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Maggy Thorsen Books In Order

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Publication Order of Maggy Thorsen Mystery Books

Uncommon Grounds (2004)Description / Buy at Amazon
Grounds for Murder (2007)Description / Buy at Amazon
Bean There, Done That (2008)Description / Buy at Amazon
Brewed, Crude and Tattooed (2009)Description / Buy at Amazon
From the Grounds Up (2010)Description / Buy at Amazon
A Cup of Jo (2010)Description / Buy at Amazon
Triple Shot (2011)Description / Buy at Amazon
Murder on the Orient Espresso (2013)Description / Buy at Amazon
To the Last Drop (2016)Description / Buy at Amazon
Importance of Being Urnest (2017)Description / Buy at Amazon
Murder a la Mocha (2019)Description / Buy at Amazon
Death of a Bean Counter (2020)Description / Buy at Amazon
Flat White (2021)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Big Steep (2022)Description / Buy at Amazon
French Roast (2022)Description / Buy at Amazon

The name ‘Maggy Thorsen’ refers to a series of novels written by Sandra Balzo. Maggy Thorsen is also the name of the series’ protagonist.

+The Story

The Maggy Thorsen series is a collection of cozy mystery novels. The series has everything that makes a cozy mystery novel, this including an unlikely detective, quirky sidekicks, and a small town.

As one might expect, the Maggy Thorsen books revolve around Maggy Thorsen. When she’s first introduced, Maggy’s life is taking a turn for the worse. The forty-two-year old thought she had everything: a decent job, a great husband and a nice home in the small town of Brookhills in Wisconsin.

But then she learned that her husband was cheating on her with a 24-year-old. Ted wastes no time in abandoning Maggy, leaving her life in tatters. Unable to cope with the remnants of what she thought was a bright future Maggy Thorsen abandons everything, including a corporate job as a public relations and events manager at a bank.

Maggy has no interest in moping or losing herself to drink, though. Rather, she is determined to reinvent herself. And with her friends in toe, Maggy opens up a coffee shop called ‘Uncommon Grounds’ in a strip mall. Maggy has no idea how drastically her life will change as a result.

Even before Maggy can get her coffee shop off the ground, one of her partners is murdered and she becomes the prime suspect. And unfortunately, Patricia Harper isn’t the last person to die around Maggy.

Over the stretch of the Maggy Thorsen series, Maggy is forced to put her detective hat on so as to find the murderers walking about in her community. Maggy isn’t written to be another wannabe detective with a quirky job title.

She definitely doesn’t go out of her way to find trouble. Rather, bad things just seem to happen around her. People die. Some of these people she knows directly. Some of the victims are friends and family of people she knows.

Some times Maggy is suspected of collusion in the murders. In fact, that particular plotline occurs on a number of occasions. Other times, Maggy just wants to help her friends find closure, this while bringing justice where she doesn’t think it has been properly served.

Either way, when push comes to shove, Maggy isn’t afraid to get into the mud and to carry out her own investigations. The divorcee quickly finds that her skills in the corporate arena have practical applications in the real world. Along with her natural wit and intelligence, it doesn’t take people that long to realize that Maggy has a knack for finding the bad guys.

This encourages Maggy’s friends to come to her whenever trouble strikes.

The Maggy Thorsen books are rarely praised for their mysteries. Sandra Balzo’s mysteries are by no means terrible. However, they are nothing new, and the clues that she provides make it relatively easy to identify her culprits.

However, this doesn’t make her Maggy Thorsen novels any less entertaining. The books have been praised for the cast. The characters tend to drive the plot, and the steps Maggy takes to unveil a mystery are often more interesting than the mystery itself.

Fans of the series will also tell you that Maggy’s story is worth exploring, even outside her role as an amateur sleuth. As a women in her forties, Maggy should be happy and settled, enjoying the comfort and stability of a happy home and a successful career.

Instead, she is forced to essentially start over when her husband betrays her. Sandra places emphasis on Maggy’s story as she tries to pick up the pieces of her life even while finding her place in the world.

Maggy is a kind-hearted woman, the sort that even rises to the occasion when her husband is accused of a crime and needs someone to fight for him. She is an easy protagonist to cheer for, and so are the people that surround her, this including her supportive friends and the local sheriff she obviously likes.

+The Author

Sandra Balzo is the real world counterpart of Maggy Thorsen. Like Maggy, Sandra spent many years in the public relations and events management business. And like Maggy, Sandra gave up the corporate life in favor of doing what she loves.

And as a mystery writer, Sandra has been rewarded with numerous accolades for her work, this including receiving Anthony Awards and Macavity Awards.

+Grounds for Murder

Maggy Thorsen is a coffee house owner that is participating in a competitive trade show for the coffee industry. Maggy was pretty confident in her abilities, even in the face of the scalding competition at hand.

She didn’t expect to find a body under one of the tables at the conference, a discovery that puts her on the spot as the coordinator of the conference. If Maggy doesn’t want to be suspected of murder – again – she must find the murderer and she must do so quickly.

The future of the conference and her coffeehouse is at stake.

The second book in the Maggy Thorsen series finds Maggy Thorsen falling foul of the law again. Maggy is working with her friend Sarah Kingston to coordinate a convention aimed towards coffee shop owners.

When Martin LaRoach is found dead, neither Sarah nor Maggy shed any tears for him. The loathsome gentleman owned numerous coffee shops and, in his efforts to succeed, he had managed to make enemies of everyone, this including his head barista, other coffee shop owners, and even his wife.

Maggy also hated Martin. When he turns up dead, Maggy knows there’s a good reason for the police to suspect her. So she tries to get ahead of the situation by investigating Martin’s murder and catching the killer.

There’s a subplot involving Maggy’s relationship with Sheriff Jake Pavlik.

+Been There, Done That

Maggy is in a spot of personal trouble. Her husband left her for a dental hygienist in her twenties. And Maggy was doing a great job of moving on from the ordeal. So she isn’t exactly thrilled when this same dental hygienist comes to her for help, determined to find out if Ted, Maggy’s ex-husband, cheated on her with a third woman while he was married to Maggie and also carrying on his affair with her.

Before Maggy can deliver any answers, the woman disappears and all eyes turn to Ted. Despite her better judgment, Maggy decides to help Ted prove his innocence.

Book Series In Order » Characters » Maggy Thorsen

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