Reviews

Publishers Weekly
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Balzo's exciting eighth mystery featuring Brookhills, Wis., coffeehouse maven Maggy Thorsen (after 2011's Triple Shot) takes Maggy and her beau, Sheriff Jake Pavlik, to South Florida, where they join a group of mystery writers on a train outing billed as "Murder on the Orient Espresso." Maggy looks forward to an easy ride, since her only job is to prepare and serve special coffee to the writers and their guests while Jake lectures about forensics. Unfortunately, a series of career crises, stolen manuscripts, and personal antagonisms builds to a real murder. When the train becomes stranded in the python-infested depths of the Everglades, with communication cut off and deadly predators both inside and out, Maggy must keep the passengers calm and the killer from striking again while Jake sets off to try to find help. It will take more than hot espresso to save this trip, but readers will be happy to jump on board. Agent: Nancy Yost, Nancy Yost Literary Agency. (Dec.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.


Book list
From Booklist, Copyright © American Library Association. Used with permission.

The Maggy Thorsen series, with its coffee-themed titles (Grounds for Murder; Bean There, Done That; Triple Shot; etc.), reaches book number eight. Maggy, amateur sleuth and co-owner of a Wisconsin coffee shop, is in Florida attending a conference for crime writers in the company of her sheriff-boyfriend, Jake, who's a speaker at the conference. When a reenactment of Agatha Christie's Murder on the Orient Express turns deadly, Maggy is determined to get to the bottom of things, even if it means putting her own safety at risk. In keeping with its lighthearted title, the book is an appealing, gentle mystery, a cozy with a shot of Christie. Needless to say, the book will be a hit with series fans, but readers of similarly themed novels from writers such as Mary Daheim (the Bed-and-Breakfast mysteries) or Kerry Greenwood (the Corinna Chapman series) should also be steered in Maggy's direction.--Pitt, David Copyright 2010 Booklist


Library Journal
(c) Copyright Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

The simulated murder mystery train event is a popular staple for many gatherings, and this Florida-set mystery writers' conference is no exception. Accompanying her boyfriend sheriff Jake Pavlik, a featured conference speaker, for a vacation getaway in the Everglades, Maggy realizes she's in for more of a busman's holiday, as one of the guests is discovered dead, stabbed with a cake knife. Meanwhile, after a downpour, the tracks have flooded, and the train has stalled in the middle of nowhere with no cell phone access. Pythons, cake icing, and fierce jealousies all jumble together in an imaginative fashion as Jake and Maggy try to achieve some order out of chaos. VERDICT A nicely hewn homage to Agatha Christie's iconic mystery gives Balzo's seventh caffeinated series entry (after Triple Shot) a light and breezy boost. The Florida setting jazzes up the plot, and attentive readers will delight in Balzo's plentiful book and movie references. (c) Copyright 2013. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.