadamia nuts too. There was this place in Kauai that made macadamia nut sticky buns - out of this world!!!

  16. Barbara, maybe I can justify buying it by thinking of the money I'm not spending by actually going to Hawaii. :<) It's been a long time since I've had macadamia nuts. Thanks for the reminder. I'll check them out at the store.


I'll answer your comments as soon as I possibly can. Please do come back if you've asked a question.
Also, you may comment on any post, no matter how old, and I will see it.