Title: Once Upon a Grind Author: Cleo Coyle Published: December 2nd 2014 by Berkley Hardcover Format: Hardcover, 416 pages Genre: Mystery Series: Coffeehouse Mystery #14
I am not sure that I liked the whole “Clare has psychic abilities” thing that is prevalent in this book. I get that the premise is fairytales, but the clairvoyant thing after drinking coffee made from magic beans is a bit much to take.
The Village Blend is taking part in Central Park’s inaugural Storybook Kingdom weekend celebrating the Brothers Grimm, Mother Goose and other classic literary characters. The prologue tells of a Princess meeting up with a predator, but it isn’t until further long that we learn of the Princesses and how Clare and Matt will be drawn into their exploits.
This is where the story goes off the beaten path. Apparently, coffee beans that Matt sourced in Ethiopia have extraordinary powers and if the drinker has a special sprit or a natural gift of insight, it is enhanced by these beans which is what happened to Clare when she has a vision that she is chasing Mike’s kids into the Ramble of Central Park.
No wonder the Village Blend decided on Jack and the Bean Stalk as their theme for Fairytale weekend.
Then the story tumbles down into the rabbit hole with the Russian Mafia, the CIA, blackmail, a slam poet proposal, an underground dating club, a Sleeping Beauty poison that is only counteracted by the Keppra-based Intravenous Sensory Stimulator (KISS) and all the while Clare is deciding if she wants to leave the Village Blend in New York City to start up a new life with Mike Quinn in Washington, D.C.
There is a great deal going on in this book and I do recommend that you try and read it in large chunks so that you can keep the flow going. The whole fairytale thing is a departure for this writing team, but it works if you choose to suspend reality and just go with the happily ever after theme that they are aiming for.