Sunday, December 28, 2014

Once Upon a Grind by Cleo Coyle

book cover
Once Upon a Grind
by Cleo Coyle

ISBN-13: 9780425270851
Hardcover: 416 pages
Publisher: Berkley
Released: December 2, 2014

Source: Review copy from the publisher.

Book Description, Modified from Back Cover:
Fairy tale fever has descended on New York City, and Clare Cosi gives her coffee truck a "Jack and the Beanstalk” makeover for a Central Park festival. Clare’s coffee hunter ex-husband contributes a bag of African beans with alleged magical properties.

Clare remains skeptical—until she receives a vision that helps her find a young model’s body in the park’s woods. The police dismiss "sleeping beauty” as the victim of a drug overdose. Then Clare uncovers evidence that points to a roster of suspects, from a wolf of Wall Street to a New York Giant and a wicked witch of the West Side.

Now Clare is really in the woods—with a dangerous predator on her heels and an investigation that leads from a secret Prince Charming club right back to her own NYPD detective boyfriend. If she doesn’t solve this mystery, those magic beans predict an unhappy ending.

My Review:
Once Upon a Grind is a cozy mystery/suspense novel. This novel is the fourteenth in the series. You don't need to read the previous novels to understand this one, and this story didn't spoil the whodunit of the previous books.

The mystery was a clue-based puzzle mystery. Clare has some muddled, dream-like visions (induced by special coffee beans) which contain subtle clues. However, the clues are mainly of the normal sort. I did identify the critical clue which would point to whodunit, but it wasn't until nearly the end that I realized who fulfilled that requirement and the other clues. It's probably possible to catch on earlier, but I think the author had good pacing with revealing the critical clues.

Clare's police friend uses her to help uncover some secrets as an undercover spy (of sorts), so she's placed in suspenseful, potentially dangerous situations. I liked that the heroine was clever and how her boyfriend and ex-husband appreciated her help and supported her.

There was some bad language. There were no graphic sex scenes. Overall, I'd highly recommend this interesting, suspenseful mystery.

If you've read this book, what do you think about it? I'd be honored if you wrote your own opinion of the book in the comments.

Excerpt: Read an excerpt using Google Preview.

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