The state of Wisconsin has never been known for its mild winters and this particular season is no exception. But that’s all good news for Maggy Thorsen and Uncommon Grounds, her newly renovated Brookhills coffeehouse. Now that Maggy and her real estate maven pal, Sarah Kingston, have finally completed the relocation of Uncommon Grounds to the town’s historical train station, they’ve concocted just the perfect drink special to warm up the residents of Brookhills – Triple Shot, a heady coffee drink with massive doses of sugar and caffeine – during this especially cold season.And all is going well for Maggy (okay, maybe she’s a little over-caffeinated, but what do you expect?) when Ward Chitown, a has-been TV personality, rolls into town in search of a long-hidden Mafia stash. And Chitown knows the stash is here because his father led the FBI bust some thirty years ago, in which three agents lost their lives…But now, it’s the real estate agents in Brookhills that should be looking over their shoulders. Two of Sarah’s fellow brokers were shot and left to die at the properties they were showing…and the whole town is feeling nervous, staying home with their windows drawn…When the stench of death starts to pervade Uncommon Grounds, Maggy and Sarah are forced to put all other business aside and find the killer before Sarah becomes the recipient of the murderer’s third shot…
In Balzo's stimulating seventh Maggie Thorsen mystery (after 2010's A Cup of Jo), over-the-hill TV star Ward Chitown plans to do a show about a shootout in Brookhills, Wis., in 1974 between the FBI and the Mafia that left six dead and a fortune missing. Titled The Treasure of the Brookhills Massacre, it's to include a Geraldo Rivera type hunt for the lost money. Meanwhile, Maggy's business partner in the coffeehouse Uncommon Grounds, Sarah Kingston, who owns Kingston Realty, is worried because someone is killing real estate agents. An underground room beneath the coffee shop, a secret tunnel, a missing real estate agent, Chitown's entourage, and a gaggle of rich, spoiled "Brookhills Barbies" provide plenty of grist. Maggy's boyfriend, county sheriff Jake Pavlik, supplies romance and support as Maggy's penchant for being an "intermeddler" lands her in trouble again. This amusing, well-written entry should win Balzo more fans.