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Monday, December 31, 2018

Second Installment As Enjoyable As First in Diverting Cozy Series

(Image from Barnes & Noble)

(Note:  While this review will not contain spoilers for The Pint of No Return, it may inadvertently spoil plot surprises from its predecessor, Death on Tap.  As always, I recommend reading books in a series in order.)

There's nothing quite like Oktoberfest in the small, German-themed town of Leavenworth, Washington.  Crowds of beer lovers swarm the streets, bringing enthusiasm, money, and chaos to the otherwise quiet village.  Sloan Krause, the manager of a start-up brewery, is excited for the opportunity to bring attention to the new bar while showcasing the brilliant Cherrywizen she and Nitro's owner, Garrett Strong, have been cooking up.  When she learns that a film crew is in town to make a documentary about beer, she's thrilled with the publicity it could bring for Nitro.  The fact that its "talent" is a spoiled child star who offends everyone he meets is an annoyance, but one she's too busy to dwell on.

When Mitchell Morgan's dead body is discovered behind a beer tent, Sloan is as shocked as the rest of her community.  Certainly, the "star" had made his share of enemies, but who hated him enough to kill him?  Suspects are plentiful and include some of Sloan's nearest and dearest.  To clear their names, Sloan once again turns amateur detective, sticking her nose into places it doesn't belong.  The closer she gets to the truth, the more dangerous her little investigation becomes.  Can she solve the case before it's too late?  Or will Sloan's be the next body on the coroner's table?

I'm not generally big on cozy mysteries, but I've become a fan of Ellie Alexander's books.  I especially enjoy this series featuring brewmaster Sloan Kraus.  The Pint of No Return, the second installment, is a light, fun mystery featuring likable characters set against a charming, colorful backdrop.  Alexander peppers the story with details about beer-making, which is interesting, even to someone like me who knows nothing at all about the industry.  Plotwise, there's nothing too original or surprising here, but the tale kept me engaged.  I enjoyed The Pint of No Return and will definitely keep reading this diverting series.

(Readalikes:  Death on Tap by Ellie Alexander)

Grade:


If this were a movie, it would be rated:


for brief, mild language (no F-bombs) and violence

To the FTC, with love:  Another library fine find

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Swimming in a Sea of Stars by Julie Wright

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The Tobacco Wives by Adele Myer



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