Sunday, July 11, 2010

Review: Cozy Mystery - Bring Your Own - A Cup of Jo!

More Coffee ArtImage by oosp via Flickr
A Cup of Jo

A Maggy Thorsen Mystery

By Sandra Balzo

Severn House Publishers LTD
ISBN: 9781847512567
188 Pages

Instead of art...they found Jo in the Cup!

Do you like cozy mysteries? How about mystery mixed with fun? Then I highly recommend you be on the lookout for A Cup of Jo by Sandra Balzo which will be available October 1st!

The coffeeshop Uncommon Grounds was opening today! It was timed to be opened on the same day as the new train that would connect downtown Milwaukee to Brookhills Junction! Everything was moving along fine, Maggy thought, as she looked up at the giant coffee & saucer balloon that was advertising their opening. It was 15' x 5' and capable of holding nearly 5,000 gallons of coffee were it to be filled. There was a continual flow of air and streamers which would make the cup steam and shimmy. It would certainly bring in the very first customers coming off the train.

That is, until...

A Cup of Jo (Maggy Thorsen Mysteries)A mime had been roaming around in the excitement building to have the train come in, but not everybody was happy with his activities; in fact, Maggie wheeled on him and told him to leave. The problem was that he immediately reacted, stepping back. Suddenly a "whoosh" occurred; the mime had fallen...and the giant cup shuddered, falling off the platform!

Right about then, the train was in and two county execs came off the train arriving at the platform as the balloon slid off the edge! Well, you must admit that the balloon idea was great! for about the minute it had before it deflated...

And when it was...a body was there in the middle of the cup balloon. JoLynne had been responsible for the commuter-train dedication. In fact, it was her husband who owned the company that had built the platform, filled the balloon and loaded it there above the shop.

Had he also loaded his wife in the cup after he had murdered her? For, of course, he became the prime suspect!

Anybody who reads cozies know that there is a complete story about "something" other than that a murder occurs. In this case, we are spending time with Maggie and her co-owner Sarah as they open and run their new gourmet coffeehouse, Uncommon Grounds. If you love getting to know your characters, start reading cozies! They are normally delightfully filled with individuals who are friends and are involved in the business upon which the story is built. And you normally hear the gossip and inside stories about what is happening.

For instance, Rebecca Penn, JoLynne's younger sister, believed that her Michael was way too interested in her sister, so she tended to keep close tabs on both of them. In fact, when Rebecca saw JoLynne there on the platform, her first reaction was that she was playing her usual Drama Queen act. Was she just covering over her earlier actions to ensure her sister wouldn't be around to come between her and her man?!

Of course, Maggie is our amateur detective, while her main man is Brookhills County Sheriff Jake Pavlik. I thoroughly enjoy when an author creates an amateur detective to "detect" alongside a local police officer. Dialogue is normally fun and readers get the chance to watch the frustration develop, on the part of the officer that is. In this case, though, there is an interesting twist when Pavlik is taken in for questioning in JoLynne's murder! Maggie is NOT happy!

Readers, grab a cup of joe, or, for me tea, see what Tien Romano has baked for the pastry display--maybe a sticky bun?--and sit back to enjoy trying to figure out whodunit! I must admit I thoroughly enjoyed having the amateur sleuth having to face her lover's previous affairs...and there is lots more gossip and potential suspects in this latest cozy by Sandra Balzo. Spent a weekend with Maggy Thorsen and have lots of fun!

Book Received from
Bostick Communications

G. A. Bixler

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