Sunday, August 29, 2010

Review: "A Cup of Jo" by Sandra Balzo

A Cup of Jo: A Maggy Thorsen Mystery (#6)
Author: Sandra Balzo
ISBN: 978-0-7278-6912-8
Publisher: Severn House
Genre: Mystery, Cozy Mystery

About the Book:

Maggy Thorsen's heart, uncharacteristically, is swelling with optimism. Sure, her original Wisconsin coffeehouse, Uncommon Grounds, was destroyed in a freak early May blizzard. But, thanks to friend and new business partner, Sarah Kingston, a perfect location for its successor has been found in a quaint Brookhills railroad station recently revitalized by the creation of a commuter-rail connection between the old depot and the city of Milwaukee, fifteen miles east.

Maggy and Sarah hope to piggyback the grand reopening of Uncommon Grounds on the media coverage of Dedication Day for the train's two terminal points. Maggy even digs deep into her development budget and commissions a giant inflatable Uncommon Grounds coffee cup for the celebrations.

All seems perfectly poised for the great day, until Brookhills' in absentia event manager, JoLynne Penn-Williams, finally makes her appearance - as a corpse in Maggy's piece de resistance. . .

My Thoughts:

This is my first Maggy Thorsen mystery and I must say I enjoyed every second of it. Maggy is witty and charming and just downright funny at times, and I love her character.

The storyline takes place in Maggy's coffee shop that is "re-opening" after her partner was murdered. (This must have been covered in an earlier book in the series). Since this is book 6 in the series, there are things referred to that happened earlier, but doesn't hinder the story. I easily read it as a stand alone with no thoughts of feeling left out or missing something.

I enjoyed this book so much, that I'm putting the rest of the series on my must-read list. Make sure you add this one to yours as well!!!

About the author:

Sandra Balzo turned to mystery writing after twenty years in corporate public relations, event management and publicity. Balzo's novels have been nominated for both the Anthony and Macavity awards and received starred reviews from Kirkus and Booklist. In addition to her books about coffee- maven Maggy Thorsen, Balzo writes short stories, two of which have been published in Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine, winning the Macavity, Derringer and Robert L. Fish awards. Balzo's second series, Main Street Murders, will debut in 2011 and will alternate with the Maggy Thorsen mysteries.

Book was supplied by Bostick Communications for me to honestly review.

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