• On What Grounds

  • By: Cleo Coyle
  • Narrated by: Rebecca Gibel
  • Length: 7 hrs and 59 mins
  • 4.0 out of 5 stars (2,695 ratings)

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On What Grounds  By  cover art

On What Grounds

By: Cleo Coyle
Narrated by: Rebecca Gibel
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Publisher's Summary

Clare Cosi used to manage the historic Village Blend coffeehouse…until she opted for quieter pastures and a more suburban life. But after ten years and a little friendly cajoling from the owner (a fresh pot of Jamaican Blue Mountain was all it took), she's back to the grind. With a sprawling rent-free apartment directly above the Village Blend, her cat Java by her side, and plenty of coffeehouse redecorating ideas, Clare is thrilled to return to work. Until she discovers the assistant manager unconscious in the back of the store, coffee grounds strewn everywhere. Police arrive on the scene to investigate. But when they find no sign of forced entry or foul play, they deem it an accident. Case closed. But Clare is not convinced. And after the police leave, there are a few things she just can't get out of her mind… Why was the trash bin in the wrong place? If this wasn't an accident, is Clare in danger? And… are all detectives this handsome?

©2003 The Berkley Publishing Group. All rights reserved. (P)2011 AudioGO

What listeners say about On What Grounds

Average Customer Ratings
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  • 4 out of 5 stars
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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Stands out

I started listening to "On What Grounds" with very low expectations. I was interested in exploring fiction in the mystery sub-genre where activities such as crafts or cooking propel the plot. I've read books where knitting is the focus, and jewelry making, and baking, and now this. Sadly, I have found the writing in some of the others to be lacking. In this one, however, the cafe was central to the plot and the descriptions and dialog were rich and authentic. It stands out from the others in this genre, and I plan to read more of the series.

79 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

You're going to love this series!

I have listened to almost all of the books available in this series available on Audible. And, let me say, you're really going to love it! First of all, it has the perfect cast of characters: the sweet mother-in-law, the annoying ex-husband, the super loved adult daughter, a hot detective, and a hilarious group of baristas. This mystery contains just the right amount of drama and humor. It's one of those books you can't put down. If there is anything wrong with the book, I would say it's what you always see in this genre. There's definitely point when you want to scream at the main character, Clare Cosi, "Don't go! Don't do it!" But again, I think that's an innate part of the mystery genre. Other than that, I love the main character. She's witty, smart and strong, yet loving and genuine.

The narrator is perfect for this novel and the rest of the series. She does an excellent job with the various voices. She speaks clearly and is able to keep your attention.

Bonus: This is a great book for coffee lovers and foodies. If you like to try out new recipes, Clare Cosi normally describes one or two recipes in enough detail for you to try it out in your kitchen. Also visit Cleo Coyle's webpage for additional recipes.

51 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

LOTS of coffee.

I know this book was set in a coffee house, but couldn't believe the amount of time dedicated to coffee. How to brew it correctly, this way or that way - turkish, espresso, etc. How normal people store their coffee incorrectly, the HORROR. It was very repetitive to me. The story wasn't horrible, but I won't be buying any more books in this series. The book seemed more about coffee to me than the murder/mystery.

38 people found this helpful

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Good clean murder mystery

I enjoyed the story. I learned a lot about coffe and craved it all the time while I listened to this book. I did not like the introduction of the ex husband into the plot. That just felt awkward. But I loved all the rest. Rebecca Gibel did a nice job narrating. She wasn't the greatest at male voices, but I guess that's hard to pull off when you're a woman. I do think it's a mistake narrators typically make. Women try to over-narrate men (by making them sound kind of dumb) and men try to use high pitched voices that make female characters sound like cartoons. It wasn't the worst male-voice impression I've ever heard. In fact, Gibell is one of the better narrators.

29 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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I can smell the coffee now!!

Would you consider the audio edition of On What Grounds to be better than the print version?

I did not read the book.

Who was your favorite character and why?


The ex- mother-in law is a really charming character. A little meddlesome , a little pushy but always a distinguished older woman with a lot of hutzpah. The characters personality traits are well thought out and follow through all the way to the end. The story flows nicely with just enough information on the qualities and characteristics of coffee and the many different ways in which to process, roast, grind and brew it tossed in for some interest. I found myself craving a nice , warm cup on several occasions.

Which scene was your favorite?

The author does a good job of tying all the characters together with giving you enough information for you to form their personalities without droning on and on. she ties each character together in a nice, cohesive flow. The story is light and makes the read very easy to listen to.

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

The narration was very nicely done.

24 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Fun Listening

This book was a fun and interesting listen, it also added some good tidbits about the history of coffee. All in all it was an easy listen fireside book. I will continue with the series.

22 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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Weak Brew

It was ok. The first time I read it I had to put it down because it was boring and I couldn't get into it. The second time I picked it up, it was a little better. The characters and plotline seemed a little more interesting. I really can't say much about the book because there isn't much to say. I won't be buying the rest in the series.

21 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

Too many grounds

I was looking forward to getting to know a new cast of characters to follow through a series of light mysteries. The story premise had potential but the audiobook was disappointing for a number of reasons. As other reviewers have commented, there is quite a bit of detail about coffee, where it comes from, how to make it, what it tastes like, etc. The depth of the plot and development of the characters did not support this much unnecessary, although sometimes interesting, information. It felt like it took forever to get into any meat of the story (about halfway) through the recording. The characters themselves were without nuance. The husband was relentlessly angry and obnoxious---so much so that I had no interest in any part of the relationship resolution with Claire. Few characters had exchanges that weren't emotion-laden without the contextual ramping up and far beyond what was necessary and this made it impossible to develop any empathy for them. The best character was Madame. I don't mind somewhat unrealistic twists and turns, but the lack of empathetic characters was off-putting and meant the story didn't create enough of a world to sustain a real visit.

17 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Protagonist a bit naive, loves describing coffee!

What did you like best about On What Grounds? What did you like least?

It was easy to listen to; it reminded me of a Lifetime movie. The writing was good, but at times the protagonist asks a lot of questions that don't need to be asked, and is a little verbose. The actions and words of the main character are a little unrealistic, a little too innocent, a little too nice. For example, if someone is going to try to ruin your life, you wouldn't exclaim "You bastard!" - that's probably the most foul language used in the book.

What was the most interesting aspect of this story? The least interesting?

The descriptions of coffee preparation are nice, but they make it sound like a book written in a coffee house by a coffee house worker looking to move on from working in a coffee house. The least interesting aspect was the list of characters who seem stock.

Which scene was your favorite?

I didn't really have any favorite scenes; the book doesn't seem to have too many highs or lows - it's just a nice smooth story, like a nice cup of coffee.

Did On What Grounds inspire you to do anything?

Nope.

Any additional comments?

If you're looking for something relaxing to occupy your time, this is a good book; it won't take you to many places that will startle you or make you uncomfortable.

15 people found this helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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incipid

What disappointed you about On What Grounds?

The story has a promise of a good "cozy mystery," but it does not deliver. To me, there were too many annoying moments, unexciting and repetitive coffee factoids, and self-righteous characters.
It is hard to separate author's efforts from the narrator's contribution - but together they succeeded at making their characters sounding like pompous narcissists. I could not connect or like either of them.
As mysteries go, this one is good enough. As coffee goes - the author did not tell us anything we cannot read on a box of any espresso-maker, really. And, as characters go, nobody to like. As for the location, it feels like the author tries hard to sell it, but she does not show us anything, so that we would have a chance to like it ??? all these things make it a major miss for a mystery series. At this time I am pretty sure I am not going to buy any more books from this series. ??? And I had such high hopes, since I love coffee and mysteries. Oh well???

Would you be willing to try another one of Rebecca Gibel???s performances?

Not really. I thought he over-did it, and probably the credit for how pompous and self-righteous the characters sounds should go to her only.

14 people found this helpful

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  • T.S.
  • 05-14-20

It's a romance novel

It's about a woman drooling over any man that's in her eye - line. Somewhere in the background there is a possible crime but that's just a sub-plot. I gave it six chapters but could not stomach another steriotype description of a chiseled body or roman nose or whatever.

2 people found this helpful

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  • India Emily
  • 01-04-18

Interesting and educational!

The narrator was great, I thought she brought the story to life. I loved the characters and the storyline and found that I surprisingly learnt a lot about coffee! Overall I thoroughly enjoyed it!

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • L
  • 04-02-15

Unsure

I kind of liked this, but kind of didn't. The characters are okay, but not great and I didn't really get drawn into their story. I also found the whole book a little too 'Go USA, USA #1' for my liking. If you don't mind that kind of thing you'll probably enjoy the book more than I did. The narrator does a good job, so that was a plus. Really not sure I'll get any of the other books in the series based on this one.