A Curious Brew

Stillwater is probably my favorite town in Minnesota, besides Duluth – – but that’s a two-hour drive, and Stillwater is just under 30 minutes from where I live. I spend a lot of time there so of course, I have a favorite spot.  I have spent many weekends sitting on the patio of the Daily Grind which conveniently faces the St. Croix River. It’s beautiful, and in between pages, I can people watch! The location is definitely what keeps me coming back. Between the amazing view and the fact that it’s attached to The Valley Booksellers makes it heaven.

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The staff is really great and friendly.  I love how they almost always ask about the book I’m carrying. Who doesn’t like to talk about their current read?! They are also quick to offer up a recommendation, both in books and coffee, which I also love!

The place isn’t huge.  Like I said, they share space with a bookstore, but it is perfectly cozy – – few tables, comfy seating area, and the outside patio. The patio is large and has plenty of seating for any overflow that  may occur inside.  And if you are anything like me, unless there is snow on the ground, I’d rather be sitting outside anyway!

The Daily Grind use to be located in the River Exchange building but recently moved to their location at 217 North Main Street.  The old location was very cool. Gorgeous space, but after some obstacles that couldn’t be overcome, they moved to their new location in The Valley Booksellers building.  While the old space was amazing, they have done a great job of making their new location feel comfortable.  It does have an updated vibe, but the coffee and people are all the same – delicious and welcoming 🙂 (See their story here)

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I really like that they share this space with The Valley Booksellers.  They are my two most frequented stops, so it is definitely convenient. The group that works in the bookshop is super friendly, and I’ve gotten into many discussions with them about book recommendations, or a book we’ve seen different reviews on. Whether we agree or disagree, the conversations are always engaging. I look forward to them.  Both places are always busy when I’m there – – which is typically mid-morning on a weekend.

When I was there this weekend, I wrapped up reading Curious Minds by Janet Evanovich and Phoef Sutton

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This is a debut novel in a new series featuring eccentric billionaire Emerson Knight, and Riley Moon, who works in the firm in charge of Emerson’s gold.  The two team up (well, more Riley gets dragged into) when several people also connected to this firm come up missing/dead and they discover the gold isn’t exactly what it should be.  It’s a fun, quirky ride, and a true Evanovich story line.

I really enjoyed the characters.  Riley and Emerson were great together!  For any Doctor Who fans out there, I mostly pictured the Doctor and his companion type relationship going on here. He is a genius who doesn’t pick up on most social ques (think Sheldon on the Big Bang Theory). He runs off full steam ahead on some crazy adventure, and she follows along to help ground and guide.  I also adored Emerson’s family – – his aunt and cousin.  I think they help make Emerson seem more dimensional than he comes across on his own.

This novel made me feel, at times, like I was watching an episode of Doctor Who (minus the sci-fi aspect).  It became really far-fetched – – which is honestly one of the things I love about DW – – but then it would attempt to bring it back to the serious.  I think classifying this as a mystery/thriller is doing it some injustice.  These days when someone picks up a book that falls in that genre they are expecting Girl on the Train or something by Tana French.  This book is hilarious and has this silly adventure that is quickly resolved in the best quirky way. We know the “mystery” and the bad guys right off the bat, so we are mostly along for the ride as to how Emerson and Riley will right this wrong.

I am a HUGE fan of Evanovich – – the Stephanie Plum series, Lizzy and Diesel, and Fox and OHare – – all great series!  This one definitely has the humor and the fun characters, the crazy story lines, but something about it just didn’t hit the mark for me the way her other ones do. I think I went into this thinking there would be more of a mystery/thriller build up and that is what left me disappointed. At least from that aspect; overall, I loved this book!

I haven’t read anything by Phoef Sutton, but he has me curious now, so I’ll be checking him out.

Thanks to Netgalley and Random House Publishing Group – Ballantine Bantam for a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review. Much appreciation!! 🙂

The Daily Grind ✰✰✰✰

The Valley Booksellers ✰✰✰✰✰

GoodReads – Curious Minds ✰✰✰✰

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4 thoughts on “A Curious Brew

      1. I take the Gateway Trail from St Paul and then connect to Browns Creek Trail which ends in the park with the wolf statue next to the river. They are really nice trails and you only have to deal with cars when the trail crosses a street.

        Liked by 1 person

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