Milwaukee coffee-shop owner Maggy Thorsen (Grounds for Murder, 2007, etc.) is as steamed as the milk in a venti latte when her ex-husband’s new wife asks for help proving what a faithless wretch he is.
Cute gal Rachel has a problem. She thinks that her dentist husband Ted Thorsen is cheating. So she asks Ted’s ex-wife Maggy for the old calendars she’s saved to see if Ted might have been cheating on Rachel with somebody else during the same two years he was cheating on Maggy with Rachel. Maggy’s none too pleased to be digging up old dirt. She’s moved on with her life and, with help from her partner Caron Egan and rainbow-haired barista Amy, runs Uncommon Grounds, where Brookhills County’s commuters and tennis moms snatch their daily caffeine fix. She’s even got something going with sheriff Jake Pavlik. But curiosity is an insatiable beast—almost as bad as her sheepdog Frank—and Maggy nurses a sneaking suspicion about Ted and his dental-school classmate Emma Byrne, who’s currently turning Sarah Kingston, Maggy’s best friend, into a Brookhills Barbie. So she agrees to meet with Rachel shortly before the second Mrs. Thorsen drops out of sight, leaving the first Mrs. Thorsen in a worse mess than the jumble left by Uncommon Grounds’ very own dumpster diver.
Balzo gives an old formula new life with crisp dialogue, complex characters and a puzzle that can’t be beat.