Testing is always a sore spot in many applications, and Grails is no exception, but mocking objects and methods is actually not as bad as you think. Here is a simple way to mock the Hibernate Criteria object that is available from Grails domain classes.
If this is the code that you want to test, and for this particular test you want to have no results, this how you would mock it out.
The key piece of code is the creation of the bookCriteria object, in this case it is a member of the test class that is why it is not declared locally in the function. However, you will notice that the bookCriteria is simply a HashMap that returns a empty list for the 'list' parameter. This way when testing 'c.list' a empty list will be returned. Simple hunh!