Exactly how hot is the competition at the annual coffee trade industry conference in Milwaukee? Scaldingly hot.
What's not hot? Finding Marvin LaRoche, owner of the HotWired coffeehouse chain store stone-cold dead under a banquet table in the middle of the convention.
And everybody knows that Maggy was no great fan of Mr. LaRoche, nor of his overly competitive business practices - so it's up to Maggy's own amateur sleuthing skills to get herself out of the hotseat!
Mrs. LaRoche, newly widowed, certainly seems a bit too cheery. But then there's the angry activist who denounced LaRoche's practice of exploiting Third World coffee growers.
As the conference coordinator and the number one suspect, Maggy is on a countdown to find the murderer, save her coffeehouse and maybe, just maybe heat up her love life...
Thank goodness for caffeine!!
At the start of Balzo's lukewarm second Maggy Thorsen mystery (after 2004's Uncommon Grounds), Maggy, a 40-something divorc e who owns a coffee shop in suburban Brookhills, Wis., discovers the corpse of Marvin LaRoche, proprietor of the HotWired coffeehouse chain and Maggy's biggest competitor, under a banquet table at a coffee convention. Though Maggy was no great fan of LaRoche, she didn't kill him, and she wants to find out who did before she becomes a suspect. LaRoche's wife is a little too cheery for a new widow, and an angry activist who thought LaRoche exploited Third World coffee growers might have wanted to make a bloody statement. Some clumsy character development and awkwardly placed commentary on the art of coffeemaking will make fans of Uncommon Grounds, which was an Anthony Award finalist, hope for a return to form in Maggy's third cozy.