Without a Brew
Sloan Krause Series, Book 4
Amateur sleuth Sloan Krause delves into a murderous winter wonderland in another delightful mystery from cozy writer Ellie Alexander, Without a Brew.
It’s winter in the Bavarian village of Leavenworth, Washington, which for local brewmaster Sloan Krause means lots of layers, pine and citrus-flavored craft beers, and getting the new guest rooms at Nitro into pristine condition before visitors flood in for IceFest—a local tradition filled with fireworks, ice carving, and winter games of all varieties. But Sloan and her boss Garrett quickly learn that being brewkeepers turned innkeepers may not be as idyllic as it sounded.
While one couple staying with them seems completely smitten, a flashy group arrives in the evening demanding rooms. Sloan and Garrett are less than impressed, but agree to rent to them anyway. The night takes a turn when brewery patron Liv Paxton finishes her frothy pint and, with no previous plan for an overnight stay in Leavenworth, eagerly takes Sloan up on the offer of sanctuary from the snow—until she has a strange run in with some locals and the other guests. Sloan could be imagining things, but when Liv’s room is found trashed the next morning, a hateful message painted on her car, and Liv herself is nowhere to be found, Sloan is convinced another mystery is brewing. With many of the potential suspects hunkering down under Nitro’s roof, she knows her co-workers and friends won’t be safe until she serves up the killer a hoppy pint of justice.
Without a Brew is a fun and unique cozy mystery that really makes you want to try a craft beer. Even for a non beer drinker.
Without a Brew is my first Sloan Krause and will not be my last. The Bavarian Village Ice festival is all but underway and Nitro is doing a soft open for their B&B tasting experience! Sloan and her boss Garrett learn quickly that innkeeping and beer brewing may not go hand in hand. Nitro’s soft open turns into a full house when a small group has a messed up reservation and a lone woman seek shelter from the cold. Fun in the snow and amazing beer tasting is what should be had but when a body turns up things are not as they seem. Too many suspects and a lot of unanswered questions layer this mystery. Sloan weaves her way through a trail of clues she seems compelled to follow.
Without a Brew was a fantastic cozy mystery. I really enjoyed Sloan‘s character. She’s hard-working and independent. A caring and loyal woman who has seen a hard life. Her heart has been broken by someone she loved but yet she’s picking up the pieces and trying to live on with life. She did a lot of growing in just one book and I find that thoroughly impressive on the authors part. As someone who is just picking up a book within the series and able to understand the challenges that Sloan faces and understand them like they were just introduced in this book is a higher accomplishment in my book. The mystery was interesting and impressive how it came about and with the end results were. I also thoroughly enjoyed this little town. As someone who really doesn’t like the cold or beer for that matter I found both aspects of this book to be truly Intercal parts of the story and we’re interesting to someone who has not found an interest before.
Without a Brew was a page turning mystery that was completely entertaining and thoroughly enjoyed. I can’t wait to go back to the beginning of the series and find out all the wonderful things I’ve missed about this incredibly charming and cozy little town.
Death at High Tide
Island Sisters Mystery, Book 1
In the first installment in the delightful Island Sisters series, two sisters inherit an old hotel in the remote Isles of Scilly off the coast of Cornwall and find it full of intrigue, danger, and romance.
When Evie Mead’s husband, Robert, suddenly drops dead of a heart attack, a mysterious note is found among his possessions. It indicates that Evie may own the rights to an old hotel on Tregarrick Rock, one of the Isles of Scilly.
Still grieving, Evie is inclined to leave the matter to the accountant to sort out. Her sister Margot, however, flown in from her glamorous career in LA, has other plans. Envisioning a luxurious weekend getaway, she goes right ahead and buys two tickets–one way–to Tregarrick.
Once at the hotel–used in its heyday to house detective novelists, and more fixer-upper than spa resort, after all–Evie and Margot attempt to get to the bottom of things. But the foul-tempered hotel owner claims he’s never met the late Robert, even after Evie finds framed photos of them–alongside Robert’s first wife–in his office. The rest of the island inhabitants, ranging from an ex-con receptionist to a vicar who communicates with cats, aren’t any easier to read.
But when a murder occurs at the hotel, and then another soon follows, frustration turns to desperation. There’s no getting off the island at high tide. And Evie and Margot, the only current visitors to Tregarrick, are suspects one and two. It falls to them to unravel secrets spanning generations–and several of their own–if they want to make it back alive.
The Island Sisters Series is off to an entertaining and enjoyable start with Death at High Tide.
Evie Mead is in quite a spot. Her husband suddenly dies, she finds out they’re broke, a mysterious letter from her late husband finds its way into her hands and her sister, Margot, has a crazy idea to figure things out. These two sisters are very different yet extremely hilarious together. You can tell they have a bond even though they’ve been away from each other for years.
The seaside town of Tregarrick is a unique setting. I loved the hotel, once used as a mystery writer’s getaway. Even with its outdated decor it had a whimsical charm. Like most small towns, everyone knows everyone and the inhabitants of this town make up a colorful cast of unique, strange yet entertaining individuals. There are many secrets floating around and when several murders occur within a short time, checking out a simple hotel becomes something much more complicated.
This is my first read by Author Hannah Dennison and I will admit I am pleasantly surprised. The characters had a lot of personality, layers and a bit of mystery to the. The setting is amazing with just a touch of a gothic feel. Winter seas can do that. Lol. The story was well paced and entertaining. The mystery was well plotted and I honestly hadn’t figured out who had actually done it. This is one of those stories that will suck you in and before you know it you have finished the book in one sitting. Evie and Margot are an interesting pair and I look forward to seeing what interesting situations these two will find themselves in.
The Stolen Letter
Scottish Bookshop Mystery, Book 5
New York Times bestselling author Paige Shelton returns with the next installment of The Scottish Bookshop Mystery series, The Stolen Letter
Delaney Nichols is confident she’s doing what she loves—case in point, just one day after returning from her fabulous European honeymoon, she’s eager to get back to the Cracked Spine, the bookstore where she works. But as she disembarks her bus and hurries toward the shop she and another woman collide, sending a stack of books the woman is carrying to the ground.
Delaney’s hapless victim’s name is Mary, and the two women can’t help but notice that they bear an uncanny resemblance to one another. According to Mary, they both also look like the long-beheaded Mary Queen of Scots. Even stranger, Mary believes she is the reincarnation of the Scottish queen. But peculiar as Delaney’s doppelganger is, she doesn’t have time to dwell on it: on her arrival to the bookshop, she learns the Edinburgh city council wants to close the Cracked Spine, citing code violations, and she’s determined to stop them.
But when Mary’s husband dies in a car explosion—and Delaney learns he was the very member of city council who proposed that the city take a closer look at the bookshop’s construction—she starts to wonder if her meeting with Mary wasn’t an accident. Edinburgh has become as filled with intrigue and deception as any European court, and Delaney is determined to get to the bottom of this royal mystery.
It’s not too often that you can find a book that encompasses many interests wrapped into one. Ms. Shelton gives us past and present queens, a rich dose of history, a bookstore filled with the unexpected and a mystery that will keep you on your toes. The Stolen Letter is an intricate story with a mystery within a mystery that was very much enjoyable.
Delaney Nichols it’s a very interesting character. I love the passion that she shows for her job. You can tell that it’s more than just a job for her, it’s a part of who she is. She’s smart, witty, a little bit nosy and doesn’t seem to know how to back down. She stands up for what she believes and then she cares about. I love the bookish Voices that pop into her head just when she needs to lead in the right direction. She’s still adjusting to being newly married yet her husband, Tom, is very supportive in all manners of what she does.
Delaney, along with the cast of characters that the series, and this book contain sure to give you laughs while trying to figure out the mystery of it all.
The Stolen Letter was so much more than I thought it was going to be. Ms. Shelton weaves a good plot but you can tell this is truly a character driven story. I love how she mixed history into this modern day story. I personally am a huge fan of paranormal and I loved that little touch added into the story. As I am just coming into the series at this book I found it easy to fall into place within The Cracked Spine(Love that name for a book shop by the way) and the colorful and charismatic people who work and frequent the shop. There are essentially two stories that intertwined within the pages of The Stolen Letter And a lot going on all at the same time yet every bit of it was thoroughly enjoyable. I look forward to going back and reading some of the earlier books in the series just because I enjoyed this one so much.