Triple Shot, a Maggy Thorsen Mystery by Sandra Balzo
Fans of Sandra Balzo’s Maggy Thorsen mysteries are elated when they learn there’s a new series of murders that Maggy can’t seem to keep her nose out of—especially when one is stinking up her coffeehouse. Such is the case in Triple Shot, a cozy mystery centered around Maggy’s shop, Uncommon Grounds, and the body that is hidden in—where else?— the hidden room in the basement.
It seems that trendy Brookhills, Wisconsin, has a dark, mob-related past. When a TV crew shows up in town to film a special about a 35-year-old mob massacre, bodies start dropping and it has nothing to do with the mob. Instead, someone seems to have it in for real estate agents, and is knocking them off at an alarming rate. But why would someone kill an agent-trainee and hide her body under Uncommon Grounds? Or is it because Maggy’s partner in the coffeehouse, Sarah, is also a real estate agent (who happened to employ the dead woman in the basement)? Or would it have something to do with the location of the coffee shop—in an old train station that once hosted a secret waiting room for mob members?
Triple Shot is enriched by Maggy’s circle of friends, including the sexy sheriff in the buttery leather jacket–Maggy’s lust interest. Tennis Barbies mix with chefs, television industry insiders, local reporters, and the coffeehouse staff, offering the reader a delightful array of suspects from which to choose. Maggy, who is either always at the wrong place at the wrong time or a busybody, is a somewhat cynical mensch with a questioning mind. She also has a knack for discovering things that somehow elude the police—it’s amazing what people will tell you over a cup of coffee.
Balzo’s breezy, witty style keeps Triple Shot moving along and the reader guessing, “Could it be…” Those who enjoy “cozy” mysteries that focus more on the social lives of the characters than the violence of the murders will enjoy this entry in the Maggy Thorsen Mystery series. (Balzo pens another series, as well; Main Street Mysteries are set in familiar territory—the North Carolina high country.)