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Monday, December 23, 2019

Clean and Cozy, Leavenworth Christmastime Mystery is an Easy, Enjoyable Read

(Image from Barnes & Noble)

(Note:  While this review will not contain spoilers for Beyond a Reasonable Stout, it may inadvertently reveal plot surprises from earlier Sloane Krause mysteries.  As always, I recommend reading books in a series in order.)

With the chaos of Oktoberfest behind them, the residents of Leavenworth, Washington, are enjoying a lull before they gear up for Christmas festivities.  At Nitro, brewer Sloan Krause and her business partner, Garrett Strong, are experimenting with pine-flavored goodies to celebrate the season.  The microbrewery swirls with delicious scents that tickle the nose and remind everyone that soon the town will be glowing with lights, teeming with tourists, and awash in peace and goodwill.

Then, long-time city council member Kristopher Cooper announces his plans to make Leavenworth a dry town.  Local brewers are outraged.  Their businesses depend on keeping the taps open; all the merchants in town benefit from events like Oktoberfest.  Kristopher has created such a brouhaha that, when he winds up dead, there's a whole list of possible killers.  Some of Leavenworth's most prominent citizens are being accused, but who actually did the dirty deed?  When Sloan's best frenemy asks Sloan to help prove her innocence, the brewer reluctantly steps in.  Can she solve the murder?  Or will she be the killer's next victim?

Before we continue, have you seen pictures of
Leavenworth at Christmastime?  It looks absolutely magical.  Even though I grew up in Washington, I've never been there.  Seeing it lit up for the holiday is absolutely on my bucket list.  Okay, back to the review ...

Beyond a Reasonable Stout is the third book in Ellie Alexander's always enjoyable Sloan Krause mystery series.  Although in reality, Leavenworth is a very safe town, Alexander's fictional version is always erupting in murderous deeds.  I'm happy to suspend my disbelief here because I love the setting.  Although Sloan's not an especially unique or memorable character, I enjoy her adventures.  Beyond a Reasonable Stout is no exception.  Like its predecessors, it's a fun, easy read that's predictable but still entertaining.  I appreciate that the books are clean, without crass language, sex scenes, or anything gory and graphic.  They're just fun reads that make me smile.  You better believe I'm going to continue reading them!

(Readalikes:  Reminds me of the Bakeshop Mystery series by Ellie Alexander as well as other books in the Sloan Krause series, including Death on Tap and The Pint of No Return)


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

1 comment:

  1. Ok, Leavenworth looks fabulous at Christmas! Cambria, CA has a similar look/festival, but I've never been. Must go next year.


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